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Culture

Academic kindness

The academic world can be a harsh mistress, as anyone who’s been anywhere near it knows. Not only can it feel like your colleagues are out to get you, but your bosses, funders, the public, governments and officials and, well, the world. Through all of this,  fledgling (and lovely!) tumblr blog Academic Kindness shines a light of sweetness and hope. Have a look. Take a moment to smile. And, perhaps, think what moment of academic [...]

Thoughts on using people to get into restaurants

I’ve not blogged for a while (sorry!), and today I’m going to do something a little different. I’m NOT going to blog about science*. Instead, I’m going to write down my feelings on why I don’t particularly think what this lady has been up to, is particularly awesome. And I’m going to be coming from a humanist/feminist perspective. Bear with me – I don’t normally do this, so it’s something of an experiment :) Firstly, [...]

Where does NZ rank in the Global Innovation Index 2013?

How innovative would you say New Zealand is, comparatively? Well, we have an answer, according to the Global Innovation Index 2013 – produced (since 2007) by economists from Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization. This year, the report looks at 142 countries from Zimbabwe to Switzerland. Together, these countries represent almost 95% of the world’s population, and over 98% of its GDP. From Scientific American: This year’s big-picture findings: R&D spending [...]

My Skeptics Conference 2013 talk and slides – ‘Nerds, nerds everywhere’

The weekend just passed saw the annual NZ Skeptics Conference 2013, held in my home town of Wellington. The theme was around science communication, and speakers featured such stars as Pamela Gay and Kylie Sturgess, as well as local speakers such as Martin Manning and fellow Scibloggers Siouxise Wiles and Elf Eldridge. For some unfathomable reason, I was asked to speak too. I was told it was because of experience in and around community stuff [...]

Book review: The Year Without Pants

UPDATE: Free book chapter here, the movie trailer here. And in case you such things, them to make a decision, high profile endorsements here. You can also buy the book here. Oooh, and interesting interview on WordPress.com with Berkun, here. If sometimes you wonder whether everything possible hasn’t already been written about startups, business, software startups, software businesses and so on (ad nauseum), you wouldn’t be alone. Certainly, the industry which examines this seems pretty healthily active. [...]

Future Timeline – a visual representation Pt 2

After some agonising, I’ve decided to go with the easy route. Confused? See Pt 1 for an explanation of what this is all about :) So, here’s the full thing, in two formats: 1) Future Timeline – visual (a webpage, sorry about some of the mashed formatting. Time mutter grumble grumpy grumble) 2) A PDF (see below) Remember, in both versions EACH ENTRY is hyperlinked back to the fuller explanation for it :) I’m not going [...]

Future Timeline – a visual representation Pt 1

Future Timeline is an extremely interesting site.  Calling itself a “speculative timeline of future history”, it has page upon page of really interesting content. Some of it is very much based on fact, while others is based more on supposition and hypothesis. It’s an excellent exercise for casting one’s mind forward. Unfortunately, however, the structure of the website means it’s impossible to get an overview of trends and changes. Something which, I hope, I’ve been [...]

Jawdropping (also ft ICT sector reports, fiscal calculators and Mongolia)

Well, that was my reaction to this video, at any rate. Picked up off Twitter, from fellow Sciblogger Mr David Winter (@TheAtavism) himself*, it’s stunning high-speed camera work explaining the mad physics behind the Prince Rupert’s Drop. Don’t know what that is? Well, watch the video, and the marvel, MARVEL I SAY, at what you’ll learn about glass, strains of different sorts, and more. Also including some very odd, but rather effective, green-screen work.  I’ve [...]

Software Carpentry Bootcamp – a delicious name for a delicious thing

Friends! Readers! Random people who ended up here alone and confused! As hopefully all of you* know by now, the 2013 eResearch Symposium is next week in Christchurch.  Started in 2010, this illustrious and awesome event is all about the burgeoning field, of, well, eResearch. Which is still in the process, in many ways, of being fully and tightly defined, but can loosely be thought of as ‘research with a digital/tech element to it – [...]

On sexism, with humour

A friend of mine just posted a quotation up on her Facebook feed and I thought it so good I figured I’d share it with you all. Well, to be fair, I read it, and then went and found the full thing, some of the first part of which I’ve retyped from the Google Books version I found :) Feel free to read the full version, embedded at the bottom of this post! But first, [...]