“The Art of Being Still”

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I am my character, pedaling down to the beach after a long day of working as a hotel housekeeper. I see the world through his eyes. I imagine what he is thinking. I use that brief time to become him.

I transform the mundane task of grocery shopping into a writing exercise by studying my fellow shoppers through the eyes of my character, a man who is on the run from the law.

I eye each one with suspicion and dodge any cop who might be trotting along with a grocery basket in hand. I sometimes steal a quirk from a woman nearby to apply to one of my female characters in the book. I am multitasking, but there is stillness at work here.

Silas House on the quietness of writing.

[Special bookmark] Open Access and Open Data only

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There were lot of very interesting things on the Web these last days on Open Access and Open Data. I would like to remind you that the very first Science 3.0 Blogging Contest starting on October 18 is dedicated to Open Access and will run parallel to the Open Access Week! I greatly invite you to take part, as a blogger, as a reader, as both! You will find below several links to make you feel even more eager than now October 18 comes.

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Bookmark: Links to read, from here and there

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I am currently spending my time reading papers. And user guides. The cliché of the lab rat is not applicable anymore. The cliché of the computer geek neither: I am hardly launching sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude safe-upgrade on my Debian and this is it. The number of tabs in my browser is dangerously approaching 200 and this makes me nervous 🙂 So, here is a nice bunch of links:

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Bookmark: 42, or why statistics are magic

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Pie chartMatt Parker discusses the power of statistics to say what one would like to hear:

By their very nature, statistics can only be misused when the audience doesn’t bother checking them. Statistics are just a numerical summary of evidence that has been collected. They give people the starting point to delve directly into that evidence and see if the arguments hold together.

A nice summary of why none should believe numbers without checking them.

Image (CC-by)

Bookmark: BMJ Open, accessible medical research

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This is an open access journal launched very recently and focused on medical research. It aims at publishing not only full-text reports, but also pilot studies and pre-protocols. Moreover, all data will be published online and reviewers’ comments will figure alongside the main text. This initiative emphasizes the importance of transparency and data sharing in science. Support BMJ Open, submit your results there!

Bookmark: The horniest dino species discovered in Utah

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Kospoceratops richardsoniNational Science Foundation announced today that a novel dinosaur species was discovered in Utah. It is a close relative to Triceratops and is called Kosmoceratops richardsoni; it lived at about 76 millions of years ago. It was 5 meters long from snout to tail and its weight is estimated at 2.5 tonnes. His head measures 2 meters and is disproportional compared to the total body size.

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