Terra Sigillata

Twelve months of Terra Sig (2008)

Brothers Bora and Drug reminded me that it is time for the early December traditional meme of recording one’s first sentence of each month’s first post.

Just as an aside, on my visit with this week with Anton and Bora to Ernie Hood’s Radio In Vivo show to promote ScienceOnline’09, Ernie asked, “how do you pronounce Terra Sigillata?”

You’ll recall, I hope, that we named the blog Terra Sigillata because it was the name of the first trademarked drug: a planchet of fat and mineral-rich clay from the Greek isle of Lemnos. However, terra sigillata is also a kind of clayworks that is finished with a lustrous coating, known also as Samian ware.

To cut to the chase, Terra Sigillata can be pronounced properly either as using proper Greek as “terra sij-i-latta” or as Anglos might say as “terra sig-a-latta.” My preferred abbreviation, Terra Sig, is pronounced “terra sig.” Frankly, though, I never thought enough people would read this thing to actually care how to pronounce the dang name.

Ah, but back to the meme:


January 2008Although the hangover should be gone by now… - …there is a very colorful discussion thread of hangover remedies over at the WSJ Health Blog.

February 2008More on medical geophagy in chimps: montmorillonite clay and the origins of life – “Readers and colleagues often ask why scientists care to blog, especially given increasing time demands and decreasing research funding.”

March 2008First anniversary of Scientiae blog carnival! – “It’s my great pleasure to congratulate Skookumchick (Rants of a Feminist Engineer) and the world of women bloggers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) on the first anniversary of their blog carnival, Scientiae.”

April 2008Congratulations anonymous student! – “One of the drawbacks to writing under a pseudonym is that when people around you do well, it’s sort of dodgy how you can use the blog to congratulate them publicly.”

May 2008What’s wrong with Rev. Wright? – “I’ve been away from the computer the last few days and have had to rely on my morning newspaper reading as my sole source of information.”

June 2008Today’s side effects are tomorrow’s therapy* – “This whole “cosmeceutical” thing probably shouldn’t be in “Medicine & Health” but we did call your attention to today’s news item back on 27 July 2007: Drug maker Allergan announced at a stock analyst’s meeting this afternoon that it is filing a New Drug Application (NDA) for a cosmetic form of its anti-glaucoma drug bimatoprost (Lumigan®) as a result of its side effect in increasing the number and thickness of eyelashes.”

July 2008StoryCorps producer responds to NPR exploding bra doubts – “Well, you readers here really know how to draw attention to an issue.”

August 2008The Friday Fermentable: A Mentor Gets A Well-Deserved Break – “This morning our dear friend and colleague whose wine escapades often fill this spot awoke to the rewards of retirement.”

September 2008A junior faculty conundrum: should I write that review article? – “You are an assistant professor in the biomedical sciences and are three or four years in, trying to really hammer on your productivity before the tenure dossier goes in a couple of years from now.”

October 2008Yes, we’re doing DonorsChoose, too! – “I am completely crushed, hammered, and otherwise incapacitated at work right now – apologies to readers who are looking for some natural products and pharmacology wisdom.”

November 2008Go read: Getting Better with Dr Val – “If you haven’t already heard it elsewhere, one of your favorite blogging physicians, Dr Val Jones, has recently hung out her own e-shingle at Getting Better with Dr Val.”

December 2008Chris Patil (ouroboros) on the Campisi lab’s new PLoS Biology paper: cellular senescence, protein secretion, and the aging/cancer paradox – I’ve kept a passing interest in senescence (cellular, not personal) over the last 20 years or so because I’ve always felt that attempts to increase longevity in a multicellular organism would also increase the risk of cancer (more seasoned readers may recognize this as the Hayflick phenomenon of replicative cellular senescence first identified in 1965).”

Funny, but I find this a very interesting introspective exercise for the blogger, yet with potential interest to the reader. I forgot about a few of these posts and it was fun to read them when putting together the links above. I’m particularly proud of my student who is now doing a kickass residency in NYC (and you’d better send me some more cool New Yawk City stuff like the truffle-infused oil you brought last time!) on one end of the spectrum, and the retirement of a now-good friend who I wish I knew for the other two decades of his 30 years in cancer research.

People who don’t blog ask about why we take the time to do this. I have found the blog to be the journal or diary I’ve never written for myself, above and beyond the science content and attempt to share with our readers our excitement about science and the scientific basis of medical practice. But by writing for others, I feel a greater sense of purpose and that this is a more meaningful exercise than simply journaling.

But that’s not part of the meme.

Or is it?

Comments

  1. #1 DrugMonkey
    December 6, 2008

    It is now you introspective muppet hugger, you!