Archive for: October, 2007

Rudy Baum responds to questions about C&E News.

In response to my open letter to the ACS, Rudy Baum, the Editor in Chief of Chemical & Engineering News, emailed me some information which I am posting here with his kind permission:

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Waiting for the last minute to donate to the Blogger Challenge?

Oct 31 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

It looks like you get 1440 extra minutes. And you can blame Presidential candidate (in South Carolina) Stephen Tiberius Colbert. From the DonorsChoose blog:

...our site was flat-out overwhelmed by the massive traffic that resulted from Stephen Colbert and Craig Newmark's announcement around midnight on Thursday, October 18.
As we scrambled to increase capacity, we continued to receive big spikes in web traffic from the re-airings of that Colbert show on Friday, October 19 in the morning, afternoon, and early evening, and across US time zones.
Since no new Colbert episodes were airing last week (October 22-26), Comedy Central re-ran the previous week's episodes! These additional re-airings generated many more big spikes in web traffic, mostly in the 24 hours starting on last Wednesday at midnight: between daily re-airings and the staggered showings across time zones, we think the Colbert show that introduced DonorsChoose.org may have aired between 3 - 9 times during that 24 hour period. Amazing.
This was GREAT news for the teachers who use DonorsChoose.org to get much-needed resources for their classrooms. But not so great for our web servers.

The DonorsChoose tech team think they have a healthy, happy system again. And it's looking like the "last minute" of the 2007 Blogger Challenge is being moved to the very last moment (11:59:59 PM) of November 1, Eastern time.
In light of this new information, I leave it to you to decide what to do. I'll just point out that even hard-core procrastinators are not required to wait until the last possible moment.

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The ethics of science blogging: help set the agenda.

At the upcoming North Carolina Science Blogging Conference on January 19, 2008, I'll be leading a discussion on the ethics of science blogging (not about blogging about ethics in science). If you attend the conference (and if you're not sucked in by one of the other attractive discussions scheduled for the same time-slot), you'll be able to take part in the conversation in real time.
But even if you won't be able to come to North Carolina for the conference, you can help set the agenda for our discussion by editing the wiki page for the session.

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In earthquake country, familiarity breeds ... yawn.

Oct 31 2007 Published by under Geology, Personal

I'm told we had a moderate earthquake here last night. Indeed, it is reportedly the largest earthquake in the area since the 1989 Loma Prieta quake -- which, as it happens, was the temblor that welcomed me to the San Francisco Bay Area.
I completely missed it.

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Ten challenges met, ten still in play.

Oct 30 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

The 2007 DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge ends tomorrow, and ScienceBlogs readers have met (and exceeded) 10 of the 20 challenges we mounted, raising $47,705.
Here's who's left:

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Don't miss your (very good) chance at today's drawing!

Oct 30 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

As this is published (about 10 AM Eastern time) there are two hours left before the noon deadline for the last of the drawings for T-shirts, books, mugs, and subscriptions to Seed to thank you for your donation to our DonorChoose Blogger Challenge.
All you have to do is make a donation to one (or more) of those challenges, then forward your email confirmation from DonorsChoose to scienceblogs@gmail.com. I'm told that at present, the chances for each entrant in the drawing of being drawn for a prize are very, very good.
Haven't made a donation yet? Here are three challenges that are within $100 of meeting their goals. Wrap them up and get your chance at a nice reward from Seed:
Aetiology needs $24
On Being a Scientist and a Woman needs $83
The Questionable Authority needs $88
The clock's ticking -- why are you still here?

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Blogger Challenge 2007: how's your team doing?

Oct 29 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

The 2007 DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge is in its last few days, which means there may be enough data to start identifying trends as to which ScienceBlogs readers are the most generous:

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In case your need for nerd poetry today is not fully satisfied ...

Oct 26 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

... The Ridger has posted the illustrated sonnet about Saturn's rings that the sprogs and I crafted as a "thank you" for donating to a project in my DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge.
It's not too late to get your own sprog artwork, or nerd poetry, or sprog-illustrated nerd poetry -- and to help teachers and students in the process!

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Blogger Challenge 2007 sprog thank-you art + poem: reptiles.

Oct 26 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

Jennifer is another reader who made a generous donation to one of the projects in my challenge. She wrote:

I felt like I definitely needed
a piece of art work from your very talented crew. ... I'd like
something in the style of Dr. Seuss about reptiles with some
accompanying artwork.

I've done my best to get my Seuss on. (This is one of those instances where it's clear how much more talented my offspring are than I!) This goes out to Jennifer with our sincere thanks for her donation.

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Blogger Challenge 2007 sprog thank-you art + poem: the brain.

Oct 26 2007 Published by under Kids and science, Philanthropy

Ewan made a generous donation to one of the projects in my challenge and wrote me the following:

The concept of a sprog-illustrated nerdy poem was especially appealing... Could I please request a topic of 'brain' (ideally,
hippocampus, but that seemed a little potentially overdemanding)?

The sprogs and I are delighted to oblige. They have drawn some brains, while I offer a villanelle about the hippocampus -- along with our thanks to Ewan for his generous donation!

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