Posts

January 17, 2015

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4:21 PM | The less complicated narratives
Steven Attewell makes good points about Selma: Selma is definitely the best film yet made about the Civil Rights Movement. And I say this because it is, more than a biopic about Martin Luther King Jr. himself, a movie about … Continue reading →
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2:00 AM | 20 fascinating facts about light from the Perimeter Institute
The Perimeter Institute, a leading center for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics, has started it celebration of the 2015 International Year of Light with a compilation of “20 ILLUMINATING, ENLIGHTENING, DAY-BRIGHTENING FACTS ABOUT LIGHT.” Here are some facts in the list: And of course, on black holes… Click here to get […]

January 16, 2015

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9:10 PM | ucirvine: #ThrowbackThursday: Construction site of campus,...
ucirvine: #ThrowbackThursday: Construction site of campus, 1963. Commons (now Gateway Study Center) left; Library-Administration (now Langson Library) right. Photo courtesy of the University Archives in the UCI Libraries. Tag your TBTs at UCI with #UCI50 & we’ll share our favorites!
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8:27 PM | Future of Visiting Fellowship postdoc program in doubt
I was slightly alarmed to see this post indicating that NSERC’s Visiting Fellowship in Government Labs (VF) program had come to an end.  This is (was?) a program administered by NSERC whereby postdocs were placed in Canadian federal research labs … Continue reading →
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6:01 PM | How does your body take down parasites? This 11-second...
How does your body take down parasites? This 11-second time-lapse video shows white blood cells attacking a parasitic worm (actual time: 80 minutes). The video was originally published alongside UCSF research in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
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5:00 PM | Open Science News – 16 January 2015
Three topics jumped out in Open Science news this week: open peer review, calls for conference posters, and FORCE2015 meeting summaries. Open Review A new version of the Open Science Peer Review Oath is now up. Based on reviewers’ and commenters’ feedback, the new version is much more succinct. Related: Daniel Katz blogged [...]
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4:40 PM | A Fond Farewell
Thursday 8th January As I write this, it’s getting towards the last week of my internship here at the Royal Institution. I’m going to miss this place a lot. It’s become like a second home – partly due to the … Continue reading →
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4:11 PM | Predators: feathered friend or foe?
On Wednesday January 14th the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk radio station hosted Professor Luke O’Neill (a prominent Trinity College Dublin Immunologist), in a segment exploring the causes of the huge declines seen in European bird populations newstalk.ie/player/podcast. Comments from both Professor O’Neill and Mr. Kenny implicating raptors and corvids in these bird declines provoked a storm on social media. Every Irish environmental NGO has strongly condemned these implications. […]
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2:59 PM | Seeking Political Support, Colleges Prod Students to Vote
From the day they turned up for orientation at California Polytechnic State University, freshmen were bombarded by a music video set to the catchy tune of the hip-hop hit Fancy. This version, though, was very different from the original sung by Australian hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea. Set in a Cal Poly classroom, it featured bored-looking students slowly being spurred — in a blaze of enthusiastic red, white and blue — to exercise their right to vote. “Students, voice your vote […]
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2:54 PM | In Dutch Schools, More Time in School and More Educator Control
UTRECHT, The Netherlands — Last summer, when the Dutch government debated mandating that all schools provide three hours of physical education a week to students, Jasper Bunt, principal at a Montessori school called Oog in Al, argued against it. He already offered the required two hours of gym at his school in Utrecht, a city 30 miles south of Amsterdam. Another 60 minutes would mean giving up time in another subject. Bunt has each of his 350 students for 200 days a year — four […]
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1:00 PM | Recommended reads #44
If you haven’t read it yet, Terry Wheeler’s post, “20 Years in the Professor Game: things I did right and things I did wrong.” is just so great. (I’ve been playing the game for just fifteen, but found that this really spoke to me and reflected the same things I’ve screwed up and the same things…
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11:26 AM | Friday links: a Marine ecologist, macroecologist vs. macroecology, and more
Also this week: the three body problem, data vs. people who choose to work long hours, the world’s oceans may be better off than you think, a taxonomy of unconventional scientists, statistical significance vs. scientific significance (but not in the … Continue reading →
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8:09 AM | Science Policy and Impact: Lessons from History
REF, the Science and Innovation Strategy document (S+I) and the Nurse Review of the Research Councils  collectively mean that the UK HE world of science is stuffed full of current policy issues that matter to us all – never mind … Continue reading →
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5:28 AM | Writing your first paper?
Bee (Sabine Hossenfelder) of Backreaction has some tips for you. Here’s an excerpt: First advice is to take it seriously. Science isn’t science unless you communicate your results to other people. You don’t just write papers because you need some items on your publication list or your project report, but to tell your colleagues what […]
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5:12 AM | 2015: Puppy New Year! Get some science into your dog
2015 is a bright and shiny new year for canine science! But first, this face:After being a dog-less household for eight months (you might remember we sadly farewelled Elke in 2013 and gut-wrenchingly, also old man Caleb, in the first half of 2014) we welcomed a new member to the family at the end of 2014. Those paws. Not photoshopped.If I'm honest with you, I'd been stalking PetRescue quietly for a month or so, not really sure if the time was right, but also open to being inspired to […]
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4:09 AM | How to write 10,000 words a day
One of the most popular posts on the Thesis Whisperer is How to write 1000 words a day and not go bat shit crazy. Last year a Twitter follower brought to my attention a post called How I went from writing 2000 words to 10,000 words a day by the fiction writer Rachel Aaron. I […]
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12:11 AM | Small volcanic eruptions explain warming hiatus Scientists have...
Small volcanic eruptions explain warming hiatus Scientists have long known that volcanoes cool the atmosphere because of the sulfur dioxide that is expelled during eruptions. Droplets of sulfuric acid that form when the gas combines with oxygen in the upper atmosphere can persist for many months, reflecting sunlight away from Earth and lowering temperatures at the surface and in the lower atmosphere. “This new work shows that the climate signals of late 20th- and early 21st-century […]

January 15, 2015

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8:01 PM | The CUNY Problem: How a Public College Gives up on the Public
In 1961 New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed a bill to create the City University of New York, an inexpensive (and later open admissions) system of colleges designed, at least in part, to serve the city’s working class and minority community. The cheap price was a major attraction to the city’s high achieving, but low income, students. Many of them were academically capable of being admitted elsewhere, but knew that CUNY was an affordable way to get a degree, often while […]
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7:45 PM | The Power Paradox Contrary to common wisdom, nice people are...
The Power Paradox Contrary to common wisdom, nice people are more likely to rise to power. Then something strange happens: once at the top, people end up morphing into a different kind of beast. The common cliché of power is that you must be misleading, forceful, and even conniving, to hold a position of power. That may not be the whole story. Studies of “chimpanzee politics” have found that social power among nonhuman primates is based less on […]
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7:34 PM | mynaturalsistas: Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. #MLK...
mynaturalsistas: Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. #MLK #HBD Jan. 15th
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4:52 PM | No, Libertarians, Community Colleges Are Not a Bad Investment Choice
We’re still a few weeks away from Punxsutawney Phil’s time to shine, but it’s already Groundhog Day on the Washington Post’s Post Everything blog thanks to Cato’s Neal McCluskey. His déjà vu moment: A critique of the President’s proposal for free community college grounded in warmed over lobbyist talking points about how for-profit colleges serve students better than these public institutions. Even if you did not read McCluskey’s piece, […]
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3:48 PM | Home from Conference.
I spent the last four days in New Orleans at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare. It was a good meeting, though I am coming around to the feeling that it might not be my meeting. It’s very heavily focused on mannequin simulation, and I do discrete event simulation. There’s a couple of small […]
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1:36 PM | Dual Language Learners in Sen. Lamar Alexander's No Child Left Behind Bill
It’s that time in the congressional calendar again! Welcome back to what my friend Anne Hyslop recently called this “edition of will we—won’t we rewrite [the Elementary and Secondary Education Act].” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) shared his draft reauthorization bill yesterday. The current version of the law—No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—is the federal government’s largest primary and secondary education investment. It was due to be reauthorized in […]
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11:18 AM | #ESA100 meeting preview: lightning talks
The 100th ESA meeting is still 8 months away, but the call for abstracts went out last month. New this year: lightning talks. Click the link for details, but the short version (ha!) is that lightning talks are 4 minute … Continue reading →

January 14, 2015

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10:10 PM | Can a little bit of power turn you into cookie...
Can a little bit of power turn you into cookie monster? There’s an old quote,”power tends to corrupt — absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And while we’ve all seen obvious examples of this, is there really something to it? Psychologist Dacher Keltner of the University of California, Berkeley found that there is — and he did so by conducting what’s since been called the ‘Cookie Monster Study’. "We brought in three people to the lab. We […]
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7:00 PM | Why Are Fewer People Passing the GED?
The General Educational Development Test (the GED) is the nation’s most familiar way to get into college without completing high school. The test, like other standardized examinations, has gone through changes periodically. In 1988 administrators added an essay section. In 2011 it became a for-profit enterprise. But now it looks like the test may have gotten a lot more difficult. There was a “sizable decrease” in the number of people passing the examination. According to […]
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6:03 PM | What's The Truth About "TruBrain"?
Via Twitter on Monday, I learned about truBrain, a California company who sell "think drinks". As they put it: Our team of UCLA trained neuroscientists set out to solve the problem that energy drinks do not - genuine focus... Crafted with the perfect amounts of active nootropics... Loaded with amino acids to fuel the thinking process. My interest was moderately piqued by this, but then TruBrain blocked a fellow neuroblogger on Twitter. This got my attention. So what is truBrain? It's a
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5:30 PM | The Science of Why Kids Can’t Resist Frozen Psychologists Maryam...
The Science of Why Kids Can’t Resist Frozen Psychologists Maryam Kia-Keating (UCSB) and Yalda T. Uhls (UCLA) take a look at the appeal of Frozen through the lens of science. They argue that a preschooler’s emotional world is reminiscent of Elsa’s internal struggle in Frozen: Disney’s Frozen, which earned more than $1.2 billion at the box office, is not only the first “princess” movie to make the list of top 10 grossing […]
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5:00 PM | The College Admissions Tease
Many colleges are doing something kind of fishy with admissions. In general college admissions works like this: a college has an acceptance rate that’s known and many students want to attend school there. There are other students, say, athletes or rich people or very smart people or ethnic minorities or something, who might not ordinarily be interested in attending the college, but who the school then seeks out. The fact that a college sent you a brochure or a Facebook message […]
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3:41 PM | 4 Surprises in Scholastic's National Survey of Kids and Reading
Last week Scholastic released  the Kids and Family Reading Report, its annual survey of children’s reading, and some of the results run counter to conventional wisdom about how much children love electronic books and desire independence. The responses provide hints of nostalgia for cuddling up on the couch turning pages of paper with their parents by their side. Parents responded to the survey via the Web, although the sample of respondents were first identified through random […]
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