Monday, December 10, 2007

Greatest Collecting Locations I

These amazing Salt Pillars are from the Dead Sea, Israel and seem to be an ideal collecting location for extremely halophilic Archaea.

Image from the research of Dr. Richard Shand at Northern Arizona University.

Monday, December 3, 2007

morphbank browse scraper

Just in case you would want to add a little image scaper to your Web page. It returns the url to embed the image into a Web page and the link back to the morphbank record. Using nifty php client url library functions (curl). Any morphbank image browse query will work. Just find the browse you want and cut and replace the returned url in place of the one below.

$ch = curl_init();
$timeout = 5; // set to zero for no timeout
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_URL, '');
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt ($ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, $timeout);
$data = curl_exec($ch);
curl_close($ch);$regex = "/Image \[(.+?)\]/";
preg_match_all ($regex,$data,$match);
foreach($match[1] as $id )
echo '<a href="'.$id.'"> <img src="'.$id.'&imgType=jpg" /></a>';

Works ok for a small number of images, will really bog down a web page

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Check that Acronym


Acronym Definition
OTU Occupational Therapy Unit
OTU Office of Technology Utilization
OTU One-Time Use (disposable)
OTU Operating Time Update
OTU Operational Taxonomic Unit
OTU Operational Training Unit
OTU Optical Translator Unit (Lucent)
OTU Optical Transport Unit (IEEE)
OTU Outcome Tracking Unit
OTU Output Terminal Unit
OTU Over to You
OTU Oxygen Tolerance Unit


Monday, November 12, 2007

Oh those little white lies

While browsing Google scolar this evening I found a few gems. One is a paper from 1992 by Jennifer Epstein, Bella DePaulo, Susan Kirkendol, Deborah Kashy and Melissa Wyer, whimsically titled “Lying in Everyday Life”

They found some interesting results of the daily lying of college students, generally they produce about 2 little lies a day.
Here is a brief review of some of the interesting results:

1. Participants told more lies about themselves than other people; except when you got a group of women together than they told as many lies about others as themselves.

2. Participants told more lies about themselves to men and lies about others to women.

3. Little lies are common but do not seem to relieve distress in social situations.

4. The most common lie is the removal of facts or absence of truth.

5. Lying serves the function of “impression management, emotional regulation and social support”. For impression management people fashion new and untrue selves.

6. Lying may have long-term emotional effects but ‘many people may prefer not to hear that their muffins are grainy or that they look like a blimp.”

the funny final statement

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Are you a summer rain or a clean and clear?

The feeling of being overwhelmed by too many choices is more common than I supposed. The toothpaste isle alone is a marketing train wreck. Interestingly in the article Iyengar and Lepper found that contray to what seems to be the trend, complexity in choice tends to drive people away from the product, either to another less choice-laden product or to not choose at all.

When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 995-1006. (2000

Monday, September 10, 2007

Your codex just got schooled

A codex by definition is a book in the format of modern books, considered those with binding. But it seems that most codices come to us as epic works, historical documents and often marviously illuminated. Many codices are so magnificent they are named for the town or the library in which they have lived.

Nothing could be finer than the
codex seraphinianus
, except well the Dresden Codex or the Book of Kells.

seudo-Seneca, and others
from the British Library Catalogue

Codex Seraphinianus

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How to make the most of dying

Just signed up to be an organ donor and then became nervous. As I see it might guarantee that I don’t remain in a coma on the table for a long period of time. The harvesters will surely come and take away whatever left is useful in some sort of last moment horror.

But as I poked around in the idea of being useful after death suddenly it became less straight forward. There is a lot of money in dead humans. One multi-million dollar industry that promotes itself as educational is the Bodies exhibition. Its not about science, art or education...its purely a means of making a lot of money. Here is a great article about some of the bodies in the exhibition 'leaking' because they were possibly a rush job. Some museum proprietors are protesting the exibits but I think the best protest is simply not to donate one self to become a rush job mock-up to line someone elses pockets.

This naturally led to the question of 'well why not if they pay me now.' Seems that it is hard to find groups that will pay for your body while you are alive. Who is the best in body donation? Well at least Life Quest will cremate you for free (estimated value $700 dollars). They are still making a ton of money. Found one estimated cost of a kidney to be £1,575, which includes transportation of the organ and a fee for organ donation programs. Your skin, tendons, bones, valves, organs, eyes, and just about everything else is very valuable. Thus one body=bankroll!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The R*O*Y*G*B*I*V of Google

IIts relaxing to Google concepts like serenity and see what the top image hits are for such a meaning-laden word. Googling emotions can show us the possible top 18 flash cards to show an alien species what we mean when we say humans are angry, sad, happy, etc. This is of course not a new thought and surely some articles have been written on the subject, which I am joyfully ignorant of. Today I found a nice google-goggle, the top hit images of our visible light spectrum. Good ole ROY G. BIV. They make nice compositions and will likely change as the general consensus of what these colors actually look like changes.








of course all chaos breaks looks if you think of the color wheel, not ROY. Then we would have to worry about red-orange vs orange-red (one of many color worries).



Seems pretty obvious that we understand Orange-Red as a color much better than Red-Orange.

And then there is the color purple...always tricky. People prefer less 1980s names for the color like wine because you just cant escape the truth about the color. Look at our collective concept of the color purple!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Such a classic

The Beckman Model JR-21 needs no introduction. Bit frightening sounding on the inside, sort of a demons from hell listen.


Another good shaker

Unfortunately I do not remember the exact make and model of this old standby. He would easily boogie a 1000ml Erlenmeyer flask all night. Have a listen

Friday, July 27, 2007

Best lab sounds

Attachment to inanimate objects is not uncommon, particularly if you work with 'it' every day. Computers commonly have names.

Its a bit less common for a vortex to find a special place in the hearts but to those who have grown to rely on him he is one of a kind.

Let me introduce Fred the Fisher Vortex Genie 2. Although only a shaker for single micro centrifuge tubes he really could boogie

mp3 of Fred in action

Friday, July 6, 2007

Whats the temperature?

oh and here is a link to the ever helpful Dolbear's Law formula on wikipedia. Makes me wonder why the snowy tree cricket (Oecanthus fultoni) is so very consistant for telling the temperature. Supposidly the average cricket is not consistant with variations in the amount they are chirping dependant on their age and mating success. Oecanthus sp. chrip a bit differently in the West as they sing a bit faster. Here is a nice Website with some sound samples and info
Its 98 degrees here. I think those snowy tree crickets would be a bit overworked.

dreamy live earth band of Antarctica researchers

Well all musical interests aside nothing could possibley be cooler (probably a well worn joke by now) than a Live Earth Band consisting of researchers from the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station. Their name is Nunatak and they are a house band made up of scientists that already reside in Antarctica (well its not like they can actually get out this time of year, guess plenty of time to practice). Nunatak will be live via the Internet for Live Earth...Awesome!

look at band practice: you know you need lights when it is eternal night right now. Way goth.

Here is the prievew video:

oh yeah and band members ...Looking for publications right now. I mean they might be able to play the fiddle but im ready to check out the data.
Nunatak band members are:

Matt Balmer - Electronics Engineer - Singer, Guitar
Tris Thorne - Communications Engineer - Fiddle
Ali (Alison) Massey - Marine Biologist - Saxophone
Rob Webster - Meteorologist - Drums
Roger Stilwell - Field General Assistant (polar guide) - Bass

Sunday, June 24, 2007

End of August at the Hotel Ozone

Great movie and a excellent view if you are into the end of the world. Its a super bleak, 1967-Czechoslovakian film from directors Pavel Jurácek and Jan Schmidt. Best human and least affected human extinction film I have ever seen. Supposedly all of the actors but one were recruited from the army without any prior acting experience. Only adds to the bleakness and flat profile of the actors.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Favorites from the lab

A chemistry lab I believe is one of the loudest labs ever. Or at least the one Pax and I visited in Lexington a bit over a year ago. These recordings have made their way into Auk Theatre soundtracks but I think they sound really good stand alone! Nothing about the original sound is modified.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another odd one

oh yeah I first posted this by accident. Another record with interest in the temple of understanding.

not invited to dinner

Except I probably wouldnt open the door if this guy came over. I am guessing he would be selling shoes, or toasters.

Found the temple of understanding

Possibly one of the best records ever picked up is a (perhaps early 60s) record called the Temple of Understanding with Mrs. Dickerman Hollister Interviewed by Rabbi Samuel Silver. It is regarding a 'place' where all can come in one giant religious understanding. As off key as this record is I was totally surprised when I found that the temple actually exists as a not-for-profit founded in 1960. Although there is no indication that the awesome building Mrs. Hollister had envisioned was ever built unfortunately.

The message is telling...and quite informative.