Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Talking Galaxy Zoo with the Naked Scientists

Way back in the spring, I talked about Galaxy Zoo with the Naked Scientists (at the UK National Astronomy Meeting). You can now listen to this interview on the Naked Astronomy Podcast for July 2012. 

(PS. Thanks to @halfastro for pointing this out to me on Twitter!).

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Paradoxical Commandments for life (and research)

I cam across the below quote in a recent yoga class. I like it, and while it's meant as life advice, I think a lot can be applied to research too.

The Paradoxical Commandments, by Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Google Thought I was a Man.

This is a bit old, but I wanted to remember the link here. In your Google account is an analysis of the types of websites you visit most often. Based on this Google determines your demographics (age and gender). Almost 100% of the women scientists I've asked about this (including myself) come out as middle aged men, presumably based on our browsing interests related to science.

You can check you're own Google Profile at this link (under Ads Preferences), and edit your demographics (or turn the whole thing off if you prefer).

There's a surprisingly reasonable article in the Daily Mail about this How to find out who Google thinks you are from your web history (and how it may even have your sex wrong) which talks more about the issue. 

I edited my demographics to reflect reality, and I'm curious to see the impact this had on the types of Ads Google shows me.....