Biweekly links for 12/05/2008

  • Deepak Singh: “Science Big. Science Connected.”
    • Deepak Singh’s talk at Virginia Polytechnic and State University
  • Barack Obama? Yeah, sure
    • “A Florida congresswoman was so determined not to be “punked” that she hung up on the president-elect.

      The Miami Herald reports that Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen got a call Wednesday from a man sounding remarkably like Barack Obama.

      He wanted to congratulate her on her re-election and to say he was looking forward to working with her. But Ms. Ros-Lehtinen suspected it was a radio station prank, and she was not about to fall for it.

      She said she told the caller he sounded better than the guy on Saturday Night Live but that she was not going to be “punked.” When Mr. Obama’s chief of staff called, she hung up on him, too.

      It took a call from a fellow congressman to convince Ms. Ros-Lehtinen the Obama call was legitimate.

      She said Mr. Obama laughed about it all and didn’t blame her for being skeptical.”

  • A PhD presented in interpretive dance: The role of Vitamin D in beta-cell function
  • YouTube – symphony’s Channel
    • “Interested in joining the first-ever collaborative online orchestra? Professionals and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting a video performance of a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). We have tools to help you learn the music, rehearse with the conductor, and upload your part for the collaborative video.”
  • Backreaction: When Capitalism Fails
    • “The open access movement has a similar financing problem… The most widely used model is that the author pays a charge. Though I am all in favor of open access, this option is a huge mistake if you consider what it means for science in the long run: With traditional publishing you couldn’t read a paper if you couldn’t afford it. With author-pay you can’t publish a paper if you can’t afford it. What does the incentive structure look like then? Well, the news is that journals will be interested in having good contacts to affiliations that do financially well. Does that sound like a bias you want to have on the scientific publishing process? Just asking… Open access is a public service. Thus, it should be financed like a public service.”
  • ACM Classic Books
    • A list of classic books in computer science, some with full text for people with access to ACM materials online.
  • Bill Hooker: Science 2.0
    • Bill Hooker’s slides for his presentation to the Berglund Centre.
  • Are your MPs and Peers working for you in the UK’s Parliament?
    • More or less a search engine / news / alert service to make UK politics more transparent.
  • Bathsheba Sculpture
    • An artist whose main medium is “3D printing in metal”. Some pretty incredible stuff: I like the Calabi-Yau manifold in particular.
  • Put your lectures only easily and for free with Panopto: Daniel Lemire
    • “Basically, the PowerPoint slides are synced with the video, and you can move up or down in the slide deck, with the video syncing automatically. Students can annotate your slides. You can add secondary video feeds or screen capture.”
  • A Blog Around The Clock : The Open Laboratory 2008 – all the submissions fit to print
    • The final set of submissions for this year’s collection of science blog writing, “The Open Laboratory”. Many great blogs and posts that I didn’t know existed in here.
  • Units Markup Language home page
    • “UnitsML is a project underway at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a schema for encoding scientific units of measure in XML. Furthermore, a database (UnitsDB) containing extensive information about scientific units is under development. “

Click here for all of my bookmarks.


  1. Bathsheba Grossman is very cool not just because her work is so awesome (which it is) but also because she has a very different approach to sculpture than most artists: she believes in making her work cheap and accessible so that ordinary people (not just super-large-rich institutions) can own it. I really, really approve of this philosophy.

    When Dave got me our first sculpture (a Nexus), when we were engaged, he teased me by telling me my present had A_4 symmetry. When pressed for another hint, Dave told me it was printed… I was VERY confused.

  2. Charlene, that definitely sounds like Dave 🙂 I guess Bathsheba Grossman can still make money off of scale, making a percentage for each copy she makes. She seems to have done quite well for herself, anyways.

  3. Hi Charlene!

    I too thought that Bathsheba Grossman’s link was immensely cool — the technology, the business model, and the art all were fascinating … subversive too, like all good art, mathematics, and science.

    Ms. Grossman’s work is satisfyingly transgressive on all three channels at once! She is a real-world character straight out of Austin Grossman’s hilariously transgressive comic novel Soon I Will Be Invincible (a sample of Grossman’s prose: “There has to be a little bit of crime in any theory, or it’s not truly good science. Because you have to break the rules to get anything real done.”)

    So, kudos to Ms. Grossman for recognizing the artistic, mathematical, and scientific potentiality of this technology … and for the fact that there is “a little bit of crime” in her art.

    As the rural Iowa phrase goes “I would give a nickel” to watch the wicking of the hot liquid bronze into one of Ms. Grossman’s sculptures … to watch that wicking would be as wonderful as the sculpture itself.

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