Category Archives: Kristen

Lists by Kristen

Why the Rapture Doesn’t Have to Get in the Way of Your Plans

by Kristen

According to a lunatic, tomorrow is the official end of days. I can’t pretend this is going to be pleasant for everyone, as only the good will be sucked into heaven, but don’t let that get you down! It looks like the rest of us are going to have five months after tomorrow’s devastating earthquakes until the official end of the world in October. These are the most common New Year’s Resolutions, and I think this is the perfect opportunity to get them all done.

Get a Better Career
Everyone will be starting over, so now you can establish yourself in any job that you want. Always wanted to lead your own rebel group? Now is your chance. Not into upper management? Go rogue, be your own boss. Just want to bum around and read? As long as you blockade yourself in a stronghold, I don’t see why you can’t do that. Assuming you are left behind, you can now be whatever you want to be.

Try New Things
Were you resolved to branch out this year? Your options may be limited, but just change your attitude. I have always said that one person’s steak tartare is another’s apocalypse raccoon meat. Perhaps this isn’t the year that you learn a new language, but you could spend more time in museums. Plus, there are bathrooms and thick walls in those places.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture


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Hey, Baby Boomers: We R’nt Entitled, We R Stupid!

Alls I needs to know is this city is delicious. News shmews!

by Kristen

I tire of my parents’ generation (the “Younger Boomers,” born between 1955-1964) telling my generation (the “Millennials,” born between 1977-1992) that we have a sense of entitlement about free online content, especially in regard to the New York Times paywall. It makes my generation sound cheap and stupid, and I would like to argue that we are mainly the latter. Based on how we spend time on the internet and what we are interested in, we were never going to buy the digital NYT. I care about my mom, a journalist, and about the decline of engaging content online, yet I think her generation has some misconceptions about mine. I am not enthusiastic about this argument, but regardless: We don’t buy the NYT mainly because we are moronic, not because we have a sense of internet entitlement.

1. Fancy City Newspaper Say Wha?
The NYT wants you to believe that the majority of readers are young. In 2009, they reported their readership’s largest age group as 25 to 54. But once you unclump the ages and make 25 to 35 a separate category (and therefore about 16% of readership), the largest readership is actually ages 50+ (at about 37%). The Pew Research Center found only 17% of the population reads a national newspaper like the NYT. That means my generation’s interest makes up 16% of that 17%. I’m no mathemagician, but that isn’t a lot of Millennials. The point is, the majority of us weren’t reading it anyway, and we certainly aren’t going to start with the paywall.

Scoreboard: Entitlement= 0, Stupidity= 1

2. If by “News” you mean “Weather”
The #1 news subject we are looking for online? At 81%: the weather. We literally only care about the world around us, in so much as it is made up of air at a certain temperature and humidity which allows us to continue to play video games and mouth breathe.

Scoreboard: Entitlement= 0, Stupidity= 2

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture, Top Fives


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The Unintentional Soundtrack to My Life

by Kristen

There is music that immediately makes me feel like a kid (TMNT theme), songs I inexplicably know all the words to (Reading Rainbow), and soundtracks that pinpoint the moment I was no longer a child (Dirty Dancing). For me, those lists could be endless, but there are a few tunes that  are so deeply engrained in my subconscious that they play in my head as if part of my life’s soundtrack. I would chose very different music to accent my days, I want to stress that, but these are the tunes I involuntarily hear:

1. The Jurassic Park Theme
When the movie came out in 1993, I saw it in the theater four times. It blew my 13-year-old mind and made me feel like anything was possible. (I’d like to say this is the movie that inspired me to be a scientist, but really it was the 1995 hit featuring infectious diseases and Rene Russo, Outbreak. I’m not kidding.)  Many years later when I moved out to Sapelo Island, full of wild animals and draped in Spanish moss, I felt like I was on a different planet. As I drove my golf cart from the ferry dock to my trailer, I used to hum Jurassic Park‘s theme song. Again, I’m not kidding. MY DOG’S NAME IS T REX. This movie changed my life.

2. The Imperial March
Whenever anyone of authority walks down a hallway, this song plays in my head. I hear it when I’m in a hurry at the grocery store, plowing
through aisles and trying not to give the Vader Force Choke to people in my way. The Imperial March was the only ringtone I ever purchased, mostly because I thought it was funny to say, “Excuse me, that’s my mom calling.” Turns out, not everyone finds that funny. I honestly meant no harm by it and I find her lack of faith disturbing.

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture, Top Fives


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Five Odd Tributes to Elizabeth Taylor

by Kristen

The passing of Elizabeth Taylor marked the end of an era in Hollywood and the beginning of a time of remembrance. I believe fans, family and friends should express themselves however they see fit and I adore all tributes (especially the photo galleries!) that have emerged over the last couple weeks. Yet what I love more than anything is the odd tribute, where one can really see how far Liz traveled and how far we will go to remember her.

1. Pirate Ship Lights Fireworks in Mexico
In Puerto Vallarta there was celebration of Taylor’s life that included live music, remembrances from locals, and a pirate ship that set off fireworks. This makes no sense until you learn that the 1964 movie, The Night of the Iguana, was filmed there, and then slightly less sense again when you learn that she didn’t even star in it. The film starred Richard Burton, who brought his lover with him.

2. Entertainment Weekly Puts Liz on Backcover
Entertainment Weekly, my main source of news, didn’t put Taylor on the front of its April 8th issue, but rather upside down on the back cover. It would appear that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to … no, not movies …. no, not politics … wait for it … an animated series is more Read the rest of this entry »


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Feel the Sting from My Lasso of Truth!

by Kristen

Lame-o Woman

This is the photo that launched a thousand booooos last month.

My generation has accepted Sarah Conner, Ripley and even Buffy, so what the @$#% is wrong with Wonder Woman? We like tough women, but female DC or Marvel superheroes have proven they can’t carry a feature film or TV show, with the exception of Linda Carter. Well, David E. Kelley is going to try anyway. WW’s own creator, William Moulton Marston, said it best, “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power.” He believed he created that role model. I disagree and think, like pretty much everyone else, that this new re-invention will be a stinker. But, Mr. Kelley, I want to help:

1. WantedAwesome Backstory
Originally Wonder Woman descended from mythological goddesses and hailed from a remote ladies-only Amazonian island that she leaves, finding herself in a “Man’s World.” Sounds preachy and embedded with boring history! All WW reinventions have failed to successfully re-imagine her backstory. Update her! Wonder Woman could be some sort of lawyer or prosecutor (c’mon, Kelley, I know you have this in you) who gets wrongly accused of something and is sent to prison. In the women’s prison (now you have your “Amazons” and possible future enemies), she learns to fight before she busts out (no cheesy superpowers), becomes a vigilante, looking for the truth using a lie detector/torture machine (metaphoric lasso of truth and shout out to Marston who actually invented the real lie detector), and sets everything right. There. I just made it better in five minutes. Comics, like the Bible or poems, are not meant to be taken literally.

2. That Costume Has Got to Go
Originally, Woman Woman looked hot, then was re-drawn wearing pants (because
everyone knows that means she is modern and serious), then you, Dave E., did whatever this mess is to the new girl. Let’s pretend it is a joke that you leaked to the press. Learn a lesson from the latest successful movies: introduce the costume in a utilitarian way (see Read the rest of this entry »


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Sweet Valley Confidential, Now Written by Your Favorite Authors

by Kristen

Due to The New York Times’ paywall, I am now forced to get information on newly released books from the pages of Entertainment Weekly. Recently I learned that Francine Pascal is publishing Sweet Valley Confidential, a “Ten Years Later…” update on my generation’s favorite blonde twins, Elizabeth and Jessica. The EW reviewers gave the book a C, the lowest grade I’ve ever seen them assign, so it must be a real turd. I think where Pascal went wrong was hiring the wrong ghostwriters (she hasn’t written in years), and I’d like to nominate the following authors and imagine how they’d rework this classic novel about the life of the Wakefield twins.

1. Jonathan Franzen’s Twindom
Picking up where Party Weekend left off, Franzen follows this all-American family through the drama and challenges of their decent into middle class. In keeping with the original series, all the characters are unlikable and thoroughly unappealing. At 3,000 pages, I’m going to go ahead and tell you: I’m not going to read it (but will feel like I did due to the raving, then angry, then accepting reviews).

2. Stephenie Meyer’s Blood Sisters
After 143 books, if it seems like these twins have been in Sweet Valley High School forever, it is because they have. When the Cullens have to leave Washington state and move to the Sweet Valley, which vampire clan will survive? Wakefields vs. Cullens. There will be moody staring, super fast running through the Valley, nouveau riche settings, and absolutely no kissing on prom night… if anyone makes it to prom night.

3. Mary Roach’s Tweens: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Roach delves into the young-adult serialized book business and immerses herself in the world of Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture, Top Fives


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Sites for Unemployed Environmental Scientists

by Kristen

Warning: this list has absolutely no humor in it. It is business time, people. I have four weeks to find new employment in my field of Professional Research Technician (translation: entry level manual laborer), before I turn to what ever job will take me. While a fantastic website, I tire of USAJobs. If you are also an out of work scientist or thinking about moving on to a new adventure, here are some other resources to check out. Positions vary from entry level to professorships.

Feel free to add on (and/or help me).

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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Kristen, Practical Lists, Science


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