Archives for November, 2008

The Last Recount

An enjoyable overview of the Coleman Franken Recount process all it attends to … “What do we want?” Franken shouts. “PATIENCE!” the volunteers respond. “When do we want it?” Franken asks. “NOW!” the crowd demands. Here Hat tip: Ana

A particular elephant

This particular elephant was one of the nicest elephants I’ve ever met. click for a larger picture I was leading a tour group in the vicinity of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. The local guide suggested that we could take a walk along a particular trail, as long as vehicles stayed near by…

Rachel on Conan

Cyberchondria

If that headache plaguing you this morning led you first to a Web search and then to the conclusion that you must have a brain tumor, you may instead be suffering from cyberchondria. This is about a Microsoft publication (in the ‘journal’ Microsoft Research), here, and written up in the New York Times.

These days, many people say that race is largely a social construct; while it may have a place in describing the population genetics of some species, is not particularly applicable to humans. I’m one of those people. The race concept is generally inapplicable or at best misleading when used as it often is with our…

Cyber Mionday

Do you know what Cyber Monday is? If not, find out here. But don’t wait ’till Tuesday.

Markita Landry, a half-Bolivian, half-French Canadian physics Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, … used a tango to convey her thesis, “Single Molecule Measurements of Protelomerase TelK-DNA Complexes.” She is trying to understand how a protein called TelK bends DNA into hairpin loops. The mechanism makes for beautiful dance, with Landry bending like…

Vince LiCata, a biochemist at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, won this category with the help of his graduate students. The foursome danced a slow and graceful double pas de deux, representing the interaction of pairs of hemoglobin molecules from his 1990 Johns Hopkins University Ph.D. thesis, “Resolving Pathways of Functional Coupling in Human Hemoglobin…

The raw material for Miriam Sach’s solo contemporary dance was her 2004 Ph.D. thesis at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, titled “Cerebral activation patterns induced by inflection of regular and irregular verbs with positron emission tomography: A comparison between single subject and group analysis.” The question behind her research was whether different types of verbs…

Sue Lynn Lau chose classical ballet and highly kinetic party dancing as the way to interpret her Ph.D. thesis, “The role of vitamin D in beta-cell function.” As The Nutcracker Suite lilts in the background, Lau, a graduate student from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, appears as the Sugarplum Fairy, delivering…