"This weekend was the peak of the college graduation season. Colleges invite well-known people to travel all over America to give a 15 minute commencement address in exchange for an honorary doctorate. It is intellectually dishonest but, as it is graduation day, the hypocrisy is ignored."
^ Totally made me lol, classic. This article covers why it those continuing from high school into college, or from college to graduate school might be better off currently, than trying to find a job in this market. What about those of us who already have gotten his/her Masters?? Hmph.
There are have been way too many earthquakes in the last year, and I have been caught in very, very, very awkward places during them. In August during the biggest earthquake in years I was in my car. Unfortunately they don’t teach you in elementary school what to do if you are DRIVING when an earthquake occurs. It was tough getting home, if only because I was nursing a serious adrenaline rush.
And then, tonight, LA got hit with a 5.0 that rolled for awhile. Where was I? In the shower - OF COURSE. I was like, are you freakin’ kidding me? This only happens in the movies. But no, there I was, shaving my legs, which meant that the floor was extra slippery. I counted to five-ish when my soap bottle fell off the ledge. That’s when I had gotten my fill. I leaped out, grabbed a towel, and am still jittery a good 20 minutes later.
The tagline and guide for this innovative search tool reads as follows: “Today’s Wolfram|Alpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer.”
So why should you care? Because Wolfram|Alpha is the shit. I realize it still is in an infantile stage (I managed to stump it already). But holy wow this thing is just incredible. You may not yet think you need a better search function for life, but indeed, you do.
To get you started, try asking it these questions:
1. What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
2. 110,000 words *
3. Los Angeles weather the day Barack Obama was born
4. Life expectancy 24 year old female America
5. ACCAGACCATTA **
6. Peanut butter and Jelly
7. (Your Name)
* (the length of my first novel)
** A random genome sequence I made up on the fly. Try different letters (obviously only ACT or G)
Having fun? Watch the introductory video to see how it can help you figure out your loan payments, your current health, and help you with your math homework:
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”—Shakespeare “As You Like It” Act 2: Scene 7, 139 - 143
Which is a terrifying and saddening thought. I really love academia and learning, I just don’t like teaching. So, I don’t really see a reason - and I can’t really see a way - to stay at a university. Instead, I suppose I shall forge ahead and wade into the deep sea of job hunting.
I’m feeling fairly nostalgic, so fair warning if my posts for the next few days are a little sappy.
“The editor of a book series told me recently that he never sends out manuscripts to be reviewed by people who haven’t themselves written books. That is not only a credibility issue; until you’ve done the horrible, painful work of writing a book yourself, it’s easy to underestimate how hard it is.”—
Rachel Toor, from her Article “Reading like a Graduate Student”
I officially passed my thesis defense! It lasted 70 minutes and my two readers mostly grilled me about my work. They asked me about my influences, my challenges, my character’s motivations. It was pretty intense - but not as bad as the 10 minutes following, during which they kicked me out of the room and then conferred about whether or not to pass me!
In the end, I felt elated, and now I am a bit sleepy so I might nap before a fun night out with my sister <33