Friday, November 21, 2008

I have been accepted for publication... at last!

It's not that I haven't had a paper published before, but this one has special significance... It is the final publication from my PhD.

Regular readers of this blog (all 3 of you) will realize that I finished my PhD four years ago. So what took me so long to get this published? The list of reasons goes something like this:

  • After completing my PhD I left the country for a new job in a different field (I am now on my second job since leaving the country, in another field)
  • My PhD supervisor unexpectedly passed away less than a year after I left
  • My PhD co-supervisor lost her father on the same day
  • My PhD co-supervisor had a cancer scare (she is thankfully completely healthy now)
  • Countless revisions of the manuscript and recalculations of data
  • Finally, the first review of the manuscript required corrections. Included in these was a request to include a particular detailed mechanism for the chemical reaction I was utilizing. This seems reasonable, except that there is no proven mechanism for this reaction, and the particular mechanism requested by the reviewer did not appear to exist! Thankfully, the editors did not require me to make this addition
It took a while, but it got there in the end! (It sounds like I just published the little engine that could!).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The 5 Things Meme

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Completing my second year of my Bachelor of Science degree.
2. Starting my brief career as a cricket umpire.
3. Trying to get on "Sale of the Century" (missed out by one question!).
4. Sadly, that's about it... I needed a life! (ask me in a year... I found one 9 years ago).
5. Hmmm...

5 things on my to do list today:
1. Reading "Home Buying for Dummies".
2. Fix a guest presenter's presentation for class tomorrow.
3. Order Christmas crackers.
4. Emailing back a Deputy D.A. to give my "expert opinion" on a case (okay, so I've already done this and just haven't crossed it off my list... They will not be using my opinion!).
5. Buy tea bags (the class is extracting caffeine tomorrow).

5 snacks I love:
1. Australian iced doughnuts.
2. Ginger beer.
3. Coldstone ice-cream.
4. Cream puffs.
5. Anything snack that Sweetie cooks.

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Invest for retirement.
2. Buy Sweetie a space flight.
3. Take Sweetie on another trip to OZ.
4. Pay off the house (okay, we don't have one yet, but we will!).
5. Something fun.

5 places I've lived:
1. Balga, Western Australia.
2. Maylands, Western Australia (Thanks Mr and Mrs JollyRgr!).
3. Inglewood, Western Australia.
4. Nashville, Tennessee.
5. Home is where the heart is...

5 jobs I've had:
1. Glassy at the local race-track.
2. Chemistry lab demonstrator (like a TA).
3. Cricket Umpire.
4. Postdoctoral fellow.
5. Instructor (Teacher).

5 people I'll tag:
Five people I don't know enough about (or want to know more about).
1. No comment...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Horses, Blood, and Vomit... All in a days work!

Well, all in a couple of days while at work at least!

Yesterday I got an email from my Mum about how she won $6.50 on a horse in the Melbourne Cup (Australia's premier horse race - "The Race that stops the Nation!"). It was always fun to have a punt on the Cup, and I always had a soft spot for the grays (who cares about a brown race horse? They are so common!). Anyhow, in memory of me, Mum put a couple of dollars each way on a gray horse, which ended up being the runner up! Ironically, on the same day here in America, another important race came to it's end. Much like the Melbourne Cup, the gray also finished as the runner up...

Yesterday, we took our sophomore class on a tour of one of the core facilities here at the University of Self-Promotion. This was a fairly standard and sadly uninteresting lab visit, until one of our students suddenly threw up in the middle of the lab! She had got her flu shot the day before, had felt unwell in the morning, improved enough to come to school, and then sudden was sick. Strangely enough, she was absolutely fine for the rest of the day...

Lastly, I bring you to the world of popular science. I recently reviewed a paper in my former field. I was picked as a reviewer as I had been referenced several times by the authors. The paper reported a novel finding that is important to practitioners in my former field. Last week I was contacted by a popular science magazine who were considering writing a piece on this paper (it must be noted that they no nothing of the fact that I reviewed the paper in the first place). I gave my opinion and answered a few questions, and heard nothing else from the magazine...

Today I was contacted by another popular science magazine about the same paper. They got my name from the article that the first popular science magazine wrote and quoted me in! The second magazine asked me a considerable number of questions and took down all of my information. They promptly published an online article on this paper this afternoon...

I am quite happy to be quoted in a popular science magazine (I was quite chuffed!). The thing is this: The first magazine made no mention of quoting me, but did. The second magazine clearly stated that they would quote me, but didn't! It's all rather confusing really...