’tis the season

…for putting this on your computer!

As life is going to be pretty hectic for the rest of this month, I thought I’d take a breath before the plunge and give a general update as to the goings-on of this intrepid graduate student. Yes, it’s time for another review!

The T-Rex are my posts, and Mo Farah are my readers.

The T-Rex is my blog, and Mo Farah are my readers.


On hold. Yes, other than a 5k/10k race last weekend (raising money and donated toys for a wonderful cause), I’ve completely eliminated running from my weekly workout repertoire since the Philly Marathon. I was going to give myself a 2-week break, but the IM racquetball playoffs happened this week, and my performance highlighted that my legs were still hurting: I was eliminated in a very close first-round match, a match I probably should have won.

So next week is going to be another run-free week, but I’ll start mixing in some long bike rides (a la this one) to get the legs going again. Furthermore, my workout buddies and I have reinstated once-a-week lower body lifting to the tune of squats, power cleans, lunges, and other muscle-shredding activities that fell by the wayside in the last two months of marathon training.

The biggest tell-tale sign that I need a longer break from running: my body’s still not quite itching to get back into the swing of it. I’m starting to feel the tug, but it’s easily ignored in favor of sleeping in / lounging about. Another week of cross-training, I think, will be the ticket.


I’ve worked on a bunch of different projects over the last two years, but the cilia project was my first and is still going on; needless to say, I am very eager to publish on it and devote more of my time to other projects waiting in the wings. Thankfully, we are closer to publishing now than we ever have before; we’re even shooting for Nature Biotechnology with this paper!

Me, especially if the paper is accepted.

Me, especially if the paper is accepted.

The big push is to get this paper out and into review by the end of the December. So that’s definitely keeping me busy; almost all the analysis is done (just have to implement a pesky adaptive threshold coefficient, yarg), at which point we can really flesh out the skeleton draft I wrote up last week. Ideally, all the analysis will be done by the middle of next week, at which point it’s a mad scramble to write write write!

Kind of research-related: my twitterbot has been having fun with people lately:


It’s a guinea pig, not a hamster brah. Also, apparently the guinea pig bot has been invited to be in a movie! I love it when bots talk to each other.


Check out Megan’s list of gifts for runners. Obviously some of them are gender-specific, but I particularly liked 3-9. I especially like the idea of gifting race registrations; The Lady and I average a little over 1 race / month, and at an average of $30/race, that adds up pretty quickly. Though the half marathons and marathons tend to be closer to $70/$80 each. Yikes.

On a recent episode of the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast, they had a guest whose research looked into lucid dreaming. He advertised their iPhone app (Dream:ON), so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Here’s the first night I used it:


The playing sounds didn’t quite make it into my dream; I don’t even recall having any dreams last night. But it’s still pretty cool! I especially like how it makes a reasonably good assessment of what kind of sleep you’re in. Furthermore, it uses that assessment and your own input on when you want to wake up to calculate the optimal time to start playing some really beautiful wake-up music. A single day does not a usage pattern imply, but I’m going to keep trying this out and see what happens.

In a couple weeks, The Lady and I will embark on our holiday travels: first to Michigan to visit her extended family over Christmas, then down south to see my family over New Year’s. And we’ll hope and pray inclement weather plays a minimal role in all that traveling.

I’ve been really getting into the Grumpy Cat meme lately, but this one was too great not to post.


About Shannon Quinn

Oh hai!
This entry was posted in Academics, Exercise, Graduate School, Running, The Lady, twitterbot and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ’tis the season

  1. eksith says:

    Your bot has posts in many languages (sometimes in the same Tweet), engages in intelligible conversations (compared to the Twitterverse at large) and has more followers than you.

    Impressive, sir!
    – Cheetos Cheetah

    I’ve been trying to experiment with my own variety of lucid dreaming, mainly in an effort to rid myself of the insomnia that’s stayed with me for almost 15 years. It involves 2 powerful neodymium magnets, a DIY Marx Generator (27,000 Volts) and a bunch of copper coils. Not sure if I want to run on the switch yet.

    Good luck on the paper!

    • magsol says:

      Yeah, it’s kind of sad that a 2nd-order markov chain public timeline feeder is more interesting than I am. Go figure 😛

      This app would seem significantly lower-voltage. The app does recommend that the phone remain plugged in throughout the night, so I suppose I could experiment with sleeping on a waterbed and dunking it in a hole or something.

      Thank you! I’ll need it.

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