Mid-week entertainment – links and news

By Grant Jacobs 16/12/2010

Firstly, I’d like to apologise to my regular readers for the sheer lack of articles recently. You won’t want to know the many reasons behind it!*

I’m likely to be limited to irregular efforts until after the Xmas break; articles will happen, just not my preferred daily (or so) writing.

I’m offering this short collection of news and links to let my regular readers know I’m still around…just floundering around in a sea of chores.

You know where from (xkcd)
Source: you know where from (xkcd)

Fox News managing editor, Bill Sammon, asks (demands?) that journalists should on ’showing the controversy’:

…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

Am I reading this right? An editor is telling journalists to frame what they present? Never mind that this confuses political, social and scientific controversies.

But then I guess that’s Fox News for you.

(Update: Charlie Petit at Knight Journalism Science Tracker has more words on this.)

Delayed gratification is a new magazine with a tagline of ‘Last to breaking news’ aiming to ’provide new angles on big news stories of the quarter, cartoons, infographics and expert insight and reportage on major news events.’ More on their press release, along with a sample issue is available for reading on-line. (The real reason I’m presenting this, of course, is the free reading in the sample issue!)

The NESCent travel awards These offer a place and $US750 towards attending ScienceOnline2011. Congratulations to the winners – enjoy the meeting. Some of you may know that I fielded an entry, hoping that I might gain an entry to the meeting this way. (I only learnt that applications opened on the day – a little after they ran out of places…) As others won I won’t be able to attend, and will be hoping that the on-line coverage is good! On the bright side, I guess I can keep the money I’m trying to pull in for the mortgage and repairs to the house, which–erm–is probably the more sensible thing to be doing with it anyway.

Dirk You probably wondering what on earth this is. It’s the trailer for the BBC’s Dirk Gently, which will in some way be based on Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and it’s sequel of sorts, The long dark tea-time of the soul. I write ‘sequel of sorts’ as with Adam’s books nothing it quite as they might be and even sequels are not really, as it were, sequential. If you get what I mean. But, anyway, that video:

Some of the commentary over at YouTube on this actually worth reading for once. Not to say it’s right, but that’s it’s entertaining (tastefully).

Digital Science Macmillian Publishers Ltd., the parent company of Nature and other publications, looks to be diversifying outside of publication to science data management and related areas, launching Digital Science. (Macmillian is, in turn, ’part of the privately-owned media group, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH.’ )

Scitable Carrying on the subject of publisher’s efforts, if you have already, you should check out Nature’s Scitable collection of open-source, open-access articles on science topics. (Do any readers use the material for their taught courses?)

Cloud computing and bioinformatics For those in bioinformatics, BioMedCentral has gathered a collection of (open-access) papers on cloud computing in bioinformatics.

Count Spirocete Back on the, er, lighter side there is this educational effort funded by the US Navy targeted as their men. As Jessica Palmer wrote in introducing it, ’This is un freaking real.’ I leave you with The Return of Count Spirochete:


There is an endless amount of follow-on to the arsenic bacteria fuss, but

* But the collision of X-mas and making a living is the main one.

Other articles on Code for life:

Temperature-induced hearing loss

900 of the best

NASA: science shouldn’t be debated in media and blogs?!

Rain, sleet, snow, music and science blogs

Find transcription factor motifs in genomes better: add histone acetylation data