Monthly Archives: July 2010

[Updated:] For Virginia Heffernan readers, some context on the Scienceblogs-Pepsi fizz

Before commenting I’ll make three disclosures up top: I have written and plan on continuing to write for the same magazine, though I think this does not seriously constrain me here; I’ve enjoyed many of Heffernan’s columns, but do not know her; I appreciate her nice nod to my blog and my writing on PepsiGate. … His website, well worth tracking, is Meanwhile, if you want my own short list, see the particularly sharp commentaries or roundups on the meltdown that came from Martin Robbins , Paul Raeburn at Knight Science Journalism Tracker; the Guardian , and two “legacy media” heavyweights — Carl Zimmer , he of well-deserved NY Times fame, and former Scientific American editor John Rennie — neither of whom seem to share Hefferman’s casual reaction to ad-ed wall violations. ,

Cantú: Anatomy of a drug trial

Ever wonder what it would be like to be in a drug trial? Doubtless the experience varies. But the account offered by Austin-American Statesman commentary editor Ana Cantu is unsettling. If nothing else,  it suggests that the very experience of some of these trials is far from normal reality. That’s aside from questions of the…

It’s sex week at the Loom

No fear: I’m confident he’ll be well-behaved, fascinating, and eloquent as always. He even scores in the comments , with a pointer to virus sex .   [ Image: mating sand wasps , by Alex Wild , of the beautiful bug blog Myrmecos

For Great Apes, Addressing Inequality is Child’s Play

Having reciprocated the attack the young bonobo I had come to know as Aaron then calmly moved away, leaving Jumanji to rub his shoulder and stare at the ground in a way that, should he have been human, would probably be interpreted as nursing a bruised ego.

…Responding to inequities: gorillas try to maintain their competitive advantage during play fights Biology Letters DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0482 __ Related at Neuron Culture: Chimpanzee hunting tactics – an aerial view The Science of Gossip, in Scientific American Williams Syndrome, or why are we so social?

I’ll be blogging sparely for a bit

Memory Map of London , by Yersinia I’ll be blogging lightly for the next month or so, as I move and then settle in to London , take some family time and vacation, and finish a couple of backburnered projects. … I’ll check in now and then during August (see below), I imagine, and I will definitely resume in earnest by September, when I’ll have a splashy announcement to make as well.

McKenna & Blum (and her Pulitzer) leave ScienceBlogs

We had not been at that paper very long when stupid actions by his supervisors confronted him with a choice that no one who loves their work wants to make: Stay and be ethically compromised, or leave with intact standards and an empty wallet. … All these venues — and more are being formed as you read this — are all trying to figure out how to make money, and in doing so, must confront old questions (how to make money in a way that doesn’t compromise content) amid new financial and publications structures.

The ScienceBlog exodus continues

Of Seed Media’s recent recent and not-so-recent blunders, such as (as Bora put it ) “t hings like this and this and this and this ,”, PalMD says: [Seed’s management[ also showed that they do not consider themselves (or we bloggers) to be “media” or journalists. Whether we like it or not, we are the media, and while we may enjoy a great deal more freedom in style and content than most mainstream media, we cannot claim immunity from their ethics.

Are bloggers journalists? BoraZ nails this slippery thang to the floor

We here at Scienceblogs, by virtue of moving from our individual blogs to the network, have largely left the realm of “distributed by individuals to each other”. … Which is why the blurring of lines between us who are hired and paid to write (due to our own qualities and expertise which we earned), and those who are paying to have their material published here is deeply unethical.

London Calling: I’m off to the UK for a year or two

As I’m packing to move there for a year or two, I was pleased to find, at the splendid site ” Samuel Johnson Soundbites ,” that it bears even more fully on my own move when given in context: Boswell and Johnson were discussing whether or not Boswell’s affection for London would wear thin should he choose to live there, as opposed to the zest he felt on his occasional visits.

…In any case, my posts over the next few weeks may be light, or lean towards reposts, as I finish off some things here (stories, packing) and get my family and myself properly situated in London, where we’ve been lucky to find a nice spot to live up near Hampstead Heath, where if need be I can try Oliver Sacks’ cure for writers’ block: a swim in that splendid park’s pond.