Tag Archives: work

Death from overwork – Karoshi

The Japanese have a word, Karoshi, for “Death from Overwork.” This was sent in by alert reader Robert, who (unlike the Jester) cares about my welfare. I’m not going to work myself to death. I’m going to work myself to exhaustion, then go to Germany. I worked all night last night. I did not get the data I need. I will have to do it again. I have had 9 hours of sleep in the last 48. I have no sense of humor about this fact.

On the other hand, punctuation is hilarious! Gabe and Tycho know! And I agree. What about this phrase “What is f___ing natural?” Is it an intensifier for “natural” in the sense of “What does ‘natural’ even mean?” Or are we to infer a question about the existence of natural coitus? Is there a punctuation solution?

Ah, conversations in lab. I’m so tired. I feel like Ze Frank expresses it best.


too tired. will do better soon.

I have not updated this week because I have been trying to get the data I need to graduate. And I need it in 10 days. It’s like playing roulette with hours of my life: “3 hours on Black 23 to win!”

I am making progress, but will it be enough? The funny thing is that if you work 16 hours a day, the second 8 is actually really good work. Nobody interrupts the second 8 hours. It’s kind-of refreshing.

On a slightly related note, check out that Dounce Homogenizer. Sounds sexy doesn’t it?

I once knew a physicist with a keen sense of irony. Good sense of humor. Then he got to Quals. Quals are like the Board Exam or the Bar Exam, except after those you get to be a Doctor or Lawyer. After Quals you get to keep being a student. You earn the right to keep going. Thank the powers, my program didn’t have quals. After his quals, my friend had no sense of irony. I would make perfectly absurd statements. Things contrary to common sense and all factual data available. Right by him. Not even register.

I’m getting there. I feel like life is giving me the Dounce Homogenizer Treatment.


the next month's topic, stress, personal life, and a strange article about biomimetics

Dear kind reader,

Thank you for being here. This is a strange time in the life of your host, myself, Peter. I am trying to get the last data for my dissertation. I have 21 days, if I include today which is technically tomorrow. So I won’t be sleeping much in the foreseeable future. Rather than track my interests in the scientific literature, I’m going to chronicle for you the life of a Ph.D candidate in its pupal (pupil?) stages. Shortly I will metamorphose, but until then, stay tuned.

Today, I got up at 7:30 AM and went to the dentist. I got back at 3:30PM and felt a desperate need to acquire a glue stick. I wanted to stick into my notebook a printout of a procedure I wanted to run. It’s the repeat of the procedure I spend 40 hours on this long holiday weekend. And I need it to be stuck in my notebook neatly and securely. So I got a glue stick. And Coffee. The Coffee had nothing to do with sticking things in my notebook.

The 10 cups of coffee may have something to do with the violent diarrhea at 5:00, however. That and the stress.

In any case, I got the procedure into my notebook, and then I had to actually run it. I’m still running (AT 12:43 AM!) it thanks to a crappy epoxy bond. I’m also attempting to apply for a second job to pay for my impending trip to Europe. I am going to Europe to see my sweetie who will be in Germany in August. But right now I am tired and a little lonesome.

I’m running on caffeine, leftover pizza, and sheer determination.

We’ll see if I can keep this up for 21 days.


P.S. What do dolphins, humans and bonobos have in common?

Along the leading edge of their lifting surfaces, they form Large vortices behind troughs whereas flow behind the tubercles forms straight streamlines! Check out the article at Eurekalert!

Actually, this doesn’t apply to bonobos at all.