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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 24th Challenge: Be a Vague Scientist

...and proud.

 Did I mention (like, 300 times now) that I am an info junkie?  Thanks to the web, I think my periodicals are currently down to less than 2 dozen subscriptions.

One of my favorites is the UK's New Scientist-- the weekly "People"-type magazine for geeks, full of byte-size articles one can peruse in those 5 minutes, say,  between appointments.  New Scientist was recently lovingly (!) parodied by cartoonist Stephen Collins in London's  Guardian newspaper.  I am sure they will let me know if I am violating any fair use by showing you the fab strip here:Stephen Collins: Stephen Collins: Vague scientist
Did you know Starfish are the chief source of global warming?
To be on the safe side, at least visit Collin's or the Guardian website and heck, subscribe or patronize their advertisers or something.

Right, the challenge.
In Vague Scientist Style, list a few sketchy headlines, give an abstract for an ersatz study, explain some phenomena ala Dr. Science (He Knows More Than You Do!),  etc.  You get the vague drift, eh?

And while you are at it, how about joining me in a PR blitz to bring New Scientist production editor Mick O'Hare to this part of the pond?  He's got lots of books to sell full of fascinating scientific odditiy ponderings (see list below), and he's a really good guy and I owe him a present which I can't seem to get together to mail to the UK.  So bring him here, and maybe while he's at it, he can explain to me exactly why those Kardashian woman are so famous. Now THERE's a mystery.

Titles worth perusal, edited by ex-rugby turned science reporter O'Hare, cut and pasted from that font of truthiness Wikepedia.  These make great Groundhog day gifts.
  • Does Anything Eat Wasps? and 101 Other Questions, translated into German language
  • How to Fossilise Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist
  • Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?: And 114 Other Questions
  • The Last Word: Vol 1, Mick O'Hare, illustrated by Spike Gerrell
  • The Last Word: More Questions and Answers on Everyday Science Vol 2, Mick O'Hare, illustrated by Spike Gerrell
  • Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? And 101 Other Intriguing Science Questions
  • How to Make a Tornado: The strange and wonderful things that happen when scientists break free
  • Why Can't Elephants Jump? And 113 More Science Questions Answered
PR nudges could be sent to:  The Person In Charge of Mick And His Schedule, c/o info@profilebooks.co.uk

I lost at pinball tonight.  Hey, all that shrieky lackering was very distracting.  Cheer me up with some entries in the comment section, will ya?
Off to the salt mills,


speck said...

Buttered Cat anti-gravity device placed inside Schrödinger's box promises advance in corium containment inside damaged Fukushima reactors.

Language is not a virus from outer space; it's a slime mold.

New pop-music genre based on MRI sound FX rocks Chinese yuppies.

Climate change vacation getaways: enjoy the youthful effects of methane bubble baths in the Yukon's impermafrost region, experience Midwestern F5 tornados up close in the plexiglass stormbubble tent, swim with the jellyfish swarms in coastal waters, test your gaming luck at the genetic mutation casinos at an aging nuke plant near you.

speck said...

Do you subscribe to Annals of Improbable Research or follow their Ig Nobel Prizes?

Jana Svoboda, LCSW said...

Nope, but I've read it, and actually know somebody who knows somebody who won one I read (follow that?). My bro-in-law's brother is friends with the guy who did the taxi driver brain study, which I loved...

Jana Svoboda, LCSW said...

Language is a slime mold-- love it-- and it can run mazes!

BoggyWoggy said...

This is the site I use when I *try* to teach students are site-reliability...
Eat it up, Baby. Eat it up.

Jana Svoboda, LCSW said...

Janie-come-lately AW adds these finds:

-- Scientists report that massive vinegar spill from a west coast fish and chips shop is responsible for ocean acidification

-- Survey of Antarctic rookery show that 20% of juvenile female penguins think they're fat...because they are.

-- Southern woman pissed off to find that local physicist could not cure common cold. She called him a quack. He thought she said quark. He was pleased.

Kiesa Kay said...

Dream catchers actually catch and keep dreams until the dream spiders come to devour them. What happens in our dreams happens in a grander scale across the universe.

Maternal mitochondria revolt to mutate common, everyday embryos into environmental activists determined to save Mother Earth.

Amygdalas of humans waiting for the piano tuner to appear on a rainy Seattle Tuesday tend to vibrate as if the fight, flight, or freeze reflex has been initiated in the mind.