Best Books of 2018

2018 was a crazy year for me. A move, a new job, new career path, and many more ups and downs. And through all of this, was the soundtrack to my life: audiobooks. I listened to over 50 books this year, and the good news is most were excellent! So without further ado, here’s my favorite books that I read (listened to) in 2018. Note that these are not the best books released in 2018, just whichever books I read this year that I loved.

A responsive CV template with HTML/CSS (Hermione Granger's CV)

I’ve been going through the job application cycle recently, which meant updating my CV. You can write a CV with Microsoft Word, but I find it exceptionally frustrating to do any sort of fancy formatting in Word, and more imporantly, I want my CV to be a page on my website (not just a downloadable file), that has the responsiveness expected of any modern webpage. I found this excellent HTML/CSS template from Thomas Hardy, and decided it was the aesthetic I was going for.

Saturday Success #2: Workaround

This week I’ve been ploughing through final figure revisions for a big paper that’s been a couple years in the making 👏👏👏. Everything was going (relatively) smooth until I got to a tree I was trying to plot with associated barcharts. The idea was to summarize some data on major clades in this tree by putting barcharts of summary statistics aligned with each major clade to the side of the tree.

Friday Fails #2: Educated Guess

Recently, as part of my work characterizing plant cell walls, I needed to express a few proteins that would serve as molecular probes. I read a couple of papers and the boss man gave me the green light. The first step is to find the protein sequence and have the gene synthesized so that we can transform it into some E. coli and start expression tests. So to order the synthesized gene I went to the paper that described the protein, scoured the methods, and found that–as expected–they didn’t give the sequence, they simply referred to a previous paper, which referred to a previous paper, and after going down the rabbit hole I finally found the original reference.

Saturday Success #1: Saving the Planet

Well, as promised to follow up my Friday Fails post, here’s a Saturday Success. I had a few science successes this week, like collecting some decent AFM images, learning purrr, or posting on this blog and tweeting (two of my outreach-related goals). But what I’m most proud of, is my recent decision to try reducing my plastic use and the waste I generate. It gives me so much anxiety and makes me feel very helpless and sad to think about the future of our planet.

Friday Fails #1: Some Questions Are Stupid

Welcome to a new series: Friday Fails. I’m aiming for weekly consistency with this one, but some may weeks I may just Tweet my fails (and inevitably miss some posts, look out for an upcoming Friday Fail on not posting the previous week!). The reason for this series is not to denigrate myself, it’s in the interest of honesty. The point is to showcase the real me, or at least a less shiny version… shiny as in that girl in your lab who has an NSF grant, 3 papers, and manages to show up every day looking 💯; or that professor who got tenure while raising 2 kids and publishing her ass off.

About my blog

Hi, I’m Will, welcome to my blog! If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you should be writing 😜. But go ahead and congratulate yourself, because you’ve chosen an excellent way to procrastinate. In fact, I should be writing right now too (well actually I am writing right now, but not the right writing… ya’know?), so let’s procrastinate together! I think that’ll be my motto, Let’s procrastinate together!, because (A) everything is better with friends 😄, and (B) it’s a scientific fact that 95% of my blog posts will be written when I should be working on something else.