A Better Mousetrap?

A Better Mousetrap

If you build a better mousetrap,

you will catch better mice.

– George Gobel

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The Secret Of Scientific Research – What They (Normally) Don’t Tell You

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The height of the trees were not deemed important as it would require standing in middle of a freeway to measure.
-Ian Smith ‏@EcologIan

1. Choosing A Methodology

Statistical advice was integral to the initial experimental design, but we decided the advice led to too much work.

– David C Logan ‏@angerstusson

Selected to use open data for analysis because we didn’t manage to negotiate access to potentially more useful sources.

– Muki Haklay ‏@mhaklay

A Northern blot was run instead of realtime QPCR because the PI is old and does not trust results unless he sees a band.

– Adriana Heguy ‏@AdrianaHeguy

Continue reading The Secret Of Scientific Research – What They (Normally) Don’t Tell You

Round Robin

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Dear Friends.

as usual our family has enjoyed an eventful year, and we’d like to share our news with you all.

As some of you already know, our house was repossessed earlier in the year, due to an unfortunate misunderstanding with the tax authorities. Happily we’ve found the perfect little family home, and we’re currently parked just 3 miles up the North Road. Grant attached it to a power line with his usual technical skill. Later in the year he was fired from his job, but not before he got hold of some choice bits of information on several members of the board. We are looking forward to a comfortable retirement in the near future.

Our pride and joy Sharon failed the entrance exam to the new school, but with her usual courage she’s decided to soldier on and try again next year. Her charming new boyfriend Dwight is very successful in the pharmaceutical line, so let us know if you need anything. Our dear son Steven was arrested (his first time!!!), but we’re confident he will get off on a technicality.

After our move, Rover went missing, though we believe he may still be in the area. We have heard of a number of chickens disappearing, and he always did love chicken. Ginger on the other hand is thriving – and providing us with regular fresh meat: the local butcher has a cat-flap.

As for me, I’ve got my little flask, and am fine as always.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and an equally successful 2013.

Donna + Grant + Sharon + Steven + Rover + Ginger

Dots

Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali.

He was using a dotted line.

He caught every other fish.

Steven Wright

In the past weeks, I’ve seen many beautiful photos of trees in blazing red or gold and I was the tiniest bit envious, as the autumn colours here didn’t seem half as glorious. But suddenly I realised: our trees are pointillists!

Mine

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics.

I can assure you mine are still greater.

Albert Einstein

Olaf joined me on an I.T. project in Stockholm as MSE, or moral support elk. The photo shows him hard at work. He doesn’t come from Sweden, but enjoyed working there immensely. The people, the culture, the climate: he felt right at home. He even started looking out for a position with the local office.

On-site in October, he suddenly realised they turn the lights out in winter, and decided to retire to the South.

Below you see Olaf studying Swedish, as he still loves Sweden, and hopes to go there on holiday soon – in the summer, of course. He feels quite protective of all things Swedish: even if he’s not really from there, he feels being an “Älg” makes him belong!

Olaf says Hi to everyone, especially those afflicted with I.T. projects, and of course: Hälsningar!


This Week’s Photo Challenge: Mine.

We Enjoy Helping You!

Subject: Ticket n° 773342259

Dear Ms. Barrow,

thank-you for calling the automated IDEAL service hotline.
Your call was received: 13.09.2012 10:44
Your ticket n°: 773342259
Your issue: “Email not working“.

We want to start working on your ticket as soon as possible: please release the ticket by clicking THIS LINK, or calling the hotline again and stating your ticket number.

We enjoy helping you!
IDEAL Service Team.

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Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

#Wisdom: Appreciate. Forgive. Love. Enjoy. Relax.

Donald Trefusis on Brevity

“Guest post” inspired by the DPChallenge.

I was approached by young Bertie – ablogdog, which as he kindly explains is not his name, but his you-are-well. Whether this denotes his breed or his profession I cannot say, or perhaps it is a passphrase to some secret domain? Anyway, I was invited to spread my metaphorical wings and broadcast my opinions in this new arena, the blogosphere. B-logo-sphere, a second domain of rationality it seems, or of discourse at any rate. Ever ready to try a new way of giving others the benefit of my superior, I fastened my seat-belt and climbed in the roller coaster of  bloggings and twitterings – well, possibly in reverse order.

The new birdsongs are truly delightful, one can only deplore that they come too late. What would the scholar not give to read Archimedes’ “I’m in the bath.”, Newton’s “Would you believe it, an apple just hit me on the head!”, and Edison’s laconic “Making tea.” Whether my new young friends’ “I’m on the train” will prove equally valuable, is not for me to say.

On the blogging front, I am sadly forced to confess failure. I feel entitled to plead attenuating circumstances as I was distracted by the hand of fate. It transported me with a simple click, as if by magic, into the domain of a man named Ted. A loquacious chap, the unanimous verdict on whom seems to be “Ted talks”, otherwise I believe him to be a perfectly fluffy fellow with a catalogue of highly entertaining and enlightening expositions.

Ted’s genius is demonstrated by the fact that all the gems in his collection are brief; one even bespeaks the ability to present any idea in only six words. What progress could humanity make, or the humanities at any rate, if books and essays were strictly proscribed from exceeding a six word limit? One could easily do a whole term’s marking in a leisured forenoon, and take the rest of term off.  I would suddenly have enough shelf space for my collection of stuffed owls, though, admittedly, it might be hard to convince publishers you were extensively revising word three.

The following abridgments alone will make space for the espresso machine I intend to buy with today’s profits.

  • Homer’s Odyssey. Storms, sirens, giants. Don’t wait dinner.
  • Dante’s Inferno. Abandon all hope, ye who enter.
  • Kant’s 3 Critiques – What can we know? What should we do? What may we hope for? Not much. Your best. Perpetual peace.

If you have been, how very kind.