Periodic Table of the ScienceBlogs, Part 9: Blogs R-S

Respectful Insolence
Categories: Medicine, Philosophy of Science

Orac is a pseudonymous surgeon/scientist, and an ardent skeptic. He holds both MD and PhD degrees, and he is board certified as a general surgeon. He's also the proprietor of the Skeptic's Circle, a blog carnival dedicated to skepticism and critical thinking. On Respectful Insolence, he blogs about surgery, biomedical research, critical thinking, Holocaust denial, and--naturally--skepticism.

Categories: Brain & Behavior, Academia

A neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, Shelley Batts grew up outside of Orlando, Florida and has been addicted to sunshine ever since. Her thesis involves experimental methods for regenerating hair cells in the cochlea; she anticipates an academic and research career working towards a cure for deafness. On Retrospectacle, Shelley attempts to make brain-based blogging accessible, relevant, and fun. She highlights important discoveries in neuroscience and the sciences in general, and describes the process of obtaining a PhD, being an upbeat, savvy female scientist, and writing a thesis in the postmodern world. Retrospectacle's philosophy is that scientific research belongs to everyone--not just ivory tower dwellers. Join Shelley as she races to get funded, get a PhD, and stay sane in the process.

The Scientific Activist
Categories: Policy & Politics, Culture Wars

Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Nick Anthis earned a BS in biochemistry in 2005, before winning a Rhodes scholarship and relocating to Oxford, England where he pursues a biochemistry D.Phil. In the lab, Nick uses structural biology methods to study protein-protein interactions involved in cell adhesion and migration. On the web, Nick's The Scientific Activist offers news and commentary on science, politics, and the areas where these dynamic fields clash. The blog aims to open up dialogue on the proper role of science in an ever-changing society, and to take on the people and obstacles standing in the way of the intelligent application of science. In 2006, The Scientific Activist received national attention when findings published on the blog led to the resignation of Bush administration appointee and NASA employee George Deustch. When not bringing enemies of science to justice, Nick enjoys playing tennis, SCUBA diving, and partaking in Oxford's fine drinking culture.

The Scientific Indian
Categories: Philosophy of Science, Culture Wars

Selva Ganesan is a hominid made out of star dust that coalesced some five billion years ago around a small and rather average star. In his own insignificant way, he is trying to understand why white rabbits are cute and how some people are able to pull it out of their rear. The Scientific Indian is where he shares those moments of understanding, fun, hilarity and pain.

Smooth Pebbles
Categories: Brain & Behavior, Medicine

In Smooth Pebbles, award-winning author and journalist David Dobbs covers the same questions and issues he writes about in his books (Reef Madness and others) and in articles for the New York Times Magazine, Slate, Scientific American, Audubon, and other publications: How do science, medicine, and nature shape our lives and culture? How do we in turn shape and define these means of understanding the world and ourselves? What does the way we talk about science and medicine reveal about our society and culture? These questions (as well as less vital ones, like how Yo-Yo Ma plays so well or how Roy Oswalt throws so hard) are the spur for Smooth Pebbles.

Stranger Fruit
Categories: Biology, Philosophy of Science

John M. Lynch is an evolutionary biologist and historian of biology at Arizona State University, where he is an Honors Faculty Fellow at the Barrett Honors College and an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Biology & Society. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and trained as a zoologist, earning his PhD from University College, Dublin in 1993. Since then, he has lived in Tempe, AZ, where he has taught courses in the history and philosophy of biology, and in intellectual history and the "great books." He blogs about politics, current events, biology, music, and literature.


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A Tenants Guide to Renting

The first challenge every tenant faces is finding an apartment for rent that suits their individual needs. For todays tenant, the most effective apartment search can be done using an online apartment finder. Tenants should decide what they require in an apartment or house rental before beginning their search. For example: the number of bedrooms, location or distance from public transportation and how much the tenant can afford to pay in rent, furnished or unfurnished apartment, etc. By making these important decisions first, tenants can avoid renting an apartment or house only to regret it later. Many tenants today are taking advantage of the convenience of the internet to locate apartments for rent as opposed to the traditional print publications.

Once a possible apartment or home has been found, it is the tenant's duty to thoroughly inspect the premises making a commitment in the form of a security deposit. A tenant should not rely on the landlord or the landlord's agent to tell the tenant if anything is wrong with the property. The tenant must inspect the property carefully and ask questions about it.
Inspecting the condition and functionality of the following areas/features of the apartment before committing yourself as a tenant is highly recommended.
1.Kitchen appliances in working order.
2.Water pressure strong, plumbing without leaks.
3.Electrical outlets and wiring working.
4.Walls and ceiling painted or papered without cracks
5.Ventilation or air conditioning accessible.
6.Floors, railings and bathrooms in good repair.
7.Fire escape easy to use.
8.Stairs safe and well-lighted.
9.No rodents or insects.
10.Heating system in working order.
11.If furnished, check and write down condition of all furniture.
12.Windows and doors operable and weather-tight; screens provided.
The tenant should also check the security of the building to find out if there is a dead-bolt lock, security chain, or through-the-door viewer.
BEWARE OF EXISTING DAMAGES: In order to avoid being blamed for damages that already exist in the rental unit, the cautious tenant should take every step for self-protection. Before moving in (or as soon as possible thereafter), the tenant should make a list of all existing damages and repairs that need to be made. A copy of the list should he presented to the landlord and attached to the lease This way the landlord cannot blame the tenant for damages caused by others and the tenant will know what the landlord intends to repair. If the tenant keeps good records the landlord will not be able to keep the tenants security deposit for damages that were actually caused by others. Taking pictures before moving in is also strongly recommended.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Rossano, associated with who Conveniently Connects All People with All Spaces in All Places has been dedicated to the Real Estate rental market for over 8 years. He has assisted over 25,000 tenants with their renting needs. Any questions about renting apartments, houses or other rentals, feel free to visit or email him at