Friday Fun: We all believed in science at some point…or did we?

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. But at least we can laugh as we’re sucked relentlessly into the Hellmouth. Maybe if we all collectively understood science and evidence better, the path to Hell wouldn’t be quite so straight and narrow. So maybe that’s what’s making me think of these particular funny bits today. And by funny I mean so funny in hurts. First up, we have retired basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal,…

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Friday Fun: Celebrating Buffy the Vampire Slayer at 20

OK, I admit, Friday Fun a few days late… In any case, last Friday marked the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, March 10, 1997 marked the very first episode of one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and certainly my personal favourite. Although I didn’t start watching until the mid-2000s (I had two young kids in 1997 and was not watching much TV. We heard a lot…

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Friday Fun: The five diseases of academic publishing

My library’s Hackfest was yesterday so I’m feeling kind of burnt out today. Today’s linked post cheers me immensely, in a side-eye, gallows humour kind of way. This recent Retraction Watch post is funny and you should read the whole thing: Got “significosis?” Here are the five diseases of academic publishing. Significosis Neophilia Theorrhea Arigorium Disjunctivitis is a disease that is about a collective proclivity to produce large quantities of redundant, trivial, and incoherent works.…

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Documenting the Trump War on Science: The Muslim and refugee ban is a terrible idea

US president Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13769, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, is a terrible idea for many different reasons and has been widely condemned. Banning people due to their refugee status, religion or national origin has no place in a civilized society. while it has been overturned in court, it appears that Trump is going to try again with a new Order. The purpose of this post isn’t…

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Around the Web: Why music ownership matters, Beyond jazz’s boys club and other tales of the music industry

Why music ownership matters Forgetting What I’ve Heard: Why I Miss Buying Music Henry Rollins: Will I Be Able to Finish Listening to All My Records Before I Die? Beyond Jazz’s Boys Club The Forgotten Architects of Jazz — And the New York Women Bringing Them Back Beyond the boys club: Striving for diversity and inclusion in experimental music Sexism In The Music Industry – When Women Lean In, Others Need To Listen Up Almost…

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The Trump War on Science: Is the March for Science too political or not political enough?

Is the March for Science (and all it’s satellite marches) too political or not political enough? The text on their website gives a sense of where the organizers are coming from: SCIENCE, NOT SILENCE The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made…

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More on what US scientists can learn from the Canadian War on Science

I’ve been thinking a lot about this the last week or so, with media appearances already out there and more to come. The list of links I’ve amassed is quite impressive, a significant number to add to the post highlighting Sarah Boon’s advice. But that was a week or so ago, which seems like an eternity in Donald Trump years. So perhaps it’s time to take another look at the issues around science advocacy and…

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The Donald Trump War on Science: Week 1: How bad could it be?

How bad could it be? On so may fronts, the first week or so of the Donald Trump administration was the shit show to end all shit shows. But we’re only going to talk about the science stuff here. As the more astute observers among my readership will observe, I still haven’t updated the Pre-Inauguration Edition of this post. Nor should this post really be considered a true beginning to tracking the post-inauguration devastation that…

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The Donald Trump War on Science: Scholarly and Professional Society Statements in Support of Open Science Communications

It’s been a very bizarre week for those of us interested in science policy and the interface between government research and the public interest. To say the least: Trump bans agencies from ‘providing updates on social media or to reporters’. Which is, of course, very reminiscent of the Canadian Conservative government under Stephen Harper and how they muzzled government scientists. Where Canadian scholarly and professional societies weren’t really prepared for what happened and took a…

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Friday Fun: National Park Service Temporarily Ordered To Stop Tweeting: Reactions From Wildlife

This one from Samantha Bee is so funny, I don’t know whether to laugh to cry. On second thought, mostly cry. Lots and lots of crying. The only thing that will save me is singing a rousing chorus of Bruce Springsteen’s Badlands in honour of the crazy wonderful park rangers at Badlands National Park. It’s not hard to imagine a recent meeting going down like that famous scene from Casablanca — “Play La Marseillaise. Play…

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