Regular readers of this blog know I rarely speak about personal stuff. This time is one of these times though: Open Democracy’s Arab Awakening section named me ‘Columnist of the Week’! I’m very humbled and glad, and hope more attention will be drawn to the article that’s the reason of such a nomination: MENA Doctors in Trouble.
This is my #LulzOfDaDay 🙂 Background: the Obama administration provides a web platform — We the People, — for citizens to send a petition to the President, and “if a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.” Among the most popular petitions, you can find one calling for free access to scientific publications arising from taxpayer-funded research or the one asking for the removal of District Attorney Ortiz for overreach in Aaron Swartz case.
And here comes one of the most important petitions to Obama ever: “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” Launched on Nov 14, 2012 it has gathered nearly 35,000 signatures thus far. The rationale:
By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.
This makes you laugh? Come on, don’t go medieval on this concerned citizen. The Obama administration took his demand into consideration as it “shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense.” Unfortunately, a Death Star isn’t on the horizon:
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.
It is now more or less a public secret that my PhD deals with sexual behaviour, sex-biased genes, and all kinds of sex-related stuff. Until now, it was doing so with flies.
Recently, I started broadening my expertise. Here is some evidence.
(source for the last one: La séxualité des dinosaures vue par un artiste)
And a small update (a close friend used to call me Medusa, which pretty much resembles me… 🙂 ):
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams…
“He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”, William Butler Yeats
Today’s fav song 🙂
Here we go: Puscifer… Discovered this more or less by chance. It sounded like Tool, but slightly less tortured. Or more surely desperate. Dunno, you make up your mind 🙂
Ah yeah, monomaniacs 😉 I listen to this song since this night at 3am or so… Enjoy!
You remember my last posting about some random pseudo-research institute and its promotion of woman empowerment: “Women, men, gender equality… and natural law?” You liked it? You’ll love what follows…
The video and the song itself. Particular ambience. Hard-to-classify and fitting me so well 🙂 Enjoy!
I came across these videos on YouTube, featuring E. coli & PCR. Strongly recommended for a great laugh!
Well, I don’t think so. But, since we all know that pessimists are out there, let’s try to convince them bringing some scientific evidence 😉 I found these maps below: you can see the sizes of penii all over the world, but also compare the distribution of the ratio IQ/penis size.
I saw this announcement and thought it might be of interest for people.
CERN Graduate Fellowship position / Diversity studies at CERN
In keeping with its international and increasingly global character, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has recently appointed a Diversity Officer to develop and implement a policy that will promote awareness and adherence to diversity, one of the established values of the Organisation.
In support of this new initiative, a position is now open to postgraduates in the framework of the CERN Fellowship Programme.
David Brooks Columnist
New York Times columnist David Brooks is the author of “Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There” and “On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (and Always Have) in the Future Tense.”
Session 1: Monumental
Tues Mar 1, 2011
11:00 – 12:45
Felisa Wolfe-Simon Geobiochemist
With a background in molecular biology, biochemistry and phytoplankton physiology, Felisa Wolfe-Simon seeks to uncover the sequence of events that shaped the evolution of the modern oceans’ phytoplankton and life itself.
Session 5: Deep Mystery
Wed Mar 2, 2011
11:00 – 12:45
Well, folks, don’t forget the popcorn! This amazing piece is one of the worst pseudo-science writing I have ever read really deserves our attention. And of course, who could so quickly forget the exciting story of the presumably arsenic-loving alien on Earth?
Happy New Year!
Bonne année !
Frohes Neues Jahr!
Честита Нова Година!
It is not that far in the past that I was a teenager. This slideshow entitled Dream Team – The European approach to teens, sex, and love, in pictures reminded me a lot of things from this period regarding THE thing which was happening to me and guys of my age around. Great analysis gives additional value to this collection. Recommended!
Alt. Art-Sci is the phrase coming frequently in mind when some people talk about establishing a link between art and science. A recent joint workshop gathering representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) but also researchers, faculty members and artists discussed about this indispensable link between art and science.
Today’s BBC News has an article about how ever improving software could damage our ability to think innovatively.
The Baltimore Sun announced the other day that a class on the undead will be held at the Baltimore University. It is called Zombies 101 and will be taught by Arnold Blumberg, the author of Zombiemania (a book on zombie movies) and the curator of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, which focuses on American pop culture. This class will be part of English 333. The students will watch 16 movies on zombies. If they want, as an alternative to a final research paper, they may write scripts or draw storyboards for their ideal zombie flicks.
Definitely, a class to die for!
P.S. If you want to know more on other fancy courses provided in the academia, check out the catalogue Laura Davis from Belfast Telegraph presents.
Nature News reports a nice crack: a team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim succeeded in cracking commercial encryption systems by intercepting photons of light to create a security leak; the whole procedure leaves no trace.
Scientopia is presented as “a collective of people who write about science because they love to do so”. Sounds nice. Participation seems a bit restrictive, though. Haven’t had a closer look yet, but I read this on Pharyngula’s blog (and it is not that far from my first impression):
Although, I do have to say that I’m not a fan of their published code. It throws around the word “respect” way too much, which happens to be one of those words that annoys me, because it is too easily assumed when it should be earned. I don’t respect everyone who blogs on science, and not everyone respects me (nor should they)…but it does put me on edge when a group announces a demand for mutual respect and also lays out a protocol for eviction, when I know that several of the people in the collective had little respect for some others on the Sb network. I have no respect for the pretense of respect.
Read and see.
Usually, people say “Hello world!” when they begin a blog. They often discuss why they wanted to begin writing and sharing their thougts and personal stuff with everybody having access to the web. I’m not inspired about doing this, so I won’t do it. Read ahead, you’ll find by yourselves 🙂
P.S. It’ll be a mixture of French and English posts. Don’t accuse your browser of being crap because of French and English words messed around.