Greetings and Ground Rules


Most of this stuff appears in the About or Contact section but I thought I would put it out front on the first day.

My name is Jake Young, and I am an MD-PhD student focusing on Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Yes, my parents are quite proud, but I assure you that at present it qualifies me for very little other than arguing the finer points of tissue culture. Despite abject lack of qualifications, this blog will at least attempt to delve deeply into science and other things. Actually, I hope for that to someday be my epitaph: "Jake, he talked a lot about science and other things." At least that would be better than: "Jake, he passed out regularly in the bushes."

Introductions being made, here is what you can expect from this blog:

Comment Policy -- I like my comments like I like my women: smarmy and redheaded. Wait, that doesn't make sense. OK, try again: I like my comments like I like my constructive criticism: constructive. Take home message is that I have a very simple comment policy: Don't be a dick. Violate this policy, and I will ruthlessly expunge your comment and possibly subject you and it to public ridicule. I like that blogs participate in the great conversation; I just prefer that the conversation not degenerate into a shouting match.

Email Policy - See comment policy. Also, I reserve the right to share whatever you send me with everyone else, particularly if you are hot and it is naked pictures of yourself.

Politics - This blog will aspire to be apolitical and where this is impossible - for example where the subject is policy - nonpartisan.

A) I am a humble grad student, and someday I hope to actually have a job that doesn't involve either a cubicle or a corporate-issued hat.
B) As you will note from many of my posts, I think scientists are at their worst when they dabble in politics.

For further reading, Arthur Pielke, Jr at Prometheus has a great post on Science Communication and the Public Interest that discusses this issue of scientists responsibility in communication nearly all of which I agree with.

That being said, if you simply must put people in political boxes and you use your noodle, you can probably guess what my politics are. If I manage to let something subtly slip, I apologize. On the other hand, if you decide to press the point, I encourage you to stop bothering me and go have a burn war on the Bush entry of Wikipedia.

Content - In spite of the importance and fascination of science, scientists are ridiculous -- ridiculous and often very boring. One of scientists' most important jobs is to broadcast science to the public and make it accessible, a duty to which they have of late been quite negligent, leaving it instead to the rather unreliable proxy of the media. I hope that this blog (and in general) will attempt to rectify this failing.

You may be puzzled, however, to discover that the means I have personally selected to rectify this situation is often dirty jokes - dirty jokes about things that are usually not particularly amenable to the making of dirty jokes - like cyclotrons...which I might add are definitely shaped like vaginas. What can I say...I don't get out much and I have a dirty mind.

In addition to dick jokes, I also write epigrams. I am not certain why, but I started doing this a year or two ago and never really stopped. They are short by definition, and I am lazy by definition...let's leave it at that.

In addition to dick jokes and epigrams, I do review books and very bad movies. My Mom and I have a book club that is the source of many of the books I read. Yes, I know -- terribly sad, but I'm a good son. My Mom taught me to read, so I figured I would return the favor by doing it a lot. Periodically, I will review books from The Jake and Jake's Mom Book Club, particularly if they are science related. Feel free to look for them.

Accuracy -- I am a grad student. I am still learning, so I don't pretend to know everything about science or even (gasp) neuroscience. If you catch me in error, let me know. I will do my best to set the record straight. If, however, the error you catch is that I trifled with something about which you care deeply, I am sorry I offended and I encourage you to get a life.

That is about it. I am really excited to join ScienceBlogs as it will probably escalate my readership considerably from its current level of four -- two or three of my immediate relatives and a mail order bride I snubbed in Russia. I look forward to hearing from you and to participating in the conversations on this site. I am honored to be included with such distinguished scientists and eloquent bloggers.

Jake Young


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We are indeed proud but your comments about the world of science have value despite our pride.

Email Policy - See comment policy. Also, I reserve the right to share whatever you send me with everyone else, particularly if you are hot and it is naked pictures of yourself.

I like your style already.

Let's see, dick jokes and a book club with your mom...I think I've found the reason you can't get a date. :D

On a more serious note, welcome to Scienceblogs! Several new neuroscience blogs on the roster, which is an area of biology I know very little about. This, clearly, is a sign from above for me to learn more...


I am happy to find another neuroscience blog. I am currently an undergrad but I hope to study MS in my future studies. Any tips on getting in a good grad school are appriciated. I look forward to further reading.


Mount Sinai of course! Just kidding...

I should actually know this as I study oligodendrocytes, but I would UCSF has some really good people. Also look up this guy named Kierstead who figured out how to make oligodendrocytes from human embryonic stem cells. He is now officially rolling in money.

Other than that if I had to pick I would try Stanford or UCSD.

Wow this really ended up having a very CA trend. I guess I know more about what people out there are doing.

Thanks for the suggestions. I am interested in applying to UCSD and UCSF. I never considered Berkley or Mount Sinai I will have to check them out.