Extremist Weather

In these angst-filled political times is it even safe to talk about the weather? I like weather and there sure has been a lot of here in mid-coast Maine lately.  At my house, a week before Christmas, we hit 5 below on a Friday night, Saturday morning was snowing and +3, by Sunday afternoon it […]

Futility

This past December was a hard month. Bigelow lab where I work, lost our director, Graham Shimmield to colon cancer, and we lost a trustee to cancer, I lost a cousin to ovarian cancer, and a colleague lost her mother, also to cancer. Everyone has their stories with this disease. It’s a killing field that […]

Eureka!???

Eureka is perhaps the word most associated with a startling scientific discovery. It’s thought to be attributed to Archimedes, an ancient Greek mathematician, for a discovery he made about the displacement of water by stepping into his bathtub. Anyway, it’s a nice story or myth, but I’ve never actually heard it said by any scientist […]

We regret to inform you…Part III.

In earlier blogs I was discussing the difficulties of getting funded, about the competition for limited funds, and the cost of doing research. This blog is about the process of how a grant proposal requesting funding is either judged successful or not, mostly not. The process is called peer review, and has been part of […]

I Am Not a Politician! II

I’m still trying to get used to the ramifications of this tawdry election. It was the second big statistical anomaly within three weeks, the first being the Cubbies coming back from a three games to one deficit to force game seven, which was all going their way until a big momentum shift back to Indians […]

Bad Bugs

I was at the International Society of Microbial Ecology’s (ISME) biennial meeting in Montreal a week and a half ago. This is the largest gathering of microbial ecologists in the world; close to 3,000 of us gathered to present data on all kinds of things from the human microbiome, to life at the bottom of […]

Science Meeting

I was at a microbiology conference the other day, it was the wrap-up party after four and a half, fourteen hour days of being immersed in the science this particular group found most fascinating. Sessions started at 9 AM, took a couple of hour break in the afternoon, and then went to 10 PM or […]

Plodding along

When family or friends would ask my Dad how he was doing, one of his typical responses was, “Oh I’m plodding along”. He kind of took pride in being a plodder, whether it was getting another cord of wood cut, or the bottom of a boat painted with red lead paint before launch. The work […]

I am not a politician!

With this title I hear by immunize myself against any criticism while I go on a political rant. After all, how many times has a politician used the line, ‘I am not a scientist’, before going on to say something that would only be imbecilic if it weren’t unbelievably dumb. Everyone has to admit that […]