Archive for: April, 2008

Friday Sprog Blogging: book review of 'Tentacles! Tales of the Giant Squid'.

Apr 18 2008 Published by under Book review, Kids and science

The foreshadowing last week was accurate. This week, we offer a review of Tentacles! Tales of the Giant Squid by Shirley Raye Redmond with illustrations by Bryn Barnard.

Tentacles.jpg
Younger offspring: We should talk about my new squid book for the Friday Sprog Blog.
Dr. Free-Ride: OK. What do you like about this book?
Younger offspring: (Gazing at the cover) I like the cute face of the giant squid.
Dr. Free-Ride: You think that's a cute face, huh?

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A dialogue on pseudonymity, personae, and interpersonal relations in the blogosphere.

Janet D. Stemwedel: Hey, can we talk about pseudonymous blogging?

Dr. Free-Ride: Haven't you already written a bunch of posts about that?

Janet D. Stemwedel: Yeah, but the blogosphere seems to be discussing it again.

Dr. Free-Ride: You know I only work on Fridays, right?

Janet D. Stemwedel: Get your pseudonymous butt in gear and help me have a proper dialogue!

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A tax-related question.

Apr 16 2008 Published by under Passing thoughts, Personal

Actually, a few of them. Since we sent our tax return off already, the answers to the questions probably doesn't have much practical import, but here they are:
Y'all know that I get paid a (pretty modest) amount for blogging. As such, Seed sent me a 2007 Miscellaneous Income report (Form 1099-MISC).
This form shows the modest amount that I earned in box 5, "Fishing boat proceeds". Under "Instructions for Recipient" it says:

Box 5. An amount in this box means the fishing boat operator considers you self-employed. Report this amount on Schedule C or C-EZ (Form 1040). See Pub. 344.

My questions:

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It's news that a teenager is skeptical?

I heard a piece by David Kestenbaum on NPR's "Morning Edition" that hasn't been sitting right with me. You, dear readers, get to help me figure out what's bugging me about the story, a profile of 16-year-old climate skeptic Kristen Byrnes.

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Honesty, diplomacy, independence, and solidarity in public discussions about science.

At DrugMonkey, PhysioProf explores the rules of engagement between grad students in journal club and seminar presentations (building off of interesting explorations of this question from A Lady Scientist, Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde, and Acmegirl -- all of which you should click through to read in their entirety). I'm late to the party, but I wanted to share some thoughts on the balance here between the intellectual aspects and the human aspects of questioning within the tribe of science.

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Some thoughts on 'Aetogate'

Brian reminds us not to mistake the lull in the action in "Aetogate" (the charges of unethical conduct by Spencer Lucas and colleagues) for a resolution to the matter. We're still waiting for the ruling from the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology ethics committee. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts on the "verdict" from the inquiry conducted by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. (There is a 40+ page PDF of Spencer Lucas's written responses to the allegations and of the inquiry's findings here.)

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Friday Sprog Cephalopod

Apr 11 2008 Published by under Critters, Kids and science

Sometimes a kid grabs the colored pencils and ends up with a picture of an octopus.

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Judging by its color, the octopus is not angry.
This unsolicited picture may be foreshadowing. Younger offspring recently got a chapter book about giant squids and may be working up to dictating a review of it. Maybe next Friday.

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Friday Sprog Blogging: veterinary medicine.

Apr 11 2008 Published by under Kids and science

The Free-Ride offspring have been considering careers. This past week, they both got excited about the prospect of becoming veterinarians.
Elder offspring: I think I might want to be a veterinarian when I grow up.
Dr. Free-Ride: You could do that. You like science, you like animals, you like solving puzzles. I think you might be really good at it.
Younger offspring: I could be a veterinarian, too! I really like dogs and cats and rodents and birds.
Elder offspring: I think I might want to be a veterinarian at a zoo ... but maybe not for the zebras. I heard that they can kick and bite, and really hurt the zoo keepers, and then I might need a doctor myself.

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Trying to understand framing (III): the example of stem cell research.

I haven't given up yet. You know I'm still looking for more clarity on the basic premises of framing. I tried to work out what does and does not fall within the framing strategy in a flowcharted example and (again) came away with a bunch of unanswered questions.
This round, I'm going to look at an example from the Nisbet and Scheufele article in The Scientist (a link to the PDF given here. I'll confess that I'm still confused, but I think I'm getting closer to identifying precisely what I'm confused about.
Here's what Nisbet and Scheufele say in The Scientist article about communication about stem cell research:

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A few observations on the difference between ethics and the law.

Apr 10 2008 Published by under Ethics 101, Housekeeping

There is a rather vigorous exchange (although one that fails my test for a "dialogue" in a number of ways) going on in the comments on my post about Kay Weber's efforts to keep going forward with her lawsuit against Fermilab. Since this particular ethics blog is my ethics blog, I'm taking this opportunity to butt in with some comments of my own.

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