I want you to hit me…

This might be the best thing that Sci has seen ALL WEEK.

Brilliant. Partially because Sci, like many a good girl geek out there, LOVES some Jane Austen (ok, we all fell in love with Pride and Prejudice, secondarily with Sense and Sensibility because Marianne was SUCH a diva, and the other ones fall behind because DANGIT, Fanny of Mansfield Park really needed a spine, and Emma was…Emma). And secondly, I think it’s brilliant because life back then really WAS so completely tied down and bound up for the women of that class. I bet they could have used a fight club.

Stem Cells and Diabetes

*I would like to start with a disclaimer. My laptop is broken (AGAIN), and until I invest in a new harddrive, I am going to have to write all the posts on this little netbook, Ruby, who, while intrepid, can’t do JACK when it comes to images. Which means I’ll have to add the images in the AM. My apologies.

Sci found this paper today and immediately had to run around showing it to people and saying “OMG isn’t this COOL!!” At first, it was so cool that I thought I should save it for a special occasion, but dangit, I’m feeling celebratory. Anyway, I wanted to blog it NOW.

And since this is Sci’s blog, what Sci wants, Sci gets.

And I love this paper.

ResearchBlogging.org Alipio, et al. “Reversal of hyperglycemia in diabetic mouse models using induced-pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived pancreatic β-like cells” PNAS, 2010.

So first, let’s talk a little about diabetes.

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Science Poetry Contest!!!

Jason at The Thoughtful Animal let Sci know about this contest, knowing Sci’s love of completely terrible poetry.

And now there’s an opportunity for you to compete for the First Annual Charles Prize in Poetry! This will honor the most outstanding poem in the context of health, science, or medicine.

Poems should be related to experiencing, practicing, or reflecting upon a medical, scientific, or health-related matter.

And even better, if you wanted, you could then submit your poem to OPEN LAB, which publishes up to two poems a year! With poetry as famous as that, you could totally pose around coffee shops with a tight black turtle neck and a set of bongos, jammin’ to your science sounds!

Probably the poems shouldn’t be as silly as the ones Sci usually goes in for, but hey, you never know. They might appreciate the silly side of science. 🙂

The Geek Hierachy, New and possibly Improved!

Mr. S showed Sci something hilarious today when she got home from work (yes, she works on a Sunday. She’s a post-doc). The something he showed was this:

This is the geek heirarchy (bigger version here), and is a basic flow chart of who is considered to be the most nerdy among the nerds, they geekiest of the geeks, the dorkiest of the dorks.

Actually, they just say geek. It’s often easier than adding in Nerd and Dork because you then have to distinguish between the three definitions (there IS a difference. If you did not immediately KNOW that there was a difference, you are clearly none of the above). But many people perceive geek as being the most “cool” (relatively speaking) of the three terms, and so geek has become kind of a catchall.

So Mr. S and Sci laughed over this flowchart for a while. And then, being the MASSIVE nerds that we are, we started critiquing it. Where were the magic cards? Where was Warhammer? What about STAR WARS?! What about the people who may not buy replicas of famous swords, but DO proudly wear Star Trek corsetry and that necklace Arwen gave to Aragorn in LOTR?! And what about the people who attend anime conventions in costume?! They feel woefully underrepresented here. Furthermore, how do you rank if you, say, have seen all the Star Wars movies, know them by heart, AND are a Heinlein fan, AND refuse to watch anime unless it’s in the original Japanese with subtitles?!

Obviously this flowchart is flawed.

And Mr. S and I think WE CAN DO BETTER. We can do better for ourselfs, and for all our geeks out there.

We need a ranking system.

So here we go.
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Coffee of the Week, Edition 2

Sci is a huge coffee fan. If that comes as a surprise, you clearly don’t know her well.

And a few weeks ago she thought maybe she’d start reviewing some coffee.

Last time, I sipped through Philz Ambrosia, Coffee of God from Philz coffee in San Fransisco.

This week’s is another from their brand, the Philz Philharmonic. Sci had to order hers without cardamom in it due to lack of funds. I think this made the coffee suffer a little. Without the distinctive notes of the cardamom, it’s a nice lighter coffee, a good bit sweeter than the Ambrosia. But I think without the cardamom there’s not a lot that’s distinctive about it. Still, it’s a nice medium bodied coffee and certainly better than many.

Friday Weird Science: A very special Sheepdog and retrograde ejaculation

So Sci was feeling rather…uninspired for this week’s weird science. Life hasn’t been easy lately and it’s wearing on me. But then I saw a recent post from Isis’ co-blogger (and, to Sci’s mind, possible doppleganger) Set Oculus. Set Oculus, who’s gender is apparently no longer in question (though I don’t know if I believe that, I know plenty of chicks who can pee standing up, as well as a few who can ejaculate), is now on a drug which is going to cause retrograde ejaculation.

Sci was immediately intrigued.

Ejaculation, you say?

I bet I can pubmed that…

And then, when Sci did, she found a paper. When she had read through the phrases “ejaculation with a full bladder”, “palpation of the testes indicated normal size”, and “using an estrous teaser bitch”, she was hooked (that’s “bitch” as in female canine).

Yup. Dogs.

ResearchBlogging.org Post et al. “Retrograde ejaculation in a Shetland sheepdog” Canadian Veterinary Journal, 1992.

So let’s start with the three stages of ejaculation, and the story of a Sheepdog.

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IoweBora, do you? And a History of Sci.

Sci was very sad to see Bora leave Scienceblogs a few days ago. Bora really defined what SB was really about, at least to me. And without Bora, Sci wouldn’t be here at all. Let me ‘splain.

Two years ago this past May (WOW how time flies), Sci was feeling rather down about her career prospects. She wasn’t feeling like a good scientist, and she was wondering what the heck else one could do with a PhD. She went to a seminar at her MRU on alternative careers, and ran into a guy who was an editor for Scientific American. While the other people at the seminar were trying to get his attention with their sci-fi short stories and their work at a college paper in undergrad…Sci had nothing to compete with. Ok, I published some poetry when I was 12. I don’t think that counts. So when he turned to me and asked if I had any experience, all I could say was “well, my students think I’m a really good teacher…”.

The writer looked at me, and paused, and then said “that’s actually not a bad start”. And when Sci, emboldened, emailed him to ask for for advice he told me to go talk to this guy, Bora.

And Sci was NERVOUS. First off, she’d never really emailed someone who didn’t use their actual NAME in their email (really). She didn’t really know what this science blog thing was about. I’d never read one. In my mind, blogs were things you put on livejournal that were really either bitching about your life or a glorified slide show of your summer vacation. And then there was the whole idea of meeting a guy I didn’t know except through email at a random coffee shop in the middle of North Carolina.

But Bora put me perfectly at ease. He exudes kindness and enthusiasm (a lot of enthusiasm). He chatted with me and told me to start a blog.

Less than 24 hours later, Scicurious was born.

And here we are, at >3 posts a week for the last two years, with hundreds of thousands of words written, awards obtained, and even a book edited. And Sci has received endless encouragement, promotion, mentorship, and friendship from bloggers and readers far and wide.

Dang that Bora knew what he was doing. 🙂

So I Owe Bora a LOT. I bet some of you do too. And so I was thrilled when people on Twitter (I think Ed started it, he starts everything that Bora doesn’t) started a hashtag. I was even more thrilled to see that Abel had started a PayPal button where we could all attempt to let Bora know how much we care. So click on the that last link, or send Bora more Twitter love. He’s the blogfather of us all.