Hockey Scores, Week 11

(by Bob O'H) Dec 20 2010

I was talked into this because I was(apparently) doing so well. I'm rather disappointed now. *harrumph*
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4 responses so far

Words for Moderators

(by Bob O'H) Dec 13 2010

I'm not sure if this video is a list of banned words at Occam's Typewriter, or PhysioProf's playlist. I've put it below the line, just in case.
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2 responses so far

Occam's Typewriter: here at last

(by Bob O'H) Dec 12 2010

I've been in Switzerland for the last couple of days, so I missed the Big Launch of Occam's Typewriter. I've been part of some of the discussions leading up to this, so I've known it was coming, but they still went and started in when I was out of contact. Pah, no consideration. But a couple of my Scientopia colleagues have already noticed.
Occam's Typewriter
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12 responses so far

The Carnival of Evolution #30

(by Bob O'H) Dec 02 2010

There I was, wondering why I hadn't heard anything about this month's Carnival of Evolution, when I discovered that (a) I was meant to be writing it, and (b) it was already late. So, without further ado,
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9 responses so far

English Libel laws: they matter to you too

(by Bob O'H) Nov 14 2010

[I thought this was going to publish on Wednesday, but something happened. Dunno what]
In the last couple of years, the science establishment in the UK have been getting politically active. a lot of this was started by the British Chiropractic Association deciding to sue Simon Singh for libel after he wrote that the organisation "happily promotes bogus treatments".

Although that complaint was eventually dropped (and as a result of the action complaints made against a quarter of registered UK chiropracters), the threat of libel still remains.

Is this some minor issue of concern only for the English and Welsh who are unable to open their mouths without considering whether they'll put their foot in it? No, for several reasons.

free debate
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Harry Potter and the Elements of Lehrer

(by Bob O'H) Nov 13 2010

Daniel Radcliffe has now gone up inestimably in my estimation [huh?]. He thinks Tom Lehrer is "the cleverest and funniest man of the twentieth Century" (beating even Dan Quayle?):

Booo! It looks like I can't get a YouTube video of Tom Lehrer singing his song in this country. So you'll have to try to find one yourself. But you can watch this instead:

9 responses so far

Nobel Prize Mired in Further Controversy

(by Bob O'H) Oct 05 2010

After yesterday's surprising Nobel Prize announcement, the prizes were mired in further controversy when today's prize for physics was awarded for work in chemistry.
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6 responses so far

Shock As Nobel Prize for Molecular Biology Given to Medic

(by Bob O'H) Oct 04 2010

This year's Nobel Prize for Molecular Biology has been controversially awarded to Prof Robert Edwards for his pioneering work on in-vitro fertilisation. Prof. Edwards' work in developing "test tube babies" has helped the conception and birth of 4 million people around the world, starting with first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978. Whilst it is acknowledged that this work was ground-breaking and of major significance, there has been wide-spread criticism that the prize has been awarded for work in medicine and physiology, rather than in molecular biology, for which the prize was originally intended.

"I'm shocked" said Prof. Philip Mickelson of the North Oregon Teaching Hospital Institute of Nuclear Genetics, "the Nobel committee has finally stretched the meaning of the prize beyond breaking point".

Dr. Andrew McDowell of the British Organisation for Molecular Biology agreed, stating "this is ludicrous. What's the point in going into molecular biology if some physiologist is going to nick your big prize?"

Environmentalists were also critical of the prize, pointing out that it was being awarded for work that had increased our over-population problems. Greenpeas and Friends of the Planet both released statements condemning the Karolinska Institute as "irresponsble", and "encouraging behaviour that will speed up the destruction of this planet and all we hold dear". Pope Benedict, in contrast, praised the award, stating in a press release that "this prize can only encourage those who chose to have children to conceive and birth as many as their family can support".

A statement released to the press by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm acknowledged the controversy, stating "the committee felt that, despite its name, the prize had been too narrowly focussed on molecular advances and some recognition should be made of research in other areas of biology". The spokesman pointed out that the prize has been awarded to research outside its immediate scope of molecular, most noticeably in 1973 when it was awarded for work in animal behaviour.

There is concern that this will mark a trend in this year's prizes. Dr. Edward Molinari of the European Institute of Biochemistry admitted he was worried about Wednesday's award. "Just looking at the bookies' odds, it's clear that everyone is panicked. It's looking more likely that this year's Nobel Prize for Biochemistry will be awarded to someone who doesn't even work on living organisms. Heaven forbid, but they might even be an inorganic chemist".

Odds on President George W. Bush winning the Peace Prize have not shortened, however.

17 responses so far

Scientia Pro Publica - TOMORROW!

(by Bob O'H) Oct 03 2010

I've been horribly remiss in advertising blog carnivals recently, but this one I can't avoid. Scientia Pro Publica (Science for the People) will return to a weekly schedule (we're getting enough submissions that every 2 weeks is a lot of work, and there are enough for one week). I was too close when she made this decision, so I was saddled with writing it. It'll be up tomorrow on my other blog, Deep Thoughts and Silliness.
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The simpler truth about statistics

(by Bob O'H) Sep 29 2010

The Grauniad has been running a series of guest posts as a 'Blog Festival (including from SciCurious, usually of this parish). Yesterday's post was called "The simple truth about statistics", which is of my chosen specialist subjects. I'm still trying to work out whether the irony in the errors in the post were deliberate.
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