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Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 388 | Comments: 4
Last by Suzy on Sep 18, 2011, 3:21am
The Monday broadcast of the US Open Men's final is on in the background. Rafael Nadal, the undisputed King of Clay, squaring off against Novak Djokovic, the man who has a 5-0 record against Nadal in 2011. This morning, Serena Williams' tirade against the chair umpire during yesterday's Women's Final made sports news everywhere. If you hadn't seen or heard the exchange, here it is:

Now, Serena berating an official? Kind of crass, but here's where I will excuse her. Yes. She did yell and interrupt the point. But, Stosur had no real action on the ball. Her racket could not make a controlled return. At all. Yes, the rules state that interfering with your opponent's fair play is an automatic point against the person who returned the ball. But, here's my problem...

The rules are horribly, horribly enforced in tennis. Don't believe me? Take a stopwatch to a Nadal or Djokovic match. From the time the last point ends to the start of the next point, the player has 25 seconds OR until the server is at the baseline and ready to return. How many seconds do you count between points? Especially when Nadal or Djokovic (or Ferrer or Murray or Verdasco...) are down? 30 seconds? 45 seconds? You bet. Heck, in Ferrer's seco . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 449 | Comments: 0
Yesterday Jack Layton died.

Jack Layton

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Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 537 | Comments: 1
Last by JaySeeDub on Aug 17, 2011, 3:56pm
1. This article sums up the "Republican problem". The money quote is as follows:

Do not underestimate the willingness of a whole lot of Republicans to vote for someone that they want more than someone that they think can win.

And that is the problem in a nut shell. What most Republicans fail to comprehend, or just don't care about, is that when you vote for a candidate in an election, you are voting for an individual who will lead and represent the entire country. Not just you and your own ideology. Not only that but they are our face to the wider community, so on the national level they represent us on a global scale. When you nominate someone to run in an election, you should really consider if they're going to be palatable to the broader population (i.e., centrists and independents) because if they're not, they're not going to win. I'm not sure what the GOP could have done differently in 2008 (not including the gaffe of picking Palin for VP). John McCain was as a good a candidate as the GOP could have mustered. He is mainly a centrist, though he started attempting to lean right as th . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 1869 | Comments: 6
Last by Samantha Lewis on Dec 21, 2011, 1:26am
If you haven't noticed before, especially from some of my finance tweets, I tend to lean to the right on Economics and Finance matters. Maybe it's the years of working Mergers & Acquisitions. Maybe it's the Econ degree. Maybe I'm just that damn greedy. Or a combination of the three. And Gimpyblog and I got into a discussion on salaries on twitter earlier (around midnight for me). I've Storify-ed the exchange here.

Which leads me to my question - why is compensation in academia so crappy? George Smoot made $149,000 last year, and Elizabeth Blackburn made just over $250,000. Dr. Blackburn would barely qualify as a HENRY - High Earner, Not Rich Yet. I certainly have my ideas as to why, as noted in the link on Storify. And salary certainly doesn't encompass all compensation, but salary can be a good marker of what total compensation is. But, if I was making more in the Finance field, doing incredibly less important work, why could I get away with . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 425 | Comments: 0
I feel really bad for doing another "Tasting Menu," but I started working with someone I admire a whole lot in my spare time. It's eating into my writing time. Well, that and the fact that I have all these things I'm trying to write introductions for and I hate the intros I come up with right now. I think I killed a dozen last week.

First "course" is a bit on how what the mother eats during pregnancy can influence a child's palate. This is actually really interesting and supports some other work done at Monell and INRA on how child's taste preferences are formed early on.

Over on Grist is a thought provoking piece on flavor and nutrition. There's a common belief that taste buds are linked to finding nutritious foods, but no one has ever really looked at nutrition of a food and its flavor. Currently the USDA doesn't differentiate, nutritionally, between an AgBiz tomato and one grown by a small farm. But, the green market/small farm tomato tastes better than the mealy, watery, tasteless things that hit supermarket shelves.

The . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1515 | Comments: 6
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 22, 2011, 2:23pm
Here's a true timelapse video of a day in lab. Pictures were taken every minute for 24 hrs. The video goes from about 4am to 4am the next day.

And because someone asked...The images were taken with a GoProHD Hero camera and then compiled in Windows Live MovieMaker. Images are displayed for 0.1 seconds.

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Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 250 | Comments: 0
To open this week is a story about home gardens and free seeds on CNN. One thing I do sometimes want in the apartment is a garden, but then I walk around the green market(s) and everything is right again.

This is a pretty nifty guide for anyone wanting to cut down on their use of plastics - how to store fruits and vegetables without plastic containers. Interesting that I've been using a lot of these tips already, but I'm happy to apply more of them.

Another interesting fight is happening in the GMO discussion. This time it encompasses transgenic salmon.

I was surprised when Wal-Mart vowed to source a portion of the produce in each store locally, I'm not so surprised that they may change local farming patterns.

Manipulating the physical properties of food has been around since the 90s with Ferran Adria and el Bulli. Bartenders started getting more involved with some of those concepts, and there . . . More
Author: Nick Fahrenkopf | Views: 1820 | Comments: 4
Last by Kj on Dec 22, 2011, 11:55pm
I don’t really follow football but someone tweeted earlier today that with his new contract (5 year $90 million) Colts QB Peyton Manning will make $26,510 per pass attempt. Every time he tries a pass in a game, he’ll make what a graduate student makes in a year*. That got me thinking- what does it take to make/earn/rake in what a graduate student slaves away for each year?

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Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 635 | Comments: 4
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Jul 28, 2011, 1:20pm
This week's tasting menu is started off by Mark Bittman at the New York Times, who toured a "traditional" pig farm in Iowa. Traditional in the sense that they don't use antibiotics, the pigs aren't penned and the crops he does grow are rotated. I'd like to note that farms like these aren't the ones receiving much of the federal farm subsidies. Most of that money goes to factory farms. A pity. Farms like these are doing good things.

The LA Times has a bit on bluefin tuna farming. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, if it can be beneficial or just as harmful as some large scale salmon farming has been.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has released their annual Xtreme Eating Awards. And (?) include The Cheesecake Factory with their "Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake" at a whopping 1,540 Calories and 59g of saturated fat as well as their Farmhouse Burger (1,530 Cal and 36g sat fat), Coldstone Creamery's PB&J Shake (1,590 Cal & 42g sat fat) and Mo . . . More
Author: Nick Fahrenkopf | Views: 680 | Comments: 5
Last by Alchemystress on Jul 26, 2011, 1:40pm
Hello World!

If there's a more overused programming bit (no pun intended) I don't know it. I just wanted to take a minute to share with you all what I'm hoping to do with this space. But first, a big shout out to Brian and the rest of the LabSpaces crew for having me- I'm really excited to be a part of this community!

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Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 413 | Comments: 3
Last by Alchemystress on Jul 26, 2011, 1:35pm
There was a rush in a job well done. Not just any job well done. The rush we got was like rocketing down I-5 at well over 100 miles an hour between Livermore and Bakersfield. Just open road and octane. A friend used to say my job "wasn't nice." His dad's company had been targeted by a competitor. And they'd come to us to help them proceed with a leveraged buyout. After all the research done, we passed. They were in too strong a position. The client paid us our fee and we were on our way. A younger, newer, hungrier outfit tried after us. They were eaten alive in a fierce fight. I don't think those other guys ever found new jobs in our sector. It was that brutal. See, what we did was "Private Equity." A pleasant, sterile name for a very ruthless sector. If our company was sniffing around your doors, chances are someone else wanted to buy you. And when they bought you, we got first pick of all the good stuff. Your corporate retirement and pensions? Gone. Employee Stock Ownership Plan? Not anymore. Jobs? Probably liquidated. All of that stuff was ransacked to pay our salaries and bonuses. You remember in 2008 when Goldman Sachs was still paying bonuses? Yeah, that's how they were doing it. Not from bailout money.

I cleaned out my desk for the last ti . . . More
Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 3774 | Comments: 15
Last by Todd Adamson on Jul 21, 2011, 7:31pm
Michele Bachmann is a bigot and a hypocrite. She’s culturally inept and politically unsophisticated: Her thinking on many social issues (abortion and gay marriage, for starters) fall well outside the mainstream of Western Civilization, and she is demonstrably lacking in a fundamental understanding of the legal and historical framework underpinning the nation she was somehow elected to serve. She’s what I like to call a dumbass, or, in other parlance, a Republican. But it may well be that Bachmann, or some Republican like her, holds the key to the survival of our existence as we know it. Or, at least somewhat as we know it, because it’s pretty clear to anyone watching closely that “as we know it” is careening toward its expiration date.

Ask yourself: what are the truly critical issues facing humanity today? Abortion; the Sanctity of Marriage; gun ownership; the War on Drugs? Haha. No. The Debt Ceiling? Terrorism (or, more equitably, religious extremism)? Nope. Global Climate Change? OK, now we’re getting somewhere. But even terminology so broad as Global Climate Change** tends to oversimplify what’s happened, and make it seem like a separate “thing.” But it’s not just an item on a checklist, something to which we may allow ourselves . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 269 | Comments: 3
Last by Alchemystress on Jul 26, 2011, 1:36pm
This is a collection of stuff other people got to before I ever did. I may visit these later on for something more in depth, but why let it all just sit around? I may have RT'ed some of these on twitter. Apologies if you're reading it twice.

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Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 383546 | Comments: 12
Last by JaniceF on Jul 11, 2011, 8:34pm
Recently, a fellow graduate student defended his master’s thesis. He set the record for the shortest time to degree in our College with a nice job lined up afterwards. But that also meant he never presented his work at a conference, or a department/college seminar. This was his first- and most important “big talk”. What follows are the top 10 tips I gave him at one point or another as he was preparing that should be a help to anyone getting ready for a “big talk”.

Planning Your Talk

1) Know Your Audience
Everyone will tell you to know your audience, which couldn’t be truer when you’re planning the introduction to your talk. Sure, there is a big difference between talking to high school students and presenting at a conference, but try to think: who is coming to my talk? If they are all cellular biologists like you, then skip the central dogma slide. But if you have a mix of disciplines you need to be able to explain your work to a biologist, as well as an electrical engineer. Imagine you’re giving the talk to one person with each potential background. Would each person be able to follow it? Sometimes you need to sacrifice some specific details in order to explain the important stuff to everybody. (But you should be able to talk extempora . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 1618 | Comments: 14
Last by Jimmy on Jun 03, 2012, 3:37pm

This morning on the way to work HippieHusband and I had a discussion about charisma, charm, and academics.

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Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 343 | Comments: 3
Last by Alchemystress on Jul 10, 2011, 11:05am
About two months ago, we (2nd year med students) recieved our contracts for FY2011-12. And I was pretty ticked off by my reclassification. No longer a student, now I'm an "independent contractor." Cool. That's fine. Been there before. But now I'm looking cold and hard at some previous student loans coming due. Which isn't terribly worrying. I can more than make the minimum calculated payment, and still make rent, tuition, books, fees.

I'm not terribly sure why we're now "independent contractors." Or at least why I am. I haven't discussed the specifics of my contract with other students, just vague general information. I do think I got the better end of the stipend stick, though. Some of my fellow students? Not so great at negotiating. We're still covered by the school's liability policy, and don't have to seek our own liability. We still have to pay into the school's health plan, which doesn't actually have such hot coverage. But apparently we were only "students" for that first year. Or at least I was.

However, I can now pull off a plan to severely decrease my tax burden. A good example was provided by Brett Arends a . . . More
Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 39840 | Comments: 6
Last by Logan D on Nov 15, 2012, 3:04pm
This week’s guest blogger is Debbie Knight, a research associate at The Ohio State University. She shares her research thoughts and experiences in her blog ( and tweets about all things science (@acousticgravity). In her spare time, she plays mandolin in a local band and takes journalism classes at OSU.


When someone asked me what I wanted to be in high school, I would say a “biomedical researcher.” I put those words in quotes here because at that time I had absolutely no idea what it meant (or even what a researcher did), but I knew it sounded like a really cool thing to be.

I also asked my parents for luggage as a graduation gift.

Little did I know these two things would one day merge.

I would like to note that around my junior year of college, I finally did figure out what a researcher does when I volunteered to work in a lab and that research has been my passion for the past two decades.

What I did not know then was that becoming a researcher would lead to travel and adventure.

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Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 504 | Comments: 6
Last by Thomas Joseph on Jul 07, 2011, 9:05am
After a couple weeks hiatus, which saw me run off and get hitched, honeymoon in the tropics, party with Mickey Mouse, and then try to settle back down into the daily grind, I am back (again). Not sure how regularly I'll be posting, because there are still plenty of manuscripts which need writing, data which needs analyzing, and experiments that need running and troubleshooting.

1. I love the Nook 2. Compact and responsive, this little device is perfect to dragging along just about anywhere. Sure, I could read an e-book on my phone, but I love this puppy.

2. When in doubt with insurance coverage, appeal.

3. Is it just me, or does the science blogosphere seemed to have quieted down lately? I know I've been AWOL, but no scandals, no tempests in tea cups. Things seem a bit drab lately.

4. If the GOP nominated Michelle Bachmann, they'd deserve the butt-whooping they'd get in the election. And the argument for dec . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 490 | Comments: 0

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