Archive for the 'The Blog' category

Picture of the Day, and a brief programming note.

May 18 2009 Published by under The Blog

This is largely a test post. I'm dragging myself kicking and screaming into the new era of online communications. If I've done things correctly, both my facebook account and twitter feed should provide some sort of announcement when new material posts to this blog.

That doesn't mean that they will, of course, but they should.

To keep this from being a totally wasted post, you'll find a picture below the fold. It's a recent experiment with an IR filter I picked up a while back.

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Technical Difficulties

Sep 30 2008 Published by under The Blog

Just so you know, I haven't forgotten about this blog. My laptop suffered a major hard drive failure a few days ago, and my internet access has been limited by the need to share the desktop with my wife and my daughter, both of whom need to use the computer for educational purposes.
Things should be back to normal shortly.

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Some London Thank Yous

Sep 07 2008 Published by under The Blog, Travel

As I write this, I'm sitting bouncing up and down in a sardine can high above the Atlantic Ocean. If I'm lucky, this state of affairs will continue for another few hours, and be followed in rapid succession by two repeats of the experience, a car ride home, and re-familiarization with my own bed.

The last week has been absolutely fantastic, and there are quite a few people that I'd like to thank for contributing to the experience.

In no particular order:

Matt Brown for composing and conducting two spectacular tours of London - one that focused on pubs, and a second that took us to quite a few sites that are really, really cool if you're remotely interested in science. I'll have more on both of those later in the week.

Karen James of The Beagle Project for helping to contribute to both the science sites tour and the liver damage I sustained over the course of the week.

Maxine Clarke for giving us the grand tour of Nature, and all of the employees there for putting up with the flock of cats bloggers as we spread chaos quietly meandered through their workspace.

Simon Frantz of the Nobel Foundation for several intoxicateding conversations, one of which apparently included the phrase "we should do this as an unconference session". I'd also like to thank Simon for his role in the frantic last second efforts to come up with any sort of unconference plan putting the finishing touches on the unconference, and for running around the lecture theatre with the microphone facilitating the ensuing discussion. More on the unconference session will also follow shortly.

Matt Brown (again), Corrie Lok, Anna Kushnir, the people at The Royal Institution, and all the folks at Nature Network who put the conference together. They did a huge amount of work, and produced an outstanding conference.

David McOrmish and David Field of English Heritage, as well as their two colleagues whose names I never got, for allowing a random tourist to tag along with them as they toured the archaeological digs around Stonehenge. More on that at some point, too.

Mo Costandi, Grrlscientist, and Bob O'Hara for spending time hanging around and touring things after the conference ended.

Henry Gee for introducing me to the wonderful world of unicycling girrafes, and for helping to remind me that everyone can fit in somewhere - it's just a matter of finding it.

And, of course, my wife and children for their extreme kindness in letting me have the time away from them, and for (presumably) taking me back afterward.

Pre-posting update: The problem with foreign places is that they're all so damn far away. I finished writing this thing hours ago, and I've still got something like another two hours left in this winged tin can. I really hate daytime long-distance flights. Sleeping too much makes the jet lag worse. The movies are boring, the seats are small, the food marginal, and as it turns out I'm actually not very excited about the books that I stuck in the carry-on.

Of course, I hate nighttime long-distance flights, too. The seats have all the sleepability of your typical concrete block. There's always someone who snores, and by the time you nod off it's time to wake up and land. It's very rare that you don't wind up walking around like a zombie for most of the day you arrive.

And, yes, I would like some cheese with that whine. Thanks for asking.

5 responses so far

Liveblogging From London

Aug 30 2008 Published by under Public Perception of Science, The Blog

I'm sitting in the Faraday Theatre at the Royal Institution right now, at the Nature Network's Science Blogging 2008 conference. There are about 100 people in the room, 90% of whom I don't recognize at all. 90% of the people I do recognize are people I've met for the first time somewhere in the last two days. There's a list of the attendees and their blogs on the conference website. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't had the chance to read all of those blogs yet.

At the same time, it's also great (in a way) that I don't know who most of the people are or where they blog. If nothing else, it shows just how large the science blogging community has become. It's going to be interesting to see what comes out of our interaction and conversations.

As the day goes by, I'm going to try to update this post with bits about who is saying what at the conference. There's good, free wifi here, so I'll go on at least until the battery runs out. At that point, with 100 bloggers in the room, there may be a Darwinian struggle to see who gets a power outlet.

The updates will be below the fold.

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8 responses so far


Aug 28 2008 Published by under The Blog, Travel

Only now, as I sit here in my hotel room eating a cheddar and roasted tomato sandwich, with a packet of Worcester Sauce crisps on the side, is the fact that I'm in London starting to sink in.

In a few minutes, I'm going downstairs to meet up with Mo, and we're going to stroll over to the Jeremy Bentham, which is the first stop on a tour of scientifically-connected pubs that the Nature Network's Matt Brown has arranged. I'm bringing my camera, and I'll try to remember to let the autofocus take over from me as the evening progresses.

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Science Blogging in London.

Aug 22 2008 Published by under The Blog, Travel

Next week I'll be in London for Nature Network's Science Blogging Conference. It's entirely possible that I'm looking forward to the trip as much as GrrlScientist is, and not just because I'll be hanging out in the UK for a week afterward. Both ScienceBlogs and the Nature Network host groups of bloggers who are interested in and write about science, but there are also quite a few differences between the two groups. It'll be interesting to sit down with folks there and look at our different perspectives. Hopefully, everyone will be able to take away something new from the discussions.

After the conference, I'm planning on doing some scientific sightseeing. I've been to London before, but that was a family trip, and there were some constraints on what I could do and where we could go. (To put it another way, I could only get away with boring everyone else so much without facing a revolt.) This time, I'm going to try and get to a few more places that have strong history of science ties. Down house is definitely on the agenda, as are trips to Oxford and Cambridge. Aside from that, I'm leaving things up in the air a bit. Suggestions are, of course, welcome.

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Vacation's over.

Jan 07 2008 Published by under The Blog

I haven't been blogging much over the last couple of weeks, for a variety of reasons. But it's a new year, a couple of side products that were sucking away my will to live have been wrapped up, and the kids are heading out the door and back to school. It's definitely a good time to get back into the swing of things.

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More Changes

Sep 29 2007 Published by under Personal, The Blog

A couple of weeks ago, I started making some changes to the blog. I had hoped to get all of them done that weekend, but the weather interfered with that plan. (It was nice; I went swimming.) This weekend, it's pouring rain out, so I've managed to get a little bit done. If you look at the sidebar, you'll see that the old categories have disappeared, and new ones have taken their place. As of this minute, I've only gone back and assigned new categories to a handful of posts, so only a few categories are currently live. The number will increase over the next few hours, as I continue to go back through the older material.

The new category arrangement should be somewhat self-explanitory, but I'll probably post something explaining it once I've re-categorized the majority of the posts. That's probably going to take a day or two - I've got over 350 posts up now, so even if I manage to do one per minute, I'm still looking at a few hours of work.

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Sep 14 2007 Published by under Personal, The Blog

I'm making a few changes to the left-hand sidebar for the blog this weekend. One of them is already in place - if you look to the left, you'll see a presidential election poll. It's linked to Newsvine's ElectionVine project. You can vote once a month, and if you play around with the widget, you can pull up different sets of results based on the entire project, not just this one site. (I cheerfully stole this idea from Joseph.) Later on this weekend, I'll be changing my blogroll a bit. I'm also in the process of re-working my categories, so expect to see some changes there, too.

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