i hope this isn’t faked….

October 4, 2010 at 7:25 am | | EDSELs, literature, single molecules

… because it’s so beautiful! Schaller et al. have used the Sheetz-Spudich sliding assay to watch collective motion of moving biomolecules. Like watching flocks of birds:

Or crazy swirling patterns:

For these awesome results, I’m awarding the authors an EDSEL for “Coolest paper (if it isn’t faked) of little filaments spinning around in circles of 2010.”

Not that I have any reason to think that these results are faked. They just seem so crazy and beautiful. Animated, even.

how to tell if your horse is dead?

September 10, 2010 at 7:46 am | | crazy figure contest, literature, nerd

(In reference to How to tell if your rabbit is dead.)

Apparently, you can’t tell.

By the way, one of those organisms is my friend.

(source: “Evolution: What Is an Organism?“)

acs feeds broken?

September 3, 2010 at 8:53 am | | literature, stupid technology, wild web

I was forced to update all my ACS feeds in my RSS reader (Google Reader). None of the ACS feeds I follow had updated for a couple days. I think ACS switched over to Feedburner and their old feeds stopped updating. Anyone else have this problem?

And TOC images seem brokenish with the new feeds

UPDATE: Alex updated us on the issues. I’m happy that ACS is migrating to a better system. They really tried to redirect, but there are some problems. I think the new feeds seem to be working well now!


August 23, 2010 at 8:50 am | | crazy figure contest, literature, nerd, science community, wild web

My (very nerdy) friends started a internetted-web-blog to celebrate/mock hilarious/terrible table-of-contents images: TOC ROFL. (In reference to NCBI ROFL.) I might even submit my own once in a while; you can too!

how do you read PDFs?

July 28, 2010 at 8:59 am | | everyday science, help me, literature, open thread, software, stupid technology

I now have a longer commute, with at least 30 minutes of quality reading time. I don’t really want to carry my laptop everyday, so I’m seeking a better way to read journal articles. I’m not going to print them out, so don’t suggest reading them on paper. :)

[poll id=”3″]

Of course, cost is a factor, but I don’t want to go for the cheapest option if I end up never using it! My guess is that the Kindle DX is the best for reading PDFs, but loses on other fronts (e.g. large, expensive, limited, only grayscale). The iPad is a versatile color reader and I can sync with programs such as Papers or Mendeley (soon for the latter), but it is very expensive. Also, the screen isn’t as nice for reading print. The iPhone is way too small to read PDFs.

Man, I need to test-drive these devices for a month!

Other options?

even JACS is excited about the new Tron movie

July 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm | | cartoons, literature, nerd

I thought this TOC looked pretty awesome.

my world is crumbling!

July 8, 2010 at 9:22 am | | literature, news

What the what?!?

JACS will now consider Communications of any length up to 4 journal pages and will include the Abstract in the PDF and print versions, starting with Volume 132, issue 27 (July 14, 2010). Authors should refer to the online Information for Authors and use the Communications template when submitting Communications.

Four pages is not a letter. That’s an article, dammit. And abstracts for letters. WTF? No no no. This is all wrong.

What’s the best part of JACS Comms? That they’re short and sweet. You can actually read the damn things, instead of just reading the abstract and looking at the pretty pictures (like we all do with full articles). No longer. Now JACS Comms will be long and complex. Boo.

Instead of destroying the sanctity of the blessed JACS Comm, ACS should have added an intermediate category between Comms and Full Papers.

This is almost as bad as when ACS defaced the elegant JACS by adding images!

(Unlike FSP, I really am a curmudgeon.)

lost my library proxy

April 13, 2010 at 10:36 pm | | grad life, literature

Stanford already took away my off-campus access to journal articles. I thought I’d have a couple months of access after I graduated, but I guess not. So keeping up with the literature means going to campus and sitting in the library like an undergrad.

I suppose I could rent articles, but I’m too spoiled by free access! Ah well, I’ll catch up reading my PDFs, then keep up better once I start my postdoc in a couple months.

obscure paper

April 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm | | grad life, literature

I was recently looking for a prep for p-bromophenylphosphine, and I found exactly 1 reference for it’s synthetic prep that’s cited by every paper that uses it.

It happens to be in (possibly) the most obscure journal in the world – “Phosphorus and the Related Group V Elements.”  It had all of 6 volumes in the 70’s before it merged with the “International Journal of Sulfur Chemistry” to form “Phosphorous and Sulfur and the Related Elements.”

I finally found TWO places in the world that had hard copies – the North Carolina State University library, and, of course, the National Library of Australia.

I’m beginning to think what I want must be some obvious synthesis, and that I’m just an idiot.  However, I did fail organic chemistry and am now working in a synthesis lab, so the “idiot” part is probably appropriate…

Energy and Fuels RSS

April 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm | | literature

Apparently, if you believe the Google (or is it Topeka?) statistics, I’m the only person who reads the RSS of Energy and Fuels on Google Reader.  As opposed to the 364 of you currently reading this on Google Reader.

vulva (hehe)

March 15, 2010 at 9:33 am | | literature, nerd

This is fit for NCBI ROFL:

Where the sun does not shine: Is sunshine protective against melanoma of the vulva?Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 2010.

I suppose that if you research the vulva, you’re going to be very tempted to make silly jokes.

New Rule

February 6, 2010 at 2:10 am | | conferences, literature

Ubiquitous subjects are ubiquitous in chemistry.  If a compound, protein, reaction, etc. really is ubiquitous, then it is likely widespread enough that you don’t have to inform everyone of its ubiquity.

hard-core sugar balls

February 5, 2010 at 3:53 pm | | literature, nerd

Andrew alerted me to this awesome title:


enormously large!

January 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm | | literature, nerd

Now here is an exciting title:

Enormously large (approaching 14 eV!) electron binding energies of [HnFn+1] (n=1-5,7,9,12) anions

I just love exclamation points in titles.

go get your own alligator!

January 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm | | literature, science community

“They cannot argue with this data,” she said. “I have three lines of evidence. If they don’t believe it, they need to get an alligator and make their own measurements.”

(via Randy and Eric.)

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