Advice, Protips, and Rules of Thumb

Posted By on January 19, 2010

Apartments
.: Some apartments do not come with dishwashers, but they do allow pets.

Undergraduate Research
.: If possible, join a lab as an undergraduate researcher. You’ll learn practical knowledge in your field, and the printers there generally don’t charge per page.

Driving
.: 10 miles at 65 mph = 9.2 minutes.
.: 10 miles at 90 mph = 6.6 minutes.
.: Difference = 2.6 minutes = stop dicking around on the internet and leave earlier.

Literature
.: You can easily pass college and high school lit classes without ever cracking a book. However, most required readings are chosen because they have spoken to millions of people over several generations. You likely won’t remember much from 3:00 a.m. Halo.

Writing
.: Use fewer words.

Breakfast
.: Denser cereals tend to absorb milk less readily than lighter cereals. Combine the two in one bowl, with denser on the bottom and lighter on the top, to preserve the crunchy nature of the latter while exploiting the sog-resistant properties of the former, thus creating a more consistent breakfast experience.

First Date
.: You’re a lousy cook, and you’re worried the first date will go off with a hitch because of it. Instead of facing failure and embarrassment, invite them over to help you prepare the meal. Several potential problems are avoided: 1) you’ll automatically have something to talk about in lieu of awkward dinner silence (e.g., “What does [cooking technique X] mean?”) and 2) they cannot blame a subpar dinner entirely on you.

Science Journalism
.: If an article uses the words “breakthrough”, “revolutionary”, or “controversial” — stop reading.

Alternative Medicine
.: Homeopathic pills: $0.83/gram
.: Granulated sugar: $0.005/gram

Hospitals
.: Nurses are overworked and underpaid; try not to yell at them. If you must, make sure it’s because the illness has made you crazy and not because you’re an asshole.

Miscellaneous
.: Never trust a compliment from an idiot.

One Hit Wonders
.: Very rarely does a music group only produce one worthwhile song. If they did it once, they’ve probably done it again. Find their famous album, give it a fair listen, and don’t let popularity dictate your preferences.

Greatest Hits
.: Don’t waste money on “hits” compilations. Who are they to tell you your opinion?

Religion
.: If a college girl’s voicemail recording contains the words “Jesus loves you” or any variation thereof, she will sleep with you.

Romance: Girls
.: Compliment their choices, not their body. Girls make conscious efforts to choose the right shoes, outfit, etc. They have little to no control over their eye color or body shape.

Romance: Guys
.: Touch them.

Molecular Biology
.: Agarose gels are a pain to make. Instead, keep a large flask of melted agarose solution in a 60ºC incubator near the gel chambers, and pour when needed.

Physics Labs
.: Physics teaching labs are long and, often, tedious. Sign up for the last lab of the evening. You will want nothing but to go home, but so will the TA.

Socializing
.: Never be the smartest person in the room.

Autumn
.: Not every problem can be solved by going outside during this season, but very few are made worse.

Spring
.: Spring is traditionally associated with fertility, which is as good an excuse as any.

Summer
.: Sunscreen is cheaper than chemotherapy.

Winter
.: In a pinch, socks can serve as mittens.

Wikipedia
.: Avoid biographies and current events, and it’s more or less accurate.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Advice, Protips, and Rules of Thumb”

  1. Chris says:

    Excellent advice. To “Science Journalism” I’d add any article using the word “consensus.”

  2. Matt D. Parker says:

    found your website through Reddit, decided to read other posts – found this… really liked the line about complimenting women on their choices – the things they have control over… Though it sucks that you’re letting a good secret out of the bag :)

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