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Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 1334 | Comments: 12
Last by Thomas Joseph on Jan 12, 2011, 2:11pm


Coruscant - an ecumenopolis

What are sci-fi movies trying to tell us with images, and themes, like the above? The term ecumenopolis comes from the combination of the two Greek words ecumene and polis -- in other words, a city made of the whole world. It is featured in Star Wars (as an example) as the planet of Coruscant (pictured above). Watching the movie one may note that there is no visible greenery on the planet, no visible water, and even major landscapes are dwarfed or have been wiped out by buildings. It is a theme that has been mentioned numerous times in science fiction, and a listing can be found in Wikipedia. While it seems like a thing of fantasy, the view of North America from space at night suggests otherwise (see below).



An ecumenopolis in the making?

My thoughts turned to such notions as I was reading the following article, which is definitely worthy of a read. The article discusses the issue of mesopredator release, which is when small- to mid-sized predators are released from the pressures of their own predation by large-sized predators. Since they are no longer pre . . . More
Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 1312 | Comments: 11
Last by Cricket42 on Oct 13, 2010, 1:56pm
I remember the first time I was asked, in an official capacity*, to review a manuscript. I was excited because I had finally been asked by my peers to partake in one of the essential elements of publishable science ... the peer review. I was also extremely nervous. Would I review the manuscript with the same attention to detail as the other reviewers? Would I miss critical elements? Would I make a fool out of myself and recommend acceptance of a paper which was clearly junk (or vice versa)?

Fears aside, I proceeded with the review, which given all my anxiety took far longer than it needed to. In the end, I think I handed in a good review**, and I've been following a similar pattern of reviewing ever since then. Since I'm fresh off my latest review (a rejection, unfortunately) I figured now is a pretty good time to put my thoughts down on paper (the intertubez).

1. The first issues to consider will come when you get the email asking you whether or not you'd be able to do the review. First, do you have the time? IIRC, the typical reviewer reviews about seven papers and change a year (I'll have to find the data on that, but it was blogged about recently), which comes out to less than one a month. When I accept a review, I figure that it'll take me about an afternoo . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 1256 | Comments: 5
Last by JaySeeDub on Apr 15, 2011, 6:15pm
It's Friday and I thought that a little Canadiana might be in order. Ever wonder what the Canadian Wildlife Service does?



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Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 1152 | Comments: 7
Last by JaySeeDub on Feb 16, 2011, 6:18pm
There are a number of people currently writing about the proposal HR 1. Problem is, all they're whining about is the cuts to NIH funding. I'm here to tell you though that more than just NIH is going to be taken to the woodshed with this proposal.

I received the following from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA trisociety today and they paint a picture that is just as, if not more so, dire than what the medical folks are seeing in this proposal. In effect, it is going to gut agricultural and environmental science research.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 1151 | Comments: 21
Last by Tim Skellett (Gurdur) on Jun 17, 2011, 8:50am
I don't know why I have a twitter account.  I've asked multiple questions to the twittersphere and not a single reply.  When I read through the twitter posts, the converations appear  to be amongst a small and select group of individuals (oh my gosh a clique you say?) or the tweets are simply mast$#%*.   

The question I have for you, dear tweeter.  Is what do you think of the twittersphere?  Oh and can anyone tell me what the competition is called when you write for a month and then count the number of words.  Is it inanmudiro or something like that?

GO CANUCKS!

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Author: Lab Mom | Views: 950 | Comments: 2
Last by JaySeeDub on Jan 05, 2011, 6:02pm
.. a magentic stir bar system for the stove top. You know.. a glorified hot plate. No more need to stir continuously, just use a stir bar and walk away. Granted, there was that small choking hazard issue, but I was going to work on that.

But now it looks like I'm too late. I've been scooped.

Meet the Robostir

Damn. There goes my shot at millions.

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 995 | Comments: 2
Last by JaniceF on Sep 04, 2011, 4:31pm

Bachmann Says She'd Consider Everglades Drilling by associatedpress

God caused the hurricane and now this shit? It saddens me that these people are top political candidates.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 973 | Comments: 3
Last by scientistmother on Jun 19, 2011, 2:26pm


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Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 886 | Comments: 12
Last by 27 and a PhD on Feb 24, 2011, 3:46pm
29andaPhD is a PostDoc with a degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics who is currently on the hunt for a real job. She blogs at 29 and a PhD and she can be found on twitter as 28andaPhD.

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One of the most awesome experiences of grad school (besides landing the coveted spot for the interview, getting into your favourite lab, or finishing your degree sooner than planned) is passing the qualifying or comprehensive exam. For short, I'll call it qual. In a way this exam is designed to not only test your capacity to create new and test an idea, by teaching yourself new concepts, challenge paradigms, establish a new line of thinking, but to “filter”, in a way, the incoming talent of the department. Passing the qual, in a way, serves to welcome you into some sort of club, where students (usually) don't take any more exams, that of senior grad students who are held up as the best and brightest within a department. It was understood that if you passed this rigorous examination you had fought hard and earned your spot in the department. At least that's how it seemed to the 24-year-old-super-scared me.

This is my story about passing th . . . More
Author: Lab Mom | Views: 862 | Comments: 5
Last by Alchemystress on Feb 11, 2011, 5:16pm
I stumbled upon these cupcakes and I just had to share them.

They say the way to a persons heart is through their stomach, but in this case a heart can actually wind up *IN* your stomach!



I originally saw them on Not So Humble Pie, and she shared the link to the original baker Lily Vanilli. If you want to attempt to make your own you can find the complete instructions here.

If you aren't feeling that bold, you can actually order them directly from Lily herself (20% of the proceeds go to help kids with cancer):

Scarily realistic, each edible heart cake is baked with a delicious red velvet sponge, cream cheese frosting and blackcurrant & cherry 'blood'.A single ʻbleeding heart cakeʼ is priced at £7 and comes in a cute perspex box tied with apink or red ribbon with a personal note.

Available exclusively through this site 20% of the procee . . . More
Author: Evie | Views: 741 | Comments: 2
Last by Evie on Sep 07, 2010, 4:38pm
This isn’t new news, but I find it super cool none the less. I’m a big fan of the strawberry, and also a big fan of space travel. Putting those two together sounds like a good time waiting to happen!

The problem of food in space has been on the minds of many for a long time. You can only carry a limited amount of supplies with you, and currently, there really is no way to replenish said supplies other than waiting on another shipment from Earth. If we want to go out there, explore, and potentially take over the universe (but in a nice way), we need to figure out how to sustain ourselves in space, without relying on incoming shipments from our cozy blue planet. A first step in that direction would be growing our own space crops. There are many problems to tackle when dealing with crop growing in space. You've got your zero g issues, need of nutritious soil, limited water supply, limited space for a garden patch, sunshine requirements for your plants to live on, lack of bugs for pollination, and the list goes on.

Researchers working on a NASA funded project carried out at Purdue University, have come up with a healthy yummy sweet and nutritious space crop candidate – The Seascape Strawberry. This particular variety is very low maintenance, and hence would requi . . . More
Author: Psycasm | Views: 820 | Comments: 3
Last by JaniceF on Oct 28, 2011, 10:10pm
So I just wanted to make quick personal note. I'm going to be going silent for the next week or two considering it's the pointy end of semester. Not that I have a lot of exams, per se, but they are back-to-back.

Addtionally, I've been wondering whether or not to share this. As a blogger I generally don't go into too much personal stuff, but I feel this is contributing to my two-week break and (on a personal note) explain why I've been feeling a little lacking in will for writing for the last month or so. For those who have read me for a while I have mentioned a girlfriend from time to time. Well, it's come to pass that that relationship has ended after nearly 5 years. Like so many people who've found themselves in such a position I've had to take up digs back home, re-adjust to everything, and still manage all the minutia of life. Certainly I'm not claiming that a great and unique calamity has befallen me, but it's not always easy to divorce oneself from such thoughts. 

As you can see I think the two week break will do me some good. I won't be forcing myself to write when it's less than enjoyable, and more pragmatically, I really need to study. Last exams before honours next year, so it'd be nice to go out with a bang. 

The podcast will continue to be . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 720 | Comments: 5
Last by genegeek on May 31, 2011, 12:41pm
This blog has been quiet for a couple of weeks because I am so overwhelmed by all that needs to get done to meet my goals. It may be quiet for a little while longer...

But I did read this and it made me wonder if each gender percieves what constitutes housework differently. Here is an excerpt:

An Oxford University study says if current trends continue, women will probably have to wait until 2050 before men are doing an equal share of the household chores and childcare. According to the paper published in the latest issue of the journal Sociology, ‘substantial and persistent obstacles’ remain.

The amount of time women spend on routine housework still ‘dwarfs’ time spent on non-routine domestic jobs carried out by men. Nevertheless, there is evidence to show that the gender gap in housework and child care has been narrowing gradually. Women’s time spent on caring and chores in the home declined gradually from about 360 minutes a day in the 1960s for both the UK and US to 280 and 272 minutes, respectively, in the early 2000s. In the UK and the US, men went from spending 90 and 105 minutes a day, respectively, on housework and child care in the 1960s to 148 and . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 713 | Comments: 5
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 09, 2011, 8:51am


Just messing around with timelapse on my GoPro. This is only about 2 hours before the battery died. Maybe tomorrow I'll set it up for 24hr and plug it into a nearby computer for power.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 634 | Comments: 15
Last by JaniceF on May 05, 2011, 12:48pm
This is one of the worst things that could have happened to Canada.  Stephen Harper and his conservatives have won a majority.   We have lost our country.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 626 | Comments: 2
Last by JaniceF on Oct 11, 2011, 9:30pm
I hope that some of you folks can give a few dollars towards improving scientific literacy! My fav is "Do Plants Wear Genes?" It's too bad there isn't something like this for Canadian schools - or maybe there is and I just don't know about. Details and links below.

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Author: Lab Mom | Views: 586 | Comments: 2
Last by Lab Mom on Feb 18, 2011, 9:42pm
I have noticed this story circulating around my social circles, and I was ignoring the hype (as usual) because I am keenly aware of how the mainstream media loves to spin a good science story.

In case you didn't hear about the newest fear-inducing phobia (Diet Soda), let me just give you a few headlines:

MSN: "Daily diet soda tied to higher risk for stroke, heart attack"USA Today: "Study: Diet soda linked to heart risks"CBS: "Diet Soda, Heart Attack Linked: Is Anything Safe to Drink?"newser:"Diet Soda's Dark Side: Heart Attacks, Strokes"ABC: "Diet Soda: Fewer Calories, Greater Stroke Risk?"The irony here is that when you go on to watch the ABC news clip, their expert actually says "This is one of the worst studies I've seen capt . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 538 | Comments: 6
Last by John on Jun 13, 2011, 11:27am
This reminds me of where I live. I wish cities across the USA would make it mandatory for all cops watch this video.



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Author: Disgruntled Julie | Views: 472 | Comments: 6
Last by ck on Nov 28, 2010, 7:29pm
...and also for caring. By donating to a LabSpaces Donor's Choose campaign, you're doing just that -- showing you care.

So to sweeten the deal a bit, I'll throw in some cookies.

I don't have my own Donor's Choose campaign set up, but plenty of other LabSpace bloggers do! Head on over here to see the full list of participating bloggers and the projects they are trying to fund, and donate to one (or more than one!). Email me the receipt showing that you have donated (if you are attempting to stay anonymous, feel free to digitally erase your name), and you'll be entered for a chance to receive a batch of homemade cookies of your choice. The more donations, the more chances to win -- for every $500 total donated to the combined LabSpaces efforts, I'll draw one name. $2000 donations total? Four people get cookies, and so on and so forth.

The type of cookies are up to you (provided they can be shipped)... some of the favorites I have made include pinwheel cookies, lemon drops, my most-requested pudding chocolate chip, chocolate chip oatmeal, pumpkin spice, banana-stuffed peanut butter, triple choc . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 426 | Comments: 3
Last by Alchemystress on Sep 04, 2011, 9:13am


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