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Part of the Occam's Typewriter network

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  • 10/19/13--10:47: Storage space
  • I found myself waiting alone outside a meeting room at work the other day, while the people in there wrapped up and packed away and the person I was meeting with was fetching a laptop. Looking around me, I noticed … Continue reading

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    I have a new post up at Occam’s Corner on the Guardian website today, about how non-scientists can (try to) influence the course of scientific research. As I mentioned over there, the ideas in the post originated and evolved from … Continue reading

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    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’ll wait for the 5.5 year retrospective post to see just how much grant writing you *didn’t* get involved in…  Thus spake the prophet Wintle in the year 2012, … Continue reading

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  • 10/31/13--13:25: Happy Hallowe’en!
  • From a Teenage Mutant Incompetent Ninja Turtle, and dead-Goose-from-Top-Gun Yes, that’s a saw blade through my belly – like I said, incompetent ninja. I also had a backpack on under the t-shirt to make a shell, but it didn’t come … Continue reading

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  • 11/08/13--16:53: Rearranging the desk chairs
  • Once a fortnight, we have a team meeting in the boardroom of our main research building. It’s a room that’s much in demand, so we often have to wait a few minutes past the hour before we can get in … Continue reading

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    Photo quiz time! Can you name the cities in the photos below? Some of these are easier than others (I’ve tried to put the hardest ones first), so extra points if you can also name the building(s) in the photos! I’ll … Continue reading

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    Me: “Have you seen my bookmark?” Him: “It’s in your hand” Me: “…” Me: “No, not ‘have you seen my book, Mark?’. I meant ‘have you seen my bookmark, Mark?’” (Mark will continue to be referred to as Mr E … Continue reading

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  • 01/15/14--18:35: Graphzilla
  • I looked at one of my progress tracking graphs for one of my projects right after telling my colleague that Mr E Man had worked on the new Godzilla movie, and what I saw can not be unseen.   Eep.

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    I’ve recently started to spend some time on the question and answer site Quora, and I’m finding it be quite an effective science communication medium as well as excellent writing practice. I can’t quite remember how I first came to … Continue reading

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    Two recent conversations sparked by cryptic notes I scribbled on post-its: At home Mr E Man: “Cath, what’s an e-Pig?” Me: “What?” Mr E Man: “On this post-it, look. ‘e-Pig meeting’” Me: “OH! That’s my short-hand for epigenetics” Mr E … Continue reading

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    The placebo effect is truly fascinating – the top article of this pair describes how it can trigger the release of dopamine in people with Parkinson’s, or opioids in people expecting a painkiller. I hope we can find a way … Continue reading

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    There are some TV characters that people love to hate. What’s the harm, you might say, when you know that they aren’t real people? But can these attitudes provide us with a mirror for some of the ugly ideas still … Continue reading

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    I’ve heard a lot about massive open online courses (MOOCs) over the last couple of years, but hadn’t quite got around to trying one until Eva mentioned on Facebook recently that she’d signed up for a communication science course, and … Continue reading

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  • 03/26/14--19:21: Questions?
  • A group of geeky colleagues assembled in the lobby after work last night and headed down to Vancouver’s Railway Club for Café Scientifique. This monthly science outreach event encompasses talks about everything from biodiversity to genomics to chemistry to particle … Continue reading

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  • 04/26/14--14:21: Ectopic scribblings
  • It occurred to me this week that I’ve written various things in other venues that I’ve never linked to from this blog, and that it might be a good idea to compile some sort of list to try and mitigate … Continue reading

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    “Your stupid new metrics are irrelevant to my field of research” “It’s not fair that chemists get bigger awards, even though I acknowledge that their research is much more expensive than that of the other fields that fall under your … Continue reading

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    (Photo and title by Sonja Babovic; used with her permission) Other geeky things that made me laugh recently: Mad science looks pretty similar to normal science As does Lego science  

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  • 08/31/14--13:37: Street signs
  • My sister and I had very active imaginations when we were kids. We acted out plays with our stuffed animals, pretended we were time travellers, and frequently visited Narnia – but what we really loved was solving mysteries. Fuelled by … Continue reading

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  • 12/22/14--13:06: How to pass your PMP exam
  • It’s been a while, eh? Today’s the first day since early September that I’ve woken up without a long list of specific things to accomplish, and it is blissful! I’m on my sister-in-law’s sofa with a big cup of tea, … Continue reading

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  • 12/31/14--13:59: Hogma-Nay.
  • When I still lived in the UK, New Year’s Eve was always a really big deal for my friends and me. We usually went up to Edinburgh for the huge Hogmanay street party, which involved being out on Princes Street … Continue reading

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