Saturday, 31 May 2008

Saturdays are for catblogging

...or so says Lunartalks. Excellent - this is just the trigger I've been waiting for to unleash these homemade LOLs:

Thursday, 29 May 2008

In which I wake up to a sexist leaflet on my doorstep

In case there is anyone out there laboring under the impression that it is 2008, prepare to be disabused:


Sunday, 25 May 2008

Christmas in July, or, how to set a girl-scientist's heart a-flutter

I organise. It's heritable, too; my mother is a world grand-master list-maker who taught me, among other things, how to use the backs of envelopes to survive paper shortages (which pose a serious psychological risk to list-makers) and save the planet at the same time (list-makers love killing two birds with one stone).

Through my life, I've met a few others like me, most notably my friend Jennie with whom I sat back to back during grad school. She and I fanned the flames of each other's list-mania and to this day we exchange new and improved ways of making, keeping and organising our lists.

And oh boy, do I need my lists. I've got my country's Charles Darwin's five two hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding Beagle Project science programme to arrange, my wife research to murder publish, and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped. (If you're really confused right now, stop reading this and go watch The Princess Bride.)

I've tried a few different organising systems, including but not limited to:
This year, though, I think I've finally hit on a winner: a combination of iCal (especially using the File > New To Do function) and Moleskine's Weekly Notebook. Nearly halfway through 2008, it's working really well.

I really like how the calendar is on the left hand side of the opened diary, and on the right there is a simple ruled page to jot down notes (that way your notes are instantly traceable by date). I love my Moleskine, and I look forward (as all list-makers do) to the end of the year when I can start with a shiny new Moleskine with fresh, clean pages.

Problem is, I'm already starting to accumulate things for 2009 and my Moleskine ends in December. What to do? I turn to the last page and keep a list (I'm so predictable) of things that will have to go into my 2009 Moleskine. It's not very satisfying but at least I know I won't forget anything important.

You can imagine my delight then when I found in my in-box an email from UK online Moleskine dealer MojoLondon that Moleskine is now selling 18-month diaries that start in July and go through the end of the following year. That means I can start my clean and shiny new Moleskine this July ...a mere four weeks away. And here I thought I had to wait until Christmas.

The big decision is whether to get the Large Weekly Notebook Hard Cover or the Extra Large Weekly Notebook Soft Cover. What a lovely decision to have to make. I think I'll go put it on my to-do list for tomorrow.

Update, 2 June 08: Lacy has discovered an even better way to make sure you don't forget any of those important t0-dos.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Apparently, celebrity Nature editor Henry Gee and I both:

  • work from home on Thursdays
  • suffer a gag reflex from the close proximity of over-perfumed/cologned train passengers
  • think 'presenteeism' is so not Web 2.0
  • advocate an expansion of London's new ban on alcohol on public transport to include talking, overt sexual display and smelly grooming products
Source: Dr Gee's amusing Nature Network blog post, Aboard the 06:55 from Much Twittering.

P.S. Please, dear reader, kindly vote for my new SciFri blog name, upper right.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Moving to Science Friday & vote for new blog name

In January I met Talia Page and Ann Marie Cunningham of Talking Science at the Science Blogging Conference in North Carolina, and they invited me to write for Science Friday Blogs (the site is currently being re-vamped to be way more blogolicious).

I've always loved Science Friday--Ira Flatow's calming tones and fascinating guests used to help get me through Friday afternoon fruit fly ovary dissections in grad school--and I admire their ambitions, so I consider it a real honour to be asked to blog with them.

You can probably tell from my patchy posting here that Data Not Shown has been something of an experiment. I wasn't sure when I started it how many posts I'd end up wanting to write that weren't appropriate for The Beagle Project Blog, and I think the answer has turned out to be a resounding "not many".

So. I'm closing up shop here at Data Not Shown and re-inventing myself a little bit for the new Science Friday blog. I think part of the reason I didn't get really jazzed about Data Not Shown is that it didn't have a coherent and succinct theme. Thus my aims for the new blog are:
  1. to post regularly if not as often as I do on the Beagle Project Blog, say, once a week to start.
  2. to write themed series' of posts, for example a weekly biology and/or evolution glossary entry, a series of interviews with scientists I admire, or maybe even a series of video podcasts from the lab and other parts of the Natural History Museum.
I am also thinking of re-naming the blog. Please use the poll on the upper right side of this page to let me know what name you like best.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you over at SciFri blogs!