the friendly skies

Why, SFO? Why must you cancel three flights in a row when I have class tomorrow morning? At least I don't have any presentations or anything due.

And one day I will make a post about commuting and how weird it is and the things I've learned from it, but today is not that day because I'm just cranky now.

research ethics and the lack thereof

Long, long ago (like, a year and a half ago), two neuroscientists thought it would be a really good idea to study sex on the internet and write a book about it. They came up with some idea about subcortical modeling and how it could be measured by looking at Google searches, and, since they didn't have any affiliation with an IRB or any research institution, no one said, "hey, that's kind of pure crap."

But then they decided to study fandom. Specifically, livejournal-based, female-centered, fanfic fandom, which is full of feminists and humanities scholars, and thus not the place you want to take your evolutionary psychology research that takes gender essentialism for granted.

Fandom didn't realize that they were dealing with evo psych at first, but once they did, it was all cat macros, and calling universities to see if people had human research approval, and actual neuroscientists calling people phrenologists.

Beyond the amusement factor, this is interesting because they got paid a good deal of money to write this book (check out the tags!), and it's a fabulous example of how to make your research subjects mistrust and hate you.

Some relevant links:
From scientists -
Sex, Lies and IRB Tape: Netporn to SurveyFail

From fandom -

this is possibly the fever talking

Whenever I'm sick, I watch the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand. I understand how weird that is, but the combination of love of apocalypse movies and sympathy with massive fictional influenza suffering is really comforting.

Also, the continuing appeal of Rob Lowe.

I have a whole rant about my love for Stephen King and popular fiction and it dovetails with my rant about my hatred of a lot of the lauding of literary fiction and my specific thing about Ian McEwan, but I'm sick, so it will come later.