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I have somehow accumulated four--no, five--essays that are due next week. Plus I'm flying to another city for four days, where I will presumably have a little bit of time to work on papers, but it's going to put a serious break in my workflow. Today is Thursday, which has been a decently productive day for me in the past, not quite as good as Friday. Since I'm wondering right now if I've bitten off too much, I am almost ready to start working. If I put things off for a few more days, I would be certain I had bitten off too much and would immerse myself in frenzied essay preparation. I'm hoping to access frenzied essay preparation today, for the pipe dream of finishing early.

But first I am learning how to build a poster. Posters are these excuses for scientists to get together in pleasantly distant cities like Las Vegas and San Francisco. Because all the information that really matters is on the poster, and all the posters are gathered into a big room for the duration of the conference, it's easy for the scientists to browse through, get the scoop on the newest research and (with the better posters) what the current state of the field is. And then they can go goof off for the next three days.

The brilliant part is that it's relatively easy to get a poster accepted, so there's a huge number of scientists who come to these things to "present" the poster, meaning they stand by it and talk to browsers, and then they are done. There are speakers and seminars and sometimes workshops at these things too, but thanks to the poster session, scientists can be choosy about which ones they go to and how much time they spend in other, more diverting pursuits.

So you can see, it's very important to know how to put together a poster.

June 2014

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