Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (8): Diego Golombek and Time

Here’s Diego Golombek talking about reading and wondering about time travel—an experience that, when he was a child, excited Diego in a way that led to his eventual unusual career. Diego now studies—and experiments with—biology to try to understand some of the seemingly simply, scientifically mystifying things that happen in nature every day. This is […]

Authors: can boozing alleviate writer’s cramp? [study]

“Have you tried taking a stiff drink or two?” might not be a question that a professional writer would expect from their doctor. Unless, that is, they suffered from writer’s cramp, and their doctor had come across a 2012 case report in the journal Internal Medicine – Alcohol-Responsive Writer’s Cramp – in which Sung-Chul Lim, […]

The importance of dung, to an eventual writing career

Gorilla dung matters. This came to mind today, when I saw the news about a particular gorilla: “Famous Dian Fossey Gorilla Presumed Dead at 38“.  In ninth grade biology class, I wrote a report about a book about gorillas and about Dian Fossey and other scientists who studied those gorillas. Being a ninth grader, I was impressed at how dung had played […]

“Commenting by Emoji: A Tentative Glossary for Legal Writing Professors”

Are you a legal-writing professor? Unsure about the use of Emoji(s) for comments on academic work? Jennifer Murphy Romig who is an Instructor in Legal Writing, of the Research and Advocacy Program at Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, US, has produced a guide to ‘Commenting by Emoji: A Tentative Glossary for Legal Writing Professors’. […]

Algorithmic Distinguishing of Novelists from their Punctuation Patterns

Adam J. Calhoun has written a wonderful blog entry that illustrates, with some great data visualization, that it is possible to algorithmically distinguish different novelists based only on  their punctuation habits. The idea is simple: just remove all words from a corpus of text and look at the patterns of the punctuation. Here is an illustration.   […]

“Can’t imagine why more people don’t study…”

Professor Stephanie Carvin remarks (on Twitter): “Can’t imagine why more people don’t study Public Poli…..Zzzzzzzz“. Professor Carvin said this upon reading the abstract to the study “Understanding and influencing the policy process,” by Christopher M. Weible , Tanya Heikkila, Peter deLeon, and Paul A. Sabatier, published in the March 2012 issue (volume 45, number 1) of the journal […]

Atlantic profile of Ig Nobel winner Oppenheimer and murky academic writing

“The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing” sings a headline in The Atlantic magazine. The article beneath the headline, by Victoria Clayton-Alexander, is profiles Ig Nobel Prize winner Danny Oppenheimer [pictured here] and others who fight muddle and murk. The article says, in part: (Oppenheimer for his part believes he got the award because of the paper’s title: “Consequences of […]

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