Career Change

June 25, 2009

Off To France

June 25, 2009

Out Of Touch

June 25, 2009

The Networks

June 25, 2009

Corners

June 25, 2009

Streams To Oceans

June 25, 2009

The Telegraph:

Lin Zongxiu, from the southwestern province of Sichuan, heard in 2008 that soup made with a man’s head could help cure her daughter who had suffered from psychiatric problems for years, the Chengdu Commercial newspaper reported.

Lin and her husband decided to enlist the help of a man in December who knocked unconscious a drunk 76-year-old passer-by before beheading him, the paper claimed.

The couple then gave their 25-year-old daughter soup made from the man’s head, and duck.

A local court sentenced the murderer to death with a two-year reprieve on Monday, and Lin was convicted of helping to destroy evidence that included the culprit’s bloody clothes and shoes, the paper said.

The murderer’s reprieve means that his sentence will likely be commuted to life in prison as long as he commits no further offences in the next two years.

New Scientist:

At New Scientist we love a good hoax, especially one that both amuses and makes a serious point about the communication of science. So kudos to Philip Davis, a graduate student in library and information science at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who revealed yesterday on The Scholarly Kitchen blog that he got a nonsensical computer-generated paper accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Earlier this year, Davis started receiving unsolicited emails from Bentham Science Publishers, which publishes more than 200 “open-access” journals – which turn the conventional business model of academic publishing on its head by charging publication fees to the authors of research papers, and then making the content available for free.

As the emails stacked up, Davis was not only encouraged to submit papers, but was also invited to serve on the editorial board of some of Bentham’s journals – for which he was told he would be allowed to publish one free article each year. “I received solicitations for journals for which I had no subject expertise at all,” says Davis. “It really painted a picture of vanity publishing.”

Sheer nonsense

So Davis teamed up with Kent Anderson, a member of the publishing team at The New England Journal of Medicine, to put Bentham’s editorial standards to the test. The pair turned to SCIgen, a program that generates nonsensical computer science papers, and submitted the resulting paper to The Open Information Science Journal, published by Bentham.

The paper, entitled “Deconstructing Access Points” (pdf) made no sense whatsoever, as this sample reveals:

In this section, we discuss existing research into red-black trees, vacuum tubes, and courseware [10]. On a similar note, recent work by Takahashi suggests a methodology for providing robust modalities, but does not offer an implementation [9].

Acronym clue

Davis and Anderson, writing under the noms de plume David Phillips and Andrew Kent, also dropped a hefty hint of the hoax by giving their institutional affiliation as the Center for Research in Applied Phrenology, or CRAP.

Read it all.

Obama Is Talking Tough

June 25, 2009

The Sidekick

June 25, 2009

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