Yes, I am here, sorta …

Some people have been watching this blog to see whether I will flee ScienceBlogs, and the truth is that I don’t know. I am working on importing my Sb blog, but since it’s MT4 and this is WP, I am having problems with this. One problem is the duplications of each blog entry and reader comments that I imported (up to six copies!). I just finished deleting them and am waiting for a script that should help make the import process less painful. Will I leave Sb for good and use this as a mirror site until I decide what I will do? Not sure. I am really pissed at Adam Bly, but on the other hand, I do like the traffic …

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Safe Place

I have spent this past week tearing the flat apart, looking for a small memory card that fits into my laptop USB port and is roughly the size of a postage stamp. This memory card is the first part of three that contain the Pimsleur German language course that I purchased for $400, or some outrageous sum like that. So, intending to upload part one to my laptop, iPhone and iPod, I popped the memory card into my backpack along with my laptop, and away I went.

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The Elements Song

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This streaming video documents the Periodic Table set to music — especially for everyone who did not score 100% on this test [1:59].

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42nd Street Times Square Transfer Corridor Subway Art 4

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35 Times (2005).
Glazed ceramic panels. Artist: Toby Buonagurio. Photographed at 42nd Street Times Square in the transfer corridor (between the 1, 2, and 3 trains and the Shuttle).
Image: GrrlScientist 5 November 2008 [larger view].

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ScienceBlog's Millionth Comment Contest Winner has Arrived in NYC!

I am sure you’ve all wondered what happened to ScienceBlogs’ Millionth comment contest, you know, like who won and did she get to visit NYC and all that. So I am here to tell you that Peggy, our millionth comment contest winner, arrived in NYC today and is getting ready to spend four days exploring all sorts of science-y things in this wonderful city. Peggy is also writing about her experiences on her blog, so be sure to check it out! Her first blog entry includes some pictures of all the loot she’s gotten for being the grand prize winner. Looking at those pictures makes me wish I’d won this contest!

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Wow, this is a truly unexpected honor: one of my essays was chosen by the “MetaCarnival.” This blog carnival seeks to bring together the best of the blogosphere by sampling the diverse topics collected in the carnival format.

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Storm Front

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Ka’anapali, Maui
Image: John del Rio [larger view].
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Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum

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Everyone I have ever met has, at some point in our conversations, told me that they wished they could work in a natural history museum. I am one of the rare lucky people in the world because I have worked as a research scientist in a natural history museum, so I can tell you that there is a book out there that brilliantly captures what this experience is like: Richard Fortey’s Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum (NYC: Alfred A. Knopf; 2008).

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Don Prothero to Speak in NYC!

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Great news, my peeps! My friend and “scientific sibling” (courtesy of AMNH), Professor of Geology and author, Don Prothero, will be speaking in NYC for the New York City Skeptics about evolution and his book, Evolution: What The Fossils Say And Why it Matters [my review]. Even though we’re email pals, I’ve never before met him in real life, so I am really looking forward to this. [Note: rumor has it that we shall explore the pubs of the UWS while he is here, too]
Who: Donald Prothero
What: public presentation, “Evolution: What The Fossils Say And Why it Matters.”
When: 10 January 2009, 1300 (1 pm ET)
Where: University Settlement at 184 Eldridge St. (at Rivington St., two
blocks south of Houston [map])
Admission: FREE!!! Just bring yourself, your questions and your copies of his books (for autographs, of course!)
Be sure to write this on your calendar so you can meet him too! I guarantee you will enjoy this!

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The Psychology Behind Wrapping Paper [Reprise]

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Besides bright lights, my favorite thing about the holidays is wrapping gifts. I love covering a boxed gift with colored papers (or even with plain brown paper bags), I get tremendous satisfaction from folding the paper so it makes precise corners and then I especially enjoy decorating the wrapped gift with bows, ribbons and toy flowers and birds, christmas ornaments or other decorations. I also enjoy figuring out how to wrap unusually shaped objects. However, my most favorite thing to do is to place a wrapped gift inside a series of wrapped boxes, so the eventual discovery of the gift inside is postponed for as long as possible. I enjoy wrapping gifts so much that I sometimes think I should open a small business that focuses specifically on doing this.
But what does gift-wrapping do for the recipient? Is all this effort worth it for the recipient? For example, do recipients actually like gift-wrapped presents more than unwrapped gifts?

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