Sunday, November 12, 2006


Rob opens up again giving people a glimpse into some of the stresses of this kind of job. Make sure to look at the comments.

Clifford is officially out of Cosmic Variance. Strange affair. Update: Clifford announces same without any commentary.

Doug describes faculty searches at Rice. That sounds like how Rice would do it. Don't expect such professionalism elsewhere.

Chad has a few posts recently about how to give a good presentation. In particular, he asserts, and I concur, that Powerpoint is no more evil than any other method of presenting. Good talks can use Powerpoint. As for his admonition against multimedia/movies, I don't share that prohibition. Instead, one just has to be ready and aware of the possible difficulties. For important talks, I usually generate the talk on one machine, transport it to another, virgin machine using flash drive, CDR, or some such, and see if everything works as is.

1 comment:

Uncle Al said...

Back in the day one used fresh NSF money to bootleg research. After something worked, one applied for its funding then used that money to do more bootlegging. Research is heavy on the search. Often discovery is only blue mud; sometimes it is the Comstock lode.

A researcher submitting a business plan with a PERT chart for anything beyond button counting is a liar. Incompetent managers fund other than zero-risk research. Add prohibition against routing funds outside the proposal and achieve diversity closure.

Uncle Al in industry was once charged with removing terepthalate (for PET) from a mixed arenecarboxylate stream. The very clever approach proved useless for retrieving terephthalate, but it was insanely selective for removing benzoate. Benzoate is a MW-limiting impurity in PET. Its selective removal to ppm levels is really hot stuff.

Uncle Al got a write-down on pink paper for blowing the bullshit project. The money-maker became a "trade secret" (trash can fill). Ya gotta love management, preferably while wearing doubled condoms.