You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2020 (0)2011 (4)
February (2)

PSA: It's cold, buy a Carbon Monoxide Detector.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cold Fusion
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
January (2)

Going back
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun with Jackass
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
2010 (33)
December (4)

The 12 days of (Lab) Christmas
Friday, December 24, 2010

I really hope there isn't a number 3
Thursday, December 9, 2010

So why don't you have more papers?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Picking a project
Thursday, December 2, 2010
November (2)October (7)

As promised: Geeka and A Cow
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finishing something
Saturday, October 23, 2010

A cartwheeling Geeka
Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Classroom got funded, I get embarrassed.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bounty for Donor's Choose
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If I couldn't be a scientist
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That's not the shape of his head.
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (6)

Glutton for Punishment
Saturday, September 25, 2010

I talk to machines.
Friday, September 24, 2010

World's worst Journal Club.
Monday, September 20, 2010

The IACUC Chair
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hell, I did know then, I just didn't know it until it hit me.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stuff Geeka Likes: The Toys Edition
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
August (9)

How I ended up a scientist.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monday morning crapped on my head.
Monday, August 23, 2010

Naming your equipment
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stuff Geeka Likes: Inaugural edition
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Silent Squee
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In which I come clean
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Having a bad day
Monday, August 9, 2010

My blogging philosophy
Friday, August 6, 2010

Balance? We don't need no stinking balance.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
July (5)
Rate This Post
Total votes: 1
Blogger Profile


Hi! I'm Geeka. I've been a scientist for, I don't know, it seems like forever, I guess since I started college, so, like 15 years? Anyhow, this is where I'm going to give my take on a bunch of stuff. I'm usually a little bit out there (that is, I don't see the obvious at the outset), which means that you are probably going to have to deal with reading such topics as: Interpersonal relationship training for scientists, my lab pet peeves, how to get along in business when you just came straight out of academia, trying to deal with having a life and being a scientist, really odd topics for a paper, random stuff I found on the internet that made me shoot coffee out of my nose, you know, (ab)normal Geeka. Why the title? Because at the very heart of me, I'm a virologist, and while I don't necessarily do that now, it's how I view the scientific world.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Thursday, July 29, 2010

So, I'm a virologist by training. This means that I can talk about symptoms of Ebola while putting ketchup (FYI, that's the correct spelling, none of this 'catsup' bullshit) on a hamburger. However, the most uncomfortable I've been has been explaining things to PI's in the department. For example:

1. HIV is a big deal. Every time I see the abbreviation MSM, I know that it means 'men who have sex with men'. It's just something we all talk about, but not in any sort of detail. In this one Journal Club, someone was presenting a paper on HIV transmission in MSM, and it listed different ways contact could occur, one of which was 'rimming' (seriously, in the journal article, that specific, not oral sex). We all kind of gloss over it, presenter says something like "Table 2 lists all of the sexual acts that were included in the survey". One of the PIs, one who has been in the HIV field since the start, stops the JC and wants to know what rimming is. This PI is kind of a sweet Indian grandpa man. He wants one of the students to explain what rimming is to him during lunch.

2. Jackass is reviewing a breast cancer grant. He walks into the lab to tell us this, then he hangs around, like a teenage boy wanting to ask the cute girl to dance. All of a sudden, he starts talking about how the grant writers want to test the fluid that comes from breasts. He's practically blushing now. Finally, me, labmate, and the lab tech, sit down and look at him. Clearly he's uncomfortable about something. So he starts this line of questioning that starts with lactation, and ends at, "So, in females that haven't ever been pregnant, does anything ever, you know, come out?" I'm sure he was incredibly uncomfortable. This was for a scientific purpose, but the women in the lab couldn't help but wonder why he didn't ask his wife.

3. PI's that wear shorts, should not ever put their feet up on desks. Especially when said PI's desk faces the door. Having a conversation with a PI explaining to them that this is inappropriate while using the phrase: "I'm now blind." or using the phrase 'junk' is outside of a grad student's contract, and should be grounds for automatic graduation.

I want to hear horror stories. What's the worst thing that someone had to explain to a PI/boss? I need to feel like it didn't just happen to me/in my department.

I'm thinking I might actually gear up for an actual 'scientific content' post this weekend. I need something to keep me going.

This post has been viewed: 507 time(s)

Blog Comments

Genomic Repairman
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Did you guys draw straws (and possibly a diagram) for who had to explain rimming to the boss?

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Fucking hilarious on number 3. OMG- so, like, no underwear under the shorts too? Wow.

Jackass is seriously warped. I think it is beyond inappropriate for him to ask you that. Doesn't he know how to use google? How could that be relevant to breast cancer grant because if it was, it would be in the published literature and then he wouldn't have needed to ask.

I can't recall any events like this with my professors or PIs. I love all your stories. Scientific content is fine but this is more fun.

Rosalind Franklin University
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
The first thing that comes to mind was my PI's husband, who also ran a very large lab out at CalTech. He was an avid runner, and thus wore a tank top and running shorts every day. Not just ordinary running shorts... but fluorescent shorts that ride higher than 1970s basketball shorts. Let's just say these shorts left very little to the imagination.

Rosalind Franklin University
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
We really wanted to explain to my PI who had the last name of Wang, that naming his son Harrison, or anything that can be shortened to Harry would be unwise.

He named his son Harrison (Harry) Wang.

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I wasn't there, but a group of undergrads were talking about O faces and a PI walked in, he didn't know what they were talking about, but I guess they kept the discussion up in code, and apparently the professor not knowing what was going on said to one of the students "What's your O face look like?"

I wish I could have been there.

Guest Comment
Nothing like seeing a older PI wandering around the halls in PADDED BIKESHORTS on the weekend. I'm just saying. Tight in the front, padding in the back. Hysterical and disturbing.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I have this terrible feeling that I'm going to become just like your PI someday...

Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
These are completely awesome and hilarious.

But I'm glad that it's your PI, not mine! :)

Guest Comment
Not funny, but I had to explain to my PI that having a chronic illness/disability is not something you can overcome through sheer willpower.
Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.