So, I basically have 3 days until I leave for the Entomological Society meeting. And I haven’t written anything other than the abstract for my poster (which I wrote in June).  The problem with posters is that you have to have the thing printed and done well in advance of actually getting on the plane. This is why I usually do a presentation, since I can continue to PIDOMA* it and fiddle with data up until 30 minutes before I present.

I have no idea why I thought a poster would be a good idea.  D’oh!

So here’s my dilemma:

  • Do I pull it all together at the last minute and risk doing a half-@ssed job?
  • Do I cancel the paper, when I’m clearly going to be walking around the meetings?
  • Do I do something clever and creative that sort of addresses the topic I’m supposed to cover, but also acknowledges I have a new job, and frankly it just didn’t get done.

I’m leaning toward canceling myself, but I do have a cute creative idea. Unfortunately, my experience is that  creativity and humor is rarely rewarded at these meetings.

Comments? Validate my decision, blogosphere!!


* PIDOMA, verb. Acronym for “pull it directly out of my ass.” Pronounced Pid-Oh-Ma.  “You want a new web database? By Tomorrow? Yeah, I’ll PIDOMA that.”

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. That’s easy, do what everyone else does: option 1.

    By the way, a choice between 3 undesirable options would be a trilemma:

    What would you do without me?

  2. Oh hell! I did a poster, and much rather would have done a presentation. Unless you’ve some really patient pals to help proofread, I’d say drop it. Posters are a PITA to do well, on account of the need to be clear, photogenic, interesting and BRIEF. (Of course, with my background in proofreading, layout, typography and photography, I’m a little picky …)

    Plus, do you really feel like dragging your poster tube through airport security and whatnot?

  3. I say go with cute/clever idea if you have the time.

  4. I’m with Mark. Go with cute and clever, if you can. It would be a shame to cancel yourself.

  5. I say F*** ’em and do something crazy! It’s delightful to learn about PIDMAing- I’ve always wondered exactly what to call it.

    (by the way, I’m not a nutty stalker, I was just asking Alex for permish to use a photo and am procrastinating my PIDMA process by crossreferencing bug blogs).

    See you in San Diego!

  6. Oh yeah, add sparkles and scratch’n’sniff….

  7. Hmmm, I dunno. My experience at conferences has been that no one even looks at the posters or maybe gives them a cursory glance at best.
    Of course, if you HAD invited me along I could have carried the thing through the airport for you, but no…(::shoveling of guilt::)

  8. Probably too late but for about $150 you can print the thing at Kinkos. You work on it on the plane and then print at the conference.

  9. I thought about that, and then I thought about how much nicer my life would be if I just gave up and didn’t kill myself trying to do this in 2 days.

    I canceled the paper.
    And I haven’t canceled a paper in 25 years.

  10. Too late, but for future reference, back in the day, we used to print out posters tiled onto 8.5″x11″/A4 paper and then tape/pin them up. It has the same information content and costs less than a dollar. Easier to carry and less painful than having Kinko’s pull $150 OYA.

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