Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: August, 2006

The Thursday Threesome: Fluffy Bunny Rabbits

Onesome: Fluffy– is as fluffy does! It’s almost lemon meringue season at that pie shop. Do you do fluffy pies? …or is it fruit all the way for you? (Okay, Southerners: go ahead and expound on rhubarb…)

I’m all for fruit pies (except for maybe blueberry). I haven’t baked any lately because I don’t have time.

Twosome: Bunny– slippers? Yes? No? Barefoot? Shoes? What do you schlep around the house in when it’s cold outside?

Socks and slippers

Threesome: Rabbits– Have you ever had little furry pets? What varieties? Are there any in your future?

No. Because I don’t have time (or rather, I’m only at home to go to sleep) to devote to any pets.

Science Reading

Tangled Bank #61 is up at Epigenetic News. Some of the links are borked so I’ve just provided an abbreviated list of the articles that I could find:

Wells vs. Mooney
Wolves on the Range
Viscosity I: “Stickiness” in Neutron Stars
Khayyam, Galileo, fundies and the finger salute
Telomere length as a biomarker of stress and aging
How similar are apes and humans?
Lichtenberg Figures
What is a Plover?
Name that contamination!
Water Cycle
Gresham’s Geocache
The Clean-Up Pro
More Tiny Things
One Year Later: Katrina and the Environment
Cystatin C As A Prognostic Tool for Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases
Genetically Engineered Tomatoes With Enhanced Flavonol Content
What Would Alien Life Be Like?
Influenza virus and design
Starchild Abraham Cherrix
Last “Rational” Reason for Opposing Embryonic Stem Cell Research is Gone
Circadian expression of nuclear receptors

*Yeah, maybe posting all of the Tangled Bank links if you’re not the host is not completely kosher, but look at it this way–I’m doing my little part to drive traffic to deserving science blogs.

Strangely Enough

Hm. My site for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series is cited as an external link for Terry Windling’s Wikipedia article but not for the other editors of the anthology or even for the anthology itself. I’m just puzzled about the inconsistency more than anything. I think most people would just look up information about the series through Amazon or Googling.

Fighting Modern Superstition

Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Debunking Pseudoscience by Martin Gardner. I’m not particularly enamored with the writing style, but I think it’ll be useful for people who need to articulate reasons why something is bunk. There’s everything from evolution vs. creationism to egg balancing and Elvis-like sightings of the “Wandering Jew.” Gardener points out the wishy-washiness of IDers (intelligent design) who try to discredit science yet remain mum about their own beliefs. Or, in regards to the Star of Bethlehem, why religious nuts insist on trying to find a natural explanation for it when they already believe in the miracles performed in the Bible. There’s also a bunch of other present day pseudoscience and New Age beliefs that leave you shaking your head: reflexology, urine therapy, Freudian theory, UFOs, numerology. What I found most interesting were the essays on famous historical scientists who had some really weird beliefs. Isaac Newton actually spent very little of his time on physics–he wasted most of his efforts on alchemy. Thomas Edison–who the public views as a hard-working inventor–was also a bit of paranormalist. He even tried to make a machine to communicate with the dead.

It’s the Little Things…

…that drive me up the wall. I arrived home to see the box of books I had ordered on my doorstep. Opened. All the books were present and accounted for (as well as the receipt), but who knows what else might have gone missing. On the box, there is a note written in pen: “Opened by mistake.” How the heck can you open a parcel by mistake? Don’t people read the label?

And what’s up with rejections that just say, “Thanks for your submission but we’re going to pass on this”? Did they even read my submission? Or is my writing so bad they can’t bring themselves to say anything else? Writing short stories is such a thankless job. Sometimes I think I should just give up since slush readers apparently don’t care.

On Reading and a Book about Preserving

How to Read. (via Third Level Digression) Nick Hornby argues that you should read what you want and not what you think you should read. Are you slogging through a “turgid political biography” when you want to read The Da Vinci Code? Then toss the biography and read the thriller. I think that for every book I’ve finished, there are probably about five or six other books that I’ve put down after reading a sentence or a paragraph or one chapter. I’ve learned to stop reading most books that just don’t appeal to me.

Pickled, Potted, and Canned by Sue Shephard. Which is subtitled, “How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World.” (This, of course, brings up the observation of the many books that are subtitled “How X Changed the World.” We get it already. That’s why the book exists in the first place.) The original reason people preserved food was to save food for scarce times. Later on, technology to preserve food was mainly advanced for those on long sea voyages or on the move–like an army. There’s a bit of everything in Pickled, Potted, and Canned–from drying and salting to concentrating and fermenting. I found it amusing to note that artificial freezing was at first regarded as “ungodly” because people deemed it unnatural to make ice during the summer. Ah, isn’t this always true for all new technology? This book has a lot of neat little facts–which probably means it’s better kept as a reference. I’m never going to remember all of what I’ve read in a month.

Getting High, Mouse-Style

Mouse Party. (via Groovy, man. Learn some biochemistry by putting mice on drugs! In this interactive flash game from the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center, drag a mouse to “the chair” and find out what’s happening inside his drugged out brain.


Hm. I just realized that I got my 75,000th visitor sometime earlier this week and I have no idea who it was. Anyway, whoever you are, thanks!

And if I’m lucky, I’ll hit 100,000 by the end of 2007.

Help With Plotting

The Johari Window (suggested by Wayzgoose) looks like an interesting tool to help build character interactions. I’ll probably give this a test run over the weekend to see how well it will work with the current planning I have this year for Nanowrimo.

(Cross-posted at Writing Sya.)

An Update

Yay! I finally updated my science article index. I probably need to update my blogroll as well–but one thing at a time!