Thursday, October 25, 2007

This Blog Is Dead!


Apparently some computer geeks at Carnegie Mellon came up with a complicated mathematical formula to decide which blogs should one read to be most up to date, i.e., to quickly know about important stories that propagate over the blogosphere?

Bloggersblog comments.

OK, the fact that Don Surber is #2 is not too way off mark (surely in the top 100, if not exactly #2). Scienceblogs.com is in the 98th spot and should be way higher, I think.

But what is Instapudding doing in the Top Spot? If you want disinformation, sure. Likewise for Michelle Malkin, Captains Quarters and Powerline.

And how useful it is to read a dead blog - this one you are at right now, my old blog ranked #3? I abandoned it in June 2006. I occasionally use it for testing stuff or for Google-bombing ;-) If you want to read a really useful blog, go check my current blog, not this one!

How useful it is to rank blogs according to the 2006 data anyway - that is eons ago in Internet time?

This must have been some fuzzy math. I hope the blogosphere responds with a big laugh.

posted by coturnix @ 9:06 AM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last paper by Steve Irwin!


Just published about an hour ago (if it was in hardcopy, it would still be hot off the presses). And it is a wonderful paper! Australian crocs can and will travel much longer distances than was previously thought and their homing instinct is strong and navigational capacity excellent, even in a case where a large obstacle (Cape York Peninsula) needed to be navigated around:

Satellite Tracking Reveals Long Distance Coastal Travel and Homing by Translocated Estuarine Crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus:

Crocodiles are widely distributed and can usually be found in remote areas, however very little is known about their movements on a larger scale. In this study, Read and colleagues (including the late Steve Irwin) use satellite tracking to report the movements of three large male crocodiles, which were relocated up to 411km from their capture sites in Northern Australia. The results show that each crocodile returned to its original capture site within days, indicating that homing abilities are present amongst crocodiles.

croc.jpg

Can you imagine anyone doing this work without Steve Irwin? Who else would be able to grab a big croc, attach a satellite tracker, load it and unload it some hundreds of miles away, then follow their movements on the computer screen? Would you dare ask your grad students to do that?

posted by coturnix @ 1:34 PM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rethinking FOXP2


Earlier studies have indicated that a gene called FOXP2, possibly involved in brain development, is extremely conserved in vertebrates, except for two notable mutations in humans. This finding suggested that this gene may in some way be involved in the evolution of language, and was thus dubbed by the popular press "the language gene". See, for instance, this and this for some recent research on the geographic variation of this gene (and related genes) and its relation to types of languages humans use (e.g., tonal vs. non-tonal). Furthermore, a mutation in this gene in humans results in inability to form grammatically correct sentences.

This week, a new study shows that this gene is highly diverse in one group of mammals - the bats:

A new study, undertaken by a joint of team of British and Chinese scientists, has found that this gene shows unparalleled variation in echolocating bats. The results, appearing in a study published in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE on September 19, report that FOXP2 sequence differences among bat lineages correspond well to contrasting forms of echolocation.


As Anne-Marie notes, this puts a monkey-wrench in the idea that FOXP2 is exclusively involved in language, but may be involved in vocalizations in general:

Said gene might have a new function (sensorimotor) besides the one originally attributed to it (verbal language).


Jonah Lehrer notes that the same mutation that in humans eliminates ability to use or comprehend correct grammar is also found in songbirds and the gene is expressed at high levels during the periods of intense song-learning. The story is obviously getting very interesting - does this gene have something to do with vocalizations? Or with communication? Or something totally third?

Looking forward to further responses by other blogs, hopefully Afarensis, John Hawks and Language Log?

The article on FOXP2 in bats was published yesterday on PLoS ONE so you can access it for free, read, download, use, reuse, rate, annotate and comment on.

posted by coturnix @ 8:58 PM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Help make NIH-funded research findings freely available to everyone!


Back in July, the House of Representatives passed a bill that requires all the NIH-funded research to be made freely available to the public within at most 12 months subsequent to publication.

The equivalent bill has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this summer and will be up for vote in the Senate very soon! In advance of this important vote, The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a Call for action:

As the Senate considers Appropriations measures for the 2008 fiscal year this fall, please take a moment to remind your Senators of your strong support for public access to publicly funded research and - specifically - ensuring the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy by making deposit mandatory for researchers.

Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation with language that directs the NIH to make this change (http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/media/release07-0720.html). The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar measure (http://www.taxpayeraccess.org/media/release07-0628.html). Now, as the Appropriations process moves forward, it is critically important that our Senators are reminded of the breadth and depth of support for enhanced public access to the results of NIH-funded research. Please take a moment to weigh in with your Senator now.


Read the rest for talking points and the contact information of your Senators, then do your part and contact them! And spread the word - by e-mail, posting on your blog or website, on forums and mailing lists. Let's get this bill passed this month and thus ensure that taxpayer-funded research is freely available to its funders - the taxpayers.

This needs to be done no later than Friday, September 28, 2007, when the bill is slated to appear in the Senate.

posted by coturnix @ 8:40 AM | permalink | (1 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Science Blogging Conference - Registration is now open!


2008NCSBClogo200.pngLate last night we opened the registration for the 2nd Science Blogging Conference.

To register, go to the registration form and fill out the details.

To see who is already registered, go here.

If you will be here on Friday, January 18th and want to join us for dinner, add you name to this list.

If you are on Facebook, join the Conference Event and invite your friends. We will appreciate it if you could spread the word in whichever medium you are most comfortable - word of mouth, e-mail, online social networks, or your own blogs.

I know September 1st is a holiday, but opening the registration today will save our server as thousands of interested participants will spread themselves over a few days instead of all logging on at the same time ;-) This way, those of you who are perpetually online and get your information on blogs (and Facebook, etc.) will be able to get the first dibs, while the advertising for others will start on September 4th.

The wiki is ready for you to explore. The conference program is building up nicely - we secured some spectacular speakers and session leaders and are in negotiations with some others. Feel free to edit the bottom of that wiki page with your own ideas. Suggest a session and offer to lead it.

Of course, as the conference promises to be much bigger than last year (due to the media coverage after the first one - see this page for blog and media coverage) we need to cover the increased expenses (and provide food, swag, etc.), so if you and your organization are willing to be sponsors, please let us know.

And, we are planning to have the second Science Blogging Anthology released in time for the conference, so submit the best science posts written by you or by your favorite bloggers for our consideration.

posted by coturnix @ 12:01 AM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Monday, July 09, 2007

Exclusive: Interview with Senator John Edwards on Science-Related Topics


I have just posted the exclusive science interview with Sen. John Edwards on my blog.

All the questions are related to science (and yes, it was not easy to cut down the number of questions and the length of each question - there is so much to ask) and they should be of interest to the readers of this blog: science education, global warming, energy, food production, space exploration and pandemic preparedness are some of the topics covered in the interview.

As I am not a journalist or an analyst who needs to preserve an appearance of 'balance', I have always been unabashedly open about my support for John Edwards, first in 1998 when he ran for the Senate (that was the first election I could vote in after becoming a US citizen), then in 2003/04 when he ran for President (and subsequently Vice-President), and finally now, as he is running for President again.

Feel free to search my main blog (or my old blog) for his name and see what I have written in his support before.

I have not been in the past, nor am I now, officially connected to the campaign (though I walk my dog in front of the Headquarters every day and say Hi to staffers I recognize), but I am a big fan. And hey, we are neighbors - a few months after I moved from Raleigh to Chapel Hill, John and Elizabeth did the same.

As I'll be running to work (my brand new job) in a few minutes, I will not be able to hang around and moderate comments. I hope you all stay civil and on topic - I know it is politics and trolls will come out of the woodwork, but ignore them and I will clean up the thread when I come back online tonight.

If you are interested in more details of Edwards' policy proposals related to science, technology, medicine and environment, check them out directly on the John Edwards campaign website and search the Issues and Press Releases.

But first, go read the interview.

posted by coturnix @ 9:14 AM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink



My new job!


As you may know, I got a new job and I just started on Friday. Go here to see how you can help me get my work done better.

posted by coturnix @ 1:23 AM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Science Blogging Conference '08 and The Open Laboratory 2007


2008NCSBClogo200.pngAs the 2007 Science Blogging Conference was such a great success, we are already in full swing in organizing the 2008 conference and hoping to make it even bigger and better than the first one.

Our beta-version wiki is up - check out the homepage and the first, rough outlines of the program (feel free to edit the page and add your idea at the bottom or in the comments). At this point we are trying to get more sponsors so if you and your organization/company/magazine is interested, let us know soon.

Check out our blog for updates.

Open%20Laboratory%20cover%20image.jpgLast time, almost in time for the conference, we edited and published the first-ever science blogging anthology, the Open Laboratory 2006, which was an instant hit. Thus, we are already collecting nominations for the next years' edition. Send us your best posts (or best posts written by others) of the year by using this submission form and help us spread the news by adding this code to your blog or website.

posted by coturnix @ 10:12 PM | permalink | (3 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Friday, April 20, 2007

One-Stop Shopping for the Framing Science Debate


You may be aware that there is a huge discussion about framing science going on in the blogosphere. It has gotten out of hand. But, for those who want to dig in, or want to analyze the posts and comments (that is a lot of data!), here is the comprehensive list of links (excluded are links to Creationists' sites). Most of the posts also have long and interesting comment threads as well, worth reading through:

First, the source metarial, i.e., the stuff that appeared in non-blog media, and some background resources (which, if everyone have read them, would have reduced some of the misunderstandings):

Matthew C. Nisbet and Chris Mooney: Framing Science (Science)
Scientists Must Improve Communication Tactics, Science Article Proclaims (press release)
Deric Bownds (MindBlog): Framing Science (complete text of the 'Science' article)
Nisbet radio interview: Blinded with Science (NPR, On The Media)
Matthew C. Nisbet and Chris Mooney: Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them. (Washington Post)
Matt Nisbett: What is Framing?
Matt Nisbett: A “Two Step Flow of Popularization” for Climate Change: Recruiting Opinion-Leaders for Science (Skeptical Inquirer)
Chris Mooney and Matthew C. NisbetUndoing Darwin (Columbia Journalism Review)
Matt Nisbett: Framing as a Tool for Engaging the Public (pdf)
On Framing Science (Bloggingheads.tv)
Christy Nicholson: Framing Science (APS Observer)
Rockridge Institute
Rockridge Nation
Wikipedia: Framing - sociology, Framing(communication_theory), Framing - psychology, Frame - analysis, Framing effect, Lakoff, Moral politics

Blogospheric Responses:

Matt Nisbett (Framing Science):
At the journal Science, a Nisbet/Mooney focus on framing
Framing Science sparks a seismic blog debate
Full text referral link for Framing Science article
More on framing and media influence
What George Will Understands about Framing
At NPR's On the Media, a Focus on Framing Science
At the Washington Post, a Nisbet/Mooney focus on framing
Don't be a Dodo: Olson on Dawkins & Framing
Coturnix: A Candle in the Dark
What the Discovery Institute Understood about Framing
The UN Frames Global Warming as Really about Security
BloggingHeadTV on Framing Science
NPR: Are we asking scientists to be advocates? To spin false information? Read the transcript.
On Framing, Two More Candles in the Dark
Steve Case on Framing and Dawkins

Chris Mooney (The Intersection):
I Have a Paper in Science (And No, This is Not an April Fools Joke)
Framing Science: Additional Resources to Back Up the Argument
Of Inertia, Ostriches, and Science Duds--Randy Olson's Take on 'Framing Science'
Framing Science: Many More Posts, a Few Replies
Framing Science: My Response to PZ
Framing Science: Blog Overload
'Framing Science' Article Now Available
Another Great Reaction to 'Framing Science'
Nisbet on NPR; I'm Down Under
Responding to PZ (and Others) in The Washington Post
'Framing Science', Round II
Details, Details, Details

Bora Zivkovic (A Blog Around The Clock):
Framing Science - the Dialogue of the Deaf
Framing Science - the Dialogue of the Deaf (on DailyKos)
Framing 'framing'
Did I frame that wrong?
Framing and Truth
Just a quick update on 'framing science'
Joshua Bell and Framing Science
Framers are NOT appeasers!
Framing Politics (based on science, of course)
Everybody Must Get Framed

Alonzo Fyfe (Atheist Ethicist):
Framing
Disagreements

Chris (Mixing Memory):
Talkin' Science
Cognition, Language, and Culture: Components Not Levels of Analysis
How Bad Was Abu Ghraib? It Depends on the Comparison
Frame Analysis

Dietram A. Scheufele (Nanopublic):
Nano needs framing: new 'Policy Forum' piece in Science
Standing on the shoulders of disciplinary dwarves? A note on the reactions to Nisbet and Mooney

Amanda Marcotte (Pandagon):
Descendents of apes with computers for brains and a fantastical unicorn leader

Chris Clarke (Pandagon/Creek Running North):
Understanding
Understanding

Revere (Effect Measure):
Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: Framing spinning

John Fleck (Inkstain):
Scientists Can Be Dense
P.Z. Myers Just Doesn’t Get It
Framing Me
A Show of Hands
An Example of Framing
Another Example of Framing
And Yet More Framing
Charging at the Loading Dock
An Example of Framing
Framing: The Results

Mark Chu-Carroll (Good Math, Bad Math):
My Take on Framing: Don't Frame Framing as Spin

David Roberts (Grist):
Scientists and framing

Paul Sunstone (Cafe Philos):
How Jim Made Me Pessimistic About Scientists Selling Evolution
Public Relations and the Grand Debate Over Evolution
De-Mystifying Scientists

Mike Dunford (The Questionable Authority, and, The Panda's Thumb):
Strategically communicating science
Framing: It's About The Goal
If we could extract iron from irony, we'd never need to mine again.
Strategically communicating science

Greg Laden:
Framing Science 'Paper' Is Deeply Flawed
Framing Frames in the Service of Science
Framing Nesbit: Is He Offering Us McScience?
Can we frame something and see how it goes?
Science is the BEST!!!
Why we foam at the mouth
Richard Dawkins and Framing?

Orac (Respectful Insolence):
Fear of the frame
Fear of the frame, part II: A cultural divide

Eclectics Anonymous:
Science = A Free Exchange of Ideas?
Science Framing needs a business plan
The Global War on Framing
Desperately Seeking Framing

Teresa Lhotka (Anomalous Data):
'Framing' reality
The power of the frame
We've got Geckos! And How!
Making light of the 'framing debate'
Use the tools

Steppen Wolf (The skeptical alchemist):
First of all, frame your own frame
More frame madness + last day to blog against theocracy
Framing science: to frame, or not to frame?
Framing science: the debacle
The framing challenge - coming up

Steven Novella (NeuroLogica Blog):
Teaching Science to the Public

PZ Myers (Pharyngula):
What if the right role for science is to shatter the frame?
Believing and understanding
I like ‘framing’ less and less; why are scientists the targets?
Framing: still baffled.
It's all about the context
What's the creationist position on 'framing'?
Nisbet and Mooney in the WaPo: snake oil for the snake oil salesmen
Once more unto the frame
Fraggin' … frickin' … frackin' … oh, that f-word again

Joshua Rosenau (Thoughts From Kansas):
Framing and the invisible college
An example of framing
Reframing framing

Dan Conover (Xark):
Science and media

W2JIG (Jig's Old Saws):
Framing 'The Knack'

Trinifar:
Framing, er, anything
PZ as rebel leader
Discussion of framing goes down a rat hole
Putting a good picture in a bad frame
Great framing examples
National Security and Richard Dawkins
New frame for climate change

Tristero (Hullabaloo):
Framing Science

FriendlyAtheist (FriendlyAtheist.com):
Framing Science

Larry Moran (Sandwalk):
How to Communicate Science
Coturnix on Framing Science
Science Policy Forum: Framing Science
Nisbet & Mooney Reveal Their True Colors
Orzel Is Confused

Mike the Mad Biologist:
Framing Science, Evolution, and Peanut Butter

Nicole Michel (The Peripatetic Naturalist):
Framing Science

JLowe (Impact Analysis):
We’re Right, Who Cares if We’re Boring?

Katie Kish (Liberal Debutante/Appletree):
I don’t speak Chinese
I don’t speak Chinese

Brian Switek (Laelaps):
Evolution for IDiots Creator Responds
Mixed signals: Communicating Science
Who are we trying to convince?

Tyler DiPietro (Greedy, Greedy Algorithms):
Mooney and Nisbet Hit Rock Bottom
Some Elaborated Thoughts on Nisbet and Mooney's Latest

John Wilkins (Evolving Thoughts):
Science in public between consenting adults
Framing framing wrong?

Devo (White Souse):
Rhetoric and Framing

Zeno (Halfway There):
A framework for peace

Jim Torson (Global Change):
Denial of Reality

Jason Rosenhouse (Evolutionblog):
On Framing, Part One
On Framing, Part Two
On Framing, Part Three

Mark Hoofnagle (Denialism.com):
Framing science
A terrible turn for framing (or why everyone is wrong but me)

Carl Zimmer (The Loom):
Scientists Armed With Frames

Simon Donner (Maribo):
Climate change, the IPCC and the framing of science

Dave Munger (Cognitive Daily):
How concerned should scientists be with 'framing'?

PonderingFool (... ponderings of a fool):
Framing science (Part I)...
Framing science (Part II)-A revolution will be needed...
Am I missing something? Or am I just suppossed to accept the world as it is?

Kristina Chew (Autism Vox):
Autism Speaks Now

Joshua (The Adventures of Tobasco da Gama):
Let’s Skip the Frames and Examine the Claims
Comment Cross-Post: Framing Again
Framing: Forget It
Let’s Skip the Frames and Examine the Frames, Part II

James Hrynyshyn (The Island Of Doubt):
Framing Science or Dumbing it Down

Alan Boyle (Cosmic Log):
Frame or be framed?

S.A.Smith (ERV):
Nisbet, Mooney cant possibly be this naive
Hey, at least there's a dialogue going on this issue now :P
An answer better than that damn 'Frame'
Okay, Chris, Matt-- Stop digging. Stop it.
I'm done with the Frame
THIS IS WHY IM PISSED AT THE 'FRAME'! EVERYONE READ THIS!

Jon Udell:
Talking to everyone: the framing of science and technology
Darwin’s rhetorical strategy

Chad Orzel (Uncertain Principles):
Framing and Coordination
Framing and Arrogance
The Final Word on Framing

Kate (Anterior Commissure):
Framing science, blog chatter, Tom Friedman, and more
OK more framing bits and pieces...

Buridan (Buridan's Ass):
Science going Hollywood
Clarification on 'Science going Hollywood'

Guru: (Entertaining Research):
To frame or not to frame
Science affecting politics and vice versa

Mark Leggott (LoomWare):
Inform the Public About Science Issues...How?

Kent (Uncommon Ground):
Framing science
Fear of framing
Creationism and framing

Knight Science Journalism Tracker:
Wash. Post: On Dawkins, 'framing' science, and the dynamics of beliefs

Hank Campbell and 'Sciencesque' (Scientific Blogging):
Do scientists need to 'frame' the debate for non-scientists?
'Framing Science' - a new skin for the old ceremony?
'Framing Science' - a new skin for the old ceremony?

Kevin Beck (Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge):
Incommunicado
The obligatory follow-up 'framing' babble-stream
Commoners discuss ID and evolution

Wolfrum (Shakesville):
NPR shows we are losing debate on Global Warming

Chris Rowan (Highly Allochthonous):
The perils of an empty frame
Science - a victim of framing?

Sean Carroll (Cosmic Variance):
Scientists Talking to the Public

John Hawks (John Hawks' Anthropology Blog):
Framed!

John Lynch (Stranger Fruit):
No more theory!
Dammit! It is OUR job to frame!

Kristjan Wager (Pro-science):
Framing science
Has Nisbet and Mooney lost it?
Friedman framing global warming

Janet D. Stemwedel (Adventures in Ethics and Science):
Is solving the absenteeism/attendance issue really a matter of framing?

Gavin Schmidt (RealClimate):
A Tale of Three Interviews

RPM (Evolgen):
The Press and Our Educational System Suck

Madhu (Reconciliation Ecology):
Communication in Science stirs tempest in science blogosphere teacup
Why don't Nisbet and Mooney frame Dawkins for the religious instead of slamming the closet door on him?

Eric Baerren (Among The Trees):
Framed science

Blake Stacey (Science After Sunclipse):
I Was Framed!
Interlude: Framing
In Soviet Russia, Evidence Frames You!

Sam Wise (Sorting Out Science):
Don’t fear the frame…

Eric Berger (SciGuy):
Here's something that will make scientists sweat

Brian Larnder (Primordial Blog):
The Great Framing Debate of 2007
One Last Word about Framing

Ed Brayton (Dispatches from the Culture Wars):
The Endless Irony of William Dembski

Susannah A. (Wanderin' Weeta):
My Two Cents Worth

Benjamin Cohen (The World's Fair):
Is PZ Bad for Science?

Mobjectivist:
Ig Nore Ad Vice

Andy Fell (Egghead):
Framing science

Samuel D. Bradley (Communication, Cognition and Arbitrary Thoughts):
Frame Your Science or Have it Framed

Robert Camp (Nightlight):
Framing? Hey, that's our turf!

Catherine Brahic (New Scientist Environment Blog):
'Sex up climate talk' says Arnie

Robin Engelhardt (Robin's repository):
The Framing Debate

Daniel Morgan (Debunking Christianity/Get Busy Livin', or Get Busy Bloggin'):
Framing Science and Atheism for the Public
Framing Science and Atheism for the Public

river2sea72 (Visualize Whirled Peas):
On Framing the Message

Brad (The Banana Peel Project):
The framing of science
More framing of science

Rebecca Hartong (Fantasies, Epiphanies, Rants...):
Selling Science

Chris Hallquist (The Uncredible Hallq):
The college view / obscene jokes

Austin Cline (About:Atheism):
Facts? Bah, Spin and Spin to Appease Religious Believers

Bruce Loebrich:
Framing

E.C. Nisbet (Framing Conflict):
Framing Science and Framing Conflict

Ebonmuse (Daylight Atheism):
Et Tu, Chris Mooney?

Water Words That Work:
Lakoff Revisited: Framing Science

jcasey (The NonSequitur):
Responsibility

John Timmer (Nobel Intent):
Communicating science through frames

Skeptigator:
Are we being framed?

StaceyG (Rockridge Nation):
Framing Science

Eli Rabett (Rabett Run):
Framing
Newt Gingrich, triangulation, the DLC and Framing Climate Change

Michael Tobis (Only In It For The Gold):
Flipping the Question
More on the Framing Frame [updated]
Authority and Trust
Frames and Frames
The Invisible Audience Problem

Fergus Brown (Old man in a cave):
What is the ‘public opinion’ on climate change?

LeisureGuy (Later On):
Framing is vital

Davo (Wombat's Waffles):
The langwidge Inglish

Will Von Wizzlepig (I am Jack's Smirking Revenge):
Cafeteria Food

Alethian (Heaven is not the sky):
Framing Science–Right and Wrong

Shinga (Breath Spa for Kids):
Reporting Science: Who Is Interested, Who Is Offended?

Aileen Thompson (The Blog Herald):
All Hell Breaks Loose In Sci-Blog Land!

ORF On Science - in German.
Wissenschaftskommunikation: 'Rahmen' statt Fakten

JLT (*Evil Under the Sun*) - in German:
Bullshit bleibt Bullshit.
Eins noch, dann ist aber Schluss

Franc (LiLoLe) - in Slovenian:
'Framing' v znanstveni misli

posted by coturnix @ 1:47 AM | permalink | (2 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards


There are literally thousands of blog posts about Edwards' that have been posted over the past couple of days. I have posted a linkfest linking to the best first responses on Thursday night and the best analysis of the media as well the most informative posts about cancer tonight.

Thursday linkfest

Saturday linkfest

These are the collections of pretty much everything worth reading on the topic, outside of the official Edwards campaign blog diaries.

posted by coturnix @ 10:22 PM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Googlebombing for a blogfriend


This is a crosspost to effect a Googlebomb, correcting an injustice against a fellow feminist blogger. Jill Filipovic, who blogs at Feministe and Ms. JD, is a NYU law student who has been the subject of cyber-obsession on a discussion board allegedly populated by law students. The discussions regarding Jill Filipovic (and many other female law students) are sexist and sexual in nature, rating the women’s physical attractiveness and fantasising about sexual contact, both consensual and non-consensual. Neither Jill Filipovic or any other of these women contributed, or gave their permission to be discussed, to the discussion board in question.

Jill Filipovic’s name and class routines etc have been regularly posted to this board, and at least one of the pseudonymous board-members claims to be Jill Filipovic’s classmate. Photos that Jill Filipovic posted (with full rights reserved) to an interent photo-storing and sharing site have also been posted to the sleazy discussion board without her permission. This is a horrendous invasion of Jill Filipovic’s privacy, a violation of copyright law, and calls the ethics and character of the alleged law-students participating in these discussions on the discussion board into question.

A major side-effect of an already nasty situation is that the sexist, objectifying cyber-obsession threads come up on the first page of internet search results on Jill Filipovic’s name. To an inexperienced user of the internet, it may even look as if Jill Filipovic and other female law students chose to compete in these Hot or Not rating competitions, instead of having their pictures posted without permission.

This post is an attempt to balance those internet results to point to the significant writings of Jill Filipovic instead, using the Googlebomb tactic and also linking this post to social networking sites (eg. del.ici.ous, Stumbleupon). Please feel free to copy any or all of what I’ve written here to your own blog in order to help change the top-ranked search engine results for Jill Filipovic. If you don’t have your own blog then please at least link to one of Jill’s post[s] listed below at your preferred social networking site and give it the tag “Filipovic” (as well as any others you think appropriate).

I have linked to these sites in this post:
Jill Filipovic’s bio page at Feministe
Jill Filipovic’s blog posts at the Ms. JD blog
Jill Filipovic’s article about these scummy lawschool sleazebags at Feministe
Jill Filipovic’s article at Ms. JD: When Law Students Attack


posted by coturnix @ 2:04 AM | permalink | (0 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink


Thursday, March 01, 2007

ANNOUNCEMENT: Get ready for the NEXT year's Science Blogging Anthology and Conference


2008 Science Blogging Conference

Not to be bragging, but the '07 Science Blogging Conference was a great success, and most attendees voiced their approval of Chapel Hill as a permanent venue for the event, so Anton and I are starting early in planning for the next one.

There are rumors of a mid-summer equivalent event to be held on the West Coast (Seattle or somewhere there) which would be great - more the merrier - but we will also try to find some way to help a few West-Coasters make their way to North Carolina in winter as well.

We pored over all of your feedback forms and read all the blog posts about the conference in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses and make the next meeting much better.

We are already in talks with sponsors (and potential new sponsors) about the next year. Many have promised greater involvement for the second meeting than they did for the first, which will allow us to have a bigger conference - and that is what most of you asked for.

While several attendees suggested we expand the conference to two days, we are not sure it is feasible yet. Instead, we will make a bigger, richer program for that one day. This should include sessions targeted at new or non-bloggers (e.g,. scientists, teachers), sessions for old science bloggers who want details on fancy technical stuff or questions about copyright, as well as sessions designed to bring the two groups together.

We definitely need a bigger space so we can accomodate more sessions as well as have more space for people to just sit and chat in the hallways between the sessions - always the most important part of a conference. Thus, we will likely have to move away from the UNC campus. That also means that we will be too far away from Franklin Street to go to local eateries for dinner. Instead, we can have the program last a little longer into the afternoon and have the dinner catered (a banquet!) on the site, which will also ensure that we do not all have to break up into little groups but can all stay together (going to town for drinks afterwards will still be possible).

We will announce the exact date shortly. We are trying to avoid conflicts with other popular science, tech, blogging, skeptical and science-fiction conferences, so the date is likely to fall somewhere in-between the SICB Annual Meeting (January 2-6, 2008 in San Antonio, TX) and the AAAS Annual Meeting (February 14-18, 2008 in Boston, MA). As soon as we set the date, we will start contacting potential speakers and session leaders and I'll keep you updated from time to time on this blog.

The Open Laboratory 2007

You may all remember the fast and frenzied way the first anthology was assembled - from the initial idea to sales in a little over three weeks! The Open Laboratory - The Best Writing on Science Blogs 2006 is selling quite nicely (for an online-only book with no marketing) up on Lulu.com. After the annual retreat and some initial glitches, the complimentary copies are, I hear, now travelling to their destinations to all the authors included in the anthology. Also, the book should start getting marketed and will show up in independent bookstores pretty soon, and on online booksellers (e.g., amazon) in a few weeks.

So, we are getting ready to start thinking about the next edition. And, having ten months instead of three weeks, we do not need to rush. This way, we can do a much better job. Oh, when I say "we", it is not a Royal We - I really will not do it alone this year. Reed Cartwright and I will do it together. And we enjoy the experience, we may do it again and again and again.

To make it easier for everyone, we have put together an automated Open Laboratory Submission Form. Use this form to nominate a blog post for The Open Laboratory: The Best Writing on Science Blogs 2007. You can nominate as many entries as you wish, written by you or others. Each needs to be originally published as a blog post between 12-20-06 and 12-20-07 to be elligible.

Reed and I will place one or the other of these two cute buttons in the sidebars of a variety of blogs (e.g., on Panda's Thumb, De Rerum Natura, A Blog Around The Clock, BlogTogether, perhaps my old blogs as they still get some traffic, and whoever else wants to spread the word - feel free to steal the button and use it):[Update: You can pick up the code for these buttons here as well as for the buttons declaring that you aready ARE in the 2006 book]:


Open Laboratory Submission Form

Open Laboratory Submission Form

Clicking on the button will take you to the submission form. Reed and I will get e-mail notification every time there is a new entry and we will read them all and jot down some 'notes to self'. Since we have ten months to do this, we will not need a jury of 12 bloggers to help us read all the entries, but do not be surprised if we ask you to vet/factcheck/peer-review a post that is in your domain of expertise (and not ours) later in the year.

So, go back to December 20th, 2006 and start looking through your archives as well as archives of your favourite science bloggers and look for real gems - the outstanding posts. Many have been written recently for the "Science Only Week", or for the "Basic Terms and Concepts" collection.

Try to look for posts that cover as many areas of science blogging as posssible: mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, physics, chemistry, earth science, atmospheric/climate science, marine science, biochemistry, genetics, molecular/cellular/developmental biology, anatomy/physiology, behavior, ecology, paleontology, evolution, psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and/or history of science, philosophy of science, sociology of science, science ethics and rhetorics, science communication and education, the business of science, the Life in Academia (from undergraduate, graduate, postdoc, faculty or administrative perspective), politics of science, science and pseudoscience, science and religion, etc.

Also, try to think of different post formats: essays, personal stories, poems, polemics, fiskings, textbook-style prose, etc. For now, let's assume that color images cannot make it into the book (I'll let you know if that changes) and certainly copyrighted (by others) material is a No-No. Posts that are too heavily reliant on multiple links are difficult to turn into hardcopy as well. Otherwise, write and submit stuff and hopefully one of your posts will make it into the Best 50 Science Posts of 2007 and get published!

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Tar Heel Tavern #105


Welcome to the 105th edition of the Tar Heel Tavern, coming back home after a looong time. I've been sick all week, thus in no strength to do a very creative tavern this time around, but I got a few nominations and added a couple of "Editor's Choices", so here we go:

David Kirk of See One, Do One, Teach One asks Is niche blogging a myth? (Small isn’t the new big.) and looks at a big local industry in North Carolina Dying from Pork.

Etbnc of Another blue puzzle piece wrote a philosophical piece about the Tip of the iceberg.

Laura of Moomin Light reports on the local school's effort to learn about the Greensboro sit-ins. I know all about it because my daughter was in that classroom and told me all about it in the afternoon.

Steve Emery of Color Sweet Tooth explores the beuaty and perfection in photographic art in John Rosenthal and Composition.

From Ron Hudson of 2sides2ron comes A Tribute to Women in the Early Days of AIDS.

Billy and his friend see albino animals: Ghost Deer Roams Blogsboro.

Do you have an old bottle of wine sitting around? If so, you need to open it right now, says Abel PharmBoy. Also: Why don't well-credentialed scientists get these TV gigs?

I was uncharacteristically unproductive this week on my main blog, A Blog Around The Clock, but I noted the resolution of a mystery in Hairless Grey Foxes in North Carolina and a simple explanation for another non-mysterious mystery in The Reducible Complexity of John McCain.

Next week, the Tavern goes to Slowly She Turned. And I am going back to bed.....

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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Tar Heel Tavern - last call for submissions


The 105th edition of The Tar Heel Tavern will be right here, Science And Politics, with no particular theme or topic. Just send your week's best by Saturday night to: Coturnix AT gmail DOT com

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Tar-Heel Tavern


The 104th edition of The Tar Heel Tavern is up on Freelance Writing for Nonprofits. The theme is 'paying tribute'.

Next week, the carnival will be right here on Science And Politics, with no particular theme or topic. Just send your week's best to: Coturnix AT gmail DOT com

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Tar Heel Tavern - last call


Kivi is hosting The Tar Heel Tavern tomorrow, so send your entries ASAP:

I am also hosting The Tarheel Tavern this weekend, the premiere carnival of North Carolina bloggers. My theme is “Paying Tribute.” Since we are close to President’s Day, and nobody I know actually honors our presidents on the day, I suggest we honor a person in our lives or history who really does deserve an extra bit of love and respect from us, via our blogs. NC bloggers can submit a post to me by Saturday night at kivi AT writingfornonprofits.com.

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My Last (I promise) on Donohue, Bloggers and Edwards


After writing her side of the story in Salon, Amanda Marcotte is quite busy in the media these days, making various apperances on radio, including NPR's DayTo Day next week. She will also be joining TPM Cafe and has a post up on Huffington Post: Think Tanks, 503s and Rush Limbaugh--What's The Real 'Soft Money'

Now, Melissa McEwen published her take on the whole affair in Guardian: My life as a rightwing target. Check the comments and tell me that the Rightwingers are not delusional, dangerous psychopaths. And they are in the White House right now. (Oh, and if anyone thinks that Amanda and Melissa were wimps for quitting, you should read this)

I think that Donohue has jump-started their careers. And what they will do, now that they have more prominent soap boxes, is reveal to everyone how the Rightwing sliming machine works, how it is financed, and how it can be counteracted.

What Donohue has done successfully is make the story of Amanda and Melissa be framed as Bloggers vs. Edwards. And it pains me to see how many on the Left bit that bait (and hook and sinker). It is a multi-faceted story about the Rightwing sliming machine and how it works. It is also a story about the way the Party Establishment (both Left and Right) resists the democratization of the political process (it is the old-Millennium, dinosaur, computer-illiterate campaign managers who, I guess, wanted to get rid of the bloggers in the first place until Edwards stepped in and said No). It is also a story about the way Media resents the citizen journalism and the many-to-many conversation of the new media unrestrained by the he-said-she-said tropes. It is a story about the Beltway protecting their turf against the "rubes."

If this is the future, we are now in the middle of the war between the powers of the Old-Way-Of-Doing-Things that tends to protect the old power sturucture, and the New Way that gives the little man a say and overturns the old power structure.

Check out this Salon editorial as an example of this turf-protection. It is all about silencing the people. As I stated before, the netroots ARE the grassroots. It is the same people who knock on doors and donate money. Except, this time around, they do not just take orders and write checks, they have the means to talk back and tell the campaigns what to do (or to shove it). Of course the campaign managers used to the old way of thinking are afraid of the new world.

Here is another example from ABC: Loose Lips in the Blogosphere Don't Sink Presidential Ships

I hate the subtitle - what do they mean by "even Edwards" when everyone (including the techies with no political axe to grind) agrees he is the leader on the use of Internet and netroots: his website is by far the best, he announced to the bloggers first, then by video on YouTube, then by Video and post on his own website, and only the next day announced to the MSM dinosaurs down in New Orleans. He hired and (stood by in spite of calls for their heads) two of the most outspoken and popular feminist bloggers. He is prominently present and active on all social networking sites, not just MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Del.icio.us and Facebook, but also the second-tier places, like Gather.

There are 199 Groups on Facebook for Edwards. The two biggest ones have 2,126 members and 1,849 members respectively - the rest are smaller, mainly due to being geographically restricted. Barack Obama has more than 500 groups, with the biggest one having 5,002 members and the others being small, local chapters. So, even including the overlap (people joining more than one group), there is not such a huge advantage for Obama on Facebook as the Media likes to point out. Edwards is right behind.

And he is the first candidate on Second Life. Yes, on Second Life! If you have no idea what that is, or if you want to know what techies and politicos think, follow the links here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Also, note that in fundraising, Hillary Clinton is expected to raise $100 million from the Beltway power-mongers and Holywood, Obama somewhat less, from the same sources, while Edwards is expected to raise about $50 million mostly from small online donations. He is killing all other candidates together in such donations through ActBlue ($860,861.35, compare that to Richardson's two separate funds at $284,916.57 and $10,154.85 and Obama's $16,885.56).

Oh, and if you do not believe Edwards stood by his bloggers and does not understand the netroots, I hope you watched the Situation Room earlier today (there should be a YouTube clip of it here soon). Listen to his defense of the bloggers and phrases like: "I stood by them," "new brave world with the net and the blogosphere," "a powerful world which will have a huge effect," "grassroots politics at it's best," etc. Here is the clip:



As for the bloggers, Jude, aka Iddybud, has an excellent take on the bloggers saga and Dave Neiwert takes another look at the 'Christofascists' who are Unhinged indeed. Also read important posts by Ampersand, Jeffrey Feldman and Richard Cranium.

And finally, let's look again at the posts for which Amanda got so much flak from Donohue and his ogre minions. They are about Plan B. Here are Part I and Part II.

She is not the only blogger explaining Plan B and why the opposition to it by wingnuts (including but not only Catholics) is bad politics and bad public health. For instance, Ema of Well-Timed Period blog wrote at least two posts on it here and here. PZ Myers of Pharyngula wrote about it here, here and here. DarkSyde of DailyKos wrote about it here and Bitch, PhD wrote about it many times, most recently here.

Is there any difference between these posts? They all get the facts about Plan B right. They all demonstrate that the opposition to it is hypocritical and based on mysogyny. And they are all written in typically blogospheric colorful language. Yes, those who deserved to be insulted got insulted. Now, tell me. If any campaign hired any of these bloggers to work on the technical and esthetic parts of their campaign blogs, don't you think Donohuse and his basement monsters would not come out against them? Of course they would - their goal never was to destroy the careers of Amanda Marcotte and Meilissa McEwen. Their goal is to undermine a Democrat - any Democrat - running for President because their job (for which Donohue is paid $300,000) is to go on TV and lie for Republicans. It has nothing to do with these two bloggers, it has to do with silencing the voices of the people who are actually telling the truth as it is, as opposed to The Truth as the conservatives want "to create" for themselves.M

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The 'Bloggergate' and related links


Under attack, Pandagon has been down all day. But you can see here (and re-posted here) what scum of the Earth resides on the political Right in this country. This is a good time to read this again. And please find time to read all ten parts of this series on eliminationism in America. Sensing a long-term, if not permanent loss, the wounded beast of the Right is lashing at everything in sight and they are not shy to use physical force if needed.

Also on the topic, three must-read posts by Liza Sabater: Hell hath no fury like a feminist scorned, Aldon Hynes: In praise of Icarus, and Kagro X on DailyKos: Getting separated from the herd.

Two important and thoughtful posts by Chris Bowers on MyDD: Politics and the Inhuman and Why Attacks Against Bloggers Fail

Interesting discussion in the comments on this post on DailyKos: Has anyone seen Pandagon?, on Ezra's blog: Competence Matters and on Pharyngula: Edwards for President!. In all three cases, the comments are much more informative than the original posts.

Dave MB: Amanda Marcotte's Departure.

And if you haven't already done so, you can read my takes on the initial response by the Edwards campaign - On Edwards, Bloggers, and Religion, and on Amanda's resignation - Amanda now free to expose the Donohue creature

Also today, Shakespeare's Sister posted her Announcement:

I regret to say that I have also resigned from the Edwards campaign. In spite of what was widely reported, I was not hired as a blogger, but a part-time technical advisor, which is the role I am vacating.

I would like to make very clear that the campaign did not push me out, nor was my resignation the back-end of some arrangement made last week. This was a decision I made, with the campaign's reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign, and making me increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family's level of exposure.

I understand that there will be progressive bloggers who feel I am making the wrong decision, and I offer my sincerest apologies to them. One of the hardest parts of this decision was feeling as though I'm letting down my peers, who have been so supportive.

There will be some who clamor to claim victory for my resignation, but I caution them that in doing so, they are tacitly accepting responsibility for those who have deluged my blog and my inbox with vitriol and veiled threats. It is not right-wing bloggers, nor people like Bill Donohue or Bill O'Reilly, who prompted nor deserve credit for my resignation, no matter how much they want it, but individuals who used public criticisms of me as an excuse to unleash frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation.

This is a win for no one.
[bold mine]

First reactions are by Benny on MyDD: Shakes Decides to Be Shakes and Sinister Rae on DailyKos: Shakespeare's Sister Resigns From Edwards Campaign.

Also:

Majikthise: Blogger Marcotte resigns from the Edwards campaign and Edwards' netroots coordinator Melissa McEwan resigns

Donna Bogatin: John Edwards: Be my MySpace pal!

Matt Browner Hamlin: More Potential Catholic League IRS Problems

Ed Cone: Talking about religion

This guy will run for Congress next time here in NC - Marshall Adame: Why America needs John Edwards as our next President

Phoenix Woman: Sow The Wind, Reap The Whirlwind

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Night Links


A bunch of new links on the Basic Concepts and Terms in Science list.

Bitch PhD has a new (paying!) gig at Suicide Girls News Blog and starts out with a post explaining the Plan B: How Does This Plan Work?

Revere on Effect Measure: Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: the Edwards blogger dust-up

Ezra Klein, in an op-ed in The Guardian (online only): We want a divider, not a uniter, and more on the topic on his own blog: More Shamefaced Obama Skepticism

Chuckles1 puts it even better: The OTHER Abraham Lincoln

A comment by Elizabeth Edwards - Response to a Rhetorical Analysis - on the MyDD diary: The Problem with John Edwards' Urban Radicalism (Or you can see the same Diary and the same comment in the context of different other commenters on DailyKos)

Catchawave: The Man Who Saved Bill Clinton's Ass, An Anniversary 2/12/99

Kos: 'I Was Wrong'

Digital Journal: John Edwards Blog Has A Very Refreshing Hands-Off Policy

Neil the Ethical Werewolf: Welcome Chris Bowers!

David Neiwert on Orcinus: Donohue and the Jews

Chris Bowers on MyDD is on a quest:
This Isn't Over
Keep Piling On The Pressure
Donahue As An Example of a Large Problem
First Democratic Campaign Disses Edwards

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