you don’t understand how karma works

July 30, 2009 at 8:34 am | | news, scientific integrity

A former employee at SLAC intentionally destroyed thousands of protein crystals. Fortunately, only a couple hundred had not already been measured. You can read about it at C&E News or SF Chronicle.

Apparently, she claims that she wanted to reset her bad karma by harming her boss who had fired her (for not showing up to work for weeks). That’s not karma, that’s vengence.

We don’t know the entire story; maybe her boss was a real jackass. Regardless, she acheived vengence upon her boss by harming many other people—who had spent their research time crystallizing those proteins. That’s not very considerate.

They let this crazy woman in and Charles can’t even get past the gate at SLAC when he’s invited there!

UPDATE: She’s missing!

food carbon

July 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm | | science@home

This is sorta old news, but I found this paper again. What are the best diet choices to minimize your carbon (and entropy) footprint? Many say that buying local goods is essential, to minimize transportation. This is true, but the type of food is far more important in reducing greenhouse gases (GHG).

Or, as the authors state: “Shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food.”


Bottom line: cows produce a lot of GHG. It is obvious that growing meat is less efficient than plants (animals must be fed plants, and they are inefficient at converting plant matter into meat. Every extra rung of a food latter loses energy). What is not as obvious is that cows produce a lot of methane, which is a more potent GHG than carbon dioxide.

Red meat produces the most CO2 equivalents per calorie, more than twice dairy or fruits and vegetables. Another reason to go veg… and buy local!

Pew Pew Pew Pew

July 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm | | crazy figure contest, literature


What the hell is happening here?  It looks like some sort of epic space battle against ghosts.


July 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm | | everyday science

I just had a manuscript rejected from Angew. Chem. I think I’m going to rework it into a full article in J. Phys. Chem. B. I’ll look on the bright side: now all the data and methods will be published instead of hidden in the SI.

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