In case you have time on your hands ...

... especially if you've just lost an hour to an unseasonably early Daylight Savings (can I blame the groundhog for this?), here are some attractive time sinks:

  • Pick a bracket. Maybe you've already picked your bracket for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Even ScienceBloggers partake in such diversions, myself included. (This year, all my picks were determined by coin toss.) But basketball isn't your only Spring spectator sport option. Check out the 2007 Science Spring Showdown at The World's Fair. Grab a bracket and start making your picks. The match-ups to watch in the first round include Particle vs. Wave, Acid vs. Base, Entropy vs. Enthalpy, and the IAU vs. Pluto. ScienceBlogs will provide the play-by-play and color commentary for each match. Who will be victorious?
  • Solve a puzzle. A reader forwarded me a link to Sci-Doku, which is like a sudoku puzzle except it uses letters instead of numbers and it comes with a science-related clue whose answer will be one of the rows or columns of the puzzle. You may want to do some brain-stretches before you jump in.
  • Create a T-shirt design Are visual representations your bag? If you have what it takes to convey the idea that science is culture on a T-shirt) (and you can cement that design in the next week), you could win the Seed/Threadless T-shirt contest (and $1500 in cash). Check out the details on Page 3.14.
  • Read an article. In this week's issue of Chemical & Engineering News, there's an article about a chemist at Stockholm University who's in hot water for stealing other scientists' ideas that they presented at lectures and symposia -- rushing back to his own lab to set up and run the same experiments, then failing to cite the sources of these stolen ideas. Full disclosure: I'm a quoted source in the article.
  • Support a project to get kids involved with deep-sea research. OceansWide is looking for funding and mentors for a program that puts real kids on a real boat to try their hand at real dea-sea research. They're gearing up for a summer camp in Maine, then looking to offer programs for Eastern seaboard schools during the academic year. Craig at Deep Sea News has the details.

Of course, feel free to recommend other potential time sinks!

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You are evil for passing on the Sci-Doku link.

By Super Sally (not verified) on 13 Mar 2007 #permalink

For those of us not as geographically adept, there is (still) a clever map puzzle game at:
http://viz.globe.gov/viz-bin/show.cgi?l=en&b=g&rg=n&enc=00&nav=1&page=g…
This does require Javascript to be enabled on your browser.

I also recommend the entire site http://www.globe.gov for school age sprogs. It has some interesting material on environmental measurements made by sprogs around the world, although I no longer have any control over the content.

By Super Sally (not verified) on 13 Mar 2007 #permalink

I am interested in the case of the chemist in Stockholm - unfortunately, one must subscribe to Chemical and Engineering News to read the article. Is there an open reference to what went on? I'm quite interested in such goings on!

By WiseWoman (not verified) on 14 Mar 2007 #permalink

I wonder about the Sci-Doku. Traditional soduku can be solved without any exterior hints. A couple times, I've found myself unable to solve the Sci-Doku without using the clue/pun that the 9 letters represent. Is there some reason that I can work with numbers better than letters, or have the Sci-doku puzzle creators created puzzles that cannot be solved if they were equivalent number puzzles without a clue?

As for the Stockholm chemist, he should be shamed and ashamed! I wish bloggers would link back to where they got an idea. I do, but as a professional writer, I tend to be obsessive about giving credit.