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  • NORMAL SCIENCE RELATED SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AFTER THIS MESSAGE
    my PhD in London I found myself in pubs with the game on and my eyes were drawn to it Then one morning I was making myself breakfast when I realised with something of a shock that the first thing to enter my head upon awakening for the last two weeks was Arsenal There was no intent No eagerness to join the great middle class football revolution of the nineties It just happened and I didn t know what to do with myself for a while Until I began to scratch the itch and deliberately go to watch games first in the pub then at Highbury I was hooked About ten years later this culminated in a conversation with my wife who declared one day You think you re an intellectual but you re not I wanted to know why not I pointed to my job on the lower rungs of academia my subscriptions to the London and New York Reviews of Books Why was I not an intellectual Her answer was direct Because you spend almost every spare moment you have watching playing or thinking about football And she was right But being the pretend intellectual I am one of the greatest pleasures I have is the analysis of the game I delight in noticing the tactical flaws in Maradona s plan for Argentina which saw them overrun by Germany they left them way too much space in wide positions to run into and then surrendered possession and invited them to do so Spain contrastingly made possession their sine qua non This is why Wilson s book is such a joy he writes about football as if it were both an art and a science Let me share one small part of it Statistics have become increasingly important to the game in recent times and OPTA provides a wealth of them But such perspectives have a history Between 1953 and 1957 the head of the Royal Statistical Society and an RAF officer by the name of Charles Reep gathered data mainly from English league matches which they claimed demonstrated conclusively that direct play was the way to score goals English football was already suspicious of any player with technical ability and this supported that prejudice They found that only five percent of all moves consist of four or more received passes and only one percent of six or more As Wilson goes on to point out common does not necessarily equal good Given long chains of passes were rare it is hardly surprising so few goals resulted from them And he doesn t let it go there Reep himself claimed that only two goals out of nine came from moves which included more than three received passes so seven out of nine 77 8 per cent came from moves of three or fewer If as those figures suggest roughly 80 percent of goals result from moves of three received passes or fewer but 91 5 percent of moves consist

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/07/normal-science-related-service-will-be-resumed-after-this-message/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Bill’s adventures in Wonderland
    4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Bill s adventures in Wonderland July 12th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized Exhibiting a scientist s flair for multitasking at his leaving do Our very own Bill has gone off on a great adventure choosing to become a new professor in an uber prestigious American university over a more familiar one here in London We are all absurdly proud of him wish him well and hope that once he settles into his strange new environment he will report back with his usual insight The change makes me think yet again about the differences between doing science in America versus Europe the UK It s been nearly 14 years since I left Seattle to become a scientist in London I have been here so long that I only have vague memories of what it used to be like when constant 80 hour weeks were the done thing The lab turbo gunner phenotype turns out to have strong environmental components for better or worse my lab work ethic is now firmly aligned with what people here would call the Continental mode and what the professors where I did my PhD would call slacker mode Bill recently sent me a glowing review of the novel Intuition by Allegra Goodman for publication on LabLit com although in an email aside said he had been disappointed by the author s portrayal of

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/07/bills-adventures-in-wonderland/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Are journals too pedantic about English?
    reading LabLit com will be ten years old on 7 March 2015 Lab Twitterati Links LabLit home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Are journals too pedantic about English July 1st 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized Our lab just received the galley proofs for a long awaited paper and as one of the authors I ve been asked to help check them for typos and minor editorial changes In reading the list of queries from the editor I was surprised by the following comment We try to avoid the use of novel in titles The gene has always existed so not novel in the true sense of

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/07/are-journals-too-pedantic-about-english/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Sweet Junes past and present
    ten years old on 7 March 2015 Lab Twitterati Links LabLit home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Sweet Junes past and present June 24th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized Summer has finally descended upon London The undergraduates have disbanded so canteen queues are short and only post grads lounge on the quad Weekly lab meetings and seminars are often canceled due to key people being out of town Out the lab window plane trees toss their heads in warm gusty breezes the sun shines against hazy lavender blue and the smell of cut grass recalls a thousand June afternoons back home in Ohio being stuck in

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/06/sweet-junes-past-and-present/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Twin attacks on rationality
    Uncategorized What in the name of Darwin s arse is THIS Two letters to the guardian the first spewing a pile of garbage which manages to somehow combine eccentric views on climate change MMR and swine flu into a melange of utter know nothing knobbery The latter gathering together a bunch of fluffy feel good cod philosophy which would disgrace a not very bright sixth former And here s the annoying thing Both of them neutralise criticism in advance by claiming that true scientists will recognise the veracity of their stance I have to tell them sometimes when people disagree with you it s because you are talking ill founded toss 10 Comments Jenny 1 Comment permalink June 9th 2010 at 08 16 OMG this paragraph from the second letter An alternative possible scenario is that matter at its deepest level is characterised by a a quality of interconnectedness or very primitive mentality and b a natural law that drives matter towards complexity Quantum theory provides evidence that supports premise a The evolution of matter from the simple elements after the big bang to the complex elements of the periodic table many of which are necessary as a basis for the biological evolution which is also a manifestation of this general principle provide evidence for premise b When I started writing regularly for Nature I started getting typed letters in the post that sounded very similar I am amazed it got published but then again perhaps the Guardian is not used to receiving the standard crank physics letters as these are normally sent to scientists and scientific journals About the first one it s a strange letter It s sad that the missteps of a few bad apples can taint trust in the entire profession This indicates to me that any trust that is there is not deeply rooted in other words that people are as ambivalent about scientists and their activities as they ve been throughout history David Jones 2 Comment permalink June 9th 2010 at 10 50 They haven t a clue in The Grauniad They once published a letter claiming that mathematicians took it as a matter of faith but it remained unproven that there were an infinite number of primes I tried to enlighten them with Euclid s proof one of the oldest easiest to grasp delightful and most famous proofs in the history of Maths Didn t help then and things seem not to have changed much now Jenny 3 Comment permalink June 9th 2010 at 11 15 Did they at least publish your rebuttal David Meanwhile I find the assertion that quantum physics somehow supports the idea that our consciousness is meshed in with some universal intelligence deeply insulting Could the letter writer have derived the proof for that Nico 4 Comment permalink June 9th 2010 at 11 28 Well that second letter was full of mentality all right Jenny 5 Comment permalink June 9th 2010 at 13 25 I honestly think some people

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/06/187/ (2016-04-26)
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  • What a waste of a decent education
    Papageorgiou 2 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 13 30 It s the negative pays off to be Greek Jenny 3 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 13 34 It s the positive actually Or at least my proteins indeed ran towards it rpg 4 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 13 57 That sounds right It would be easier if it was simply labelled red I hate electricity Why oh why is the ode that the current comes out of called negative Jenny 5 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 06 There were red and black leads but you couldn t tell which parts of the machine they ultimately fed into as it all happens inside the casing Western blotting as an act of faith chall 6 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 33 haha I started thinking about anabolic and catabolic metabolism Ah anything to sort it out I guess on the note with semi wet Western Blot machines though those are good I like them Nik Papageorgiou 7 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 35 Looks like I confused anions with anodes Awesome Pays not to be Greek after all at least in terms of electricity rpg 8 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 35 heh I heartily disapprove of semi wet blotting chemgrrl 9 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 36 Remember anions and cations from chemistry yes An anion is negatively charged and a cation is positively charged In an electrochemical cell anions go towards the anode which means the anode is positive Cations go towards the cathode meaning that the cathode is negative Clear as mud Yeah that s why they re named that and it s kind of stupid But it s the way it s always been done and you know how easy that is to change Jenny 10 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 37 Well I was pretty unhappy with how much molecular weight marker remained in the gel after the blotting was finished even the tiny markers When I do it with wet blotting everything comes over except markers over about 100K Still my colleague is optimistic Nik we thought of the Greek a thing too so I was surprised it was the other way round Maybe node is Greek for negative so the entire word means not negative Nik Papageorgiou 11 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 41 Nah it s the ode part which means way So anode up way cathode down or against way Jenny 12 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 14 50 Nik that means I have to turn my blotting apparatus upside down Chemgrrl all is clear I knew an was negative somehow diabolical Thanks for clearing up this mess Eva 13 Comment permalink June 8th 2010 at 15 26 I learned a Dutch mnemonic for this in high school and it clearly worked because I still remember knap kathode negatief anode positief chall 14 Comment

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/06/what-a-waste-of-a-decent-education/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Uncategorized - Lab Literal
    Christmas escapism searching for CP Snow LabLit chats with Anna Ziegler Summer reading LabLit com will be ten years old on 7 March 2015 Lab Twitterati Links LabLit home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/category/uncategorized/page/6/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Lab Literal
    As I m sure you can understand this makes writing anything which includes that word on a frequent basis virtually impossible Without question and finding it easier to write than I would if I were only using my left hand but this is still quite a long way short of the maximum potential Also I don t know about you but a crucial stage of writing for me is sketching things out I like to put a few ideas down on the page and then shift around a little bit and then let the words sink into my head before he decided that what I want to say This software works better the more you know what you re going to say indeed when you first start using it you re told that you should speak like a television newsreader Which is fine for television newsreader because they re reading something out If you re trying to create something from scratch it is far more difficult to know exactly what you re going to say and the pauses the arms the cars and things like that can help The last time I knew exactly how I was going to finish his sentence was when I was studying German So in this enforced Of if not relaxation then the ability to raise my eyes from the work in front of me I deliver what s been happening in the wider world of science since I moved Whether I start In this country stem cell research is under pressure once again Not to mention the march of the tea party In fact I was wondering whether and not the software was produced by somebody working for the party given the way that until I trained it it persisted in rendering the word evolution as evil illusion Meanwhile in the UK the Guardian has expiated the sin it commits a few years ago and it s asked its Thursday science supplement It has done this by producing a home for science blogging and so far it looks pretty damned good More recently a German gentleman with an Italian address and indeed wearing a dress has visited the UK He has said some rather silly things about science and religion But then I guess you expect that I don t think that there s really anything useful to say about this other than to say that if you really think that Nancy s and secularism should be mentioned together as an example of evil you ought to look in the modes in your own eye As you have probably guessed from the above while the software is not that bad it is still pretty bad Writing anything with it is going to take less time than it would without it but still lots lots lots more time than it would had I the use of two hands And so I guess I better get back to it Talk again before too long I hope 8 Comments add yours Now that s what I call enthusiasm September 14th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized You should have seen the other guy 2 Comments add yours PhD Life September 1st 2010 by rpg in Comics It s not really like this Is it By Nik Papageorgiou 7 Comments add yours Breathing space August 24th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized I worked at home today This is something I do rarely but sometimes it becomes necessary This time I had a long chunk of analysis to do on my computer a slog with images and spreadsheets that I ve been putting off for weeks because I just couldn t find the mental space I needed to make it happen Somehow in the lab there is always something else that needs doing cells to tend papers to read colleagues questions to answer Only yesterday the ceiling of the tissue culture suite collapsed under a weight of water from a malfunctioning condensation collector and we had to mop up 20 liters of water from the floor as well as hundreds of dripping chunks of ceiling material that looked and felt almost exactly like a dog s breakfast The only good part about this episode was being allowed to crack open the shiny Chemical Spills Kit and use the fluffy pink absorbent cloths and sand for the first time but that s another story I always find it amazing how productive I can be at home One would think that distractions would abound food tea the internet with no watchful eyes to catch you straying But in my case I always end up being far more focused The hours slid away interrupted only by a spate of laundry and the need to dash out five or six times to pull clothes from the sunny wind swept line before they got re soaked by repeated cloudbursts Otherwise I was one with my spreadsheets and even found myself enjoying them Tomorrow I have a queue of experiments as long as my arm but until then this serenity is all mine 7 Comments add yours Day 5 Alex s Version Time to say goodbye August 14th 2010 by Alex in Uncategorized Today was the last day And today was also the day of truth had our experiments worked The morning started off quite quietly All my ocd ishness why yes I do colour code my revision notes why do you ask was satisfied when Alan and I helped to sort out and organize Jenny s old experiment slides into numerical order and then arrange them snugly in a cardboard box to go into the cold room I got to interview Jenny for my project on cancer and asked her about current treatments and about the mechanisms involved when a cell becomes cancerous It was really fun and we filmed the interview on her Flip HD It was the first time I d ever done an interview about science and even after this great week

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/page/7/ (2016-04-26)
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