Inktober 2015

Here, in one big glob, are all my contributions for inktober 2015. Inktober is an activity where you try to draw and post an ink drawing per day. Sounded fun and so I swallowed my drawing-oriented imposter syndrome and started in.

I think it’s fun since it’s much more undirected and sketch-like than what I normally do for RedPen/BlackPen (though sometimes RPBP is that sketchy too).

Day 1: Sad squid- he has a different idea of what inktober might be about


Day 2: Power chords


Day 3. Shadows of my hand holding a red pen







Day 4. Night of the PARSER!



Day 5. My attempt at drawing a plastic bag on my desk. Turns out that it’s really *hard*


Day 6. My homage to the Little Prince. Maybe he’s not so alone out there after all.

Day 7. Frickin’ laser beams. A 5 minute sketch with no real purpose.






Day 8. A throwback Thursday: drawings I did 30 years ago. Not entirely certain my artistic skills have improved all that much since then ūüôā

Day 9. The Busy-o-Meter

Day 10. Eastern Washington farm fields with weather. 2015_10_10_FarmFields

Day 11. Red/black spiral


Day 13. Inspiration!


Day 14. The new NIH biosketch format (geeky academic joke)



Day 15. Academic Halloween Costumes!


Day 19. Happy penguin!


Day 20. Silhouette of hills at sunset.


Day 21. SCIENCE!


Day 22. A tomato.


Day 23. Academic caution sign #12015_10_25_AcademicRejectionStation

Day 26. More Science Caution Signs from RedPen/BlackPen
ScienceCautionSignsScanDay 28. Finally one more Science Caution Sign, an update. I’m planning more by the way.


Day 30. Finishing up #inktober with a move to #Movember at the request of MovemberUK


I’ve been thinking lately about how events in your academic life can lead to unintended, and often times unrecognized, downstream effects. Recently I realized that I’m having trouble putting together a couple of papers that I’m supposed to be leading. After some reflection I came to the conclusion that at least one reason is I’ve been affected by the long, tortuous, and somewhat degrading process of trying to get a large and rather important paper published. This paper has been in the works, and through multiple submission/revision cycles, for around five years. And it starts to really wear on your academic psyche after that time, though it can be hard to recognize.¬†I think that my failure to get that paper published (so far) is partly holding me back on putting together these other papers. Partly this is about the continuing and varied forms of rejection¬†you experience in this process, but partly it’s about the fact that there’s something sitting there that shouldn’t be sitting there. Even though I don’t currently have any active tasks that I have to complete for that problem paper it still weighs on me.

The silver lining is that once I recognized that this was a factor things started to seem easier with those projects and the story I was trying to tell. Anyway, I think we as academics should have our own therapists that specialize in problems such as this. It would be very helpful.







I really am not in a dark mood today at all. The sun is shining, spring is springing, the world looks beautiful. I was just thinking about the way that we imagine the future now and the way we have imagined the future in the past. What sparked this was driving by this local sign and thinking about when it was probably put there.

The future, it is NOW.

The future, it is NOW.

Gentlemen: A Simple Guide To Attire

If there’s a question about whether or not to wear that shirt in the back of your closet please follow this simple guide. Please note: especially applicable if you’re going to be in front of millions or billions of people (though this really should not make a difference).

Really, it's pretty much that simple.

Really, it’s pretty much that simple.

Nature Transient Findings

You know, I think the glamour publishers could really benefit from a journal to publish these kinds of results. Far less messy and then they won’t get confused with real science. Also, a bonus is that the title of the papers could be already buzzfeed-ready, no editing involved.

Also I’ve officially titled my series of academia-themed comics Red Pen/Black Pen (see previous post for something of an explanation)

Too good to be true or too good to pass up?

Too good to be true or too good to pass up?

This comic was inspired by this wonderful parody, which was circulating awhile back but unfortunately I don’t know proper attribution.

Because you tried really hard for a really long time.

Because you tried really hard for a really long time.