New archive post!
Remember that there’s an annual vote and prize for the best comment of the year – coming in mid-December to a very silly blog near you!
Dates represent date of archiving – it’s just easier that way.
VWXYNot? Comment(s) of the week:
Oct 1 2010: Ricardipus for “What I like best about the pelicans I’ve seen (Brown Pelicans, in Florida) is how they wheel and glide overhead, obviously delighting in the wind, and then
WHUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they fold their wings and absolutely PLUMMET into the ocean after a fish.
Graceful aerobats and psychotic daredevil bombardiers all at once. Love ’em.”
Nina for “google translator solely exists for the purpose of a good laugh every now and then. A friend of mine translated a persian abstract into french, but since no one spoke enough french to see hilarious mistakes, it was a wasted effort. So he put the translation into his thesis.”
and Microbiologist XX for “For a second I thought maybe you found this guys Dungeons and Dragons CV.”
Oct 8 2010: sooo many this week! It’s the hockey pool trash talk that does it.
Thomas Joseph for “my agency recognizes papers by letting you keep your job!”
Professor in Training for “How does my dept recognize my achievements? They don’t. Most of my colleagues avoid me because the more I do, the worse they look.”
Pika for “we have a “mandatory”* departamental social event about once a month – just for fun. […]
*Mandatory, according to my boss: “fun is not optional””
Bob for “And of course the imaginary answers are
2: University (it’s in Oz)
3: computer (the computer fish is a more evolved electric eel)
4: IO (yes, that moon does have life on it)
6: Stupidity (political science),
8: money (as in “a fuel and his money are easily divided”),
10 is rover”
Alyssa for “Damn – I was kind of hoping you’d forget about the NHL pool this year so I wouldn’t feel obligated to kick ass again 😉
Seriously though, I’ll have to think about it because of the whole baby-coming-in-November-thing, but will let you know!”
then ScientistMother for “Alyssa – what can’t watch hockey AND give birth, talk about lack of multitasking :))) ”
then Chall for “if Alyssa can be more “like all the rest of us” we’ll have a chance this year (slaughter might be too big a word for what happened last year – or not 😉 ) ”
Oct 15 2010: soooo many good ones again! You guys are outdoing yourselves lately!
Cromercrox for “I have a theory about fuckwits, though. I don’t think they are as stupid as they seem. It’s all a front. I think they are all members of a secret worldwide conspiracy called S. T. O. P., the Society for Tiresome and Obstructive Pedestrians, whose members might include (but are not limited to)
1. Little old ladies who, while they seem small, walk in such a way as to monopolize the whole sidewalk;
2. Italian teenagers who are ostensibly in UK studying in English, who hang around in shop doorways;
3. Ladies with prams who suddenly stop and gossip with each other.
And so on and so forth in like fashion. I hypothesize that S. T. O. P. is obscurely allied with S. C. U. M., the Society for Curmudgeonly and Uncooperative Motorists, whose members include men driving white vans, people towing caravans, boy racers and so on.”
(very meta, this one) Ricardipus for “I believe I deserve a special award for Most Reasonable Usage of the Term “WHUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” in a Blog Comment About Seabirds During September of 2010.
Also, that comment was possibly the most useful thing I wrote all month.”
following on from last week’s hockey pool-related trash talk between Alyssa, ScientistMother, Chall and me, here’s what happened when Alyssa and Pika won the quiz last week:
ScientistMother for “No fair, some of us actually have to do IMPORTANT things like drive to work, dress, drink coffee, oh and feed small child before we can get onto our blogs. Those damn EST folks have a head start.”
then Alyssa for “Tsk, tsk, tsk – so many excuses. It’s all about priorities, people! I mean, how is research, feeding your kid, or sleeping more important than THIS? I figure either shit or get off the pot!”
then Chall for “Alyssa> that goes for the hockey too, right? “feeding your kid” vs hockey picks. That’s a clear priority 😉
(sorry, couldn’t resist.)”
then ScientistMother for “Ayssa – Chall beat me to this. But note, I had to drive, drink coffee AND feed the small child. You were complaining about just giving birth and a hockey pool. C’mon now, how hard is giving birth anyway?”
and finally Alyssa for “Oh, crap, I didn’t realize you had to do all those things! My most sincere apologies. Giving birth and then learning to take care of a newborn obviously does not compare to that!”
Oct 22 2010: Chall for “Sounds like a fun thing to do, keeping the notes I mean. You do know it’s the power…. to write what you want them to have decided ;)”
and Mermaid for “Maybe the solution is having one really horrible bus commuting experience to switch you back to the joys of cycling. Perhaps sitting beside someone with personal space and body odour issues….along with a cold, sneezing fits and a lack of tissue?
That would make your bike seem like a luxury!“
Oct 29 2010: Mel for “i voted for hockey shootout/curling… drunk new years hockey only lost because you admitted already that you took your skates off (very UNcanadian) and also you did not say that it was below -20 degrees (which is critical to the Canadianness)!!!”
Mermaid for “Oh, there was curling, but we never really paid attention. As kids, it was far too tame and the good looking boys played hockey :)”
Professor in Training for “I only recently saw a picture of poutine – it looks like it could very well be my favourite food of all time as it contains all of my favourite ingredients that aren’t Doritos.”
and Bob O’H for “I like the status quo – I hoover up the easy answers, then retire to bed and leave the hard ones for you people in the Colonies.”
Nov 5 2010: Microbiologist XX for “We have a weekly group meeting that four PIs attend. Sometimes I get the feeling that if one person weren’t standing in front with a laser pointer, that we would never get the hell out of there.”
and Bob O’H for “I liked Clippy. Primarily because I could swear at him.
“It looks like you’re writing a letter.”
“No, fuck off and tell me the full reference for [redacted] et al. 1967, wanker”
“I don’t understand what you’re asking”
“Of course not. You’re a useless tosser who should go back to Seattle with all the other idiots who live there”
Nov 12 2010: Hermitage for “I’m such a wimp, I got the spooks just from reading about a frequency that resonates my eyeballs. Aiiiiii, abomination! Not of the lord! Squee, squee.”
Ricardipus for “You know, I think I will go through the whole pool without changing any picks at all. Think of it as a negative control.”
Chall for “of course, we all know the saying – up like a sun, down as a pancake – right?!”
and Antipodean for “Ooooh. I’m as excited as a kitten in it’s very own paper bag…”
Nov 26 2010: Massimo for “I think it’s true, you may be becoming more and more Canadian every day but… you’re still a Brit at taste buds :-)”
and Massimo again for “I think they are looking for a high-level administrator at my institution… I am sure they can make him a competitive offer. We only want the best, when it comes to bs.”
Dec 3 2010: Bumper two week edition!
EcoGeoFemme for “My friend’s husband went along with her to a meeting once. He went to the poster session and pretended he was an ecologist. I guess he had picked up enough from my friend that he was pretty convincing, even though he said he was in a somewhat different subfield from her. For some reason, this irritated me more than it made me laugh.”
Hermitage for “You love melancholy air? You are SUCH a Brit!” (hey, a little melancholy now and then is good for the soul!)
Nina for “I am delighted to see grey misty gloomy November weather in other places when I can finally go to work on flipflops and colleagues throw spontaneous wine tastings around afternoon teatime.”
Bob O’Hara for “I think that’s Chinese for “flower horribly infested with smut”.”
Dec 10 2010: Bob O’Hara for “Is that what people mean when they’re talking about an ‘elevator pitch’?”
Knutty Knitter for “There was an apocryphal story of one firm that just used to toss everything used into a basement on the basis that stuff had to be kept but no one said where or how. I shouldn’t think anything would be findable even if it was wanted. More likely an archaeological excavation would be required.”
Nina for “oh dear, this reminds me of my new year’s resolution of not piling up important documents. That’s exactely what I’ve been doing the last months, already I have 2 piles, one at work, one at home, with random important and not important things. About 2/3 of it is scanned as well and in several digital folders called variations of “important”.”
lin for “O how many hours I spent on this review I have written. Great way to immerse in a field you are not acquainted with. Yeah right. Great way to drown!
In hindsight (after three horrible horrible years) yes I learned stuff, yes it helped me make up my mind on the topic. No I would never ever ever recommend it.”
and Mermaid for “I don’t really understand contracted or new ‘buzz’ phrases that actually take longer to say than the original word/phrase. Example: On the ASAP (eh-ess-eh-pee) takes just as long to say as ‘As Soon As Possible’ – so what is the point?”
Nina for “Someone wrote on our whiteboard in the tearoom “microbes using Arsenic, my As”.”
Dec 17 2010: Hermitage for “For someone who likes melancholy air, your first sentences are relentlessly upbeat and charming!”
Eva for “When I was still in the lab, we’d always celebrate Chinese New Year with a dim sum lunch. One year I was too busy juggling a million experiments, so I stayed behind. I told a postdoc to bring me back a fortune cookie.
While everyone was away, the delivery guy came with an antibody on cold ice. I put it away immediately, and noticed that the order came with a gift: a little magnet. Even though the antibody was a common one, I figured I had deserved that magnet, because I was sad and lonely in the lab and everyone else was out celebrating Chinese New Year. So I kept the magnet all to myself, and stuck it above my bench.
When the lab returned, I opened my fortune cookie that they’d brought back for me. The fortune read “You have a very magnetic personality.””
Juniper Shoemaker for “Last week, I broke open a Panda Express fortune cookie only to discover the message “Overindulgence hinders both body and mind”. I thought this was a pretty rich admonition for a fast-food joint to be making.”
Dec 24 2010: Bob O’H for “The security guard really needs to get a cat. Then he can put a soft blanket on the big red button. The cat will sleep on the button whilst he goes off for a fag with the shark. Much safer all round, until the smoke sets off the fire alarm and the sprinklers, which send the bathers inside for cocktails.
The crab is then left in peace to get on with it’s cancerous activities.”
ScientistMother for “I voted for Ricardipus, because he is right. Monkeys could beat the Leafs.”
Eva for “There is one person who is guaranteed to NOT be amused by my comment, and that’s my dad.”
Thomas Joseph for “Part of the problem is I got engaged over the weekend,which means I haven’t been paying any attention to any of my fantasy sports picks.”, which was quickly corrected to “*ahem* I meant -reason- not -problem-. ;)”
and Ruchi for “I LOVE LOVE LOVE that last quote. AMAZING. I kinda want to tape it to Glenn Beck’s head. Or maybe my head, and make Glenn Beck look at me. Except then I would have to look at Glenn Beck.”
Jan 07 2011: Bob O’H for “Pah! Well, I went to Leeds this year.”
Cromercrox for “Wow, Cath – you should submit this post to whoever promotes tourism for BC.”
Eva for “Ahhhh, this reminds me of my student days in Amsterdam. We didn’t have more than one Christmas tree, and only at appropriate times, but we had Business Class seats from a KLM plane in the kitchen and they were hell to drag around whenever we needed to empty the kitchen for our annual theme party, which by definition ended when the police showed up at 5AM.”
(Explanation: “One of my flatmates worked at the airport, and they were replacing seats in one of the planes. She asked what happened to the old ones, and they were just going throw them out! So she called someone with a car, and took 2x 2 seats home. But that was a little too crowded so we ended up keeping only one pair. It was fun to sit in there and eat dinner from the tray table =)”)
and Hermitage for “That’s the way it always goes. They always start out with some small tree that the dealer puts on sale just for ‘first-timers’, and they end up surrounded by four trees, crying “just one more angel decoration, just one!””
Jan 14 2011: Alyssa for “My brother and I used to snoop for our gifts, and we found out my parents liked hiding them in a locked filing cabinet. The cabinet could easily be broken into using a letter opener though, so we snooped for a couple years. Then, one year, the letter opener broke in the lock, and that was the end of that! Our parents were so mad that they told us they took back the gifts! Luckily they had a soft spot and ended up giving them to us anyway (or maybe the stores had awful return policies then). Fun times!”
Nina for “It sounds very familiar, you working Mr E-man shopping … It would be even better if we didn’t have to work and they would still do the shopping.”
and Ricardipus for “I like this idea too, but I see endless potential for the same kinds of eye-blistering visual abuse which now permeates all but a very small percentage of PowerPoint presentations…”
Jan 21 2010: bean-mom for “Oh, just looked at the title of your post. You wrote this whole post just to use that pun, didn’t you?”
Ricardipus for “w00t! Home (ok, “work”) town team is on a streak! Nyaaa nyaaa to Edmonton, Islanders, and New Jersey… and nobody else…
Chall for “As it looks right now I have use for TWO shirts from the wardrobe…” (the benefits of supporting multiple teams in the same league!)
Hermitage for “I can’t imagine the horror of being told that these are ‘the years of your life’ when you are faced with the stark reality that a lot of your peers are glorious assholes. I’m glad the realities of prepubescent dickitude are acknowledged and people are attempting to rectify it instead of blowing it off with ‘kids will be kids, now let’s set that broken nose’.”
Silver Fox for “I always thought that star signs were there to enable tacky pick up lines in bars. (And so you’d know for sure to who to run from – ie, the person who just used the tacky pick up line.)”
Hermitage again for “I had an English teacher who would go around the class and tell you if you were going to pass or fail her class (and at life), using astrology as her excuse for being a narsty witch. Ofc, if she decided she didn’t like you at midterms, the meaning of your sign would suddenly shift to mean you were a twit-pansy.”
Chall (again) for “ahhh…. how sweet. I am still the most awesome, fabulous, centered, famous and wonderful leader who is adored by most people! ;)”
and ScientistMother for “This is the perfect ending to a horrible week. I’ve been battling with monkey, trying to get to campus for a 9 am lecture, found out I need to spend yet another $1000.00 of my fucking car and now I am no longer a PISCES!!!! This is horrible news, what am I supposed to divorce my husband who is the perfect match for me (He’s a cancer?). This is why we had so many arguement last year, bc we are not matched correctly. Fuck. Dude. Sigh
Anyone know a good lawyer?”
Jan 28 2011: Beth for “OMG! I’m not a Capricorn anymore! I don’t even know what a Sagittarius is supposed to be like! Hopefully it will be a list of generic positive characteristics that can apply to anyone!”
Ricardipus for “As for astrology… can I throw in the “Chinese zodiac” as well? Everyone born in the same year? Gimme a break.*
*possibly slightly bitter because I’m a flaming sheep, apparently.”
Mike for “I was a Libra, but Librans don’t believe in all that shit so there’s no point checking to see if I still am.
I’ve come across remarkably few friends or colleagues who actually believe in astrology. But if you’re still unsure about ridiculing believers about this stuff, just ask them if they realise that your gravitational field has (milky) waaaay more physical influence on them than any of the other heavenly bodies they feel so controlled by.”
Antipodean for “Favourite scientist names game (optional rule: must be in pubmed to qualify?)
My personal favourite: Fabio Pizza.”
KristiV for “I’m a fan of interesting author combinations on papers, e.g. Fatt and Katz (1952).
i don’t think it gets much better than Fatt and Katz, actually.”
Cromercrox for “There is a well-known collaboration of scientists that works on skin microflora. Just ask PubMed for ‘Dark and Strange’, or, as it may be, ‘Strange and Dark’.”
and Hermitage for “It would actually make sense for most cellular mechanisms to be regulated by millions of segments of lolcats. The whole damn business is unruly and makes no fucking sense.”
Feb 04 2011: Stephen for “This is why we had to shoot the dog. Either you have career goals or you don’t. ;-)”
Steve Caplan for “The “knights who say NIH”…”
TheGrinch for “It would have been fantastic had Dixie [the dog] swallowed Blackberry and it came out the other end as a completely ready grant proposal.”
and lin for “I have heard a rumor that the weather people are always creating a “light at the end of the tunnel” for all kinds of weather, because people will complain to much, get depressed and suicide rates go up. Probably not true, but as a result I never trust the “look, at the end is getting better” cheerful chirps.
(Plus I once was at a camping in France that actually did that thing to keep campers from packing and going to another sunnier part of the country. Buying a local newspaper proved a better way of staying informed on the continuation of pouring rain for weeks, so we left)”
Feb 11 2011:
Hermitage for “I guess I’m the only one that sees an Über Viking rising from the flames in that photo?
Ok, I’ll be over here in this corner then *whistles*.”
Steve Caplan for “Deer Cath,
I am in the fnal stgaes of prepairing my epic manyouscript. Will u pleaze edith it form e?”
Steffi Suhr for “The lack of acknowledgement is a bit of a pet peeve of mine also for general support and project management, though. This reminds me of my old plans to start an international union of science support staff…”
and LK for “I recently sent a paper back with a note that it wouldn’t be considered ‘received’ until the gene and organism names in the title matched those in the abstract…sigh…
And consider adding another ‘rule’ – sure, go ahead and title your submission “Manuscript”, “Research_Paper”, or “JournalTitleSubmission” (even spelled correctly), because that will make it easy for me to find your paper among all the others I get with the exact same name…it’s like sending me your resume and calling it ‘resume’.”
Post(s) of the Week:
Oct 1 2010: CromerCrox for “Ancestral furniture” (in CC’s family, “when the elder male of the clan reaches his mid-forties, he is seized by an implacable urge to make pine dressers”. There are some impressive furniture making genes in this family!)
and Scicurious for “The lab your lab could BE LIKE!” and “The Old Spice lab: Does YOUR lab smell like an Old Spice lab?” (fantasizing about Isaiah Mustafa turning reagents into data. I’m on a stool. HYAH!)
Oct 8 2010: KJHaxton for “Lady Lab Coat Ga Ga” (the frustration of trying to find a practical lab coat for a woman that doesn’t leave you looking like “a rectangular polycotton yeti”)
Masks of Eris for “The teaching-assistantial mind at work” (messing with students’ minds through the medium of URLs)
and Eva Amsen for “No-one cares about your blog (part 2)” (a very funny tale of a t-shirt, and an excellent reminder to those of us prone to MEta-blogging that really, no-one cares).
Oct 15 2010: travel and reading hilarious comments cut into my blog-reading time this week!
Prof-like Substance for “Job vacancy: journal club killa” (there’s one in every department!)
and Alyssa for Misery wars (Four kinds of oneupmanship. Can you think of any more?)
Oct 22 2010: Thomas Joseph for “#UnK3rn3d: Life Outside the Lab?” (excellent rebuttal to Scott Kern)
Anthony Fejes for “Science blogs and Caveat Emptor. A comment on an Analytical Chemistry editorial” (excellent rebuttal to Royce Murray)
Eva Amsen for “Technical paper: home-made mocha optimization” (Abstract: “I made instant mocha at work and am now writing a silly blog post about it.”)
Kimli for “False advertising” (Kimli’s experience with the iPhone Facetime video calling feature does not quite match the one promised in those commercials)
and Alyssa for “My eyes! My eyes!” (I don’t have a formal award for “most hideous furniture of the week”, but maybe I should start one?)
Oct 29 2010: Jenny Rohn for “In which I defend a bit of honest ignorance” (does it matter that most people don’t understand technical scientific terms?)
Chall for “…not in Kansas any more…” (an encounter in the “wrong” neighbourhood opens up a new career option that could be so, so right…)
and Information is Beautiful for “The true size of Africa” (some stunning maps that put country & continent sizes into perspective)
Nov 5 2010: Nina for “In the fume hood” (Nina continues to crack me up, this time with an explanation for why she got to experience a large aftershock from inside the hood)
and The Digital Cuttlefish for “My place in the dance of the universe” (I have to admit that I’ve been neglecting ol’ Cuttle lately, but this post made me realise what an eejit I’d been not to keep up with his blog)
Nov 12 2010: It’s all Hermitage all the time! Check out this awesome series on “How Gaming Makes me a Better Graduate Student”: Glossary, Intro, PvE vs PvP, and Gear (with more to come next week, I think). I know next to nothing about gaming, and thought the whole series was fantastic!
Oh, and Beth gets a shout-out too, for the awesome Vegetarian Lady Gaga costume she wore to my Hallowe’en party last week.
Nov 26 2010: Bob O’Hara for “Why Libel Needs to be Reformed” (funny post (hee hee! Just noticed the URL as I added the link) about a serious subject. Please sign the petition, wherever you may live, because English libel law affects YOU).
and StyleyGeek for “Remind me why we are using a wiki again?” (almost too familiar to be funny. Almost).
Dec 3 2010: Bumper two week edition!
The Bean-Mom for “What’s important” (very sad but beautifully written tale of loss)
Prof-like Substance for “But those grant reviews are unreasonable!” (how even ridiculous reviews can improve your proposal)
Chall for “Tale of two languages” (fantastic post and comments thread about living, working, thinking, and dreaming in more than one language)
Jennifer Rohn for “In which I correspond” (the story behind getting permission to use the poetry quoted in her new book. Canadian authors FTW!)
Cromercrox for “Guinea pigs for a guinea pig?” (the story behind the next global publishing phenomenon: Defiant the guineapig: Firefighter!)
Richard P. Grant for “Onlooker” (geeky googly goodness)
and Ugliest Tattoos for “Tomorrow, on Springer” (excellent visual pun)
Dec 10 2010: Massimo for “My PI wrote me a letter” (best post I’ve ever read about reference letters)
and BiochemBelle for “Gender and blogging (and everything else) (excellent answer to all the usual questions about why women-only science blog feeds are needed)
Dec 17 2010: Bob O’Hara for “Blame the system” (a “noncooperative regulatory system” is, unfortunately, not quite what it sounds like)
Jenny Rohn for “In which I come over all SF” (“cells assault sergeant” is, unfortunately, not quite what it sounds like)
and Uphilldowndale for “Spud on Sunday part V” (Dog + snow. What else do you need?)
Dec 24 2010: PZ Myers for “Vignette from the grading wars” (10% of students can’t name a female scientist?!)
Stephen Curry for “Arsenic up for review” (Stephen attempts to turn sodium arsenate dibasic heptahydrate into the next Three Wolf Moon Shirt)
Kimli for “Vancouver is pretty” (love the photos, really love the caption saying “I live here!” I have incredulous moments like that myself sometimes, most recently this morning)
and Regretsy for “Glingers” (Spoof Regretsy post on gloves that are just fingers – featuring some “lappunk” gloves and a bonus “test-tube fascinator”!)
Jan 07 2011: ScientistMother for “Replications” (Quite possibly the best pregnancy announcement of all time)
Steve Caplan for “Early exposure to skeptical thinking: navigating the chicken and egg syndrome” (if you start your kids on the right path early, they’ll out-think any number of grad students!)
and Information is Beautiful for “Visualizing bloodtests” (making cholesterol test results much more meaningful for patients)
Jan 14 2011: Fake Science for “Temperature conversion table” (the best possible way to convert between Celsius and Fahrenheit)
Eva Amsen for “What’s stats got to do with it?” (learning to appreciate stats as well as data and graphs)
Bob O’H for “Predictions for 2011” (what’s in store for the science blogosphere this year?)
Ricardipus (at The Occam’s Typewriter Irregulars blog) for “Genome assembly – a primer for the Shakespeare fan” (he claims the pun in the title was unintentional, but it’s still a very cleverly done post)
The Bean-Mom for “Lull” (hilarious tales of Christmas at the Bean House)
Richard Grant for “On lucky breaks” (fossil hunting! And finding! With photos!)
Massimo for “Teaching and research: horse and carriage, or oil and water?” (a brave attempt to correlate H-index scores with RateMyProfessor scores. Great post, go and read it!)
and DrugMonkey for “A simple change would help the NIH grant process contribute less to the leaky pipeline” (simple change = “be more like Canada”. I’m bookmarking this post to read when all our various funding agencies start pissing me off)
Jan 21 2010: Jenny Rohn for “In which I tire of the old paradigms” (does dropping a plate of cells mean Jenny “falsified the hypothesis that I could perform an experiment to completion without screwing it up”? Or is it time to lose the Popperian view of science?)
Cromercrox for “Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Picturesque Seaside Town of Cromer” (an outsider’s perplexity at US gun culture. Comes complete with fantastic comments thread)
Information is Beautiful for “A decade of fear” (visualising media scare stories about SARS, vaccines, asteroids and more)
Jan 28 2011: Athene Donald for “Do scientists believe in luck?” (do you have to be good to be lucky, and lucky to be good?)
Massimo for “Change that might do you good” (excellent, thoughtful post about changing research fields)
Richard P Grant for “On holding back the tide” (a suggested patron saint for science writers and communicators who try to hold back the tides of ignorance and woo)
and Nina for “NZ explorations part 1: Abel Tasman National Park” (almost disqualified because she – unbelievably – didn’t include a single photo from the kayak tour. Seriously – WTF, Nina?! Redeemed by the sentence “So you see, wherever you are on the world, some helpful mother will comment on your life.”)
Feb 04 2011: Massimo for “Change that will (probably) do you no good” (second of a pair of posts about changing research fields, focusing this time on the (probably) bad reasons for switching)
Hermitage for “The Academia Ghetto” (on the perceived second-class status of academic awards targeted at minorities in science)
Silver Fox for “How to make coffee strandlines or rythmites” (using stratified caffineite, aka jarves (from Java-varves), to assess daily patterns in the rate of evaporation of caffeinated beverages)
and Uphilldowndale for “Sun blush” (gorgeous photos that make me homesick)
Feb 11 2011: Frank Norman for “Ethical retrieval” (the ethics of subject classifications and search engine algorithms)
and Katherine Haxton for “Greatest chemist of all time” (how many of the great discoveries were due to being in the right place at the right time?)