January 2008 Archives

I hack my blogs a lot and thus I participate in several Movable Type developer lists. (It’s also why I turned down a offer to join ScienceBlogs way back when.) Since yesterday we’ve been discussing whether to try to standardize the MT plugin community on a single javascript API to improve plugin compatibility and code reuse. A majority appear to agree that standardizing would be a good thing; however, we’re not sure which library to pick. I use Prototype myself, but I think that the best argument is being made for jQuery. YUI has several people in favor of it including some at Six Apart. The following two links are helpful in this discussion.

So I’m following a suggestion of Dave Munger and conducting a poll on this topic.

So if you are an administrator or developer of movable type, please weigh in. You can also discuss it in the comments.


I remember an episode of The Critic where Jay Sherman got abducted by an obsessed fan but was eventually saved by his life-sized cardboard cutout that kept annoying repeating over and over again, “Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book. …”

Now I have a need for such a cutout.

Today Bora and I met for coffee, and I got a chance to look at our book: The Open Laboratory: The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007 (Lulu.com, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-4357-0832-7). The printing was wonderful and a joy to look at after the frantic two weeks that I spent typesetting the book in LaTeX. The cover was less green and more blue than we’d planned, and there are plenty of errors in punctuation and spacing that I wish were caught before our deadline, but over all I’d unbiasly give my work an A. (Note: I’ve adjusted the image on this post to better approximate the published cover, I’ll do more once I get my own hard copy.)

If you want to purchase the book, you can do so from the publisher’s website. All profits of the book go to ScienceBlogging.com, which uses the money to fund the free North Carolina Science Blogging Conference and future versions of the book. We are hoping to get the book into retail distribution channels, but regardless ScienceBlogging.com will earn more royalties for copies purchased on Lulu.com than at other locations.

Feel free to donate a copy to your local library, and please talk to your local bookstore about carrying it. Also we’d love to hear from any teachers or professors that would be interested in using this anthology in their classes. In addition, I can provide a free review copy pdf to journalists. We’re hoping to convince the publisher to allow us 10 free review hard copies, but we haven’t worked it out yet.

And finally, today, Nature published its review of the anthology: Parallel Lives by Joanne Baker

BOOK REVIEWED-The Open Laboratory 2007: the Best Science Writing on Blogs
by Reed Cartwright
Lulu.com: 2008.

The editor of this second anthology of the best scientific communiqu’s from the blogosphere thinks blogs offer new ways to discuss science. The Open Laboratory 2007: the Best Science Writing on Blogs (Lulu.com, 2008) takes the curious approach of using dead tree format to highlight the diversity of scientific ideas, opinions and voices flowing across the Internet. Every year a different guest editor—here Reed Cartwright, a blogger and genetics and bioinformatics postdoc from North Carolina State University—picks the best posts to coincide with the Science Blogging Conference (in North Carolina on 19 January). First-hand accounts bring to life the stresses of a graduate student, a mother returning to the bench and an archaeologist’s joy at unearthing mammoth fossils. Topics tackled are as varied as the writers, from Viagra and tapeworms to trepanning. Explanations are often offered with a personal twist, such as a father’s tale of his child’s Asperger’s syndrome. The measured voices of trustworthy academics make medical research easy to swallow. If you are overwhelmed by the surge in science-related blogging and don’t know where to start, then this compilation may help you steer a course through the sea of perspectives on offer—or inspire you to start a blog yourself.

Of course, I can’t take all the credit. We had nearly 30 judges, who read subsets of the 470+ submissions, and provided me with scores to produce a short list of potential essays. Then Bora, the series editor, worked with me to trim the list to fifty-one essays, plus a poem and a comic.

Duke Lemur Center

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In connection with the Science Blogging Conference, Tiffany and I went to the Duke Lemur Center on Friday. Of course, Prof. Steve Steve tagged along. By far the best part was getting to go into the room with a pair of Aye-Ayes. There was nothing separating us and being less than a foot from an aye-aye intently investigating you was an amazing experience.

My camera didn’t like taking pictures of the lemurs in cages, but I got a couple good pictures of Sifakas.

We even got to see Zoboomafoo, star of his own PBS Kids show.

Tiffany has more pictures, as will Brian and Josh.

Carl is no longer pissed.

I’m no Giant’s fan, but Carl sure is.


For an explanation on the wig see the previous week’s clip:

I finally got around to producing my final rankings for the 2007 season. I’ve tweaked the algorithm a bit, optimizing the parameters so that it doesn’t give a completely wacky top ten. Essentially, the final score is now only contributing to 25% of the quality. The rest of the quality is being determined by a won or loss check.

I’ve also added columns for Best Game and Worse Game, which give you and idea about the position in the rankings that the results of those games are claiming that the teams should have.

Pos Team Record Quality Best Game Quality Worst Game Quality
1 LSU 12-2-0 7.2236 Virginia Tech 9.8665 Arkansas 3.5342
2 Southern Cal 11-2-0 6.8700 Arizona St 9.0520 Stanford 2.2374
3 Georgia 11-2-0 6.8399 Florida 8.9366 South Carolina 3.2241
4 Missouri 12-2-0 6.8397 Kansas 8.8861 Oklahoma 3.8887
5 West Virginia 11-2-0 6.7910 Oklahoma 9.0941 Pittsburgh 2.2375
6 Kansas 12-1-0 6.6741 Virginia Tech 8.5962 Missouri 4.6277
7 Ohio State 11-2-0 6.6648 Michigan 8.5576 Illinois 3.5760
8 Florida 9-4-0 6.6211 Tennessee 9.3000 Michigan 3.7946
9 Oklahoma 11-3-0 6.5586 Missouri 9.5096 Colorado 2.6917
10 Virginia Tech 11-3-0 6.5224 Boston College 8.7209 LSU 3.8795
11 Arizona St 10-3-0 6.4837 Oregon St 8.2992 Texas 3.6022
12 Oregon 9-4-0 6.4598 Southern Cal 9.1053 UCLA 2.3373
13 Boston College 11-3-0 6.2429 Virginia Tech 8.6885 Maryland 2.8122
14 Tennessee 10-4-0 6.2410 Georgia 9.5519 Alabama 2.5320
15 Brigham Young 11-2-0 6.2079 Air Force 8.1207 Tulsa 2.4800
16 South Florida 9-4-0 6.1037 West Virginia 9.0959 Rutgers 3.1119
17 Texas 10-3-0 6.0494 Arizona St 8.9309 Kansas St 1.9772
18 Auburn 9-4-0 6.0361 Florida 8.7063 Mississippi St 3.0926
19 Clemson 9-4-0 6.0138 Wake Forest 8.7894 Georgia Tech 2.2435
20 Oregon St 9-4-0 5.9931 Oregon 8.6325 UCLA 2.4528
21 Michigan 9-4-0 5.9286 Florida 8.7551 Appalachian St 2.8188
22 Cincinnati 10-3-0 5.8790 Oregon St 9.2292 Pittsburgh 2.1774
23 Kentucky 8-5-0 5.8412 LSU 9.3533 Mississippi St 2.6767
24 Illinois 9-4-0 5.7879 Ohio State 8.8767 Iowa 1.9313
25 Penn State 9-4-0 5.7205 Wisconsin 8.6071 Michigan St 2.9810
26 Wake Forest 9-4-0 5.6708 Connecticut 7.9820 Nebraska 2.6817
27 Arkansas 8-5-0 5.5467 LSU 9.2361 Alabama 3.2355
28 Virginia 9-4-0 5.5075 Miami FL 7.8752 Wyoming 0.8156
29 Wisconsin 9-4-0 5.4898 Michigan 8.4158 Penn State 2.6033
30 Utah 9-4-0 5.4448 UCLA 8.6047 UNLV -0.4684
31 Connecticut 9-4-0 5.4198 South Florida 8.3534 Cincinnati 2.8216
32 Texas Tech 9-4-0 5.4076 Oklahoma 8.7446 Colorado 2.6312
33 California 7-6-0 5.3903 Oregon 8.6577 Stanford 1.9693
34 South Carolina 6-6-0 5.3750 Georgia 8.9908 Vanderbilt 2.2983
35 Oklahoma St 7-6-0 5.3566 Nebraska 7.7379 Troy 2.5115
36 UCLA 6-7-0 5.2993 Oregon 9.4218 Notre Dame 1.0299
37 Alabama 7-6-0 5.2818 Tennessee 8.9909 Louisiana-Monroe 1.4278
38 Mississippi St 8-5-0 5.2722 Kentucky 8.4367 South Carolina 2.8597
39 Hawai‘i 12-1-0 5.2618 Boise St 7.4211 Northern Colorado 3.6262
40 Florida St 7-6-0 5.2348 Boston College 8.5818 Miami FL 1.9730
41 Texas A&M 7-6-0 5.2059 Texas 8.2539 Miami FL 1.6241
42 Rutgers 8-5-0 5.1732 South Florida 8.1650 Maryland 2.6833
43 Air Force 9-4-0 5.1312 Utah 7.7603 Navy 1.9887
44 Boise St 10-3-0 5.0899 Fresno St 7.1131 Washington 2.0500
45 Michigan St 7-6-0 5.0661 Penn State 7.8056 Northwestern 1.8969
46 Troy 8-4-0 5.0359 Oklahoma St 7.8811 Florida Atlantic 2.1772
47 Maryland 6-7-0 4.9736 Boston College 8.4043 North Carolina 1.9930
48 Purdue 8-5-0 4.9590 Iowa 7.1328 Indiana 2.2213
49 Central Florida 10-4-0 4.9551 Tulsa 7.2434 East Carolina 2.1101
50 Arizona 5-7-0 4.9399 Oregon 8.7500 Stanford 2.2349

So True…

I'll post my final ranking later this week. Copyediting and typsetting Openlab 2007 is really kicking my butt right now.

Openlab 2007 Badges

Well Bora and I and our 30+ judges managed to sort through the nearly 500 submissions and find our 53 winners. Some of use used the stairs methods to assign grades and others programed complex random number machines, while a few decided to read the 450+ submissions.

To mark this event I’ve produced three different badges: for winners, for judges, and for cool people. You can see the badges and download them below.

2007 150px:

Openlab 2007

<a href="http://www.lulu.com/coturnix1" rel="external">
<img src="http://scit.us/openlab/openlab07-150.png" width="150" height="94"
alt="Openlab 2007" title="The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007" /></a>

Openlab 2007

<a href="http://www.lulu.com/coturnix1" rel="external">
<img src="http://scit.us/openlab/openlab07-winner-150.png" width="150" height="94"
alt="Openlab 2007" title="The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007" /></a>

Openlab 2007

<a href="http://www.lulu.com/coturnix1" rel="external">
<img src="http://scit.us/openlab/openlab07-judge-150.png" width="150" height="94"
alt="Openlab 2007" title="The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007" /></a>

2007 100px:

Openlab 2007

<a href="http://www.lulu.com/coturnix1" rel="external">
<img src="http://scit.us/openlab/openlab07-100.png" width="100" height="63"
alt="Openlab 2007" title="The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007" /></a>

Openlab 2007

<a href="http://www.lulu.com/coturnix1" rel="external">
<img src="http://scit.us/openlab/openlab07-winner-100.png" width="100" height="63"
alt="Openlab 2007" title="The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007" /></a>

Openlab 2007

<a href="http://www.lulu.com/coturnix1" rel="external">
<img src="http://scit.us/openlab/openlab07-judge-100.png" width="100" height="63"
alt="Openlab 2007" title="The Best Science Writing on Blogs 2007" /></a>

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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