Friday, August 31, 2012

Ready to...

.... shoot!
this was at the cliff diving event last saturday. everyone was ready to take that one shot. except me... :)
i think its interesting that on the one hand there are all these fancy cameras, and on the other the phones. not much in between anymore, it seems!

Fresh veggies!

veggies for sale, just along the road somewhere in vermont. isnt that cool? we stopped, just to take a picture (our fridge at home still full with vegetables that needed to be eaten...). to the right on the stand you see a small white box, on it was written "donations". on the other side a list with the names of all the vegetables present, and that they were dusted, but still needed to be washed. for you to take, and for you to determine how much you pay for it! amazing, no? i wonder how much money comes in that way!
i would like to seel stuff too... pastries and bread... anyone interested? :) 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Local eatery

we had "dinner" in vermont. after the cemetery, we walked further on the main street until we hit this eatery a little before the center of the town. we had seen it already when driving by, and i had decided we should eat there... it seemed well visited, and eating was outside. could it be more american?! the other option was a bit further down the road; some posh looking house and a sign "fine dining". well, i preferred the eatery! 
moreover, i was extremely interested in the locals. but i was afraid taking pictures too obviously, and thus had put my camera on the table (the unsharp lower part of the picture). 
the food? we had burgers, shared one order of fries and a drink; it was 20 dollars!! i somehow really thought it would be good, and then it wasnt.... :( the fries looked like they had been fried already 7 times. at least. we didnt finish them....
ah well, i enjoyed observing the locals.... ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Restland, Vermont

this weekend we drove to vermont. from boston its approximately a 3 hour drive, but i had never been to this state! we stayed 1 night in a motel in wilmington. it was called "the vintage motel". i just wonder what came first, the vintage or the motel.... it wasnt very crowded, i guess this town is more alive when winter comes and snow covers all the mountains... (wikipedia tells me wilmington is in the heart of the "snowbelt")
even so it was a 3 hour drive, we ofcourse took a bit longer as we avoided the highway, stopped here and there, took some photos, etc etc... in the evening we walked a bit around in wilmington, and accidentally found the cemetery just behind the church on the main street of this tiny town. i just loved the name of this cemetery. restland. ofcourse, restland!! why have i never seen a cemetery before called like that? how else should a cemetery be named, anyways? restland seems just the perfect name to me! we walked around a bit, and although all stones seemed intact, many were hardly readable, due to dirt and erosion. but well, i actually just wanted a picture of the gate with the name of the cemetery anyways....
there were some 500 graves, and i guess it was established somewhere after the town itself was established, which was in 1751. it didnt seem to be in use anymore, but as you can see, still well maintained...
more taphophiles can be found here!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Somewhere along...

the road from massachusetts to vermont, yesterday! i guess it was at the border with new hampshire, still in massachusetts... 
i took many crappy pics but i hope to find some nice ones in the coming days. we had fun driving, anyways!! and saw a lot of beautiful/interesting/weird/ugly/very very american sights...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm lazy!

today we saw some guys jumping off the roof of the ICA (institute of contemporary art) into the boston harbor. some 90 feet if i remember correctly. before they were down in the water, they did some nice turns and flips and what-not. but it went so very fast i missed many of the jumps (i guess a jump took 3 seconds?). also, i did not want to sit ready with my camera, until they would finally make the jump. and the few times i did, i didnt see anything of the jump as i was too busy clicking..., or seeing that i held my camera wrong and he jumped a little to the right, or left... most shots that i did manage to take were blurry, or just empty... 
i guess this is the only one that worked out... :)
it was super- supercrowded! but the weather was nice, and we had a good spot (thanks to our friends who were there much earlier than us; we somehow managed to miss the stop while on the subway, and had to go back, and it all took forever and ever). ah well... i dont think i want to become a cliff diver (they were all wearing tiny speedos), and before people realize what you are doing is amazing, its already over. besides, i prefer to be in the water, rather than jumping into it all the time....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Orange line

this is the train i take everyday to get into boston. bostons skyline you can see in the background!
it is a few stations after the one i get on, where they store all the orange trains that are not in use.... you walk above them when you leave this particular station (you can see the reflection of the glass, unfortunately).
its so hot here! usually im ok with it, but at this very moment... beeehhh.. maybe its also my hote computer, and we were using the oven quite a bit this evening (making dinner, baking bread, etc etc). but as usual, i get cold just a few minutes after we turn on the airconditioning....
good night!

Sun rays

this was at our campsite in new hampshire, 2 weeks back. in the morning we saw the most gorgeous sun rays on the river... :) most likely because there was a lot of smoke in the air from all the BBQ fires at many sites, people start them up early in the morning already! 
building a fired was really nice (or rather, tim did that, i just commented, so i should say, having a fire in the evening is really nice, but i didnt like smelling like it. everything smelled like campfire when we got back.... so even for just 2 nights, i had a huge amount of laundry to do....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Purple flowers

i like purple... :)
and im lazy today... so enjoy the flowers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Flower mass

i saw this grave back in april, at the holy cross cemetery in malden. we biked there as it is not too far from our house. the cemetery seemed mainly italian, as judged by the names on the graves. and, like biebkriebels showed before, some graves had a photo of the deceased. here i was mostly amazed by the amount of fake flowers. there were a lot of fake flowers on this cemetery, but this one had one of the most. many graves also had the flower holder as you see above, that you can put atop a grave. a little too much for me. i found it funny that her name is "mazza", as it is almost the dutch word "massa", which, indeed, means "mass". but... if im correct, it means "bat" or "sledge hammer" in italian. haha...
a future request; please no fake plastic flowers for me.....
for more taphophilia, go here!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Some shopping

this is the "gateway center", a place with some shops not too far from our house. there is a huge, gigantic parking lot, and several shops. every so many miles, you find such a shopping center here in the us. often you can only get to them by car. the shops are more or less the same, and they are huge. i always wonder how so many shops, the same shops, can coexist so close to each other. usually there is a "home depot", which sells everything for your do it yourself (DIY as they call that here) home improvement and construction (like a dutch "gamma", but then 10 times bigger). there is a paper store, for all your office needs, also enormous, an enormous toy store, a crafts store (we were there this weekend for the first time; my goodness, i didnt know that they could fill such an enormous store with... well... that kind of stuff), and usually there is a target, a retail store. perhaps comparable to the dutch "V&D", but ofcourse much bigger. then there are some (cheaper) shoe/sport or clothing stores. and i really cannot stop wondering how this is sustainable. within a not too big radius we have a few of these malls, all with the same stores. especially their size is very weird for a dutch... :) even our supermarkets arent this big, or numerous (i also imagine that the tiny size of all stores in the netherlands must be a shock for americans! haha.... also, dont expect to buy your stuff in as large quantities as you can here; most beverages (milk, orange juice, etc) are sold at a max of 1 ltr per bottle, shampoo and stuff is in at least 2 times smaller bottles than here, and i guess double the price etc etc.).
anyways. we sometimes goto target, although we never need anything. and then we come out having bought all kinds of stuff. or the shoe store (although not the above one, im a fan of DSW; shoes can be so deceivingly cheap there! i cant go there too often, as i always buy a new pair of shoes. even after more than 2 years in the us, i still tend to think in dutch/european prices when it comes to clothing and shoes, and its soooo much more cheaper here!!). this time (sunday) i got some clothes; a trouser, a shirt and a dress, together for just 30 dollars..... :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gorgeous flowers

tim was in the netherlands last month, and somewhere in south amsterdam he saw this field of flowers. isnt it beautiful? 

Boston drain

i know, i know, i did this before. but i have new shoes... :)))  and it rained today. it was a little chilly, after days, no weeks, of very hot weather. theres also boston water and the boston sewer. if you were ever to be dropped randomly into boston, blindfolded or whatever, having no clue where you are, you will figure it out soon enough, just by looking down. everything is labeled "boston". but why? what else can we expect than a boston drain when we are in boston... right? i find it very funny...  (in new york, ofcourse, you have the new york sewer, and water, and drain. but i havent looked for this in other cities yet, although i guess its the same). ah, and lets not forget the BPD (yes, the boston police department).
the nice thing of rain is that the swimming pool at our apartment complex remains empty. perfect for a swim! but this morning the water was not clear blue... it was murky green. the worst we have ever seen since we live here.... :( not good for laps....(i hope the boston drain/sewer had nothing to do with that!!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Very american

to me, this row of houses looks very american. the little fenced off yards, the wooden houses with a porch, the electricity wires...., the fire hydrant.... just as you sometimes see in the movies as well. 
the first 3 months we lived in somerville in such a house (but even bigger, it was divided in several apartments), with a front and back porch. i really liked to look around in that neighborhood. often there were yard sales in the weekend, where people just dump out all of the stuff they dont want anymore in their yard, and sell it for little money (some of our furniture we bought there). currently, no porch and no yard sales. i guess management would go crazy if we would dump out all our stuff trying to sell it to our neighbours... ;) and i guess none of our neighbours would want to buy anything. what does happen every now and then is that people put stuff out in the hallway, with a note that you can take it. although i find it  the ultimate form of laziness, i also profited from it; we now have a fancy set of wine glasses, a water boiler, a popcorn maker (i dont know why i tookt that one), a nice glass dome for pies (how do you call that? in dutch it would be a "taartstolp") and a side table.... thats also very american, i dont think dutch would just give stuff away that easily if they also could get money for it.. :), and at least they would want to get credit for it, not just leaving it in the hall anonymously until someone secretly takes it away.... 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No, no..., no, no, no!!! not much is allowed on the famous beale street in memphis, as you can see here. and if you put on your glasses, you see that firearms are also not allowed!
now, tomorrow i should finally post a boston picture again... havent taken many lately, it seems...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So cheap!!

saw these cherries in chinatown, new york. they were so very, very cheap! many of the shops in that street were selling them, almost all as cheap..... they look good, no? and then i didnt buy them... :( as we were staying another day in new york and... well.. i dont know why. the next day i forgot about them, but i should have bought some before going home... maybe next time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cemetery hands

during our little camping trip this weekend in the white mountains i also visited 2 cemeteries that we happened to drive by. when we drove home on sunday, we didnt take the boring, crowded highway but remained on the byroads, through tiny tiny towns. often just some houses along the road. here and there we passed a cemetery, usually also just a small field along the road. but the above one was a bit bigger. while i took some time to wander around, tim dried some of our soaked stuff in the hot sun; now suddenly it was dry in no time! i guess it must have been weird; a guy spreading out 3 huge tarps in the grass while some girl was taking pictures at the cemetery.... (at least there was no body in the tarp!)
this is in warren, a tiny town in new hampshire with a population of less than a 1000 people! the cemetery was a bit hilly, and the stones were sort of randomly placed in the grass. it seemed quite well maintained, but i couldnt find a name on any of the entrance gates (an actual fence was missing, btw). the mountains in the background made for a pretty scenery... i liked this set of stones, for their last name, as well as the first name; "cotton". i never heard of the name cotton... the poem on eliza's grave says this: "she has crossed the silent river, she has gained the brighter shore, where sickness pain and sorrow can come to her no more". although googling it taught me it can be found on more graves, i still liked it... unfortunately, i couldnt find anything about mr & mrs foot.
many of the graves on this cemetery also had the hand with the finger pointed upwards, as you can see above. i always find it funny to see those. somehow my mind formed this into an image where an actual hand sticks out of the grave, the buried actually not yet dead, or coming to life again... :) i never rationally thought about this, and that thats just very weird, nor wondered what the actual meaning of this symbol is. unitl julie showed some hands on gravestones recently, and i realized how ridiculous my thoughts were. some googling told me this; a hand with the finger pointing upwards means the hope of heaven, while a hand pointing downwards represents god reaching down for the soul (as julie had mentioned already); but i have not yet seen that one around here. as for tim; he said that a middle finger would have been more fun..... 
more taphophiles can be found here!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Still amateurs...

we thought it was nice to go camping again (our first time was last year in acadia, maine, in september). as shown yesterday, we went to the white mountains this time. with all the crazy hot and humid weather, we didnt factor in the possibility of rain. somehow. even though every now and then we had quite the downpours here in boston... we left friday afternoon, just when it started to rain heavily! it was a 2.5 hour drive to our campsite, but there was some traffic. and rain! heavy, heavy rain that didnt seem like it would stop anytime soon. buuuhh... we found a walmart to buy some tarp, as many others did before us; most of it was sold out already. then to the dollar store (where everything really is 1 dollar, i like that store.. :) ), for some more cheap handy stuff. and yep, it was still raining when we reached the camping. luckily not as heavily, but enough to make everything wet. tim hung up the first tarp (i gave the occasional comment while watching), and then we put up the tent without getting too wet. like last year, another camper came over to ask whether we needed any help. it makes me wonder; do we look that amateurish or is it the "happy camper etiquette" that i dont know yet...? he also mentioned it was the 8th time he was there, on the same spot........ we got up the second tarp to stay dry during dinner and tim made a fire; not easy when its raining.... 
unfortunately, we were too late with booking the camp site and thus the next day we had to move all our crap and set up again 2 sites further, and thats what you see above... :) isnt it a wonder of fine engineering? (the tarps, i mean). right behind is the river, which we heard the entire night (quite soothing). this time we put the tarp right above the fireplace; nothing burned down and building a fire was quite a bit easier! also the second day we had quite some rain. everything was muddy and wet, and nothing wanted to get dry.... :( i could only think of how i would throw everything in the washing machine when back home again (i dont like dirt..., just because of that i will never reach the "real camper status", im sure...). 
so... it was fun! and extremely interesting to observe the real american campers. my goodness! so many chairs (whatever they do, americans always bring a foldable chair)! and tents! and an american flag here and there (as if we dont know where we are...), partylights around the tent or RV or whatever..., food, food, food, and more electrical appliances than we have in our kitchen at home.... :) i guess im fine with remaining an amateur....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back again!

we were out the past 2 nights! we went to the white mountains in new hampshire. no internet, no phone.... just..... eehmmm... rain... :) and very hot and humid weather. and some more rain. and beautiful scenery, disappearing in the fog.... as you can see above!
it was fun, but now im tired so more tomorrow!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How american!

today i was in search of a "quick picture". just a nice one, that didnt require too much writing, or thinking, or browsing wikipedia. but i couldnt find one. not quick enough, anyways. i browsed some more. beehh. all boring. then i got the marvelous idea to look what pictures i took on this day last year! i was in san diego, with my friend sylvia, while tim was in the netherlands. but hmm... i didnt take that many pictures august 9th 2011. then i decided to go back even further. 2004, my first digital camera (actually my parents'), and my first time in the usa, exploring manhattan every weekend for 3 months. but no pictures on august 9! hmmppff... 
so.... now its well past midnight and i have been browsing photos from august 2007, 2008, 2009.... that was fun! (and a little weird, sometimes). the above photo is from 2009. august 6 (no pics on august 9). a delicious meal from mc donalds, in tims car, enjoying the sunset over a meadow, in the netherlands.... :) how very american!!
i would love to browse some more photos (i should do that more often!), but now its time for bed.... good night!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Please climb!

"for your safety, do not climb the sculpture" is a sign that always accompanies large sculptures that seem to be there just for climbing.... the sign actually also accompanies sculptures or other large objects you never thought of climbing. until you saw the sign, that is.....  well, this life-size replica of lady liberty's face is an "interactive sculpture", meaning its meant for climbing! and climbed she was, mostly by children, it was lovely to watch. its called "face of liberty", made by zaq landsberg.
after i had seen a picture of this sculpture somewhere, i just had to see it for myself! its on governers island, a small island just half a mile off the southern tip of manhattan. having been to new york numerous times, and seen quite a bit of it, i have to admit i had never heard of governors island! so, that was cool, as we always try to see something in new york we havnt seen before. the island is accessible by a free ferry (from manhattan or brooklyn), but its only open during summer, and then only during weekends. there is art, a fort, sometimes there are festivals and there is a lot of green space where you can just hang out. ah, and beautiful views of manhattan! i really enjoyed walking around there, and wouldnt mind to visit it again sometime. i took quite some photos (this was back in june), so perhaps i will show you more some other time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grass & graves

the last weekend of june we went to gloucester, a small city on the coast north of boston. we had biked around a little, and then wanted to go to the beach and perhaps swim a little. but... it was a very hot day in the middle of summer and we discovered that the parking lots of all the beaches we frequented in early autumn and spring now asked money. and not just a little money, at least 15 dollars! as it was almost 5 and we just wanted to be on the beach for a bit it was not worth it. we drove around, quite aimlessly, and saw that ofcourse all the free supermarket parking lots had big signs with "no beach parking". when a tow truck passed us, it was time to just forget the beach and go home.
while driving in some random street, i suddenly saw some headstones, or so it seemed, scattered around in high grass. i made tim stop, and indeed, there it was, an entire cemetery, between 2 houses and the MBTA train tracks. it was locked, but we could easily enter it from the side. the grass was so very high; it was hard to make out where i was walking as the ground was very uneven. many stones had sunk quite deep into the ground, and at other places there were deep dents in front of stones (you can imagine why!). i hurt my feet  and the various types of grass and thorny bushes that were taking over the place were not very nice to my bare legs. but i enjoyed walking around there so very much! most stones had become unreadable, had sunk too deep into the ground, or were just lying around, shattered in many pieces. aside from the train, it was so very quiet there, actually a nice change from those overcrowded beaches and parking lots. so... we just spread our blanket out somewhere in the middle, disappeared between the grass and graves, and had our afternoon snack there! that was my first picnic on a cemetery...
this is the first cemetery in gloucester. the settlers arrived in 1623, and in 1644 some land next to the first meeting house was set aside for burials. until 1925, burials were accepted here. after that, the cemetery was just neglected, and got subjected to nature, and vandalism (thats why the gate was installed. also to prevent people from driving in and dumping their stuff). i found a report in the gloucester newspaper from 2008 that a committee was working on restoration of this cemetery. perhaps they did; i saw some stones that were glued together, but other than that, there was no sign that this cemetery recently had been taken care of.
ah well, i really liked it how it was, and it was such a nice and random find after a frustrating search for a parking spot to get to the beach. when we left, we saw the above couple taking back their space.... :)
for more taphophilia, go here!

Such fame...

i think its amazing that most people probably immediately know who this is, although this is quite an ugly representation... imagine being that famous, that just a white flowing dress, or the blonde short hair is enough. even though she died exactly 50 years ago yesterday, while she was only 36.
i just read a little about marilyn monroe (on wikipedia, ofcourse). most of her early life she lived with foster parents, as her mother was unable to take care of her. the most striking anecdote to me was this; until the age of 7, norma jeane (her real name) was living with foster parents in california. one day (wikipedia doesnt specifiy how old she then was), her biological mother, gladys, came and demanded that her daughter would come live with her again. her foster mother refused, as she knew marilyns mother was unstable. somehow, however, gladys managed to stuff marilyn into a military duffel bag, with which she wanted to walk out. marilyn was screaming while in there, and a struggle between gladys and the foster mom caused the bag to break open, letting marilyn to fall out... 
later, she lived with her mother, but she was mentally unstable and eventually was forced into a state hospital, leaving marilyn to live in several different foster homes again. 
i have seen her face so very many times, but didnt know anything about her background...
this barn is somewhere in cape cod, in fact next to the one with the american flag that i showed you last week.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Get out!!!

found this photo in my "to-post-folder". its from the st patricks parade. i guess this street was blocked for traffic and this officer was placed there to make sure nobody would enter.
its extremely hot and humid these days. its so hot that it doesnt cool down much during the night. but... in the weekends there is at least the great prospect of starting the day in the pool next to our apartment!! yesterday, we got there just around 9.15. hardly anyone there yet, and those who were, were just enjoying the morning sun, not intending to enter the water at all. its the perfect time, no children yet, nobody just hanging in the water; the pool entirely empty to do some real swimming! then, when most other people arrive, we have done our workout, had some sun, AND still an entire day ahead of us... but.... just as i was about to get in, the security guard came and ordered us all to leave the pool area! right NOW! because.... it was not yet 10 am, and the pool opens at 10. "yes, i know you are here every weekend, and i never say anything, but head security checked the videos and noticed i dont order you out and told me i have to. so, you have to leave. because... its not yet 10, and if something happens when its not yet 10, you could sue us". really...??!! really?! 
there is no lifeguard at the pool, and there is a huge sign that swimming is at your own risk.... but not before 10, apparently. at 9.50 someone tried to enter; nope, not allowed. one resident just placed herself on the ground in front of the entrance, waiting to be allowed to return again. it was one of those times that what happens is so plain ridiculous, that everyone starts talking to each other... :) we heard that ball playing is not allowed either. there are many green lawns around the apartments, but when 3 adults were calmly throwing a ball around, it was quickly ordered to be stopped by the security guy. 
this morning we did not even bother going to the pool :(( at 9 yet another parent with a young child was ordered away, to come back at 10. it seems we should be "grateful" we are allowed to live here in the first place. as if they prefer not to have any residents! just perfect green lawns, empty of any life, a blue pool, without anyone around it, and certainly nobody in it (perhaps only people with a perfect figure?). beeeehh, oak grove village, im really tired of all your rules..... :( i live here, and you definitely forgot that i dont leave at 5 as you do....

Friday, August 3, 2012

My card

whoops. i wanted to send some emails this evening, and do some other stuff. instead, i found myself in an uncomfortable position on the couch, woken up by tim. buuuhhh. now its time to really sleep (and probably i wont be able, it is so very hot!). am even too lazy to get my own laptop out of my bag, but found this picture still on tims. tim made this card for me! i sometimes give it to people, but not too often. i do like to leave it here and there (but usually i forget to do that too), like here at the dali-museum in st petersburg, florida. there were this trees in the garden where everyone hung his entrance-bracelet. looked pretty nice, actually. 
unfortunately, nobody ever posted on my blog; "hey, i came here because i found your card, blablabla..."
maybe one day....
(im reading a book here, its at a cafe in utrecht, the netherlands)

Abandoned car

at this specific spot somewhere in florida (where we were last december) some 4 or 5 of these cars were randomly standing around, waiting to be overgrown, i guess... it was so weird! but fascinating too...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#1 Hospital

i havent joined theme day for a while, and was sure i didnt have a fitting photo for the one of august. until i saw this cookie lying around. its been lying on our kitchen counter since july 17 (im sort of conducting the mc donalds experiment, as i dont feel the urge to eat this cookie at all. which says a lot, as i generally eat cookies/chips/chocolate/candy instantly...). so, massachusetts general hospital (MGH) was named the number 1 hospital on the 2012-13 us news & world report americas best hospital list. it was a big happening. there were signs everywhere, and free cookies and bracelets and commemorative pins with MGH #1. these annual rankings are done since 23 years, out of which johns hopkins hospital has been number 1 for 21. so... what does that mean? did johns hopkins get worse? or mgh better? whats the use of such rankings anyways..? shouldnt health care be excellent anywhere, regardless? why should you give it a number? 
should i be proud? i was a patient at this hospital, and i work here. my doctor, even before the rankings, told me the same each time i saw him; we are the best, our treatment is the best you can get, and you are my favorite patient (at some point tim and i knew when he would say what, and it got boring... although he was a nice doctor, i do have to say that). now, as a researcher, should i be proud? maybe i should be proud of the fact that i still didnt give up research, even after all that ive seen along the way, even at the #1 hospital of the usa.
a few examples, that didnt necessarily happen to me personally. when being ill, but still appearing at work, telling your boss you dont feel that well, getting as a reply; "work. you are only sick when you are in the hospital with high fever. i come too, when i am sick, so it is not an excuse.". or: "why did you get even more children? now you will definitely not make it in science." or, when working at the bench (which is somewhat similar to cooking, and sometimes you just have to continue what you are doing, or you ruin it) and the boss comes by to ask you something; "next time, when i come, you stop your work and talk to me. you dont continue working, understood? i am your boss and if you dont give me the respect i deserve, you can go. anyone can do your job, in no time i have you replaced." i dont know the number of abused postdocs, but i think there are quite some. its not something postdocs talk about a lot, as it is embarrassing. more importanly, most are afraid to loose their job. many are on temporary visas, tied to their job. loosing the job means loosing the visa, which means having to leave the country; depending on the type of visa, you have to be gone within a month. it doesnt matter that you lived here for several years, that you have an entire household and what not. you have to leave, or you become "illegal". surely, bosses know that their postdocs are dependent and powerless.
now some other numbers; this is the salary many of us postdocs get on their bank account each month; around 2300 dollars. that at least includes health insurance. but it doesnt include retirement savings. 2300 dollars, with the average rent of a boston 1 bedroom apartment being around 1900 dollars... even when disregarding the level of education (PhD), then consider the workload; 40+ hours, and often you have to come in on the weekend (some bosses demand (!!) workweeks of over 50-60 hours, and coming in entire days in the weekend). for 2300 dollars... i think those are sad numbers. aside from the miserable salary and the abuse many endure, there is scientific as well as financial misconduct (thats what you sometimes read about in the news; some scientist that faked data and now has to retract his/her publications, and thats just one example). all of that makes you wonder; why would anyone want to do science?!
purely because of the science! its exciting! you get to "play" in the lab, do experiments, see what comes out, or not. get to think about what that means, what other things you can try next. thats how "stuff" is solved. how eventually diseases are understood, and perhaps even cured. thats why people go into science; the excitement. the numbers, whether salary-wise and/or the number of times you were yelled at or got otherwise screwed, is what makes many postdocs leave science eventually. and thats just sad...
by the way, tim thought this cookie was perhaps distributed to crank up the number of patients at mgh.....
(if you didnt get it, theme day this month is numbers!). for other participants of august theme day, go over here to julies blog!