Archive for: January, 2011

ScienceOnline 2011 Debrief Part 2: Swag, Science comedy and #ihuggedbora

Jan 23 2011 Published by under scio11, so'11

A few days ago I posted some thoughts on the programming of the recent ScienceOnline 2011 conference. In this post I like to do some quick takes on some of the more pleasurable aspects of the conference.

Some random observations:

  • Amazing organization. What more can be said about Bora Zivkovic and Anton Zuiker and all the rest of the great people they've attracted to the ScienceOnline cause? Not much. They all did an amazing job. Bravo! And yes, #ihuggedbora!
  • My Librarian Superpower. The highlight of the Book Fair on Friday night was getting to pick one of the wrapped books from one of the tables. Of all the amazing books from all the amazing authors present at the conference, the one I'd sort of identified as the one I really wanted to try and get was Scott Huler's On the Grid. I'd seen it in the bookstores and I sort of had an idea of the size and shape. So, faced with a pile of wrapped books I had to try and pick that one out. And guess what? I did it! (And think about it -- someone wrapped 200+ books in brown paper for the event. Wow.)
  • Local Beer. Unlike the hotel from past years which only stocked commodity beers, the bar at the Marriott this year, as well as the venue for the Happy Hour Book Fair and the restaurant I ate at on Friday all had a good selection of local beers. Most of which I enjoyed so much I can no longer remember their names.
  • Friendliness. The great atmosphere of ScienceOnline can't be overstated. The conversations at the social events, at the lunches and in the halls between sessions are one of the highlights. And there's no real "pecking order" at the event. Pretty well anyone feels comfortable talking to anyone else. My older son, Sam, 17, has been coming with me to the conference for the last three years and he feels really welcome and accepted at the conference even though he's "just" a high school student.
  • OMG Swag, or Free Books FTW!. Here's a nice pic of all the stuff in the swag bag. There were also piles of free tshirts, pens, magazines and even a few books to be had. By various means, my son and I ended up taking home 5 or 6 books between us.
  • Up in a Tree. At the Saturday evening banquet Margaret Lowman gave a talk that was both hysterically funny and incredibly inspirational about her work on treetop ecosystems.
  • Science Comedy. Science Comedian Brian Malow also performed Saturday evening and he was just plain hilarious. Check out his stuff and YouTube and be prepared to laugh.
  • The Twitter Firehose. A week after the conference ended and there's still a fair bit of chatter on Twitter. It was simply amazing the comment and interaction online both during and after the conference.
  • The Canadian Invasion. Wow, there were a lot of Canadians at the conference, fourteen of them according to the stats. I won't try and name them all because I'm sure I'll miss a few but it was fantastic to see so many.

Coming up, Part 3 on #scio12!

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From the Archives: Balanced libraries: Thoughts on continuity and change by Walt Crawford

I have a whole pile of science-y book reviews on two of my older blogs, here and here. Both of those blogs have now been largely superseded by or merged into this one. So I'm going to be slowly moving the relevant reviews over here. I'll mostly be doing the posts one or two per weekend and I'll occasionally be merging two or more shorter reviews into one post here.

This one, of Balanced Libraries: Thoughts On Continuity And Change, is from June 6, 2007.

=======

The library literature. I don't know about you, but those three words strike fear in my heart. When I think library literature, the word that comes to mind is, well, turgid. (And to be fair, most bodies of official scholarly literature are just as turgid, if not more so, so I'm not picking on us any more than any other discipline.) Books and articles that are basically a struggle to get through, dull, overlong, full of jargon. Just awful. For all the great ideas that can be encapsulated in the articles, the execution can often leave a bit to be desired. And the articles I've inflicted on the world are no different, I'm sure. So, what's to be done? Engage the biblioblogosphere, of course! Lively and diverse, full of opinion and debate, mostly written in a conversational, accessible style. The experimental rigor might not be there, but that's more than made up for by diversity, immediacy and accessibility.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice to have a shining example of a book that is well written and with ambitious, almost scholarly, intentions, well thought out arguments, deeply explored ideas, intellectually rigorous debate that seriously engages the most important professional topics of the day? Impossible, you say. I say, I'm holding that very book right here in my hands and it's Walt Crawford's Balanced libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change. And the issue it is engaging is perhaps the most important facing our profession these days: how to embrace new technological possibilities while still maintaining our core values as libraries and librarians while not going completely crazy in the process. And how does Crawford's fare in this endeavor? Pretty darn good, if you ask me. There's a lot of very profound wisdom in this book, and I would recommend it very seriously to any library professional, especially to those that are most directly engaged in building technology solutions for libraries.

There's a lot of good stuff in this book that I want to talk about, but first let's talk a little about the author for those of you who may not know about him. Walt Crawford is the author of numerous other books (including the excellent First Have Something to Say, which I've also read and which was influential in my blogging career), the important library ezine Cites & Insights and blog Walt at Random. A sage and sane voice in the biblioblogosphere, one that many have found inspiring.

And now, Balanced Libraries.

One of the best things about this book was that it provoked an awful lot of internal debates as I was reading it. You know how when you're reading a book and suddenly you're stopped in your tracks by something? It doesn't matter if you agree or disagree (and I certainly didn't agree with everything in Crawford's book), it makes you think, it makes you start a kind of virtual discussion with the author. You find yourself saying, "But, what if..." or "You know, that's not how I think that would happen..." or "Right on, and what about..." It takes a long time to read a book like that, because so much of your time is spent digesting what you've read. It often took me a day or two in between chapters to process. Lee Smolin's The Trouble with Physics, which I was reading more or less simultaneously, was the same.

So, what were those debates, what were the topics I endlessly worked over with my imaginary Walt Crawford? Well, let's take a look at the book more or less chapter by chapter and see what I came up with.

Chapter 1 (A Question of Balance) is the introduction. Crawford defines balance as "change with continuity," "expansion over replacement," and "continuous improvement over transformation," which is a definition I can live with. I guess you could say my first virtual debate was here, struggling with my own definition of balance. Like Crawford, I think I favour gradual, incremental change most of the time, but I do have a bit of the revolutionary in me as well and certainly this section helped me come to my own definition, even if it's a bit less than ideally "balanced." But it's a good way to start the book, to make sure we're more or less on the same wave length.

Chapter 2 (Patrons and the Library) really resonated with me. Are the "patrons always right?" Do we do what ever they want, no matter what, even if it might be outside our core mission? To what degree to we "pander" to patrons' every whim and to what degree do we use our professional judgment to decide what's best for them? A difficult question, one that I don't have the answer for -- and this this chapter provoked a lot of introspection.

Chapter 4 (Existing Collections and Services) struck a bit of a off note for me. In the discussion about existing collections there's quite a long section that romanticizes traditional book browsing on the shelves. I'm not sure the serendipity you get from browsing on the shelves is better than the kind of serendipity a good online system (with tags and recommendation systems, for example) can give you. I appreciate and use both kinds of discovery but I think that they can and should be profoundly complementary.

Chapter 6 (Balancing Generations) treats that hoary old proposition: kids today are going to hell in a hand basket/old fogies are so out of touch. Crawford struck a good balance here, talking about balancing the needs of younger vs. older patrons and the strengths of more experienced staff vs. new grads. Being a newer librarian who's not so young, I found a lot to like in this chapter, even if I sometimes seemed to find myself in both camps at once.

Chapter 7 (Pushing Back: Balance vs. Resistance) has a discussion of the dangers of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt that got me thinking. It seems that there's a challenge here, how to find a model for life-long contribution to the profession for everybody, not just the tech-savviest. Ultimately, we all get a little duller around the cutting edge (some less than others, some earlier than others), so how do we harness the wisdom and experience of those that have been-there-done-that?

Chapters 8 (Naming and Shaming) and 9 (Improving and Extending Services) were perhaps the most provocative and compelling in the book. They give the compelling and controversial story of the Library 2.0 wars, from the True Believers to the doubters to the mushy middlers. Crawford's portrayal of many of the L2 advocates is considerably less than flattering, to the point where I found myself shaking my head and remembering why I mostly stayed on the sidelines for the debate. On the other hand, Chapter 9 is an amazing exposition of perhaps what L2 is really about. I often found myself nodding my head in vigorous agreement, thinking "Gee, that's cool" or "Maybe I should try that!" The contrast between the two chapters is telling: in one librarians sound shrill and a bit mean, in the other we sound open minded, progressive and brilliant. Chapters 10 through 13 really just expand on the possibilities for embracing balanced change begun in chapter 9.

Chapters 14 (Balanced Librarians) and 15 (Change and Continuity) form a kind of extended conclusion for the book. Chapter 14 challenges us as professionals to take it easy, to use our time and energy wisely, to pace ourselves but at the same time to stop and think, to focus our concentration and really contemplate our situation. Chapter 15 brings it all together, challenging us to once again think deeply about what is worth keeping and what needs to be changed. As Crawford closes, "Whatever names you adopt, whatever tools wind up suiting your needs, I hope these thoughts will help you find a balance of continuity and change." (p. 229)

Well, you get the idea. Every chapter will make you think.

Another really interesting thing about this book was how it advanced the form of scholarship. Here's a self-published book with very serious intentions, not lightweight at all, which mostly referenced blogs in the bibliography. I find that really interesting. A book that's about how librarians should engage the most important issues in their professional practice and it's mostly propelled by bloggers and not by reams of articles in the official scholarly journals. By my quick count, 151/187, or about 80% of the items in the bibliography are blog posts. And he makes us sound pretty good too. And I'm not saying that because my blog appears three times in the bibliography. For the most past, Crawford showcases the best writing and the best thinking out there among the liblogs (except for Chapter 8, mentioned above, but even that showcases some real passion too); we are committed and engaged and thinking about the issues. If you are a liblogger and your colleagues are a bit skeptical about the the worth of what you are doing, show them this book. What we do, if we do it well, is worthy for our tenure files, for our professional CV's. Our work on our blogs should be counted the same as any one else's contributions in traditional media based on its intrinsic quality not its format or place of publication. Thanks to Crawford, we have an example of what we are capable of presented in a somewhat more traditional format and written by someone whose contributions to the field cannot be easily dismissed. We appreciate the support.

But enough of me. Go buy the book. One for yourself and one for your library's collection.

Crawford, Walt. Balanced Libraries: Thoughts On Continuity And Change. Cites and Insights (Lulu.com), 2007. 247pp.

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Around the Web: Digital thesis deposit, Digital professoriat, New business models and more

Jan 22 2011 Published by under around the web

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Friday Fun: Starbucks Trenta + Whisky in a Can = ??????

Jan 21 2011 Published by under friday fun

Two recent developments that I think are connected in a strange way.

Starbucks just came out with a new drink size, the Trenta, where the volume of coffee is bigger than the human stomach. Wow, that's a lot of caffeine.

In the same vein, there a company out there that's come up with a 12 oz "Whisky in a Can" product. Yeah, that's 8 full shots of whisky. In a non-resealable can.

Ok, so my idea is this. Buy the coffee, empty out a little of it and dump in all booze from the can. Instant Scotch coffee. Or Irish coffee. Or rotgut coffee, more likely, given what they're probably putting in the cans.

Most likely, of course, are some rather nasty side effects.

Don't try this at home. Some information on potentially dangerous caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

(I first thought of this bizarre connection in response to a post at Tom Levenson's blog.)

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Best Science Books 2010: USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, AAAS

Jan 21 2011 Published by under best science books 2010, science books

Another bunch of lists for your reading, gift giving and collection development pleasure.

USA Today

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Chicago Sun-Times

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

American Association for the Advancement of Science

  • The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe by Loree Griffin Burns & Ellen Harasimowicz.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
  • The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science by Sean Connolly

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up a lot of lists from Largehearted Boy.

Earlier entries in this year's list of lists can be found here and the 2009 summary post here.

(Only two more lists to go...)

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Best Science Books 2010: Popular Mechanics

Jan 20 2011 Published by under best science books 2010, science books

Another list for your reading, gift giving and collection development pleasure.

  • You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier
  • Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History by Kalee Thompson
  • Lunatic Express: Discovering the World... Via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains and Planes by Carl Hoffman
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
  • Come Up and Get Me: An Autobiography of Colonel Joseph Kittinger by Joe Kittinger and Craig Ryan
  • More Show Me How: Everything We Couldn't Fit in the First Book by Lauren Smith and Derek Fagerstrom
  • The Wolf: How One German Raider Terrorized the Allies in the Most Epic Voyage of WWI by Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen
  • The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey
  • The Gun: The AK-47 and the Evolution of War by C.J. Chivers
  • What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly
  • Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth by James Tabor
  • Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World's Most Mysterious Fish by James Prosek
  • Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell
  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Taleb

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up a lot of lists from Largehearted Boy.

Earlier entries in this year's list of lists can be found here and the 2009 summary post here.

(Yes, I am totally running out of energy on this. Only a few more posts then I'll start working on the big summary post.)

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ScienceOnline 2011 Debrief Part 1: ebooks, blogs and stealthy librarians

Yeah, I'm talking about you, #scio11. The conference that still has significant twitter traffic three days after it's over. I've been to conferences that don't have that kind of traffic while they're happening. In fact, that would be pretty well every other conference.

Every edition of ScienceOnline seems to have a different virtual theme for me and this one seemed to somehow circle back to the blogging focus on earlier editions of the conference. Of course, the program is so diverse and the company so stimulating, that different people will follow different conference paths and perhaps sense different themes or perhaps no theme at all.

This post will contain some fairly disconnected thoughts, mostly directly connected to the program sessions themselves. I'll have another post up soon concentrating on the non-panel parts of the conference.

  • Stealthy Librarians. In the past, the sessions that the library invasive species contingent have organized have often been a bit sparsely attended by non-librarians. Even though we've tried to orient them towards a broader audience, they've usually had the L-Word in the session title. Unfortunately, there's nothing that'll turn off a bunch of savvy online science types faster than the library stuff. They'll tend to feel that it's stuff they've already mastered -- and most of them are certainly self-sufficient in their online activities.

    But, along comes librarian superheroes Molly Keener and Kiyomi Deards and scientist superhero Steve Koch to organize a session on Data Discoverability: Institutional Support Strategies. Essentially the session was about scientists and librarians collaborating to find a way to manage and make accessible large amounts of research data. And it was really well attended, provoked very lively discussion on a lot of important issues. To make things better, I think it got a lot of people thinking that the library is a natural ally in open science.

    By far, this was the best and most successful "library" session at any ScienceOnline. Bravo!

  • eBooks & the Science Community. This was my session, which was organized by Carl Zimmer and also included Thomas Levenson and David Dobbs. Once again, this was a case of a stealthy librarian (i.e., me) getting into a session that's not really about library issues and, I hope, getting some good points in about the things we worry about. Like sustainable business models that work for both content creators and consumers, preservation, open standards and, of course, the mutualized community sharing that are the whole point of libraries when it comes to the content we license and purchase.

    I somehow seem to recall referring to the emerging app ecosystem as "The Dark Side." I may have gotten carried away. Anyways, it was a great session and I'm really glad to have been part of it. Carl Zimmer and Christina Pikas have good summaries of the main points and Christina also has a post with some very kind words of commentary.

  • ScienceSeeker. Dave Munger and Anton Zuiker gave a session introducing the successor to Scienceblogging.org, ScienceSeeker.org. It seems like a fantastic project about aggregating science blogging content. Run on over and submit and/or claim your blog now.

    It's corrects the main fault with ScienceBlogging.org in that in accepts independent blogs and not just network-affiliated ones. My only hope is that they ultimately release the data they aggregate under a CC0 license, which seemed to be a point of some discussion in the session itself. At very least, they should make the data freely and openly available to those that wish to use it for research purposes.

Of course, there were a ton more sessions that I attended and they were mostly all very good. Watch the conference site and blog as a bunch of them were steamed live and will be made available for viewing.

All in all, this conference just gets better and more successful every year. Here's to #scio12!

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From the Archives: Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg

I have a whole pile of science-y book reviews on two of my older blogs, here and here. Both of those blogs have now been largely superseded by or merged into this one. So I'm going to be slowly moving the relevant reviews over here. I'll mostly be doing the posts one or two per weekend and I'll occasionally be merging two or more shorter reviews into one post here.

This one, of Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software, is from August 9, 2007.

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Every organization relies on software these days. Big custom systems, shrink wrapped commercial software, all the various protocols and programs keeping the Net running. Big organizations, small organizations, tech companies of course, libraries in particular are relying on the fruits of software developers mental labours more and more. And with the rise of Web 2.0 in libraries and educational institutions, our reliance on our programmers will only get more pronounced. But how much do we really understand about the art of software development and the strange and wonderful habits of programmers, systems analysts and all the rest of the software bestiary?

Not much, it seems. And that's where this fascinating insider account a a high-profile open source software project comes in. Salon.com co-founder and author Scott Rosenberg spent three years as a fly on the way on Mitch Kapor's project to create the ultimate Personal Information Manager (PIM), Chandler. Kapor's project was highly idealistic from the very beginning; the idea was that he would use some of his software-boom fortune to finance a project to make every one's lives easier: a PIM that is flexible, sharable and open, able to handle calendaring, email, note taking and events. Unfortunately, the project was also cursed with design difficulties and numerous delays, with a schedule that stretched out from one year to two and three years and beyond (and not even implemented today). The book includes a colourful cast of both obscure and well-known software luminaries (like Andy Hertzfeld), and goes beyond merely recounting the ups and downs of Chandler but also offers a kind of history of attempts to organize and systematize software development. Name-checking such great software engineering writers as Frederick Brooks, Rosenberg talks about the whys and wherefores of structured programming, object orientation and others. Many chapters mix details of the vagaries of the Chandler project with relevant discussions of theoretical topics in software engineering (such as trying to create truly reusable software modules) with more philosophical musings on the art of software development. Most of all, Rosenberg places us firmly inside the workings of a programming project from hell, complete with gory details, tales from the historical trenches and a bit of that fantastic theoretical discussion on why software is so hard. (So, what's it really like being stuck in the programming project from hell? Trust me, I've been there and this is a pretty good example of the real thing.)

There are a couple of really good bits that really stood out for me in this book, bits that resonated with my own experiences managing and developing software. On page 54 he has a discussion of death march projects and the optimism/pessimism dichotomy that all programmers live with and obsess with every day. Having done a couple of death marches characterized by such extremes, it really resonated with me. On page 75, he begins a discussion various programming languages and the almost religious zeal most programmers have for their favourite ones - I was a big fan of Fortran as a young programmer. On page 274, Rosenberg has a telling comment about programmers' historical blindness, their inability to learn from their mistakes, to use the literature to learn from other's mistakes. I like the way he puts it: "It's tempting to recommend these [pioneering software engineering] NATO reports be required reading for all programmers and their managers. But, as Joel Spolsky says, most programmers don't read much about their own discipline. That leaves them trapped in infinite loops of self-ignorance." I like to think that as a librarian collecting the literature of software engineering, I can help in a small way to make programmers more aware of their past.

On a lighter note, I also like the joke that Rosenberg puts on page 275-276:

A Software Engineer, a Hardware Engineer, and a Departmental Manager were on their way to a meeting in Switzerland. They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes on their car failed. The car careened almost out of control down the road, bouncing off the crash barriers until it miraculously ground to a halt scraping along the mountainside. The car's occupants, shaken but unhurt, now had a problem: They were stuck halfway down a mountain in a car with no brakes. What were they to do?

"I know," said the Departmental Manager. "Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and by a process of Continuous Improvement find a solution to the Critical Problems, and we can be on our way."

"No, no," said the Hardware Engineer. "that will take far too long, and, besides, that method has never worked before. I've got my Swiss Army knife with me, and in no time at all I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we can be on our way."

"Well," said the Software Engineer, "before we do anything, I think we should push the car back up the road and see if it happens again."

I'm going to use this joke when I do IL sessions for CS and Engineering grad and undergrad students, and maybe even to break the ice at a departmental meeting.

A great book, an insider view of software development, a real insight into how programmers think and work and how software projects grow and evolve, sometimes how they careen out of control. So, who would I recommend this book for? A number of different constituencies would find this book useful and entertaining.

  • IT Managers would find this book very useful for its insights into the personalities of programmers as well as for its history of failed attempts to make a purely predictable engineering discipline out of programming.
  • Programmers would find this book terrific, seeing a lot of their own eccentricities in the many stories. As well, programmers would get a lot of insights into their pointy-haired bosses attempts to turn them into engineers rather than the free-spirited hacker-artists they see themselves as.
  • Families of the either of the two above groups will get valuable insight into the slightly deranged members of their families, their joys, obsessions and frustrations.
  • People that support or employ software developers or managers, such as scitech librarians, HR people in tech firms, venture capitalists in software firms. They will hopefully come to understand how and why software projects are created and sometimes crash and burn. Not to mention how to mentor and encourage developers to take advantage of what is known to improve productivity. The other books and articles listed in the notes are also a treasure trove of further exploration and information. I hate it when books like this don't have a proper bibliography - it makes it a lot more trouble to sift through the notes later on for further reading.
  • And really, anybody that uses software of any kind. And since basically everyone uses some sort of software these days, just about anyone would really appreciate this book. Understanding how the knowledge economy and the Internet boom is built from the ground up is certainly enlightening and important. You'll never see a bank machine, interact with a big company's insane internal systems procedures or even use a simple web application the same way. Understanding the challenges involved in getting these systems even close to right and the inevitability of their imperfections is an important revelation in the modern world.

Rosenberg, Scott. Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software. New York: Crown, 2007. 400pp. ISBN-13: 978-1400082476

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Friday Fun: Some amusing pre-Scio11 tweets

Jan 14 2011 Published by under friday fun, so'11

As you read this, I'm on a plane winging my way to the ScienceOnline 2011 conference. It's a great learning, sharing and networking opportunity for anyone interested in the way science happens online. It's highlight of the conference year for me.

It's also a serious hoot. A blast, a party, off the chain.

And it's reflected in the Twitter traffic. Here's a sampling from the last little while.

avflox A.V. Flox
Research indicates you can basically think yourself to orgasm. I didn't believe it either until I started to follow the #scio11 hashtag.

BoraZ Bora Zivkovic
I set up my #scio11 office in the lobby of Marriott, getting hugs from every attendee as they walk in. Target: 300 hugs over three days!

kzelnio Kevin Zelnio
my car already contains firefly, bourbon, kraken & my moonshine RT @Dr_Bik: @kzelnio your car = alcohol-mobile for supermarket runs #scio11

h2so4hurts Brian Krueger
Changed my oil, topped off the coolant, added wiper fluid, changed the wipers. Looks like I'm ready for a #scio11 road trip!

arikia Arikia Millikan
FYI #scio11 goers, rumor has it there is a pool AND hot tub at the Mariott. Hope you're bringing your ultimate swim fashions!

JoshRosenau Josh Rosenau
Very late for #scio10, #scio11 may work RT @carlzimmer: Cooling my heels at Tweed airport, hoping our late plane is not too late... #scio10

seelix Emily
#scio11 isn't *that* kind of conference! RT @gojiro: @seelix One pair is the thigh-high gold boots, right? ­čÖé

kzelnio Kevin Zelnio
Well ok, just one though! (as my 5yo wld say) RT @TomLevenson: @kzelnio Don't drink the bars dry tonight -- I'm heading to #scio11 tomorrow.

marynmck Maryn McKenna
heh. (cough.) RT @drugmonkeyblog: Ovrhrd @ #scio11: "Holy crap, @AbelPharmboy is like the size of a Wookie. Somebody should warn a brother."

drugmonkeyblog Drug Monkey
Ovrhrd @ #scio11: "...see that Tasmanian Devil whirling cloud of dust over there? Yeah, that's Bora"

DrBondar Carin Anne Bondar
packed the hooker boots! RT @DNLee5: Ladies, don't forget to pack the FMPs stillettos for #scio11 openmike @DrIsis @scicurious @lyndellmbade

rmacpherson Rick MacPherson
Bourbon? Check. iPhone charger? Check. Teeny Moo biz cards? Check. Spandex truss to prevent hernia from excessive laughing? Check. #scio11

(And this is only a few hours' worth as I write this on Thursday afternoon.)

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Best Science Books 2010: The Australian, The Independent, January Magazine and Page One Book

Jan 13 2011 Published by under best science books 2010, science books

Another bunch of lists for your reading, gift giving and collection development pleasure.

The Australian

  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Independent

  • Bad Ideas?: An arresting history of our inventions: How Our Finest Inventions Nearly Finished Us Off by Robert M. L. Winston
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society: 350 Years of the Royal Society and Scientific Endeavour by Bill Bryson

January Magazine

  • Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment by David Kirby
  • Here's Looking at Euclid: A Surprising Excursion Through the Astonishing World of Math by Alex Bellos
  • How to Defeat Your Own Clone by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson


Page One Book

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier
  • The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
  • The Whale: in Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up a lot of lists from Largehearted Boy.

Earlier entries in this year's list of lists can be found here and the 2009 summary post here.

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