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Things that pissed me off today

I’m easily annoyed. A lot of things piss me off. Here are the things that irked me today:

  • Fake St. Patrick’s Day. A large drinking school schedules Spring Break the same week as St. Patty’s Day, and they do it two years in a row. This pisses off the students because it costs them an official drinking day (they’ll be drunk on spring break regardless if it’s St. Patrick’s day). So, the students schedule their celebration of St. Patrick’s day for the weekend before Spring Break. There’s a few hundred drunk douchebags walking around town in green shirts and stupid hats today. It’s goddamn amateur hour.
  • I bring my own bags to the grocery store because it allows me to cope with some of the guilt I accumulate after driving my petrol powered vehicle to the store and purchasing too many packaged goods and too much meat. I expect the checkout kid to realize that I’ve carried around my eco-hippy bags for the express purpose of having my purchased items placed in said bags. Yet the dumb kids still feel it necessary to put some items in plastic bags even though there’s plenty of space in my fucking hippy bags.
  • This last item wasn’t from today, but it still pissed me off. Also, it’s about genetics, so it makes this entire post relevant to the alleged theme of this blog. The third thing that pissed me off was people writing about molecular biology who have no understanding of molecular biology. That fucking article is a lesson in overhype and lack of context. The author confused the importance of interesting research by giving a misleading description of the current understanding of an entire field. For why the article is crap, see Larry Moran’s take.

Comments

  1. #1 Science Avenger
    March 1, 2008

    I love it when you tell the bagger you don’t need the bag he just pulled off the roller, and he tosses the empty bag in the garbage.

  2. #2 Scott
    March 1, 2008

    Awesome! My wife and I just got back from the store where the checker put the very first item in a plastic bag even though we just handed her about 10 reusable ones. Some checkers seem to think we bring those bags just to make their lives harder.

    It is a relatively new phenomenon around here that people bring their own bags. I think the checkout stand could probably be redesigned to be more convenient for using the reusable bags. The standard ones now are pretty much designed for just plastic.

  3. #3 decrepitoldfool
    March 1, 2008

    This is why I want to see those damn plastic bags made illegal. Paper bags don’t end up in trees killing birds, they don’t end up floating in rivers and oceans, they don’t clog sewers, so even if they have the same carbon footprint they’re far more environmental. I’d charge customers 10 cents a paper bag to encourage them to bring their own.

    Not to be critical of the store clerk, but he or she may have no competence at bagging. When I worked in a grocery store back in 19 mumble mumble, we watched 8mm training films about bagging, and went through mock bagging sessions with the manager critiquing on the side. We learned how to make a foundation and put the bread and eggs on top, and not put soap in the same bag with ice cream or chicken. We learned how to do it fast without so much as cracking an egg. They don’t teach that now.

  4. #4 Barn Owl
    March 1, 2008

    I always take several eco-hippy bags to the grocery store, and the baggers will put a few items in each one, and then move on to the indiscriminate use of dozens of plastic bags. However, our local chain of grocery stores employs a lot of developmentally disabled (mostly Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome) individuals to work as baggers, so it’s really not appropriate to get angry or impatient with them. I’ve lived with developmentally disabled family members, and worked with such individuals to prepare them for Special Olympics competitions, and messing with their routines is *not* a Good Thing. The eco-hippy bags definitely mess with their work routines.

    No one ever said it would be easy to be both socially aware and environmentally progressive.

  5. #5 Lucas
    March 1, 2008

    I think we go to the same school. I’ve been living in Urbana for the past 5 years, and “unofficial” is a “campus tradition”. It was started by a bar owner in order to increase sales, so its origins are just as classy as the outcome.

  6. #6 Lucas
    March 1, 2008

    Wait, scratch that. Our schools just happen to have the same stupid “tradition.”

  7. #7 The Ridger
    March 1, 2008

    I carry my bag to the store and use it as my basket. Then when I hand it to the clerk, I say, “Just use this one; it’ll all fit.”

    Of course, the store sells the reusable bags, and also charges 3 cents each for bags you don’t bring, so they’re a bit more serious about using them.

  8. #8 Hopeful monster
    March 2, 2008

    When I moved the end of last summer, I started going to a new grocery store. Brought my resuable bags, as I had been at the old store. Cashier says, incredulously, “You want me to use those?!” “Yes, that’s why I brought them.”

    After several months, they may no longer consider me the one crazy person in town that insists on using his own bags, but I wouldn’t count on it…

  9. #9 Saint Gasoline
    March 2, 2008

    If the kid was putting some of the meat you purchased into those extra bags (you said you buy a lot of meat), then don’t get mad at the kid. Get mad at all the little old grannies and managers of the store who yell at the cashiers for not putting the meat in a separate bag. You wouldn’t want to transfer all those nasty meat germs to your cardboard cereal box, presumably because you eat cardboard. As a former cashier, all I can say is sometimes I was wasteful because being that way is the only way to avoid having someone yell at you for the fiftieth time that day.

  10. #10 kevinl
    March 3, 2008

    hahaha correct me if I am wrong.
    its often the case the writer will put out a list of stuff in increasing importance to him.

    I would think the SEED article irked him the most yet the comments are all stuck at pt 2??

    is it mostly biologists that read this blog?
    ~confused~

    anyway…
    considering the audience that philip ball was writing for. I can understand why he overhyped the article..
    I don’t find that its very insulting..
    given that its written in a non-sci mag, its stuff is mostly outdated
    like the discussion in moran’s blog says, its rather like relativity to classical laws of physics.
    the classical laws(central dogma) is still relevant in explaining general stuff
    but to be more accurate you need to look at relativity(RNA as regulatory participants)

  11. #11 RPM
    March 3, 2008

    Kevin, the research isn’t all that outdated — it’s from the past couple of years. However, the context in which it is placed is incorrect.

  12. #12 apalazzo
    March 3, 2008

    Re: Seed article.

    Larry makes a point that although that article is full of crap, their genetics cribsheet was (mostly) right. (Mostly, but not quite – DNA to protein does not occur, unless you count some guy reading a gene off of Pubmed and filling out an in vitro peptide synthesis form). They had it right because they asked me to edit it – what I don’t get is why they don’t ask us to edit their articles?

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