Tightly wound

April 17, 2013

A friend was recently observing that we academics seem pretty high strung right now. Cranked up to the breaking point, I’d say.

Of course we are. This sequester and continuing resolution thing has really put the bite on. The lab closings that seemed only in the realm of a Friend of a Friend or a likely possibility are now becoming reality. I’m seeing PIs leave. Close down. Jump ship. In all of this there are technicians and postdocs losing their jobs. Grad students who cannot find a funded lab to join after the rotations are finished up. Institutional decision making that seems even closer than usual to hand-flapping panic rather than a plan.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Pretty much everyone, as we wait with bated breath for the first suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing to be arrested.

Quickly avert your eyes

April 17, 2013

I don’t agree with calls to not show the pictures of the gory aftermath of the explosions in Boston this week. It’s hard to look at and it shocks some people. If your kids run across it you might have some nightmares or some explaining to do.

So what?

This is what happened. And there were people in horrific pain, people horribly maimed and some people killed. Why should we be afraid to see this? We who gobble up violent video games and teevee shows and movies with glee.

Nobody is actually forcing you to look at it and to mull it over. You have the option of quickly looking away.

I think we should be viewing the graphic depictions of carnage from the wars we engage in too.

And also, capital crime executions should be on the nightly news.

Maybe, just maybe, we’d take our actions and inactions as a society a little more seriously if we all grappled intensely with the consequences.