I admit I have a really, really, really hard time getting past someone who can say

I really enjoyed the HBO series, but I didn’t feel like waiting years to learn the rest of the plot. The same thing happened with Lord of the Rings – I saw the first movie, then quickly gobbled up the trilogy, the Hobbit, and even the Silmarillion.

The notion of someone who manages to miss an epic all-time great series like Lord of the Rings until the movies come out…and who didn’t start into the books of GRRRRRR Martin when first seeing the HBO trailers…. Well. I get a little faint I gotta say.

I’m a reader. I like films just fine and sometimes the adapted works can be quite good. But man. The notion that you’d have all your orientations all fucked up by directorial interpretation and Hollywoodification before you read the books makes me a little bit nauseated I gotta tell you.

Since we’re on the subject, please Dear Reader I implore you. Read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books before you see the Hollywood version that is coming out. And for that matter, view the Swedish movies first too. There is no possible way the latest, glitzy movie is not going to suck in comparison with the Swedish movies and, inevitably, the books.

anyhow, the real point is that Blag Hag asked her readers to throw out suggestions for fantasy/sci fi books that weren’t quite so dismally formulaic

when you have a series that’s basically medieval Europe placed on an imaginary map, I’m not sure what you expect. It’s inspired by history, where woman were treated that poorly. I find it refreshing that the plot doesn’t accept that (like in Lord of the Rings), but rather multiple woman try to overcome it.

But I see the point. How many more fantasy novels do we need that perfectly mirror medieval Europe, with women having the roles of wives and nothing more? If it’s fiction, why not make them equal? Or why not make them the ones in charge?

…and they responded. Maybe you’ll find a tip for something you will enjoy reading.

The rules for this blog meme are quite simple.
-Post the link and first sentence from the first blog entry for each month of the past year.
I originally did this meme, after seeing similar posted by Janet Stemwedel and John Lynch. Prior editions include 2010, 2009 and 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

This question arose on the Twitts and the person wanted to know if waiting for the first renewal was a good idea.

In short, no.

First off, the days of counting on the NIH renewal application being funded, even given great productivity, are over. Tactically you need to shoot for overlapping awards just to ensure continuity of a one-R01 sized lab.

Second, it is my continued view that it is really hard to make it as a single grant lab in the long term. You need diversity of projects because one might run into doldrums now and again for reasons outside of your control.

The third point addresses a followup concern- can newb profs handle the load of two major projects? I say yes. I can’t think of a single scientist who struggled and/or failed because they had two R01 support in the early years. I’m sure they exist but I can’t think of any examples from my experiences. I do know a few folks lucky to get two major awards early (first 2-3 years) and they did (and are doing) just fine.

OTOH I can think of several examples of folks who struggled with just one award and for whom I think things would have been vastly better with two grants.