March Pieces Of My Mind #2

At concerts these days people wave their phone flashlights instead of cigarette lighters during the slow numbers. At concerts these days people wave their phone flashlights instead of cigarette lighters during the slow numbers.
  • I broke the rice cooker's handle. Then I fixed it. Jrette smiled and called this macho display. I replied that I wasn't actually using my willie for the work and that breasts wouldn't get in the way.
  • Me: Can I put the manual for your thermos flask in the recycling? Wife: No, I want to read it first. Me: You never allow me any kinky pleasures.
  • I just joined the St. Eric Society, also known as the Stockholm Historical Society. Don't know why I haven't done so decades ago.
  • Charli XCX's tour band - guitar, bass, drums - is all 20-something women. I'm glad Jrette is starting her concert-going life with this.
  • The cadence of Katy Perry's stage patter is straight from the revival tent.
  • Why do some journals ask for figure captions in a separate file? Makes no sense.
  • Movie: Into the Woods. Disnified 80s fairytale musical. Grade: Pass.
  • Wife: Dammit, I can't find my pants. Me, from breakfast table: That's the way I like it, baby.
  • Ouch. The architect's sketch of what the new commuter station in Fisksätra will look like has twelve people pasted in where you can judge skin & hair colour. Ten have a Northern European complexion. This is very far from the actual ratio seen at Fisksätra commuter station.
  • I was surprised to see Lolth the Demon Queen of Spiders in the digital backdrop projections at the Katy Perry gig.
  • Sad farewell to neutrino physicist and genuinely nice guy Per-Olof Hulth, one of my predecessors as chair of the Swedish Skeptics.
  • Reading Stephen Greenblatt's critical essays on the relationship between literature and social reality, my reaction isn't "He's right" or "He's wrong". I just find his concerns abstruse to the point of unimportance. I don't care. Just tell me something concrete about the 16th century.
  • When asked what his studies of nature had revealed about God's characteristics, biologist J.B.S. Haldane once famously replied "He has an inordinate fondness for beetles". Astronomy has since taught us that God seems to enjoy hard vacuum immeasurably more even than beetles.

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The old story goes that JBS Haldane felt that God had an inordinate fondness for beetles. It also seems he likes catfish. CJ Ferraris has produced a checklist of fossil and living catfishes and estimated that there are 3093 valid species in 478 genera (and 36 families). Of these 72 species are…
Its strange enough that beetles grow horns. But its especially strange that beetles grow so many kinds of horns. This picture, which was published in the latest issue of the journal Evolution, shows a tiny sampling of this diversity. The species shown here all belong to the genus Onthophagus, a…
Stegeborg Castle seen from our hostel. Had dinner in Ryd shopping centre outside Linköping. My falafel came covered in this shocking purplish pink sauce. I said, "Oh my, what sauce is this!?" Replied the waiter, "It's pink sauce". (Turned out to be the standard white garlic sauce with colouring…
After some instruction I've given Jrette & buddy free range with the little row/motorboat. They're having lots of fun, learning lots and are clearly pleased with themselves. Eider males swimming around in a little posse going "woo-OOO, woo-OOO". The villain in the endless Neal Stephenson novel…

The cadence of Katy Perry’s stage patter is straight from the revival tent.

Ms. Perry grew up in a fundamentalist Christianist family, so that's a natural style for her. In fact, her first album, recorded as Katy Hudson[1], was Christian music. Needless to say, she is one of the many from her generation to have left the church.

Why do some journals ask for figure captions in a separate file? Makes no sense.

Probably a holdover from the days of submission by mail. Back then, there were good reasons to require that the figure captions be on a separate page. While it's easy enough to do that in a Word or LaTeX file, editors and production people probably assume (not unreasonably so) that not everybody will make the effort, so they impose this condition to force this outcome. Of course, other journals (such as the ones I am most familiar with) simply make an explicit requirement that the figure captions be on a separate page, and assume that prospective authors will figure out how to do it. But I write for scientific journals, where that's a reasonable assumption. It may not be for other fields.

[1]Hudson is her birth surname. When she switched genres to mainstream pop, she started using her mother's family name, Perry, to avoid being mistaken for the actress Kate Hudson.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Apr 2015 #permalink

I suspect that the artist of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal uses a random number generator to assign his characters ages, genders, phenotypes, and sexual preferences. That would be one way to work around the problem that humans are good at working with archetypes and variations therefrom (and somehow most people's archtypical person is of the dominant age, gender, and ethnic group in their society) and bad at generating representative samples from a statistical distribution.

It does sound like a fun programming project for a Saturday afternoon! Humh … you could tweak it to generate minor characters for other settings too.

When an Aboriginal teenager unaggressively and politely approaches you to ask for a cigarette - one cigarette - this explains why, if you have some, you should give it to him, not attack him and shove him into a garden bed. A lot of Aboriginal teens will do jail time for this, and that will set the die for the rest of their lives - because one older white man, instead of just giving the kid a cigarette, responded with rejection and then violence.…

By John Massey (not verified) on 03 Apr 2015 #permalink