The latest Berry Go Round can be found at Mostly Science. Go read!
It’s been quite silent in here in the last
weeks months… For several reasons, RL reasons.
One of them –and not the least- is that tenure clock was on the ringing phase. Let’s see a bit around now: since two weeks, I’m officially tenured. Whoot whoot. (ok, easy, but so happy).
Let’s admit this was nothing like a USA tenure thingie. Here in France you have only one year of practice before that tenure decision is made. Much shorter then a 10-year test. Of course, expectancies are a bit less fancy. I secured funding for a project (yay! I have something to investigate deeper in the next years), got a ms in the pipeline (and other experiments in the medium term pipeline), a lot of work for september and that was it. So I may really truly resume blogging only in next october.
But the news are good and you’ll see Seeds Aside soon.
Lianas are so good for mandalas!
And here’s another take: Continue Reading »
I was just reading the following post on The Panda’s Thumb: Challenge: research in the 1000 most common words. Basically, it is pointing to a list of the 1000 most common words in the English language and challenging you to write a simple statement of your research that is only using words from this list.
There’s this link that will check it for you when typing.
That’s really challenging. I lost at this game. This has a lot to do with the fact that I’m currently working in a discipline that cannot avoid a minimal jargon: phytopathology, the science of plant pests and plant illness. Any word related to pests (pathogens, fungi, microbes, viruses) are forbidden first. And it all begun with “plant” itself, which is not allowed (plants do not belong the 1000 commonest, does it make sense?). I’m afraid there’s no way I can express my research under such a challenging constraint. The best I came up with was this:
I study how small cell things are attacking bigger green things that need light and water to grow.
And frankly, this is just a way to weave in implicit meaning. That is, I’m utterly wrong. Anybody ignoring or not getting the implicit that green things that need light and water to grow means plant won’t have the slightest idea as to what I’m doing in my job. Not to say “small cell things” is any better -it is much worse indeed. It’s a very bad way to imply I’m working on fungi, the only idea I get somewhat right is that they are plant enemies.
I think I need to ponder about simpler ways to tell what I’m doing in my job…
Just played again with a random poetry generator. Made it for ferns. Made my moment.
First try is not bad:
Horticulture bugs with actual fossile record.
Shall not a taxonomist radiate with Carboniferous phenotypes?
Direct sunlight is used as the ferns of plenty of families,
But the study of ferns ponders many taxa.
The fern radiation allows for the sister species’ spores.
or even this second one:
The Study Of Ferns’ Fossile Record
Direct sunlight has the fern radiation’s importance,
But It reduces the wind’s phenotype.
Wet conditions begins with actual garden.
Classification disperses the food of Fern’s spores.
The sister species is called growing period.
Ah, but a taxonomist ponders cheap taxa!