Monday, June 11, 2012


Lucky for me (and you, readers of DCoE), I have friends who send me links that they'll think I enjoy, and when I feel like updating my blog but don't have all that much to say, I can post them.  Like right now!

A couple of science-themed ones to start:

#whatweshouldcallgradschool is a tumblr blog of animated GIFs about grad school- lots of nerdy jokes about lab life and scrounging for free food. Love it! (thanks, JR)

Jenny McCarthy body count tracks deaths in the United States due to vaccine-preventable diseases.  I kinda feel like mocking Jenny McCarthy is like beating a dead horse at this point. A dead horse who is also fucking idiot who deserves the beating. (thanks, Jos)

And one for the non-scientists:

Young me/now me is a blog of photos where people reenact old photos.  (aside to my family- we are so doing this next time I'm home)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

What I'm Into Lately

1. Saganaki-  I don't know how this wonderful creation had escaped me before my move to Melbourne, but here, saganaki, a delicious piece of pan-fried Greek cheese, is everywhere.  It's traditionally served on its own with a slice of lemon (eat it while it's hot and squeaky!) but also goes well with salads or on pizza.  To the mad Greek genius who invented saganaki, I salute you.

2. Spanish clothing chains.  So, clothes shopping in Australia is the pits.  The clothes are generally low in quality and high in price, and most of my go-to stores like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor don't exist here (hey, I've upscaled since those grad school Old Navy days).  Oh, how I long for Natick Mall.  However, I've found a glimmer of hope in two Spanish chains- the first is MNG, called Mango in some countries.  I like their clothing, and even though it's not particularly inexpensive, at least it seems well made, and their jeans are a bargain for $50, considering it's hard to find decent jeans under $100 in this strange land.  The other store I've become fond of is Zara- it caused quite a stir when it first opened in Melbourne, and I couldn't handle the crowds and the tendency towards weird European trendiness.  However, once the hubub died down a bit I gave it another chance and found myself two pairs of pants and a dress, all on sale.  So consider me a Zara convert.

3.  And now that we're onto clothing chains, on my last trip back to the US I spent a couple of fun days in New York City, and discovered a new amazing Japanese clothing chain- Uniqlo.  It's amazing. Excellent basics in both men and women's clothing, and a wide range of sizes available (i.e. the jeans were long enough for me, so don't worry that everything will be made for tiny Japanese ladies).  Loved it!

4.  Last but not least, I'm seriously into the new cable television  installed in the work lunchroom (or tea room, as they're called here).  Why? Because I can watch the NBA playoffs on my lunch break- yeah Celtics! On the other hand, the people eating lunch during game four of the Eastern Conference Finals may think I'm insane.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Fifty Shades of I Can't Believe I'm Reading This

So most of you are probably aware of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon- a kinky S&M romance novel targeting an female audience is absolutely flying off the shelves, and it seems like everyone is reading it. I've spotted copies all over town, and whilst I am too ashamed to whip out my dirty book on the tram, other people are not.   It's essentially Twilight for adult females- a romance between a handsome loner with stalkerish tendencies and a young innocent woman, only Christian Grey is not a vamipre, he's a "dominant"  (seriously into whips and chains and the like) and he wants Anastasia Steele as his "submissive".   

My book club selected the first book in the trilogy as our next read, giving me the opportunity to find out what the hype was all about.  First of all, the's not just bad, it's dreadful.  I fully admit to being a bit of a book snob, and sentences like these had me cringing: "The elevator whisks me at terminal velocity to the twentieth floor."  But it was the repetition of words and phrases that made the book nearly unreadable...someone is always gasping or gaping or groaning, and the phrases "my breath hitches" and "I bite my lip" appear at least twenty times each.  I won't go into the plot as not to spoil it, but let's just say there is a lot of sex and most of it is, er, unconventional, and if Christian Grey was not a handsome billionaire, young Anastasia would have run screaming by chapter two.

That being said, and I'm embarrassed to admit, but I did find myself getting sucked's certainly an quick read and I was curious to learn how our Mr. Grey got to be so fucked up in the first place.  A couple of people swore that the second book was better than the first, which is an outright lie in terms of the writing (it's still desperately in need of a heavy-handed editor with a thesaurus), but somewhat true in terms of the plot. And now I have a copy of the third book, so I might just go ahead and finish the trilogy, then read some Steinbeck or Hemingway to rinse out my brain.

I do think it's a great book club selection, as there's a lot to talk about, the book itself and the smash hit it's become.  They say that sex sells, but who knew that included nipple clamps and butt plugs?