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Comment Reddit AMA (Score 2) 73

Andy must have had a shower epiphany.

From his Reddit AMA 2 months ago. /u/rosweldrmr asks:

I read something over a year ago from you that said you were doing a lot of research for your next book, which was supposed to be another hard science book. Later you said your pitch about a Moon Base was shot down, so you moved on to Zhek. I know Zhek will probably be a series, so there's not a lot of hope, but do you think you'd get to write the Moon Base hard scifi someday? And would you be willing to speak a little about what your idea was? I am desperate for more hard science fiction and I think it's a shame about the Moon Base idea, I thought it sounded really interesting (and you did all that research!).

Andy Weir's response:

The publisher loved the Moon Base idea's setting. They just didn't like the story. Some day I'll have a shower epiphany and have an idea for a better story and then I'll be ready to write it.

Comment Sad story (Score 1) 480

I used to work at a small grocery store in the poor part of town. We had one woman who came in multiple times per day at bought 7 lottery tickets each time (lucky 7), sometimes she would buy 3 sets of 7. I estimate that she wasted at least $50 day on lottery tickets and obviously never won more than $500 pot when I was there.

She was the worst case, but I wish I could say she was alone. We had many, many patrons that burned so much money on lottery tickets and cigarettes. Since that experience I have never had the urge to buy a lottery ticket or smoke a cigarette.

Comment Re:Not news: GWAS Often Fail (Score 1) 68

I counted 445 authors on this publication. The author list is so long that they had to put it in the back pages.

When I was an undergrad, I remember the discovery of the top quark having a billion of authors. I counted and it had only 436 authors,

The top quark author list motivated me to get out of high energy physics and into biophysics. I am sure there are papers out there with even longer author lists, but I am always glad to see significant papers with shorter lists as well.

Comment Re:I can't imagine... (Score 1) 109

Yes, they can actually look at the plagiarized sections and fix them. The reaction tends to depend on how I contact them. If I am nice and say they can redo it for most the points, they admit their mistake and fix it. If you say they are getting a zero, then they start lying and say they do it in other classes and it is fine.

Comment Re:I can't imagine... (Score 1) 109

Self-delusion seems to be extreme or unlikely in this case. Based on this blog, she plagiarized her entire abstract only changing the cell name from ES to STAP.

A simple plagiarism detector would have detected this fraud. I run service on all my students' papers and I catch plagiarizer every semester. I think this should be routine for high profile article going in to Nature or Science.

Submission + - Lego to Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists

vossman77 writes: The Chicago Tribune reports: "Lego will produce a limited-edition box set called Research Institute, featuring three female scientists in the act of learning more about our world and beyond." After receiving 10,000 supporters on the LEGO ideas site. Creator Ellen Kooijman writes in a blog post: "As a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available Lego sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures. It seemed logical that I would suggest a small set of female mini-figures in interesting professions to make our Lego city communities more diverse." According to LEGO, "The final design, pricing and availability are still being worked out, but it’s on track to be released August 2014."

Comment not chromatic aberration (Score 1) 88

While I thought the results were cool, I was annoyed by the bloggers use of the word 'chromatic aberration' instead of color noise.

Chromatic aberration means the lenses bend different colors of light differently resulting in color fringes around the edges of object. Color noise which is observed in low-light conditions here is not an aberration effect of the lens, but pixel counting noise on the CMOS detector.

Comment Re:Arthur C Clarke (Score 1) 385

In "Brief History of Time" Stephen Hawking states that "Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales. I therefore resolved not to have any equations at all. In the end, however, I did put in one equation, Einstein's famous equation, E = mc^2. I hope that this will not scare off half of my potential readers."

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