Did you know that the funding rates of NSF Graduate Fellowships are about 50%!? That’s true as long as your letter-writers get all their letters in on time. For the 2/3 of all applicants who have a recommendation letter arrive late, the funding rate is 0%.
It’s not often that students from low-income backgrounds attend wealthy universities. But it happens sometimes. Here’s an interesting little article about what it’s like to be poor student surrounded by rich students.
I had to spend way too much time in a car this week, alone with NPR. And let me tell you, this gave me the chance to catch the Planet Money five-part series about the garment industry, which is spectacular journalism and storytelling. They tell this story by following the production of t-shirts they ordered, featuring this squirrel, a pun on a classic Keynes phrase about the forces governing the capitalist market economy.
The current pope of the Catholic church is sounding a lot more like Jesus of Nazareth than his predecessors. (Don’t get too thrilled: being gay is still a sin, and women are still second-class members our species.) Check out chapter two the latest document released by his administration. There some serious words in there:
Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.
Did you ever wonder how long it took for faculty members to land their jobs, and how much time and effort they had to put into the job market? So did Alex Bond, so he set out to collect data, and he presented the results in this great post on his site, The Lab and Field.
Impact factors are dumb, but it doesn’t stop people from using them. There are many citation-based approaches to sizing up journals other than the classic “impact factor.” Daniel Hocking wrote a paper to compare these measures of journals in ecology and evolution. Here’s his blog post about the paper, with a link to his paper.
Below is a 1907 image of Churchill, up in Manitoba, Canada. This place is well known as a hangout for polar bears. (Image by Geraldine Moodie)
Can you believe that this place has 198 species of spiders? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m willing to bet that they’re boring spiders. And I don’t mean that they dig holes into wood.
On the death of Nelson Mandela: “Mandela lived a life without sanctimony. You try it; it’s not easy. His lack of piety helped him turn former foes into friends.” This and a little more from Bono.
If you accidentally steal a shipment of 60Co, don’t open up the sealed container.
Here is a novel approach to cutting back on the rejection-review cycle in scientific publishing: pay a bit of cash to a group that will procure reviews and then attempt to get your paper into journals on your behalf. Or something like that. Ask Jeremy Fox, who is involved with the project.