Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Reading: The First Edition

Thank you all for your good wishes on my last post. Petunia is doing just fine right now, and I'll post an update once we know more.

I'm thinking of starting a new feature here where I post links to interesting or amusing things. I'll do it on Fridays because that is what everyone does, but I'm going to call it Weekend Reading because I like to pretend that I'm doing my own thing.

I make no promises about my ability to do this every week, but my intentions are good. Here is my first set of links:

A stumbled across Kathryn Clancy's blog Context and Variation awhile back, and am really glad I did. She has a recent post about the weaknesses of Evolutionary Psychology that I may just print out and carry around with me to hand to the next bozo who tells me that men don't do dishes because they evolved to chase wildebeest on the open plain.

Long time readers may remember my post urging people to be equal opportunity cynics. Marion Nestle recently had a similar post on her Food Politics blog explaining why she doesn't necessarily believe every piece of nutrition research she reads about.

The author of one of my favorite blogs, Bad Mom, Good Mom, was a guest blogger over at the Atlantic this week (I know! Big time!) and I really liked her post on the life lessons of calculus.

I came across a blog post/interview with an independent author whose self-published book is currently #1 on Amazon's eBook list. It was a very interesting read, particularly if you have ever thought about what it would take to be a successful writer.  There are new ways to get there, it seems. If you want to read more about eBooks, I also read an interesting article (via Autumn) about why some ebooks cost more than the hardcover edition. Following the links in that led me to another post about the 99-cent Kindle self-publishing success stories, which gives even more food for thought on this topic. I think we're living in a very interesting time for content generators (i.e., writers, musicians, etc) and the companies that exist to distribute said content. Things are changing, and I certainly don't know what the new model will be, but it will be interesting to see what happens. Of course, I can say that because my livelihood doesn't depend on this- I imagine it is downright scary if you work in the publishing industry. But, to be fair, my industry (biotech/pharma) is undergoing quite a bit of upheaval, too. It is an interesting time in a lot of industries.

Finally, there were two interesting Science news stories on the importance of our gut bacterial flora: one about how bacteria can help ward of serious intestinal illness in mice and another about the impact of gut bacteria on malnutrition.  Perhaps not the most reassuring things for a mother who has just started her baby on yet another course of antibiotics to read, but really fascinating stuff. (Micro Dr. O at The Tightrope also had a link to a story about our little bacterial friends this week. It was a good week for microbes, I guess.)

And now bath time is almost over... time to go back to my family. Enjoy the links!


  1. That's fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting those :) I'm especially intrigued by the gut bacteria articles, there was something I saw a while back about someone getting an intestinal flora transplant - (this isn't the one I read, but just the first thing I came up with...head cold is making me less than ambitious today)

  2. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Thanks for the link - glad Petunia is better. :)

  3. I've been reading the about the trends in e-book and self-publishing with a lot of interest. I think self-publishing really suits people who have an entreprenurial bent because of the sales and marketing angle the author needs to take. My husband is a published author (with a traditional publishing house) and we're been going back and forth about whether to self-publish his next book. We're leaning towards self-publishing.

  4. I only had time to read one of your links today (will visit the others at a later date), so I chose Bad Mom, Good Mom's calculus piece... it kicked some serious ass! I'll be following her blog now, thank you!


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