A brief respite

Just as an FYI, I am actually still alive (in case you were wondering). I’m just incredibly busy at the moment. I dream about a time, someday, when December won’t be an incredibly busy month. Unfortunately, I live in the great bubble of academia. A busy December is as inevitable as entropy making a mess of my kitchen.

So currently, the majority of my life consists of putting everything I’ve done over the past year into 5000-10000 words. This involves much LaTeX-based chicanery, diagrammatic mayhem and (so I fear) the exhuming of at least one or two output files to check some values. It’s probably a good thing I keep my .out files in order. It also involves writing. Lots of writing. So much writing, that I fear I’ve hurt my wrist. I should probably do some stretches and spin some poi to stay limber.

One blessing at least. The references will be easier to do this time. Having papers already written (published and unpublished), at least I can leaf through them to find the relevant references. Frankly, that will probably save me at least a day’s work!

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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6 Responses to A brief respite

  1. invaderxan says:

    Re: You ok?
    Yeah, it looks like I should be fine, at least for now. It would appear most of the major telescopes are going to still be available until 2012. Unfortunately, that’s about the time I’m expecting to be looking for a postdoc position.
    Now might be a good time to consider going into radioastronomy…

  2. invaderxan says:

    Oh, it’s not so bad. It could be worse — it could be Open Office :P

  3. invaderxan says:

    For a fleeting moment there, I thought there was an ASCII character for LATEX!
    Frankly, I rather like LATEX, despite never having had to do anything excessively mathematical — at least when it works. It makes referencing and citing a lot less annoying, that’s for certain!
    Mind you, I have done a lot of chemical typesetting in LATEX by now, and frankly, I find a lot of these things an incredible pain to accomplish in Word. Inputting a formula like C2H3+, for instance is actually a lot easier just by typing out $C_{2}H_{3}^{+}$ than by the mess of highlighting and button clicking that ensues with Word. It gets worse if you need to use greek letters…
    Other things too, only seem to be rendered accurately by LATEX. Nuclear reactions, for instance, like;
    21D + 11H → 32He + γ
    or molecular electronic state terms like 1Σ+g tend not to be rendered accurately in word processors…
    (Interestingly the same appears to be true of HTML!)
    Just some stray thoughts… I guess the bottom line is that, generally speaking, it all depends on what yor chosen subject is, and what kind of markup and nomenclature you need…

  4. beepbeep says:

    You ok?
    I’ve been hearing about the big STFC announcement…hope whatever they are about to do does not affect you badly.

  5. davidnm says:

    Ugh, LaTeX. It’s evil, evil I say!

  6. 6_bleen_7 says:

    You have my sympathy with LATEX. I need to make up a graph showing the difficulty of typesetting a scholarly document in LATEX and Microsoft Word, vs. the complexity of the equations therein. Above a certain threshold of intricacy in the mathematical typesetting, it gets faster and easier to use LATEX, but that threshold is far above anything I’ve written as a biostatistician.

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