Monthly Archives: October 2007

Finding related articles graphically

When doing a literature search, it’s a good idea to start from a few articles and then (if they are along the lines of what you are looking for) use their references and articles that reference them to expand the search.

One handy way of doing that is with the HubMed Graph Browser. You get to it by finding an article (like mine here) and then selecting the “Graph” link next to “Related” in the line of options at the bottom.

Once you load the TouchGraph, you can see the related articles, change the depth of relationships graphed, zoom in and out, and so on. It can be a nice alternative to the normal related articles list, graphically showing distance and relation.

Ceiling cat wantz moar ceilings!

Our new building (the Computational Science and Engineering Building) at Hopkins lacks drop ceilings throughout. It’s got sort of a modern/industrial look with exposed duct work and so on. It also has marker boards and bulletin boards everywhere. Last week someone wrote on a marker board,

Can we have ceilings?

below it was written,

No ceilings for you! Next!

evoking the Soup Nazi.

This inspired me to create a lolcat-like sign involving the infamous Ceiling Cat:

Ceiling Cat

I have another lolcat made regarding our lack of floor treatments, but that will be posted here only after I post it in real life.

NOLA Rising

If you’re subscribed to the RSS feed for this blog, you will have seen the NOLA Rising photograph that I posted (here). I finally looked up this campaign, and found that they have a blogspot blog here.

As we walk around post-Katrina new orleans, and see things that still aren’t back to normal, it’s always heartwarming to see one of these signs.

PubCasts and SciVee

Have you noticed that everything is named in CamelCase these days? Anyway…

I’ve had a couple of conversations with Dr. Rachel Karchin here at the ICM regarding Open Access scientific publishing, and PLoS specifically. Last week, she forwarded an email to me regarding PubCasts on SciVee. (Example here.)

A “PubCast” is basically the same thing as a “SlideCast“. (Have you noticed that everything is named with “Cast” at the end lately, all spawned from the term “Broadcast” and made popular by “PodCast”?) Let’s start with a SlideCast. The idea with a SlideCast is that presentations are not composed merely of speaking or merely of slides. Many people make their presentations in such a way that the slides stand on their own, but these are typically awful presentations. They’re just slide-formatted outline notes. A good presentation requires the visuals and spoken commentary. In a SlideCast, slides with their various animations and transitions are shown with an audio narration by the presenter. PubCasts go one step further and actually include video of the presenter speaking along with the slides. They also preferably include the paper. I think the video is probably not necessary, unless it’s video of the person presenting in front of the actual slides, but that requires green screening or extremely high quality video (for the slides to be readable), both not worth the hassle.

On the whole, I think PubCasts are an excellent idea. A proper scientific presentation should get the audience engaged by getting them emotionally involved, making them see why they should be interested, while a paper gives all of the gory details. In this way, you get both together. How often do you have the paper handy to follow along when watching a scientific presentation? In my experience, pretty much never. People usually present the stuff they’re working on, not the stuff they’ve published (background excepted).

Unfortunately, I don’t have any true Open Access papers yet. My paper that’s supposed to come out next month will not be Open Access, as the fee from the publisher for it was outrageous, and I couldn’t really justify it to my advisor. Nonetheless, I already have a slide deck put together for the paper, and have presented it, so in the near future I’m planning to do a SlideCast of it and post it here on the blog.

Skipping voicemail greetings

I just moved from Sprint to T-Mobile (more on that later). One thing I always liked about sprint voicemail, since my immediate family all uses sprint, is that it has the option to skip the greeting by pressing 1.

It always kind of annoyed me when leaving a voicemail for Amanda that I couldn’t skip her gretting. Thanks to this post, which I should have looked up before, I now know that I can press # to skip the greeting. I added a note at the end of my new voicemail greeting so that people who regularly call me will figure it out. Sprint adds this information to the end of your greeting automatically.