A Well Deserved Hono(u)r

Terry Pratchett knighted: Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series of novels that have sold more than 55 million copies worldwide, said he was “stunned, in a good way” after receiving a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List. The 60-year-old writer, below, whose first book was published in 1971, told The Independent last […]

The Year in Cities

This is going around again (I think Kottke is Patient Zero), so here’s a list of places where I spent at least one night in 2008 (other than Niskayuna, where we live): Albany, NY (I spent four nights in a smoking room– I get to count it on the list) Boston, MA Lewisburg, PA State […]

It’s a Great Job, If You Can Get It

Over at Unqualified Offerings, Thoreau calls out unnamed ScienceBloggers for cognitive dissonance: I think scientific training is of great intellectual and practical benefit to students with the interest and ability to pursue it. I would like to see more people choose to study science (whether at the undergraduate level or beyond). However, I am amused […]

Why Do I Bother?

I generally enjoy Gregg Easterbrook’s football writing– he gets a little repetitive, and the shtick is starting to overwhelm any insight, but he makes some good points, and is usually entertaining. For example, I really enjoyed his take on the Dallas Cowboys at the end of this week’s column (schadenfreude is a powerful thing). Easterbrook’s […]

links for 2008-12-31

Auto Destruct "[F]or all of Detroit’s mistakes, it is also a victim of something it did right: ensuring a middle-class lifestyle for bluecollar workers. When the carmakers, pushed by unions, agreed to provide workers with a steady level of purchasing power, comprehensive health benefits lasting into retirement, and various forms of workplace rights, they were […]

Sports, Test Scores, and the Difference Between Science and Journalism

Inside Higher Ed has an article on athletics and admissions based on an investigative report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The report compares the SAT scores of football and basketball players to those of other students, but what it really highlights is the difference between science and journalism. The basis of the report is pretty simple: […]

What Makes a Dissertation?

ScienceWoman has a post about plans and publications that opens with a comment about what makes a dissertation that struck me as odd: Three papers, an introductory chapter and some broad conclusions. Those are the ingredients of a Ph.D. dissertation in it’s simplest form. […]My first PhD paper was published in 2006, shortly after I […]

links for 2008-12-30

The Quantum Pontiff : A Curmudgeon’s and Improv’s Guide to Outliers: Introduction "Gladwell’s books are fun, but I find myself often disagreeing with his analysis, so I thought it would be entertaining to take my time reading his latest and jot down my thoughts as I progress. " (tags: science social-science society culture medicine books) […]

Race, Gender, and a Job for Slacktivist

I was on Baby Duty today, so I spent some time listening to Bloggingheads dialogs, including Kerry Howley and Richard Rodriguez: There’s a lot of good stuff in here, but I almost hesitate to post about it, because it’s practically guaranteed to bring out the worst sorts of commentary. There’s a bunch of stuff about […]

Best Music of 2008

This is a much more idiosyncratic sampling than usual, for the simple reason that I bought very little music this year– probably the least since I started buying my own records. This was a combination of pre-SteelyKid austerity measures (do you know what day care costs these days?), post-SteelyKid lack of time to listen to […]