Why MTA? *apologies to the Village People*

Science has some surprising roadblocks. There are the expected obstacles, ones that are easy to grasp- the contaminated cell culture, the mislabeled reagent, the power outage in the middle of a crucial gel’s run. All of these things fall under the heading of ‘shit happens’. They are inevitable, the risk they will occur can be […]

Tuesday Double Feature I: Fibonacci & Hilton

Friend of the blog Luis Rocha wrote a very critical (but concise) review of the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, which included inaccuracies he reports based on personal conversations with one of the Bletchley Park code breakers portrayed in the film:  “I had the great fortune of speaking with Peter Hilton a few times in real life. […]

The Return of the Digit

As my fan (wassup Oscar?), my stalker (restraining order still in effect), and my Mom (hi Mom!) may have noticed, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. It’s the kind of timeframe that usually signals a blog’s demise- and I should know, I’ve buried a few. Rest assured: OT is not in a shallow, […]

Stairway to Excellence

Every once in a while some one beats you to the punch in a particularly irritating way. I’ve been putting off a promised post on the “excellence” epidemic in science for some time. That Jack Stilgoe wrote on the topic at The Guardian is not what gets to me- more power to him. No, what […]

On Limited Sloppiness

“The meeting was called to discuss photoreactivation, which had recently been discovered by Kelner in bacteria, and by Dulbecco in phage. It just amazed me that this very striking effect had not been discovered before. Many scientists had irradiated bacteria and phage with ultraviolet light, including Luria, myself, Dulbecco, and so on and so forth, […]

Walking Fish & Chicks With Tails

I still remember my disappointment as a kid when, after taking me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, my father explained to me that destroying thousand-year-old temples to get one gold statue wasn’t what archeologists normally did. The memory surfaced in my mind last week when I had a conversation with McGill University’s Hans […]