Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Knocking Two More Off the 101 List

Making a list and checking it twiceAs with everything I do, I appear to be quite motivated by my rapidly approaching deadline for my my 101 things to do in 1001 days list. I apologize in advance that this week might be a little heavy on me blogging about such things. In today’s blog posting, I will talk about knocking *two* things off my list, so you should probably thank me for combining them instead of making them two separate blog postings. You’re welcome.

First up, #14: write something creative (e.g., a story, a script or a poem).

Dr. Dan sent me an email today reminding me that I’d written a dissertation haiku, and thus had already completed item #14. Then I reminded him that, in fact, he had written my dissertation haiku, because I suck at haiku1. But *then* I remembered that when Paul interviewed me about the Longest Game for Cystic Fibrosis for his blog, he made me write a haiku to pimp my blog. So it turns out I *have* knocked item #14 off my list! Booyah!

And, just now, I wrote this haiku:

I suck at haiku. Yes, I
really, really do.
I suck at haiku. I do.

So, yeah, I pretty much killed #14.

Second, #27: write a computer program.

When I wrote my panicked 101 list update posting, Demonweed suggested that I could do a simple:

10 PRINT “Hello world.”
20 GOTO 10

which would constitute a simple program in BASIC. I sort of dismissed the idea because when I initially wrote my list, I wanted to actually learn something about computer programming. But again, in an email exchange with Dr. Dan today2, he pointed out that I didn’t actually specify on the 101 list that it needed to be more than a 2 line program and that’s there’s nothing wrong with baby steps and I could put the writing of a more substantial computer program onto my next 101 list. How could I argue with such sound logic? I couldn’t. And thus I decided to go for it! Of course, upon deciding to go for it, I realized that I had no idea where, exactly, I would type something like the above to make it actually go. Which, of course, required another email to Dr. Dan. And Dr. Dan introduced me to R. So I have now downloaded R and “written” a computer program, which much assistance, that calculates an average and does a few other neat tricks. But I put it into R and it did stuff and I’m checking #27 off my list. W00t!

Image Credit: Posted by Kyle Steede on Flickr.

  1. Krista Lee also commented in my recent panicked 101 list update that I could write a haiku, but I sort of dismissed the thought given my sucking at writing haikus. []
  2. You can see that Dr. Dan and I have very deep and significant discussions over email. []


My Dissertation Haiku

Three days ago, Darren pointed out this site to me: Dissertation Haiku. On this site, people write a single haiku that summarizes their PhD dissertation.  Since then, I’ve been trying to write a haiku to summarize my dissertation and failing miserably. As it turns out, I suck at haikus. So I did what any self-respecting scientist would do – I hired my statistician to do it for me1.

And now I give you my Dissertation Haiku, written by Dr. Daniel J. Gillis:

Boozing rat mommies
Make baby rat bones so weak
Poor baby rat bones

If you’d like to read the longer version, my dissertation is here.

Incidentally, at this exact moment, Dr. Dan has also posted his own dissertation haiku. Coordinated simultaneous blog postings. Yes, we truly are that cool.

Update: My dissertation haiku is now published on the Dissertation Haiku site! Go there to read it in all its haikuy glory! Also, if you happen to be one of my friends who also has a dissertation, you should submit your own dissertation haiku there too. Submit, I say!

  1. where by “hire” I mean asked him nicely and gave him no money. Not unlike his day job, except for the asking him nicely part []