What Am I Doing With This Blog?

Honestly, I don’t know for sure. I am developing my plans “on the fly.” Currently, I have all my domain names pointing here, which might confuse you since I am using this blog as a “content dump” (such an inelegant term) as well as a mirror for my several blogs while I search for a new home. I am trying to figure out how to import my (rather large) ScienceBlogs site, along with reader comments and images and whatnot. I do not anticipate making wp my permanent home because it’s rather unimpressive and awkward to work with (and besides, I am so so lonely here!).

But I am interested to work on a blog platform that uses Word Press. From what I am experiencing so far, WP is far more tractable when it comes to moving a blog than is MT4, although blogger seems easiest of all when it comes to exporting/importing a blog, comments and images … hm, maybe I should go back to blogger? Nah!
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ScienceBlogs = ZombieBlogs

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or you are the CEO of Seed Media Group (SMG), you are well aware that Bora Zivkovic left ScienceBlogs 24 hours ago. Shockingly, despite this important loss, Adam Bly, CEO of SMG, has not communicated about this loss by telephone, email, text, twitter, carrier pigeon or even with smoke signals with any of us who remain at ScienceBlogs. As far as I am concerned, ScienceBlogs is now ZombieBlogs, the undead, a heartless and soulless brain-eating monster that once was a beautiful living ideal.

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Posted in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist Interrupted) | 5 Comments

SMG/Sb Ethical Lapse Claims Another ‘SciBling’

I am greatly saddened to be able to tell you finally that my friend and colleague — no, former colleague — Bora Zivkovic, is leaving ScienceBlogs for good. I suspected and then knew for the past week and a half that this was coming, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am deeply, deeply upset. So upset that I am really not able to talk about it. But in short, Bora is like a brother to me and since I’ve no family to speak of (until a few short months ago, when my real-life brother contacted me), Bora was the closest person to a brother I’ve ever had. I am sure you will want to continue reading his blog, so be sure to change your blogroll to include Bora’s independent site at wordpress.

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Parrots, People and Pedagogies: A Look at Teaching and Education

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ALEX the African Grey Parrot and Dr Irene Pepperberg.

Image: The ALEX Foundation.

Like anyone who has taught science courses, and probably like anyone who has ever taught anything to a classroom in the history of mankind, I’ve wondered how to motivate my students to really care about the material they are learning, beyond simply “studying for the test.” For example, I have used a group method of study where groups of 4 students are each assigned a specific task: to become an expert in a particular area and to share their knowledge with the other groups. This method is only partially successful since it is dependent upon good classroom rapport and careful management by the professor, otherwise, each group of “experts” can selectively withhold or misrepresent information that is important for developing a better understanding of the topic at hand.

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MT4 –> WP = Chewing Razor Blades

As some of you might suspect, instead of finishing those essays I’ve got halfway done, I’ve been very busy backing up and exporting my ScienceBlogs site, along with all my images, image links and reader comments to my wordpress blog. Considering the ethical disaster zone that the once-respectable ScienceBlogs has managed to transform itself into, and the possibility that the entire Sb site might suddenly disappear without warning, relying on WP as a mirror site until I decide upon the future of my blog is probably the wisest thing I can do. Except for one problem: The ScienceBlogs platform is Moveable Type 4 (MT4) whilst wordpress is .. well, Word Press.

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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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