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November 26, 2008

14:38
A little quiz for the afternoon at Stranger Fruit

According to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute "Americans fail a basic test on their history and institutions" with an average score of 49% (college educators apparently score 55%, and office-holders 44%). I scored 88% (29 out of 33)... I put that down

Pop quiz! at Open Reading Frame : Two unrelated quizzes that I recently took, and that might amuse some readers:Via Peter Suber, Lund University's ten-question quickie on Open Access. And yes, I got 10/10.Via 3 Quarks Daily: from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, something that purports

What's Your Civic Literacy? at The Intersection : John Lynch over at Stranger Fruit recommended this quiz by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute featuring 33 questions designed to measure knowledge of America's founding principles, political history, international relations, and market economy. According

14:04
Engage with Grace: The One Slide Project at Kevin, M.D. - Medical Weblog

Engage with Grace(Click to enlarge)We’re all going to die. The least we can do — for ourselves, and for those who may be charged with making decisions on our behalf — is be clear about how we’d like to be cared for in our final days.That’s

Engage with Grace at Pallimed: A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog : In consideration of the many family dinners that will occur over the next few days of the Thanksgiving holiday, Pallimed is hosting (along with several other medical bloggers) a guest post from Engage with Grace and the One Slide Project.Have a safe and meaningful

Health Bloggers Want You to Talk About Death at WSJ.com: Health Blog : Engage with Grace(Click to enlarge)We’re all going to die. The least we can do — for ourselves, and for those who may be charged with making decisions on our behalf — is be clear about how we’d like to be cared for in our final days.That’s

13:19
Odontochelys, a transitional turtle at Pharyngula

Now this is an interesting beast. It's a 220 million year old fossil from China of an animal that is distinctly turtle-like. Here's a look at its dorsal side:a, Skeleton in dorsal view. b, Skull in dorsal view. c, Skull in ventral view. d, Body in dorsal view.

Odontochelys, a transitional turtle at The Panda's Thumb : Now this is an interesting beast. Its a 220 million year old fossil from China of an animal that is distinctly turtle-like. Heres a look at its dorsal side:a, Skeleton in dorsal view. b, Skull in dorsal view. c, Skull in ventral view. d, Body in dorsal view.

13:05
Odontochelys semitestacea at Hairy Museum of Natural History

An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China. 2008. Chun Li, et al. Nature 456: 497-501imageThe discovery in China of the oldest known turtle fossil, estimated at 220- million-years-old, gives scientists a clearer picture of how the turtle

Odontochelys semitestacea: The Oldest Turtle at PALAEOBLOG : An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China. 2008. Chun Li, et al. Nature 456: 497-501imageThe discovery in China of the oldest known turtle fossil, estimated at 220- million-years-old, gives scientists a clearer picture of how the turtle

11:02
Denialism, Framing, the Kumbaya Fallacy, and Power at Mike the Mad Biologist

ScienceBlogling Matt Nisbet argues that scientists* shouldn't call science denialists, well, denialists. I listened to the audio clip he linked to, and I'm unconvinced. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...

Denialism: Sometimes there's no other way to describe it. Except maybe one. at Respectful Insolence : Here we go again.Every so often, one of the--shall we say?--less popular members of our crew of science bloggers, someone who, despite being an academic whose area of expertise is ostensibly science communication, has stepped in it again. I'm referring, of

Is Name Calling an Effective Communication Strategy? at Framing Science : A few bloggers have registered their reaction to last week's PRI radio segment that questions the wisdom of calling climate change and evolution opponents "deniers." Most notably Orac, Mike the Mad Biologist, and Mark Hofnagle argue that their preferred brand

10:28
European genetic substructure at Information Processing

Caption: Each point is an individual, and the axes are two principal components in the space of genetic variation. Colors correspond to individuals of different European ancestry.The figure above is from the paper: European Journal of Human Genetics (2008)

European genetic structure, study du jour at Yann Klimentidis' Weblog : Yet another one.As usual, Dienekes and Razib have talked about this one on their blogs.Anything new or particularly interesting?within-Germany resolution (see figure, labeled by Razib)big sample, of nearly 6000LCT (lactase), HERC2 (eye color and hair color)

10:02
'Academeology' review in Nature at A Blog Around The Clock

Peggy Kolm wrote a book review in Nature of Academeology by Female Science Professor.My copy arrived some weeks ago, but it will have to wait until I read at least three other books I promised to review....eh. Anyway, Peggy says:FSP's stories of being a woman

Academeology at Women in Science : I reviewed Female Science Professor's book, Academeology: Random Musings, Strong Opinions & Somewhat Bizarre Anecdotes from an Academic Life, for the latest issue of Nature.The very short version: I enjoyed reading Academeology, but I prefer FSP's blog.Read

09:03
Does Tryptophan from turkey meat make you sleepy? at A Blog Around The Clock

It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and the question (of the title of this post) pops up on the internets again. See SciCurious and Janet for the latest local offerings.Short answer: we don't know. But there is endless speculation about it, each taking into account

Why does Thanksgiving dinner *really* make you sleepy? at Adventures in Ethics and Science : For years, you've heard the tremendous fatigue experienced after an American Thanksgiving dinner laid at the feet of the turkey -- or more precisely, at the tryptophan in that turkey. Trytophan, apparently, is the go-to amino acid for those who want to get

Holiday getting you down? Pass the Turkey. at Neurotopia (version 2.0) : Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. Well, ok, I also celebrate a series of personal holidays on the day after Valentine's, the day after Easter, the day after Halloween, and the day after Christmas. Why hinge your emotions on the uncertainty of

05:33
Entrance Strategy at Science Progress

Researchers are eager to see the new administration move away from President Bushs policies on human embryonic stem cell research funding. But what will it take to get to the first clinical trials?

Is Obama new pin up hero for stem cell research? at Stem Cell Research Blog : As Barack Obama has taken the charge of the US President’s office, expectations are high that he will work for stem cell research. As a step to this, his advisers suggest eliminating the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

05:00
Attack of the Nerds from Outer Space at The Intersection

My latest Science Progress column, about a recent, cutting edge attempt to bring science and Hollywood together, is now up. It's entitled, "Attack of the Nerds from Outer Space," which should be more than enough of a teaser.You can read it here.Read the comments

Attack of the Nerds from Outer Space at Science Progress : The Science and Entertainment Exchange is a new departure for the scientific community, but precisely the sort of outreach measure that can help it better connect with our broader society.

03:18
New and Exciting in PLoS ONE at A Blog Around The Clock

There are 11 new articles in PLoS ONE today. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog about the papers. You can now also easily place articles on various social services (CiteULike, Connotea, Stumbleupon,

Short Takes at CogSci Librarian : Here are a few of my recent favorite things, for your Thanksgiving (U.S.) browsing pleasure:Bora posts a great article onNew and Exciting in PLoS ONE: an article entitledWhole Body Mechanics of Stealthy Walking in Catsand he asks for LOLCat submissions to illustrate

02:09
Slowing the Pace of Change: Bush Appointees Fast-Tracked into Career Government Jobs at The Scientific Activist

Clearly, I owe my readers some true post-election analysis--something that has been slowed down by the insanely busy schedule I've been keeping in the lab and the totally overwhelming implications of the fantastic and historic recent election of Barack Obama.

Bush Filling Science Slots with Unqualified People at Dispatches from the Culture Wars : And the AAAS is none too happy about it:The president of the nation's largest general science organization yesterday sharply criticized recent cases of Bush administration political appointees gaining permanent federal jobs with responsibility for making or

02:00
Oh. Canada. at Respectful Insolence

Well, this is depressing to learn. I'd be even more depressed if I were Canadian. All I can say to my neighbors to the north is that I feel your pain, albeit belatedly. I just learned that the recently appointed Minister of State for Science and Technology

Canada's New Minister of State (Science and Technology) Is a Chiropractor at Sandwalk : It's true. Checkout the Stephen Harper website, which incidentally, is supposed to be the Prime Minister's website. The Honourable Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) Cambridge (Ontario) Gary Goodyear was first elected to the House of Commons

Canada? Do we need to remind you about how screwed up the US is? at Pharyngula : You seem to be going down a similar path — expertise is downplayed, any fool can do the job of government, irrationality is promoted to equal footing with reason. It's worrisome. Didn't your mother ever ask you whether you'd follow if your friends jumped

01:50
The Five Things Meme at Laelaps

I only just noticed that Janet tagged me with the 5 Things meme. Here we go...5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:Absolutely despising high schoolTaekwondo (2nd degree black belt)Being an emo kid before I even knew what that wasLearning how to drivePlaying DOOM5

Five things meme. at Adventures in Ethics and Science : Zuska tagged me; I am helpless to resist it.5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:Suspecting I was pregnant (I was)Drafting thesis chaptersWalking 5-10 miles a dayTaking dance classes (Argentine tango and big band swing)Playing Snood5 Things On My To-Do List Today:Read

01:00
Advice for potential graduate students at A Blog Around The Clock

I wish every single laboratory web-page contained a disclaimer like this one:We currently have room in the lab for more graduate students. Before you apply to this lab or any other, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be realistic about graduate

ADVICE FOR POTENTIAL GRADUATE STUDENTS - A SCIENCE CREATIVE QUARTERLY PIN UP (NO. 5) at The Science Creative Quarterly : (CLICK HERE FOR PIN-UP POSTER - pdf file ~85k) We suggest photocopying at 129% - LTR to 1117 We currently have room in the lab for more graduate students. But before you apply to this lab or any other, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be realistic

November 25, 2008

21:01
A (serious) modest proposal at nanoscale views

Hopefully someone in the vast (ahem.) readership of this blog will pass this along to someone with connections in the Obama transition team. I've already submitted this idea to change.gov, but who knows the rate at which that gets read.As part of the forthcoming

links for 2008-11-26 at Uncertain Principles : nanoscale views: A (serious) modest proposal"As part of the forthcoming major economic stimulus package, I propose that the Obama administration fully fund the America Competes initiative immediately."(tags: science politics academia economics)'Teaching

21:01
Spin at nanoscale views

Many particles possess an internal degree of freedom called "spin" that is an intrinsic amount of angular momentum associated with that particle. The name is meant to evoke a spinning top, which has some rotational angular momentum about its axis when, well,

links for 2008-11-26 at Uncertain Principles : nanoscale views: A (serious) modest proposal"As part of the forthcoming major economic stimulus package, I propose that the Obama administration fully fund the America Competes initiative immediately."(tags: science politics academia economics)'Teaching

19:48
Trial Results Don't Look Good for GlaxoSmithKline's Diabetes Drug at SeekingAlpha Biotech Stocks

It’s one thing to test a drug in a well-controlled clinical trial. It’s another to study one as it’s being used in the real world.Why do differences crop up? Because trials for approval of drugs often weed out patients who are too old, too

Avandia: Trouble, Run Head to Head at In the Pipeline : Avandia (rosiglitazone) has been under suspicion for the last couple of years, after data appeared suggesting a higher rate of cardiovascular problems with its use. GlaxoSmithKline has been disputing this association all the way, as well they might, but today

No Easy Answers for Testing Drugs in the Real World at WSJ.com: Health Blog : It’s one thing to test a drug in a well-controlled clinical trial. It’s another to study one as it’s being used in the real world.Why do differences crop up? Because trials for approval of drugs often weed out patients who are too old, too

18:09
Crafty at Pharyngula

It's late (at least, where I am it is). Looking for something to while away the hours?How about making paper models of Einstein, Sagan, and Darwin?Or maybe you'd prefer stitching up a nice squid hat.Read the comments on this post...

Scientists Papercraft Models at A Blog Around The Clock : Go here to find out how to make paper Darwin, Einstein, Sagan and more....Read the comments on this post...

17:01
Engage with Grace at Pallimed: A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

Engage with Grace(Click to enlarge)We’re all going to die. The least we can do — for ourselves, and for those who may be charged with making decisions on our behalf — is be clear about how we’d like to be cared for in our final days.That’s

Health Bloggers Want You to Talk About Death at WSJ.com: Health Blog : Engage with Grace(Click to enlarge)We’re all going to die. The least we can do — for ourselves, and for those who may be charged with making decisions on our behalf — is be clear about how we’d like to be cared for in our final days.That’s