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The Engineers of Terror July 8, 2009

Posted by calvinus in Engineers.
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Plodding through the backlog of paper copies (oh, the horror!) of the New Scientist, turned up a delightful quote in an editorial under the heading of “Seeking out the engineers of terror“. This summarised an article entitled “Can university subjects reveal terrorists in the making?

Answer: Yes it can.

It would appear that engineers are significantly more likely to be jihadists than chemists.

Infidel! The Divine Power will strike you harder than a solution to the Navier-Stokes equations.

Infidel! The Divine Power will strike you harder than a solution to the Navier-Stokes equations.

Not that the engineers at our place are particularly lacking in social skills but I found the following quote from the editorial particularly resonant:

The researchers suggest that this link may be to do with personality, and say there is some evidence that engineers are more likely to be intolerant of ambiguity, believe society can be made to work like clockwork, and to dislike democracy because it involves compromise.

Ouch…but they obviously know our engineers.

Zotero & Reference Management Software July 5, 2009

Posted by calvinus in Opensource, Scientific Literature.
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This is more of a reminder to myself to actually try this out in anger.

Spotted a post about Zotero over at Chemistry Blog. A reference management system that can be a one-stop download of a pdf AND adds the reference to a management programme. AND it works with Word and Open Office.

I will be playing with this later (assuming I remember). Looks lovely – hopefully it will live up to expectations.

I especially like the idea that it essentially organizes all of my pdfs too. I have a decent sized library but remembering which pdf corresponds to which reference is another matter.

Science Online, London August 2009 July 4, 2009

Posted by calvinus in Blogs, Communication of science.
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Having recently stumbled across Science Online London, I am now looking forward to the conference at the Royal Institution on the 22nd August later this summer.  Very timely as far as I am concerned – it will give me the chance to have a looksee to see what else is available.  Navigating the blogosphere is still a little chaotic for me and if anyone has any recommendation on new (new to me at least) blogs on online tools for teaching, I’d be very, very interested.