Terra Sigillata

Archives for October, 2009

This post appeared here originally on 31 October 2007 Have you ever wondered, perhaps on 31 October, why witches are depicted as riding brooms? The answer is alluded to by Karmen Franklin at Chaotic Utopia in her post as to why witches need to know their plant biology. The excerpts I’m about to give you…

No, this is not the same old beaten horse. Revere at Effect Measure, one/some of the best public health writers on the web, has written a splendid piece on the difference between the two types of blogging in response to the denial of his registration at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker. Revere has intended to…

What is squalene?

Meet squalene: Squalene is a 30-carbon branched structure made from isoprene units in the production of cholesterol and other endogenous compounds such as glucocorticoids and sex steroids. We all have squalene in our bodies. We NEED squalene. All mammals make squalene. Even fungi make squalene (for a compound called ergosterol that is required in their…

Just a quick follow-up from our last two posts about Amy Wallace’s article, “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All,” in Wired magazine about vaccine developer Dr Paul Offit and the anti-vaccination movement: Wired has now compiled Wallace’s tweets from the last two days into blog-readable narrative. Only a week…

Case in point: A few days ago, I sang the praises of last week’s article in Wired magazine by Amy Wallace on pediatric infectious disease and immunology specialist, Dr Paul Offit, and the anti-vaccination movement in the US. Wallace’s article has been widely heralded by the scientific community but has evoked the wrath of several…

While working on a science-rich post and writing an exam, something came across Twitter that is, well, too good to just be seen only on Twitter. Fullsteam is the name of the plow-to-pint Southern microbrewery in Durham, NC, no-longer-in-planning-but-not-quite-done and I have written about the tweeter several times. The imagination behind brewing a beer with…

Over the weekend, registration opened for ScienceOnline2010, the fourth annual science communicators conference to be held January 14-17, 2010, in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. Please join us for this free (but donations are accepted) three-day event to explore science on the Web. Our goal is to bring together scientists, physicians, patients,…

One of the most engaging and clearly-written pieces of science journalism over the last year or so was published in Wired magazine last week. Amy Wallace’s, “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All,” is part interview with rotavirus vaccine developer, pediatric infectious disease physician, Dr Paul Offit, and description of…

Before my colleague DrugMonkey gives me more grief about not yet having a CafePress shop (theirs here) to sell and give away paraphernalia related to this blog, I have a question for you, the always erudite and good-looking reader of this humble blog. You see, I don’t know exactly what text to put on T-shirts,…

While many folks ’round these parts have been focusing on tweets and posts from the Society for Neuroscience meeting, several of our geology blogger colleagues have been at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA). Geobloggers rock and we’ve got a great outcrop at ScienceBlogs. They’re usually really gneiss people and they…