Kid's Meal

Ask me anything   My main (personal/art) blog is Leafoden.

Anonymous asked: Can you offer any tips for breaking into science communication?




Kick down the door and shout “I’M HERE.”

Generally, things you do not actually need to get into science communication:

  • a PhD
  • a degree in science communication
  • journalism credentials
  • permission

Things you need to get into science communication:

  • scientific background (can be self-acquired to quite an extent; most scientists do the bulk of their learning after undergrad anyway)
  • communication skills (can be improved/learned/acquired/faked, but only bother doing sci comm if you actually like doing it)
  • a wee droplet of charisma
  • a personality that takes rejection and either goes “eh, I can work on this/with this” or “fine, then I’ll build a doomsday machine and you’ll be sorry”
  • ability to find and reach your audience
  • MOXIE.

The moxie/charisma thing is because you have to put it out there. It’s just like writing a novel, or performing any other writing. You can’t sit on your butt, going “Ugh, I’m good at science and communication, but nobody has kicked down my door offering me stuff and a TV deal.” You have to go up to people, your heart in your throat, and say “Give me stuff! Pay attention to me.” You have to enter science writing contests. You have to put stuff on the internet. You have to be okay with people hating it. This is seriously difficult, and if you don’t think you’d like it, you’ll have to work out a way to make scicomm work for you.

I am really lucky in that I live in a place and time where standup science comedy is a thing, so one prong of my scicomm life is how I got into that. First I asked a friend to include me in her act; then I discovered that I loved doing it; then I became an organizer. I’m not sure how; I think it’s because I just kept showing up until it would have been weird to get rid of me.

I just did a lovely set last night at a packed gig. It’s always amazing to see People Whom You Know From The Internet laughing in person, because they think you’re funny and great and worth seeing. It’s always great when people come up to you at intermissions and tell you that you’re inspiring. It’s great when a scientist in a particular field tells you “YOU GET MY FIELD!!” 

I don’t have a PhD. I don’t have permission. I have stood in the hallowed halls of the Royal Society where I was invited to talk gibberish about gene regulation and swear like a motherfucker, and I did just that. I have sassed the science editor of the Guardian and deeply confused Robin Ince. I am not really getting paid for this, but sometimes people tell me that they like my work.

Break into science communication the same way that people like us have to break into anything: with a hammer and a terrifying warcry, ready to kick a hole in the fabric of reality to get to where we need to be.

Just cross out the words “science communication” and fill in any career field you want.

— 8 hours ago with 218 notes
vandrur asked: Arabelle, have you ever had writing anxiety? I've just started my first college writing class and I just feel overwhelmed with anxiety. I feel like my writing is never perfect enough or I don't have enough time. Do you know any tricks or coping methods or simply any new ways of thinking that can make writing more fun?



lmao wait did i ever give the impression i’m not an anxious writer? don’t i write about anxiety in like…every piece i do? dude. i regularly cry underneath my desk for hours at a time and i work best when my deadline was 6 hours ago. writing is not fun. you will never have enough time. it’s not ever going to be perfect. you can always edit it more. thats the truth. i’m never satisfied with any piece of writing i really care about. in a sick way it’s fun, because i can get rid of thoughts that are in my head, so like, it’s fun in the way an exorcism or therapy is fun. so like, not fun at all. i don’t do it because it’s fun, i do it ‘cause i have to. it’s literally my job and a coping mechanism. neither of those things imply i have or treat it with any fun. sorry 2 be a dark cloud but lol. writing as a fun thing. no. i just do it. get on with it. starting sucks. editing also sucks. my favorite part of writing is just coming up with ideas and making notes and outlining. actually writing is hard. i just do it a little bit at a time, all the time — or it comes out perfectly in like five minutes sometimes, but mostly i torture myself for days over a few thousand words. IT’S NEVER FUN  

— 1 day ago with 132 notes →


  1. it’s okay to say no! oh my god, it’s powerful and humbling! isn’t it? it is. very kind.
  2. being scared is healthy sometimes. most of the time. keepin it movin
  3. i think you’d be a morning person if you gave yourself the chance. being healthy is cool.
  4. your cat really loves you. isn’t that awesome?
— 1 day ago with 579 notes

wacky waco for saint laurent
note: grail worthy


wacky waco for saint laurent

note: grail worthy


— 5 days ago with 60465 notes



My Chemical Romance - I’m Not Okay

You like D&D, Audrey Hepburn, Fangoria, Harry Houdini, and croquet. You can’t swim, you can’t dance, and you don’t know karate. Face it. You’re never gonna make it.

(We’re doing this first. I would say “getting it out of the way” but that is a disservice and also wrong, but it is sort of the knee-jerk My Chem word-association-game answer song, so we’re doing this first.)

It is important to name your demons. It is important to put a face on anything you intend to fight. 

When My Chem broke up I was on vacation, in DC. I spent a lot of that weekend crying privately, and a lot of it drinking and crying publicly, and several of my friends thought it would be really funny and fun to scream-sing “I’m Not Okay” to me all weekend. This is the song, for a lot of people, that embodies what they don’t like about My Chemical Romance. You know these people. They sing it in a whine, or they pretend they don’t know the words. Don’t be fooled. They know the words, and they hate it, and they hate this song because it was (is) so goddamn important.

Everyone fucking loves it, is the thing. This is why everyone hates “I’m Not Okay.” Because the first time you heard it something inside your heart flipped over, squeezed tight, started beating harder and brighter and louder. Because it made you admit it. I’m not okay. I’m not okay, and it’s not bowed, it’s not beaten, it’s a scream. It’s defiant. I’m not o-fucking-kay and there is no apology. This is a thing I will come back to a lot over the week, but My Chemical Romance is really, really good at making you feel good about being sad, and not in a weird, damaging way that glamorizes it or entrenches it or anything like that. It’s cathartic. It is an exorcism. Name your demons. I’m not okay. 

My Chemical Romance has always been about drama - there has always been this element of camp, of ~performance~ in a sense that goes beyond just physically performing, in everything they do. Remember, this is a band that literally built themselves on a foundation of saving the world, and I will talk more about that later, but “I’m Not Okay” was a battle cry. Their first single in the mainstream world, and look at this video. “I don’t wanna make it,” Gerard says. “I just wanna-” Guitar. When they were filming, they had planned for him to say “I just wanna rock,” but at the last minute they cut it out. They left it open, left it bare. I just wanna. I can’t tell you how important that is to me, I just wanna. A lot of being depressed, for me, was not wanting things - not wanting anything, regardless of what it was. “I’m Not Okay” gave me I’m not okay but it also gave me I just wanna, it let me leave that sentence unfinished. Sometimes you don’t need to want a thing. Sometimes you don’t know what you want. Sometimes it is enough to be alive, to want in its barest, broadest sense, and to recognize that you are fucked up right now and maybe it’s permanent and maybe it’s not but it is yours and you own it and you can scream it from the rooftops anytime you want. My Chemical Romance will love you for it. 

this is the soundtrack to my work, i do all my best writing and makeupping 2 this exact song. this is my feminist anthem 

— 1 week ago with 6344 notes
me flirting:so what's the deal with having to exist as a physical entity
— 1 week ago with 53346 notes




— 2 weeks ago with 71115 notes


it is 6 am in Los Angeles. The only word I was able to write was “empty”. 126 times. I’m sorry. I cannot birth. I am not ready. I am too. fragile. Waheguru. Tomorrow. Please. Let the writing to save me.

— 2 weeks ago with 26 notes

im in another process of change i am destroying all vestiges of myself that do not challenge me to think more critically so i am saying goodbye to myself. goodbye goodbye goodbye you’re pretty and i’m bored goodbye goodbye goodbye


im in another process of change i am destroying all vestiges of myself that do not challenge me to think more critically so i am saying goodbye to myself. goodbye goodbye goodbye you’re pretty and i’m bored goodbye goodbye goodbye

— 2 weeks ago with 426 notes

Hung my zines up in my new room today


Hung my zines up in my new room today

(via tiredtalks)

— 2 weeks ago with 4811 notes


cute intellectual minimalist girl aesthetic


— 2 weeks ago with 23370 notes


i think this winter will either be the best ever or the worst months of my entire life, and i’m starin @ the abyss daring it to fuck with me. i feel it coming, the decision in the stars.

whatever. i’m going to skateboard in a castle in italy on thanksgiving and sing stevie nicks. the abyss can kiss my pale, flat ass. 

— 2 weeks ago with 111 notes