I've signed up for the Just Science 2007 blogging effort. The idea is for a bunch of science blogs to each post at least once a day for a week on purely scientific topics -- no bashing on pseudoscience/anti-science, no movie reviews, etc.
It's an interesting idea & of course a bit of promotion of this site. But it is also a bit of an obligation -- my pattern has been to post 4-5 times during the workweek, occasionally giving myself the night off if too many other things intrude (and indeed, I'm scheduled to give a seminar next week & I'm overdue on an academic collaboration & etc). No bailing this time: seven days, seven posts -- balanced against the day job & a normal family life.
Back in my student days, also known as 60% of my existence so far, there were ways to prepare for a big scholastic event. I never sharpened quills or picked out fresh nibs, but sharpening pencils was a time-honored tradition to prepare for critical tests. No electric for me -- only a hand-cranked model has the proper tactile & auditory bouquet to satisfy! For a brief while, a big writing assignment might mean finding our freshest typewriter ribbon & a nice stack of clean paper. Later this morphed into a good dot matrix ribbon & microperf paper. High school & college meant a return to pencil sharpening, so those #2's would be in top shape for the PSAT, SAT or GREs. Not only were the rituals practical (a dull #2 does NOT work on those #$#$$ circles as well), but they were a way to burn off a little nervous energy.
But for this, what do I do? Buy some high-end (Martha Stewart?) packets for my router? Break out a box of high energy electrons? Get a reserve bottle of ether for my Ethernet? Modern technology has ruined all the old rituals!
Well, there's always Mom's old standby -- get a good night's sleep. Perhaps that's just what I'll start on now...