A Motley Crue of Toxicologists

Motley Crue Still Exists -- Who Knew?

Motley Crue Still Exists -- Who Knew?

Three years ago this month a phalanx of Duke physics grad students, including most all Lunchtimers except “field theory” Brian descended upon Baltimore, MD for the American Physical Society‘s “March Meeting.” At the time most of us were desperate to find post-doc positions or other jobs given that in January several of us had been told there was no funding left to continue our research past May.  I must have gone on a half-dozen interviews myself, including a memorable one for Wolfram’s theory group.

(Incidentally, nuclear people do get to go to an APS meeting every year, just not the “March Meeting.”  They have to settle for the “April” meeting, which this year is May 2-5.)

Little did I know that three year’s later would find me with a permanent job (inexplicably in toxicology) attending another March conference in grey and chilly Baltimore.  This time around I’m here for the Society of Toxicology‘s annual meetingThey manage to avoid the physics pretention of simply designating it “The March Meeting” but it is a March meeting all the same.

Somehow, after the 6 hour drive in the rain and endless traffic the last thing I expected was the swarm of Motley Crue fans throughout my hotel.  There were many, many thiry-something guys in black, metal t-shirts, a few but still surprising number of kinda gothy (or is it emo now?) girls in their twenties that surely could have found something better to do, and two women who were rather memorably dressed as eighties caricatures with tall hair and sweats who were actually told by the other guy waiting for the elevator with us something like “I thought that look was stupid even in the eighties.”  Based on the number of fans I assumed that this was a one-time, national concert since surely there couldn’t be that many fans for a band that had no songs I could remember.  (Ann correcly shot down my suggestion of “Life is a Highway.”)  However, this was in fact just the Baltimore stop of their latest tour.  Who knew?  Despite my lack of enthusiasm, the hotel was rocking (“all night long,” as they say).  There was either fireworks or automatic weapons fire.  No fewer than ten fire trucks blared through at various hours.  I don’t think I even heard any Motely Crue songs played.  Mostly Aerosmith and Bon Jovi.  At least they got that right…

Anyhow, I had eight hours of continuing education courses today and my talk isn’t until Tuesday so hopefully things are winding down now.  The hotel is quiet at least.  Unfortunately I missed Duke winning the ACC for the ninth time in twelve years today.  Based on that 75% winning percentage during that time I figure the chance of a non-Duke school winning the ACC is roughly thirty times less.  That is a crazy record, especially given the quality of the opponents.

Anyhow, the NCAA bracket has been annouced and Michigan is back in for the first time since 1998 (though they technically didn’t play then either).  Their first round matchup is none other than Clemson.  It’s on, Brian.  It’s on…


One Response to A Motley Crue of Toxicologists

  1. Brian says:

    March Meeting in Baltimore… good times. You know it’s coming back? 2013 _and_ 2016. I guess the APS likes to keep it local (for incomprehensible and possibly masochistic reasons they’re based in College Park).

    John, I’m glad at least one of us doesn’t have to repeat the job hunting experience. I’ve been filling out applications recently, it’s amazing how time consuming the process is. Too early to say where I’m going, but I’ll definitely be staying in Europe at least a few years longer. That wasn’t an economy-based decision, but after talking to people at the March Meeting last week I realize it definitely could have been.

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