World's Fair

Our unpaid interns have alerted us of our less than enthusiastic showing at the Scienceblogger’s DonorsChoose challenge. For those, who missed the first announcement, we had offer guaranteed publication of a Haiku of your writing at the Science Creative Quarterly, which culminates in the collection of hundreds of Haiku for use in our Haiku Phylogeny project (i.e. we’re looking for Haiku’s on organisms specifically).

Despite this, our donations currently stand at a paltry $300, which even here we suspect is mostly due to contributions from our unpaid interns.

Anyway, two interesting things have come to our attention: one an excuse, and the other something, we feel, not to be missed.

First, since our challenge was in collaboration with the Science Creative Quarterly, we noted that the SCQ had received a dozen or so emails, alerting us that only folks from the United States can donate (a problem since most of the SCQ readers appear to be Canadian).

Anyway, digging deeper (thanks Janet), it appears (and this is direct from DonorsChoose headquarters) that “Believe it or not, this is a Patriot Act issue. ‘They’ have to be sure we aren’t laundering terrorist money. I kid you not.” Which in terms of philanthropy is precisely the sort of thing you don’t want to hear. Anyway, we’ve been instructed to pass along the following instructions for our valued readers who are not from the US:

Generally non-US donors can just use a credit card, put their address in, and pick a state at random. (For instance, people from India sometimes select Indiana.) The only thing we can’t do is send our “feedback packages” (the letters and photographs) overseas.

Second, HELLO PEOPLE! Didn’t you hear that you can get guaranteed publication with a $10 donation?! Man, if that isn’t a sure fire way to beef up your publication record then I don’t know what is. We’ve already had one person, donate $50 bucks and passed on 5 Haiku’s, and went on to say that, “this has, like, doubled my publication count, which led to this awesome tenure track position.

Of course, many of you are probably sceptics, but the trick of course, is to use this publication opportunity intelligently. In other words, don’t be tempted to title the Haiku, “Ode to a Fish.” Instead, call the Haiku, “Reproductive character displacement of male stickleback mate preference: reinforcement or direct selection?”

Doesn’t it suddenly seems like the real thing (even more so, if you place the journal as Sci. Cre. Qtly, and also throw in the words in Press. If you don’t believe us, just take a harder look at some of those publications listed in the CV’s of prominent scientists and Nobel Laureates… See any journals you don’t recognize? Dem be Haikus.

Anyway, consider this is all a call to donate to our DonorsChoose challenge. If not to rebel against the Patriot Act, then at the very least to help us, help you further your career.

And goodness, what does everyone think of that Patriot Act thing?


  1. #1 timtim
    June 26, 2006

    For heaven’s sake. The Patriot Act – really?

  2. #2 dave
    June 26, 2006

    Yes, it’s true. Kind of nuts really.

  3. #3 BRC
    June 27, 2006

    But Dave, sometimes you have to undermine our culture and values if you want progress. Caring for others, compassion, and freedom-loving take a back seat, if there is a future greater world based on caring for others, compassion, and freedom-loving to be built.