Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thanks for the 30000th pageview!

This is just a short message to the readers of the blog from all over the world, from Georgia to New Zealand, through Philippines, Argentina, Egypt, and of course the USA, Canada and Great Britain... Thanks for viewing the blog, I hope you like it, and I hope to get some encouraging feedback (maybe even some straightforward criticism) to keep on going with this comic strip project for long (besides my scientific and housewife activities)...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Biological Christmas Presents - for Molecular Biologists

Continuing the series started last year with Chemical Christmas Presents, I'd like to wish all readers of this blog Merry Christmas with this drawing representing some ideal and nice Christmas presents for (female) molecular biologists. (Maybe these models could be realized and eventually included in Sigma catalogue or whatever.) I have just realized that I must have been a little bit boring during this autumn (I made lots of  'repetitive' comic strips, i.e. series, because I was quite busy and had not too much time to prepare creative, complicated drawings and realize my other, more sophisticated ideas)... Sorry for it, and so I tried to improve the blog in December with plenty of new ideas and comic strips in order not to deceive my followers and dear readers...
P.s. If you are really interested and tempted - I have just got the information that a Swedish company produces such jewellery...

Scientific setting up of the Christmas tree - part II. Geographers

The next comic strip in this series... This time it is about geographers... And yes, I know exactly why and how scientific partners can be annoying as hell...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Scientific Christmas Greeting Card for Taxonomists

Here is the Christmas Tree set up in a taxonomy lab... I hope many taxonomists will use it this year as greeting card to their colleagues. (This is the reason why I posted it so early on the blog...)

Scientific Setting up of the Christmas Tree - Part I. Taxonomists

This year seems to be a year for comic strip series... I start another one specially dedicated to Christmas and how different scientists prepare themselves for it. The first one is about taxonomists. After having found this idea, I have checked if someone else already put a comic strip about it to the internet and I found this comic strip I liked a lot. (But I want to stress that I was not inspired by it, I only discovered it after having prepared my comic strip.) And I'll also show you the result of the work in the next comic strip...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scientific wine tasting part V. The literateurs

After chemists, biologists, physicists and physicians, I continue the series... Well, literateurs are probably reciting poems like "Praise of Bacchus" (God of wine in Roman mythology) by Anacreon, and then discussing the accuracy of the traduction done by Thomas Stanley in 1651 - while enjoying a bottle of wine. I just decided to make this cartoon because my Dad and brother were seriously discussing a poem last time we had a meal together... (They tried to recite it, my Dad claiming that he is unable to memorize it, my brother proving once again his fantastic brain/memory capacity by doing it, although it is not a world-famous poem of a world-famous poet, just a poem with very deep thoughts he learned some 20 years ago. And no need to add - none of them are literateurs, they learn poems just for fun...)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Scientific Christmas Tree...

Preparing for Christmas, we started to discuss the 'Christmas Tree Issue' with my hubby yesterday... So here comes a comic strip about how scientists can be difficult in some things and their choices, so how difficult it can be to live with us... (Some self-irony again...) One more thing, I do not want to be politically correct and use Obama's Holiday Tree expression, I am rather on Ben Stein's opinion on this issue... One last thing to be mentioned... I have observed that my blog has highest pageviews in September and December. I was wondering a lot about the reason of that, and I guess(ed) that in September many scientists were looking for safety signs and they found my comic strips related to them and their interpretation. Similarly, around Christmas my comic strip entitled Christmas (New Year's Eve) party at the lab - safety signs... was viewed a lot. So these are my most popular comic strips I think... But then comes the dilemma: shall I prepare comic strips to increase my pageviews and get more popular, or shall I produce comic strips I like myself or I can produce at the moment... Well, I think popularity is and was never very important for my life, I'll do it my way as usual...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baby names for historians (ancient history, Egypt, Babylonia, Sumer)

Another one of this series this time. A little bit busy otherwise at the moment to prepare other, new, more creative things. maybe next week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Inspirations in the kitchen - Baby Boo's first plant biology lesson

After all, being a scientific mother has also its advantages. First, I have a husband who inspires and helps me a lot. (Although he is not a scientist himself.) He was the one who told me while I was trying to understand one of the newest models about granum structure that it can be compared to fusilli in fact (that are interconnected in 3D with each other, but 1 granum is like 1 piece of fusilli). It was a great idea of him... especially because having small kids, you must be able to find out the easiest, most obvious explanations, metaphors and examples if you talk about science. This helps a lot not to be lost in too complicated nomenclature and models, not to be completely isolated from the rest of the world, and from everyday life, and to see just the most important things/patterns in everything. But such husband-, kitchen-, and kids-inspired examples can als help you to give challenging, down-to-earth and funny university and conference lectures. So, being a scientific mum is not that bad after all. I'll continue this series as well... There are also a lot of things to learn about pigments in vegetables in the kitchen and during cooking...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Scientific wine tasting part III. The physicists

After chemists and biologists, I continue the series with physicists and how they enjoy drinking wine. It is not only a joke, quite often it can be really observed how 'scientifically' different scientists talk about casual things of their everyday lives. Yes, it is sometimes difficult to get rid of the terminology...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scientific wine tasting part II. The biologists

Here comes the next cartoon of the scientific wine tasting series. Enjoy if you like. Have a nice week.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Postdoc-Boss dictionary...

As a new postdoc in a lab, you not only need the Boss-Postdoc dictionary (to understand correctly what your boss says - and especially, what is behind his words), but you also need to carefully choose your own terms when speaking with him/answering him and his comments. (At least if you want to have a nice and long carreer as postdoc in the given lab.) So here comes the Postdoc-Boss dictionary. Please enjoy... Next week I'll be back with the continuation of the scientific winetasting series.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby names for theologians...

Here comes the continuation of the series, this time for scientists studying jewish and christian traditions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scientific wine tasting part I. The chemists

Vintage time being over (in the Northern hemisphere at least), let's have some scientific wine tasting... A novel series about how different scientists enjoy life (and wine)... Not too much comments needed this time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Boss-Postdoc dictionary...

It was high time to start some new ideas and maybe a new comic strip series... This first time it is about a 'Boss-Postdoc' dictionary that facilitates the communication between these two lab members. (At least it helps the new postdoc to understand what his boss really means with his words...) Maybe I'll have some time to continue it with other dictionaries that are essential for each lab member to be able to correctly analyze and interpret the intentions and thoughts of the other lab members. Unfortunately I am quite busy these days, but let's hope I'll have some time to go on with this issue.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The conference luggage of the scientific escort (Miss Amanda Beauty)

The conference season is getting close to its end this year, so here comes the last, missing cartoon from my series about 'conference luggages' of different scientists. After having shown the different luggages of the boss, the scientific mum, the postdoc (Shiva Droid) and the scientific spinster, I thought it is time to show the contrast with the luggage of the scientific escort, the young and beautiful Miss Amanda Beauty, whose most important scientific contribution is to entertain the boss and create a charming, inspiring, friendly, hot and nice environment for him (and his ego). And yes, I am not only joking. I have seen such luggages and such women, and I know senior scientists who always go to conferences with young (and often alternating/changing) female companions.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Safety signs for researchers returning from holidays

By now, most scientists are back from holidays and return to lab work. (Exception: the Shiva droids who have of course spent all summer in the lab.) If holidays were long enough, scientists may need some help to find themselves out in the lab again and to recall some basic rules... Sorry it took me so long, but the realization of good ideas needs some time :-).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baby names for astronomers - part II - also suitable for astrologists

A little bit tired 'woman in science' is sending you this post... So do not wait any comments on it. But please check out the brilliant cartoon of Viktor S. Poór about Curiosity's photos.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The frustration of the boss

Greatest thanks for the 20000th pageview! I do not need to add too much comment this time either. It is only sad that things often work this way by the end of the carreer of some people, and it is also sad to see how power (or lack of power) can distort human personality.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The conference luggage of the scientific spinster

Conference season being close, I continue the series with that of the scientific spinster who only lives for science and her animals. Her luggage explains this better than I can. In fact, I am sorry for her. (Even if she may be more succesful on a scientific level than me.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The conference luggage of the postdoc (Shiva Droid)

Conference season is starting/going on soon, so I continue this series with the typical luggage of a postdoc (in our lab, that of a Shiva Droid). I think that I do not need to explain things for those who have ever made a postdoc. Although not necessarily to conferences, but I also often travelled with suitcases like this between different countries (and had to pay for overweight due to the tons of papers I had in my luggage). And I know postdocs who really control the laboratory instruments and their experiments (measurements) via the internet (on the mobile or from laptops even during their holidays). And of course, if you are a postdoc, nobody cares how you’ll get to a conference, anyway, you’ll probably go to a conference in a neighbouring country, but never to expensive and exclusive locations (those are of course reserved to your boss)... To be politically more correct with animals, this time I did not include lab mice in the luggage :-).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Baby names for baroque/early musicians

Simply the continuation of this series without too much comments this time. Have a nice summer...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grant evaluation - again...

Sorry, maybe too much text this time, but the situation is complicated again. In this continuation I wanted to illustrate the situation when the Easter bunny project (about white chocolate egg laying rabbits) has been rejected again. Please check out the reactions carefully. Am I mistaken or do 'topdogs' often think that a negative answer for a grant is a 'personal insult'? Do they consider and mix up things like this? (They feel that they were personally rejected, although it was only one stupid idea that was somehow not financed. How stupid...) And then check the other side of the things: bosses always prefer people who simply echo their opinions and moods, but cannot stand any criticism or different opinion... (Even if they are much more straightforward than their own ideas or stupid reactions like taking revenge...)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sleeping in the lab

I  have prepared this cartoon a long time ago, but I did not want to be too sexist to emphasize this thing. However, having recently discussed things with another young female colleague I realized it is not rare that workaholic young women sleep in the lab or have to sleep in the lab while doing experiments. In contrast, less workaholic, but otherwise ambitious other women may also do this, but in another way...

Friday, July 13, 2012

The conference luggage of the scientific mum

Although I did not have too much feedback on this new series, I'll continue it (right in the middle of the conference season). This time I have collected some characteristics of scientific mums (and their everyday lives) and how it influences their conference participations (and luggage preparation). Since I have become a mum I always start to pack each luggage with diapers and baby formula each time, so it is not surprising they are a must in all mum's luggage... Some toys often land (by chance) in my pocket, my handbag or in a bag, so they are also compulsory in any luggage. As an ambitious scientist I like to have nice posters in a poster tube... (and then my boss asks me to carry also his poster). One of the most important problems of scientific mums is how they'll be able to communicate with their family during the conference. Taking a laptop with you may facilitate also this. In the meantime (and while missing your beloved ones) you may simply watch the 3000 family photo compilation that you also carry all along. And I forgot to mention separately on the figure, but of course you may carry all kind of literature (real novels or scientific literature) and all kind of tasks (manuscripts to be prepared or finalized) hoping to be able to work while not having your family around...

Friday, July 6, 2012

The conference luggage of the boss

This time, inspired by the conference season and again by one cartoon from the Stripped Science blog I decided to dedicate some cartoons to the conference luggage (suitcases) prepared by different members of (my virtual and eventual) research group. I'll start with the boss of course, and believe me, I speak from my own experience. For instance about the poster in A4 size even nowadays just because he is lazy to carry the poster tube - but this solution is still better than the other one he also made, i.e. to make me carry his poster (and mine) in the tube for him for an oversea conference... What concerns the swimsuit, it is only partially invention (at least with me he fortunately never went to the beach, but with Amanda he might have done it). But while being with him on one of my most expensive conferences, he decided to visit (with me of course, I had no choice, it was an order) the city (and some of the touristic places) just at the same time our poster section discussion was held (a special oral section dedicated to discussion of most interesting posters and questions in our own section/field). This way - due to his highest intelligence - we missed the discussion, and one prof we knew told us later that even my poster has been mentioned and questions were asked about it. So I missed one of the most important and unique possibilities to present and discuss my own results just because of my boss (who had at that time much more experience with conferences than me, so I still do not understand how he could be so unprofessional to miss this section, unless he made it intentionally...)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Baby names for astronomers - part I.

Being on holidays, enjoying the summer sky with stars I decided to prepare the next comic strip of the baby name series. However, for astronomers I'll have one more strip with star and planet names next month. And I am also preparing for next week cartoons about the luggage of different scientists when they go to conferences... (But had no time to finish it right now.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Protein dynamics comic strip series II.

This time I do not wait for 1 week to publish the next post. Here is the continuation of the series. Not too much comments needed.

Protein dynamics comic strip series I.

Summer and heat are here, I was thinking about people in India suffering 47 deg C for weeks... Then I came to this cartoon also by thinking to a friend producing his PhD thesis about protein dynamics during summer and heat records.... The next cartoon will be specially dedicated to him :-).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baby names for mathematicians I. Arithmetics

Just the continuation of this series this time... Still some cartoons to come in this field of course...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Instructions for the successful PhD entrance exam

Finally I'm back to my original topic/subject (about sexism in science). Sorry, but I think that this cartoon is not a joke, but often reality. For male PhD students it is important to know things, to be able to understand and to answer questions, to think about things, to have your own ideas and to work well. Male PhD students should preferably be ugly, otherwise they may represent a kind of threat (competition) to the elderly boss, so he won't let them survive. In case of women - according to my observations - much less (and on the other hand much more) is enough (is needed). If you are willing to give adoration, understanding and consolation to old and lonely (however, often married) scientists (the boss), then the success of your entrance exam is granted, and you are just at the beginning of a nice and fruitful scientific carreer...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chemists' last words series 1.

This time again I use old jokes for the blog. I have not too much inspiration in general for the cartoons at the moment, and especially in my original direction. That is, I do not want to push the blog too much in the anti-sexist direction at the moment. And as I have tons of things to do at work, I also have less time to think about new sophisticated cartoons. But I hope I'll be soon back with more original ideas.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Light bulb series 2. - evolutionists

I am a little bit burnt out at the moment, plus I have other creative projects going on, so I am a little bit minimalist this time, I just continue with illustrations of well-known scientific jokes. Hope to be back later with more creativity.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Evolution of the scientist (more exactly of the scientific boss)

I do not want to comment too much... but still... I think we all have seen at least some stages of such scientific carreer evolution. It starts with an enthusiastic young scientist working hard in the lab for 10-15 years (minimum 10 hours per day). Then this species evolves to someone who wins his own grants and spends most time with administration and maybe manuscript preparation, so he goes ahead step by step towards professorship (in some countries via the habilitation procedure as well) by progressively leaving the lab forever in the next 5-15 years. But of course for all this you need to be quite dexterous and lucky. And then, the final stage of evolution is that of the professorship (not obligatorily, and it happens in general within 1-10 years after the Homo habilis habilitatis stage). I am not at all sure that this automatically leads to wisdom ('sapientia')... It leads to a huge ego in general, to administration and further, complete alienation from the lab and the raw data and the results and this way from reality... As you can see, there is not too much space for kids and time spent at home during this carreer evolution. This is why you can see so few female professors in experimental science.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Scientific Mother's Day - episode 2...

This cartoon is for a friend working in protein analysis and of course western blotting of photosynthetic proteins... I was just inspired by Baby Boo’s napkin after a meal with spinach while reading her latest paper on the topic. Happy Mother’s Day for all mother scientists... May you find science in your everyday life at home with your kid, just like I did :-).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby names for statisticians

In my opinion most scientists, or - at least - probably most women scientists do not really like statistics. Or maybe, without generalization I can say that probably 85% of scientists use statistics (and think it is useful) but hate to do it. Or am I the only one who is often in trouble with statistical data treatment? Whenever it comes to statistics I have my own joke about it (and about its usefulness) as follows.
- How probable is it that I am Napoleon?
- ???
- 50 %.
- ??? (She must have gone mad.)
- No, it is 50 %, because either I am Napoleon or I am not.
Such problems with statistics are for instance well known for all pregnant women who make some genetic tests that provide some probability data... What is the significance/usefulness of a statistical test/method that is only 87% correct, that gives you 2-3% false positive results, and gives you a final estimation saying that your baby has some health or developmental problems with 1:23 probability. Science helped you a lot again...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Light bulb series 1...

Everyone knows the good old jokes about 'how many ... does it take to change a light bulb'. Well, I decided to make some comic strips around such stories (in an upcoming series, with this as a beginning). The comic strip is also inspired by the fact that recently one of my students has asked a light bulb from my boss, but he said that if the student wants one, he must buy it. Probably it is easier to say this absurdity than to admit that he cannot change it and is even incompetent to buy some for the lab.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Safety signs for undergraduates in the lab

In April I had only few pageviews on the blog. So either my posts are no longer really interesting, or... Well, I decided that I have to try to do something against this sad sinking trend of the pageviews and prepared this safety instruction board for undergraduates in the lab. Hope you'll enjoy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baby names for politicians

This cartoon may seem to be far from science, but please do not forget that political science (or politology) does exist...  It is the science of politicians who are - temporarily or permanently - unable to MAKE politics. So they analyze it. As politics and science (and/or most science related activities) are yang-type, i.e. dominantly male-type activities, it was time to express also in this cartoon that the male names are energetic, powerful, while the yin-type female names are more based on sympathy, emotions, etc.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter bunny comic strip 3.

Yes, please check out first the two other comic strips (Easter bunny comic strip 1. and 2.) and then read this continuation of the series... Yes, sometimes young scientists have to wait for the moment of truth (or revenge), but it comes sooner or later (at least I hope so)... The actuality of the whole thing is not only Easter, but the fact that I've seen a PhD defense, where the supervisor attacked and negatively criticised his own student for the ideas he had and gave the student and which were not really brilliant, but of course, hmm, only the student (and unfortunate circumstances) are to blame for the situation...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Egg comic strip

Well, I may be a little bit late, but I prepare for Easter with a usual science inspired cartoon. Enjoy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Biological masquerade ball 2012

I know, I know, I am quite late with the strip about masquerade balls, but I've been busy in February and until now with other projects and ideas, but I did not want to miss the occasion for this comic strip. That is it briefly... I'll soon be back with some nice Easter comic strips :-).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recapitulation theory by women (in science?) - a remake of the comic strip from stripped science

It is not the first, and probably not the last time when I got inspired by Viktor Poór from Stripped Science. So I made my version about the disproven idea of 'ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny', including some criticism about non-scientists arguing scientific topics (not about the actual theory itself, but about more complex issues related to evolution for instance). I also combined into this idea the fact that for instance Baby Boo made his first scientific presentation at the age of -5 months (i.e. 5 months before his birth and made his first detectable movements just the night before the presentation), and he met several Nobel prize winners already before his birth. And of course he ran PCR when he was only 1 week old (-9 months old), etc. So it is simply amazing how women in science can involve and introduce their kids to science. It is never too early to start :-).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Safety signs for the scientific escort (Miss Amanda Beauty, the wannabe professor wife)

Not too much comment this time, I think it is quite self-explanatory. Such Amanda Beauty-like women exist in the world, not only in the scientific world, but also everywhere...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Baby names for psychologists

Here comes the next (but not last) comic strip of the baby name series... I do not know why, but my cartoon about baby names for geologists is still very popular, so I decided to continue this series.

Friday, March 2, 2012

PhD entrance exams...

Feeling quite often completely neglected and excluded from all kind of scientific decision making, we (women scientists) can often only imagine how great male scientists make their choices for students. And yes, this REALLY seems to be the case quite often. But the cartoon is to be continued later with all kinds of different selection criteria that have nothing to do with science or competence... Things that make us only more frustrated and angry with all these male science decision makers of course.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nightmare of a Scientific Mum. Part 2. The Family Beasties

To tell the truth, my hubby wasn't enthusiastic about this cartoon at all... But well, women in science must exactly know this feeling, although it is hard and not nice to admit it, and we try to suppress such feelings. One of the rare successful women in science whom I know told me that family just makes you better in science, makes you better in understanding people, in team work, creativity, and of course it gives you also a strong background and support, and a place/calm harbour to relax and to recharge your batteries before your next scientific battle. Some say it is also good because your organisational skills improve and you are better at timing as well. But well, sometimes there is a very strong competition between your carreer and family ambitions, your time devoted to science or family, and so sometimes you feel this way. (And of course you feel lousy and guilty and very bad due to this, but we all have to cope with such feelings and try to do both science and family at the same time...)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nightmare of a Scientific Mum. Part 1. The Carreer Monster

Well, in fact it is true that I really feel sometimes that my carreer wants to eat up my family life. So I dedicated this cartoon to this fear. Another aspect of this cartoon is that in case of many women in science (the rare women who can survive as scientists) carreer really eats up the family life (so either they do not have any, no husband, no kids, just science) or they do have something, but they loose it progressively due to their carreer advancement.