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  • Lab Literal
    in his left hand When the person on the other end of the line asked him what the time was he proceeded to look at his watch and pour the flask of bacteria into his lap Of course this is not stupid in the way that say balancing your centrifuge tubes containing DNA preps from two different cultures by pouring back and forth between them is stupid And no neither I nor Seb have ever done anything like that But we know people who have I think Lablit needs to give room to this sort of scientific experience as well as the noble pursuit of knowledge Not to celebrate it exactly Maybe we need a competition for the most impressive instance of a scientist acting like a total doofus Jenny the ball is in your court names have been changed to protect the guilty 5 Comments add yours On the radio September 7th 2009 by rpg in Meta In case you missed it in the new rolling schedule paradigm there s a new podcast up in the previously usual Sunday slot for LabLit com updates Currently the podcast is Jenny and Richard wibbling about things that catch their eye with the occasional interview thrown in We re always on the lookout for new material though so if you have any ideas or even better high quality AACs WAVs Audacity files send em in That is all 1 Comment add yours On the roof August 26th 2009 by rpg in Films Earlier today I hugged Eva goodbye and she set off for London Bridge thence Gatwick and eventually one hopes Tronno She was in London for many reasons not just to see me and exchange Tweets while seated in my kitchen about 12 feet away from where I am now I m staying with Richard and am currently watching him edit a video of interviews he did on Friday night Unless you ve been on holiday living under a rock you ll probably have heard of the conference with no name Science Online London see last year s account and debrief This event which seems to be irrevocably associated in people s mind with the Borg another Science Online conference in the US took place last Saturday And you can read all about that in various places to which I m not going to link because I can t be arsed Well you could check out the twitter hashtag or Friendfeed sorry Eva room I guess Actually Brian Kelly has an interesting take on preserving all the backchat from the conference and Dave Passport what passport Munger talks about Second Life Where was I Oh yes But the major reason for Eva flying to London was I like to think for something that was numerically smaller far more significant in terms of impact fun catering sociability alcohol consumed and general all round awesomeness than the official event I refer of course to the Fringe Frivolous Unconference an event so wild anarchic and hard hitting that we haven t been able to standardize the punctuation of the title which is one reason why Matt s anagram Live Roof Surfing was so eagerly adopted By me at least Fringe Frivolous was Jenny s brainchild and she was ably assisted by Matt Food and copious amounts of alcohol and indeed the entire venue were provided by Mendeley a big shout out to Victor and Cindy for sorting it all Jenny has summarized the evening and Steffi and Eva have also stuck their collective oars in However I m not going to blog about it Instead you may remember me stalking the rooftops with a Flip camera kindly loaned by Alom Shaha I ve edited the clips into a short film that I think captures the essence of the evening perfectly Enjoy 2 Comments add yours We re all going on a summer holiday August 22nd 2009 by Bill in Uncategorized Looking back over the first week of Lab Literal I notice that quite a lot has been going on A couple of rants A mouse An ill advised challenge which occupied my readership for all of 3 minutes But weeks 2 and 3 are likely to be patchier I am off to the airport shortly in the general direction of sunny climes If there are any photographs of lab literal interest I shall post them on my return For now have a good week one and all 2 Comments add yours Lost or gained in translation August 21st 2009 by Bill in Uncategorized I wish I could speak more languages My French though far from fluent is quite sufficient to feel myself to be subtly different while speaking it The less said about my German the better That old saw you gain another language and you gain another soul has a truth to it provided one is sufficiently generous in allowing the use of the word soul Flaubert described human speech as like a cracked tin kettle on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars which sounds pretty much like all language But some languages do better at some things than others Japanese for instance has issues with blue and green There are words for blue ao and green midori But a green light at the famous pedestrian crossings outside Shinjuku station in Tokyo is described as ao blue even though it is not discernibly different from the green light at Piccadilly Circus or Times Square Ao is also surrounded by a dense thicket of associations being linked to notions of freshness and youth or even unripeness This means that just as we would say a piece of fruit was too green to be good to eat a Japanese speaker would use ao rather than midori saying it was too blue The connotations of rawness extend to metaphors such as a green recruit although in Japanese we would say that she was blue have a

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/page/15/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Lab Literal
    new US administration is trying to reform the US healthcare system If you want to get the rest of the political gist check out blogs like this one from the Washington Post But the upshot is that the original editorial was false It is not certain whether the people writing it were culpably stupid that s an artificial voice dumbass or culpably dishonest But something untrue got out into the blogosphere and picked up by organizations and publications which really should know better like Human Events Hilariously when the editorial was corrected it was only to state that the original editorial implied that physicist Stephen Hawking a professor at the University of Cambridge did not live in the UK Not that he would be dead if he lived in the UK See the difference Now the last thing I want to do is weigh into this debate Especially because I think that it plays directly into the hands of the people posting this and other nonsense I suspect that the strategy is to somehow cast anything other than the present system as unamerican and I don t think I will help by arguing against it Especially seeing as I live in North London have the whole of The Wire on DVD and shop at Whole Foods Well I shop there when I am passing Most of the time the sainsburys across the road does fine But I am clearly part of a liberal elite A liberal sneering foreign elite But I don t feel smug about my non americanness Not at all Because I live in the UK which has things like this Daily Mail headline Tamiflu turned my children into hallucinating sobbing wrecks Note the inverted commas which is UK press code for anything between these may well be bollocks and not legally actionable It s an article by a journalist whose kids by the sound of it had a rotten bout with swine flu But he is blaming the Tamiflu they took rather than the virus The possibility that some or indeed all of the problems he describes could be due to the infection is dismissed as follows The effects of swine flu Not a bit of it My wife and I are utterly convinced that all these symptoms were quite simply the vicious side effects of Tamiflu There is some growing concern about precisely how useful Tamiflu is and how many rare side effects there might be for a drug which has of necessity not been in widespread use before now But as anybody who has done epidemiology or statistics will know to study this takes much more than a single sample from one concerned parent who happens to have as a mouthpiece the single loudest and most moronic fountainhead of antirationalist nonsense afflicting British society From the article it is not even clear at which point in the course of infection Tamiflu was administered Apparently the children were vomiting yes another symptom of swine flu and

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/page/16/ (2016-04-26)
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