Huh. I didn’t suck.

A while ago, I mentioned that I was giving a talk at the Berglund Center. Well, now you can watch the whole thing on video, here (scroll down to Sept 9th).
I watched it myself, and despite seeing mostly room for improvement, was pleasantly surprised at just how much I didn’t suck.
Many thanks to all those who offered suggestions on FriendFeed and on this blog. My slides are available here, and like everything I make they are intended for the public domain.

Pop quiz!

Two unrelated quizzes that I recently took, and that might amuse some readers:
Via Peter Suber, Lund University’s ten-question quickie on Open Access. And yes, I got 10/10.
Via 3 Quarks Daily: from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, something that purports to be a Civics Quiz but which looks to me rather more like libertarian/capitalist propaganda. Of the roughly 2500 citizens who took the test as part of a survey, nearly three-quarters failed, and the average score was 49%. (I got 27/33, for those keeping score.)

Bizarre omission from my blogroll

I just noticed that Richard Poynder’s blog Open and Shut? was missing from my blogroll — which is weird, because I know it was on there at one time. I think that I didn’t notice earlier because everything Richard writes gets covered multiple times across my “news network”, simply because it’s so damn good.
Anyway, the blog is back — and if you read me because you are interested in Open Access and Open Science, and you’re not already reading Richard, then do yourself a favour and start.

Recommend OA to President Obama

Via Peter Suber and Bora: Obamacto is a new site where you can make recommendations to Obama’s Chief Technology Officer and vote on recommendations made by others. Peter’s suggestion was this:

Require open access for publicly-funded research
Require open access to the results of non-classified research funded by taxpayers. Extend the exemplary policy now in place at the NIH to all federal agencies.

You can vote anonymously, but registration is a snap — seriously, the fastest and easiest online signup I’ve ever seen. Go vote!

Veteran’s Day

Today I put aside my troubles and remember the many dead of both World Wars — indeed, of all wars — for their sacrifice.
Lest we forget.
Suicide In The Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
— Siegfried Sassoon

Thieving quack bastards.

As Nils and Paulo have pointed out, genetic testing company DNA Dynasty are thieves.
On their front page, you can see this:


and here on Flickr, uploaded in May of last year, is Ricardo‘s graphic for The DNA Network logo. The lazy bastards didn’t even bother with a quick photoshop.
Nils also points out that these lowlifes are peddling bullshit of the worst kind:

  • “DNA tests for innate abilities” like intelligence and “emotional quotient”
  • “Hair Analysis through Bio-sonic technology”, including analysis of “emotions” and “chakra”
  • “oxygenated water”
  • “Negative Ion Detox Foot Spa”
  • “Spine Corrector Insole”