Friday, February 27, 2009

GBDK Retreat?

March 28 is upcoming, (just four weeks away) the date previously set for a GBK mini-retreat in the Lawrence area. I'll be in town (for meetings on Monday the 30th and probably Sunday night). Who's in? For what? Who's coordinating? (not it).
I'll be happy just seeing my dear friends at their houses, but if we wanted to actually retreat somewhere, we need a plan (and frankly, if we're just meeting at someone's house, a plan would be order).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More things about us and celebrations

Molly and Jenny both commented on the "10 Things About You" after it left the top page, so I'm not sure if everyone has had the chance to read their responses, but it is well worth doing. Let's continue the discussion with responses on this post.
Mardi Gras is Tuesday, so I thought that the theme for this week might be one extravagent/excessive thing you'd like to do and one thing you'd like to give up in your life.
Upcoming early in March will be Molly's birthday, followed by Cathy's defense and then Debbie's birthday on the Ides. Wishing you metaphorically broken legs and great days!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where are all the books written in French? In the countries that speak French of course!

Does anyone know where I can order inexpensive (~$10) books that are written in French? I'm looking for specific websites. I wanted to buy some reference books and novels to take to Haiti, but am having difficulty. I found some on Amazon, but SpSq's favorite book The Eight (Le Huit) is $40! And I found a site that imports novels from France, and they are expensive. I'll try the used books sites again, but seems like they are all >$20. PS - I'm reading The Fire and it is great! And I'm home sick so it's a good day to look up things on-line. HA - followup - there's a bookstore in Haiti's capital!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Type II Errors

Sign of the nerdiness of my colleagues: he was describing a student with passionate, constantly changing opinions of him, "her attitude could be graphed like a sine wave."

Sign of the nerdiness of me: I took (okay, gave blood for) a prenatal sceening test this morning. The doctor reminded me that it was good for ruling stuff out (if negative, 95% chance baby is fine), but not good for confirming anything (if positive, 97% of time nothing is wrong). I had to try and make this into a statistical test for my senior seminar class, if Type I error rate is 5% (5% of negatives are false negatives) and Type II error rates are 97% (97% of positives are false positives), can we determine anything about probability of underlying conditions? I don't think so unless we know the actual positive/negative reporting rates. Anyone geekier than I.

Alloicious Nukular (aka E. Mervivan Phogg) heart is beating just fine, by the way.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lincoln and Darwin

Born the same day! Why hasn't more been made of that coincidence?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free issue on Darwin!!!

Science Songs and Darwin Day!

This is a song on evolution written by a Columbia College alum. I've met the band and they're nice.

Here's another site with lots of info on the year of science

Darwin (lots of his works are online here)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are babies actually cute and interesting?

I liked the comments of SpSq and Abby, and wondered what everyone else thinks. Are babies cute, or does everyone just say that to avoid being socially ostracized?

Personally, I admit I did actually think Annika was cute as a brand-new newborn, once she turned a normal pinkish color. But everyone else's newborn is a weird-looking alien monkey, as SpSq would say. To me, they get cute around 2-3 months when they get good at the social smile.

I agree that baby humans seem exceptionally helpless compared with any other creature I can think of... the list of things they can't do that most other newborn mammals can do.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Maternity Leave Policies?

Could you look up the maternity leave policies of your institutions? I'm particularly interested in Beth's and Jennifer's as they also have faculty with large teaching loads (other places will give a semester off [or at least off from teaching] with pay, but the comment was paid that would only cost $3,000 for the price of an adjunct. Not really true in my situation), but I'm curious in general.
My institution doesn't have one! And when I went to talk to the provost about it last week, she was asking me about the provision about the Family Medical Leave Act. I'm certain I will be treated fairly and with we do actually have some flexibility because of no set policies, but still it doesn't seem quite right.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Haiti ecotour site up!

The Haiti ecotour business is officially launched! If you're visiting Haiti, you can book your tour here Let me know if anything is confusing or you see typos!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Zwazo yo

That means birds in Creole. I started a blog to keep track of my work there, because I plan on returning for a month! There's so much to do. I taught about the importance of birds to the ecosystem and ecotourism to 2 primary/secondary schools, to the teens that live near the missionaries (and they came back for 2 birding excursions), and to men who were visiting for leadership conferences (some walked 9 - 11 hours to attend the conferences). I even worked water quality into the mix and want to delve into that more on the next trip. Check the blog for more photos, and let me know if you come across appropriate information that I could link on it. I bought the coffee that you see being roasted, and the other picture is of my star pupil Louisders took me on two bird tours and met with me for 3 hours to learn English in the context of birding. He picked it up pretty quickly!

10 Things About You

I have been thinking about blogging lately, and how grateful I am to Sparkling Squirrel and the others who have been keeping up with this blog. I often think about things I want to say, but never find the time to say them. I realized that I have not been good about getting conversation going here on GBKD.

So, I thought it would be fun to have some mini-lists about ourselves and about events, big and small, that have happened over the last year or so. This is inspired by the "100 things about me" lists you often see on other people's blogs. But, I don't have time right now to write down 100 things - and many of you would already know many of those things. So I think we should pare the list down and change the format a bit. Here's my suggestion. In the comments, write 5 things about yourself and then 5 things (big or small) that happened over the last year that you maybe did not get a chance to blog about here. I hope you are all game! My list will be in the comments.