Posts

February 10, 2015

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5:05 PM | Exploring the Deep Sea: Adventures of a Researcher in the Field
For centuries, scientists thought that all life depended on the sun. They were wrong.
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4:59 PM | Your new Web Library is here!
When you log on to the Mendeley website this week, you will notice some changes to your online library. We’ve not only given it a fresh paint job, but brought some of the features you love from Mendeley Desktop into your Web Library.   A quick look at the new features (along with some kicky background […]
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4:00 PM | How College Mergers Can Screw Students
For 125 years the Corcoran School of Art occupied a unique position in Washington. Founded with money provided in the estate of banker and art collector William Wilson Corcoran to promote art education in the nation’s capital, Corcoran was an example of a now rare institution very common in the 19th-century, the museum-college hybrid. It worked pretty well for much of the 20th century, producing generations of painters and sculptors (as well as Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and […]
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3:19 PM | How Do You Fix America's High Schools? We're Going to Find Out
By now, we all know the importance of quality early childhood education in setting students up for success. But what about all the kids who don’t get needed interventions, start school behind and stay stuck there? Many arrive in high school several years below grade level. Their teachers and administrators have one last chance to make up for lost time before a child becomes an adult, giving them arguably the hardest job in public education. This wasn’t always their charge. More than […]
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2:26 PM | A Great Catastrophe.
Friday I am leaving for a 10 day vacation with my beloved BB, overseas in a glorious and idyllic locale, for some direly-needed and much-deserved time off. And wouldn’t you know it, today I feel mildly ill. I’m probably going to be feeling slightly worse than merely jet lagged for the first day or two […]
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2:14 PM | Why Mentors Need to Stop Trying to Fix Black and Brown Students
Black and brown students need good schools, great teachers and professional opportunities - not personality mechanics. We should place more energy in fixing what makes schools unattractive rather than creating mentoring programs that attempt to bang square pegs into round holes. Last week, I signed on to be a mentor for a new school-based program created by Grand Rapids, Michigan, Public Schools named Grade School to Grad School (G2G). G2G focuses on black and brown boys who are chronically […]
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2:10 PM | Traits and Management
K-12 education has been convulsed for years by the idea that good teaching is a trait, a tacit justification for all the versions of the loony idea that we can increase learning by just finding the ‘bad teachers’  and firing them. The latter scheme looks even better if “finding” employs a bureaucratic, mechanistic process of testing students (on things that can be measured “objectively”–bye-bye art, music, creativity, and courage). The alternative […]
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1:00 PM | What are our academic blind spots?
Here’s a notion: When we discover a big new thing, this often requires an abandonment — or at least serious doubt — of a commonly accepted notion. I’m about a third of the way through Rob Dunn’s brand-spanking-new book about the human heart. I just finished the parts about the science of the heart before the 1900s.…
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11:45 AM | ReviewBox: stop picking on yourself – that’s our job!
I recently learned about AnxietyBox (tagline: Stop making yourself anxious – that’s our job!). The site is not currently active, apparently because it got completely overwhelmed with demand. But the basic premise was that you would enter in your main … Continue reading →
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12:48 AM | How do dogs and people respond to a crying baby?
Guest post by: Min Hooi Yong, PhD“Does your dog know when you are sad?” Puzzling question, perhaps? We get a range of answers from dog owners, from the confident “Yes!” to “Maaaaybe?”, and the hopeful “I like to think so...”. Many dogs are considered to be part of the family, and we expect our family members to empathize with us when we are sad. A recent study found that dogs showed submissive behavior (licking and nuzzling) when an adult […]

February 09, 2015

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9:26 PM | Barriers to open access publishing at a scientific not-for-profit
Things have been going rather well lately. Lots of science, days are getting longer, and I made an awesome curry last Thursday.  Wary of falling into complacency, I thought I’d open a (possible) can of worms. Please, be kind.   Open … Continue reading →
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6:17 PM | Meet Shaun Turney and Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping
This is another in the series of “Meet the arthropod ecology lab“: Meet PhD student Shaun Turney, and a neat project he’s been working on… I joined the lab in September and I’ve been really enjoying my first months as a PhD student. I haven’t done any field work yet so that means no specimens […]
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6:11 PM | ucfoodobserver:Two UC Berkeley professors are studying wild...
ucfoodobserver:Two UC Berkeley professors are studying wild edibles in the East Bay’s food deserts; there’s also a publicly accessible interactive map so urban foragers can find nutritious snacks in the wild. Find out more from Bay Area Bites.
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5:12 PM | The Cankerworm Chronicles
Cankerworms can be a serious threat to trees and other vegetations -- and researchers are taking an active role in finding ways to combat them.
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2:47 PM | New on F1000Research – 9 February 2015
A selection of new content on F1000Research from the past week. To receive notification of all new articles, sign up for our table of contents alerts. Featured article Capsaicin from chili (Capsicum spp.) inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4yk] Rongxia Liu, Elke H. Heiss, Dean Guo, Verena M. [...]
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2:00 PM | Should We Stop Making Kids Memorize Times Tables?
Stanford University’s Jo Boaler says teachers and parents should stop using math flash cards, stop drilling kids in addition and multiplication and especially stop forcing students to do calculations quickly under time pressure. Good-bye Mad Minute Mondays, where teachers hand out quiz sheets with 50 problems to be completed in less than a minute.  But wait — doesn’t everyone have to learn times tables?  No, says Boaler. Although her position is unorthodox, […]
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11:36 AM | Graduate positions still available in Jeremy Fox’s lab for Fall 2015/Winter 2016
You read my blog–want to join my lab? I’m currently seeking 2 graduate students (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) to start in Fall 2015 or Winter 2016. I already have one new student starting in Fall 2015; I’m looking for two more … Continue reading →
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9:25 AM | Stress Busting
Inspired by recent reports of rising mental health problems in academia plus an acute increase in stress around the department this summer when many PhD students were writing up, we decided to run a “Dealing with stress” seminar at NERD club (ironically this session was canceled previously due to the PIs being “too stressed” to run it!). It turned out to be a really positive experience, and I’d definitely run something similar again. Here is what we found out! What […]

February 08, 2015

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7:01 PM | There are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food...
There are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels.While product labels list total sugar content, manufacturers are not required to say whether that total includes added sugar, which makes it difficult to know how much of the total comes from added sugar and how much is naturally occurring in ingredients such as fruit or milk. That makes it very difficult to account for how much added sugar we’re consuming.The American Heart Association recommends no more than 38 grams […]

February 07, 2015

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3:04 PM | Plagiarism: Copy, Paste, Thesaurus?
I'm a regular reader of Jeffrey Beall's invaluable Scholarly OA blog. Earlier this week Beall blogged about a dubious-looking new 'predatory' journal called International Journal Online of Humanities (IJOHMN). I took a look and noticed that one of their papers is called Leaders Produce Teamwork Organizations. That's an odd title. The prose is even odder. Here's the start of the article: Wisdom perpetuates the legend of modernism as a private act, a spark of originality imminent, an A
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10:59 AM | This week – reading, thinking and linking
This past week I have been doing so much reading and writing for work that there has been no time to prepare anything substantial enough for a proper blog post, even if I have been stirred by the excessive protests … Continue reading →
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9:33 AM | The freelance postdoc experiment
We are all well aware of how difficult is to get a permanent position in academia. The employers are very cautious as the tenured position comes with a very strong contractual stability and in some country with immortality (asked a civil cercano status). The postdocs work longer and longer hours to face the increasing competition. […]

February 06, 2015

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7:32 PM | How Not to Deal with a College Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Epstein is a very rich man. The financier was also very generous with his $2 billion fortune and contributed millions to political causes and cultural institutions. He enjoyed friendships with people like Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey. And then things got awkward. In 2008 Epstein pleaded guilty to procuring an underage girl for prostitution and served a year in jail. This makes things a little difficult for the many colleges to which he gave money. According to this piece at Inside […]
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7:06 PM | Single-Sex Environments Can Be Great for (Discussing) Sex
Through a series of (fortunate) events, I’m teaching Animal Behavior this semester at Spelman. It’s a very good school and a different environment from Michigan State and Georgia Tech, which has been enlightening and reinvigorating (Writing… and only writing… all day, every day gets old. Trust me). In particular, it has been fun to work […]
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6:30 PM | What’s happening in science?
What is a poor editor to do when her nose is completely blocked, the buckets of lemon tea are no longer cutting it and it is her turn to be in charge of the blog?! Well, she pulls out the ancient trick, ‘what she has read on the interwebs the past few days’. Why rewrite…
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6:20 PM | Glamorous for Me.
Chasing glamour publications is a big problem in science. Well, it’s at least a small problem. The competition for journals like Science and NEJM is incredibly intense, and people will do whatever they think they have to to get in. The game is rigged towards famous people in big labs. But every once in a […]
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6:18 PM | These Things You Cannot Take
Originally posted on Alan Townsend's Blog:My wife Diana was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, the second brain tumor to hit our family in fifteen months. They are unconnected events – lightning striking twice unimaginably.  For the first one, still very much a part of our young daughter’s life, we shared a great deal here.  We…
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5:56 PM | TFA Likes Evaluation System Unlikely to Impact TFA
Recently Teach for America, the national teacher corps that selects recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in underperforming schools, indicated its support for the U.S. Department of Education’s plan to grade the country’s colleges of education and eliminate bad schools. According to a piece at the Wall Street Journal: Urban Teacher Center, Teach For America and seven additional alternative-certification programs planned to say on Monday that proposed rules by […]
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5:30 PM | ucfoodobserver:Food waste film wins award at Sundance: watch...
ucfoodobserver:Food waste film wins award at Sundance: watch it!An eight-minute film documenting food waste - and some possible solutions - was one of five films to win the Sundance Short Film Challenge. "Man in the Maze" documents the complex issues of food waste and hunger. It takes viewers on a journey beginning at a landfill, to a food bank, and into a discussion about gardens. Learn more from the Arizona Daily Star at our blog. 
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3:27 PM | Open Science News – 6 February 2015
New tools and resources: Tool from SPARC Europe to test how open your institute’s research is A proposed Q&A for scientists interested in open science. It still needs about a hundred people to commit. The Open Glossary contains lots of useful terms related to open science. New paper and recommendations from [...]
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