Friday, October 25, 2013

PubMed: Now More Relevant Than Ever

Oh my goodness, everyone, according to PubMed New and Noteworthy, "PubMed now includes a relevance sort option under the "Display settings" menu." (The quote is from a feed alert--the link given by the post actually says that there will soon be a relevance sort option. However, the quote does not lie, because the option is indeed available now when I look.)

Relevance! In PubMed!

I mean, it's always been there in the "Related Citations," but as for PubMed itself, well, it was just part of the austere, patrician character of the database that you had your results sorted by date, and liked it.

Or, you know, you could re-sort by first author or journal title or something, but who really does that? Not me, and I'm pretty sure I represent everyone in the whole world.

Oh, wait, my mistake. Apparently I don't represent everyone in the whole world. Anyway, enjoy sorting by whatever criteria you prefer, everyone-who's-not-me! (It turns out an astonishing number of people are not me.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Music Musings

Let's consider some music. Specifically, let's consider how sometimes music suggests to us that it doesn't improve a situation if you keep talking.

On my way off the train this morning, I passed a little girl who was singing "You Are My Sunshine." Adorable. And what a sweet song, right?
You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you--
Please don't take my sunshine away.

If I may paraphrase, "you're as vital to my life as sunlight, and no matter what else is happening, being with you makes me happy. Please don't leave me to what is, in your absence, a dark and gloomy existence."

I mean, it's a little needy, maybe, but this dude or lady is clearly in love, and that's how it feels to be love. It's a lovely sentiment. Fond.

Next verse (less commonly sung):
The other night, dear,
While I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you by my side.
When I awoke, though, I was mistaken,
So I hung my head and cried.

To paraphrase, "I dreamed you were with me, and then I woke up and you weren't there, and it made me sad." Aww...

Still touching, but at this point you have to wonder. Is the dude or lady this person loves normally there, but currently away on a trip or something, in which case happiness will return and maybe breaking down in tears is an overreaction? Or is the singer of the song not actually in a relationship with the object of his or her affection at all, in which case...unrequited love sure sucks, huh?

But yeah, basically, "being away from you makes me sad" is still a sweet thing to say. OK.

Third verse (even less commonly sung):
I'll always love you,
And make you happy,
If you will only feel the same,
But if you leave me to love another,
You'll regret it all one day.

So. All right. "I'll always love you and make you happy as long as you love me and make me happy, but if you don't, someday you'll be alone and miserable just like me and THEN you'll be sorry you left me."

Less touching, somehow.

Pull it together, dude or lady! You're sounding a little whiny there. Whiny at best, actually, since "love me or you'll regret it" could also seem downright nasty.

Not really the tone you want to strike if you're trying to win someone over.

Maybe just stick with that first verse. Yeah. That one is really sweet.

And thus we see why the later verses are so much less commonly sung.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Retro Injuries

I keep glancing curiously at the faint scratches on the backs of my hands, and then remembering oh yes, that's from sticking them way, way into the VCR in an attempt to retrieve some crayons.

Yes, we still have a VCR. Mainly for crayon storage at this point.

I was going to say "solely for crayon storage," but then remembered that it's also decorative.