What Are Your Favorite Quotes?

The writer is… an athlete required to break the four-minute mile every morning.
— Irving Stone

Replace writer with blogger and you have a good description of what the job of blogging is.

I’ve been collecting quotes since I was very young. One of my favorite books is the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which just celebrated it’s Diamond Jubilee. I don’t know when the old rusty red edition found its way into my hands as a child, but I was totally taken with the never-ending collection of wise and whimsical things people said for every occasion. I wanted to talk like they did, combining words in such a way to make a powerful punch when provoked.

Maybe that was my first introduction and training into press release, editorial, and technical writing?
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Superman’s Evil Baby Nemesis Wagging Dogs and Reading Palms

Good news! These past couple of weeks have seen a resurgence of actual science and interesting science factoids for all the sci-blog watchers out there, the political infighting has thankfully moved into the background where it belongs. Not that political infighting isn’t fun for political junkies to watch and get a giggle out of, but when science bloggers won’t blog about science there’s a real dearth of fun stuff to write about.

As you can probably tell from this installment’s title, there is humor, fear, factoids and stranger-than-comic book discoveries out there to delight the seeker. Starting with stranger-than-comic book discoveries, Chris Rowan at Highly Allochthonous blog informs us that Scientists have discovered ‘Kryptonite’ !

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All Hell Breaks Loose In Sci-Blog Land!

The science blogging community has been inundated over the last week-plus with commentary on the subject of “framing” and whether scientists should be framing things in easy-to-digest sound-bytes for consumption by the general public. It started with an article in Science Magazine by Matthew Nisbet and Chris Mooney, entitled “Framing Science.”

This was followed by an NPR On the Media segment and another article by Nisbet and Mooney in Sunday’s Washington Post titled Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them., and it seems like everyone who is anyone has weighed in on the topic.

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The Most Silent Spring, ‘Going Grad’ and Neuronal Equality

Happy April to one and all! This year it went from freezing all the way to mid-summer 80+ degrees in 12 hours, making me just that much more concerned about global warming. In this science blog round-up I’m going to start out with some positively apocalyptic signs and omens almost as weird as the fact that dogwoods beat azaleas this year for early blooming. Before I get into regular old ‘weird science’ and brain-stuff, that is.

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Sudoku and Open Source Collaboration

If you haven’t heard of Sudoku, then you must have been living under a rock the past couple of years. Sudoku is the numbers puzzle wherein you fill in the blanks on a 9×9 grid such that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 boxes contains the digits 1 to 9. While the actual concept of the game was invented by an American, it is in Japan where the game first gained popular acclaim, after puzzle publisher Nikoli featured it in their monthly magazine in 1984. But the secret behind Sudoku’s popularity, according to Maki Kaji, co-founder of Nikoli, is a sort of open source collaboration.

The International Herald Tribune had a feature recently.

Nikoli’s secret, Kaji said, lay in a kind of democratization of puzzle invention. The company itself does not actually create many new puzzles — an American invented an earlier version of Sudoku, for example. Instead, Nikoli provides a forum for testing and perfecting them. About 50,000 readers of its main magazine submit ideas; the most promising are then printed by Nikoli to seek approval and feedback from other readers.

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Do You Have A Hidden Life?

I know some bloggers who blog anonymously, or sometimes under a pseudonym. This is usually done for various reasons, including personal security (afraid of stalkers, eh?), job security (the boss might be into blogs, and might read the crap you write about him), or sometimes even just to be able to express things you won’t normally want to be attributed to yourself. Anonymous blogging can be liberating, especially since you can say what you want to say without having to worry about what other people will think about you.

What if you broaden the concept of anonymous blogging, and turn it into a whole social network where everyone is writing under an alter ego? This is just what Hidden Lives is all about. It is a “space to reflect on your innermost thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears and imaginings.” It is a place where you reveal your inner self, and also discover other people’s inner selves.

Hidden Lives is a social experiment dabbling in the realms of authentic expression and intimate revelation.

When people have the opportunity and courage to share their hidden lives, it is a powerful reminder that, for everything that separates us, we are all intimately connected.

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March 24 Is World Shutdown Day

At first I thought it’s that day you have to powercycle your computer by actually shutting it down and turning it back on–instead of just putting it to hibernate or sleep–a habit I developed through years of working on computers. You see, for a guy with so much clutter work to take care of, I really appreciate not having to open all my apps and documents each time I turn on the computer.

But no, World Shutdown Day is supposed to be a no-computer day. [Read more…]

Silly Science, Head Cheese, and the Hairless Vulpes of Carolina

This edition of science blogging is going to look at some scientific tidbits about brains… and minds, as those seem to come attached to brains. There has been quite a lot on the subjects these past couple of weeks, thus lots of meaty stuff (apologies to those who gag at the thought of head cheese) to learn from.

On the subject of food, Berkeley professor of psychology Seth Roberts offers two blog posts about Brain Food, from the Scientific Blogging site. In Part 1, he talks about omega-3 fatty acids taken as supplements to improve sleep. His sources include walnut oil, flax oil capsules and salmon. His informal research on himself and from reports on nutrition forums indicate increased intake of omega-3s also helps symptoms of mood disorders, and in other studies has shown decreased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s. Which looks to be a pretty good reason to put omega-3s into one’s diet even if you sleep like a baby!

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Apple Gazette Lets You Create Your Own Apple Rumor

I love Apple rumors. I especially had a great time writing for that great site known as the Apple Gazette (ah, the good ol’ days). True enough, while I had my share of legitimate reviews and Diggable articles, I must admit that rumors are the bread and butter of Apple bloggers. But then sometimes you just run out of rumors to blog about.

Fret not. The Apple Gazette has released its ultimate weapon that will make trigger-happy Apple lawyers scream in anguish: the Create Your Apple Rumor Chart. [Read more…]

Real Science Blogging, Endless Love and Morning Sickness

Greetings, intrepid seekers of scientific knowledge and useful trivia! The longest month of the year is more than halfway over, and we are still alive. At least I presume so, since I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it if that were not a reasonable presumption. Thus we’ve much to be thankful for that has nothing to do with how many snowflakes will collapse the roof, or the exact wind chill projection that equals instant frostbite in a 50 mph pre-March breeze…

In case you missed it, there was an entire week (Feb. 4-10) of science blogging called “Science Week” – when an entire stable of science bloggers committed to at least one blog a day actually focused on… Science! [Read more…]