19 October 2007

Not just an Apostrophe Catastrophe...

Thanks to: Badgas

If Marc Abrahams can hand out prizes, so can I

I’m awarding prizes. Categories subject to change each month. In October, the categories are:

Most Consistently Preposterous Titles for Journal Articles

The Journal of Consumer Research
-For such pearls as ‘Mood and Comparative Judgement: Does Mood Influence Everything and Finally Nothing?’, ‘Of Chameleons and Consumption: The Impact of Mimicry on Choice and Preferences’ and ‘Time Will Tell: The Distant Appeal of Promotion and Imminent Appeal of Prevention’.

Inappropriate Use of Provocative Language in Science Media

Testosterone turns male juncos into blustery hunks – and bad dads
-What this means: Male birds increase testosterone production to attract mates; sometimes it makes them a bit narky.

Most Completely Incomprehensible Utterance by a Scientist

"The mere fact that now we can have a predictable organic-nanotube hybrid composite, with enhanced properties should open the door for many new applications. The enhancement in the luminescence properties bodes well for a new generation of organic devices that could potentially reach commercially viable figures of merit for large scale production. The work conducted at the ATI will now allow us to investigate ways to modify the active material used for solar cells in order to harvest more of the solar spectrum using hybrid mixtures."
-What this means: I don't know.

Best Pun in a Press Release

No prizes this month - or possibly ever, seeing as how I might elect to change the categories next month - they're all far too lame.

Non-story of the Month

The U.S. hasn’t changed its stance on how much fish women can eat while they’re pregnant.
-Yes, that’s "hasn’t". Right.

Apostrophe Catastrophe

Charlies Angles
-Thanks to Bad Gas.

Best Things Recalled This Month

Minnie’s chocolate chunk cookies
-"Undeclared presence of nuts".

Kahlua Kahlua Brownie and Double Fudge Brownie ice cream
-You think anyone's sending those back?

Image: thanks to Fernando

12 October 2007

Man, I'm excited about Heroes

Sneaky sneaky. Somehow the genius that is Heroes hadn't quite crept up on me until last night... A Japanese guy who can teleport in the same programme as a cheerleader who can mash her own face up and then magically restore herself. But what really did it for me last episode was the badness of the bad guy. He's so evil it's positively sexy. (Perhaps there's something slightly warped about me?) Plus the fact he spent half the show in a room with a scientist who was neither completely repugnant nor portrayed as an utter fruitloop/geek. It's a winner.

11 October 2007

Holidays: worth it?

This is a graphical representation of my stress levels over the last three weeks. As you can see, stress levels nose dive from a moderate '5' during the week of the holiday, then soar to astronomical heights ('15' on my scale) afterwards.

What does this tell us?
a) Holidays make you stressed
b) Not being at work for a week makes you stressed

or, crucially,

c) Too much time spent procrastinating and avoiding work after a holiday makes you stressed

7 October 2007

Mio Dio!

I'm fresh out of Italy - Pisa to be precise - armed with all manner of Italian colloquialisms to baffle (that's buffoon, if you're a Malaprop) the English speaker. "Mio dio" ("my god") just happens to be my favourite, but I also have a soft spot for "cretino" (no prizes for guessing) and "chiusi il becco" ("shut up", but I'm pretty sure it literally translates as "shut your beak").

Anyway, while abroad, fellow biologist and travel companion, Zia Lewindon, informed me that the "average" Italian family consumes 50 litres of olive oil a year. I say "average" because this is the amount one hopeful oil vendor tried to sell her. Either he thought she had six children, or one member of a four person family is genuinely expected to consume (drink?) - let's see - a quarter of a litre of olive oil a week... Mio dio!

Image: thanks Jeresn Callewaer