Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Spring in cambridge

Girls everywhere
flip-flops, tops, legs all bare
I really think it is not biased
that there really are more women than men
walking around.

There are travel books
given freely
in the libraries
(also for portugal, always together with spain)

At night
the streets are full with night dresses
and tuxes, and fragrances
which hold on after the festive party
has passed, on their way to a formal

Later the music from the formals
echoes through the warm streets
less crowded, but not for long
on these spring evenings in cambridge.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Women presidents

who knew? Many ivy league universities are currently led by women, and in each case these are the universities' first women presidents. The presidents of Harvard, Princeton, Rockefeller, University of Pennsylvania and Brown University are meeting here today. This will yet be the century of the woman.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The world according to Newman

Images of the social and economic world, according to M. Newman.
This one portrays the density of people infected with HIV

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Advice from a Prof. (essional? essor? both)

Here are three helpful guidelines in preparing your powerpoint presentations:
  • brevity
  • bullets and
  • images

with extra credit for beauty

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Global warming, or are we that stupid?

"While humanity will survive, hundreds of millions, maybe billions of people may not, according to the chart -- if the worst scenarios happen.

The report says global warming has already degraded conditions for many species, coastal areas and poor people. With a more than 90 percent level of confidence, the scientists in the draft report say man-made global warming "over the last three decades has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems."

But as the world's average temperature warms from 1990 levels, the projections get more dire. Add 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit -- 1 degree Celsius is the calculation scientists use -- and between 400 million and 1.7 billion extra people can't get enough water, some infectious diseases and allergenic pollens rise, and some amphibians go extinct.

But the world's food supply, especially in northern areas, could increase. That's the likely outcome around 2020, according to the draft.

Add another 1.8 degrees and as many as 2 billion people could be without water and about 20 percent to 30 percent of the world's species near extinction. Also, more people start dying because of malnutrition, disease, heat waves, floods and droughts -- all caused by global warming. That would happen around 2050, depending on the level of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.

At the extreme end of the projections, a 7- to 9-degree average temperature increase, the chart predicts: "Up to one-fifth of the world population affected by increased flood events" ... "1.1 to 3.2 billion people with increased water scarcity" ..."major extinctions around the globe."

Despite that dire outlook, several scientists involved in the process say they are optimistic that such a drastic temperature rise won't happen because people will reduce carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.

"The worst stuff is not going to happen because we can't be that stupid," said Harvard University oceanographer James McCarthy, who was a top author of the 2001 version of this report. "Not that I think the projections aren't that good, but because we can't be that stupid.""

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Choses vues 2

Choses vues 2
Originally uploaded by pmdcsb.
Massachusetts has a love/hate relation with champagne.

(O país é bárbaro, nalgumas coisas.)

Choses vues 1

Choses vues 1
Originally uploaded by pmdcsb.
Uma manhã de frio no Vermont. Fica registado que ainda fizemos uma pista antes de recolher ao bar.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tired minds

Why is it that when we think too hard for too long, our minds become tired? We still think, but our thoughts become dazed and confused, as if logic were unnatural and required effort. Why are logic and creativity efforts for our brain? What does our brain do when it is tired?


... is the land where all your dreams are possible.

If there is even a iota of a chance that they are possible, try it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Snails = snow mails.

"Because of the impending snowstorm, we have decided to postpone Connie Cepko’s seminar for this afternoon. Please distribute this information to your departments. Thanks and enjoy the snow!"

"Due to the inclement weather we recommend that if it is possible for you to go home that you do try to go before the weather further deteriorates. The administrative (admin, lab ops, and finance) staff will be leaving in the next few hours."

"Apparently there has been some anxiety about the fact that the admin staff left early. Don't worry, they filled the beer fridge before they left."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Really cool science

"Understanding the “ecology of cholera,” noted Colwell, requires understanding the factors in their biocomplexity: global weather patterns, aquatic reservoirs like marine bays and estuaries, zooplankton and their surface-attached cells, biofilms, and the deep sea itself, the ancient home of Vibrio cholerae.

Environment aside, cholera could be prevented (as it is in the West) by the simple expedient of making clean water universally available. This will not happen easily or soon, said Colwell. To bridge the gap, her team came up with a low-tech answer in 1998 in Bangladesh: straining drinking water through sari cloth folded over at least four times. The native fabric creates a 20 micron-size filter, which strains out the zooplankton associated with cholera.

A pilot study in one Bangladesh village showed that this simple step reduced cholera cases by 50 percent in the fall of 2000."

More in the Harvard Gazette.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Choses vues

Hoje, na piscina, uma mulher de fato banho comprido (ate' ao joelho e ate' aos cotovelos) e um veu. Um veu! Na piscina.

'A saida eu e um amigo convidamo-la para o jacuzzi.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's Spring! Sprrriing!

Oh what a feeling, tchanananaaaa!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Uma aragem

-12°C, Feels Like -23°C

Uma pontinha de frio para despedida do inverno. A partir do final da semana, a temperatura vai estar sempre acima de 0, ou seja, adeux o' gelo.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Coisas da idade

Dexei de ter qualquer paciencia para miudas convencidas, por muito giras que sejam. Agora vou sair para estar com amigos, e pela musica. E' bom!!! Mais inesperado, e' que cada vez gosto mais de musica , electro-funk, house e soul. Boa musica e' um trip incomparavel. Sera' que aos 40 ainda vou estar aos saltos com um bom dj?

Friday, March 02, 2007


In Europe, condoms are sold in packages of 12.
In the US, they are sold in packages of 3.

Cunning marketing, or physiological adaptation?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Medicos Reinventam o Integral!!!!!!!!

Em certos livros de medicina o integral de uma funcao e' chamado de ... AUC = Area Under the Curve.

fico sem palavras. Mas ha' mais... oh sim, se ha' mais.
Na sua santa ignorancia, estes medicos decidiram que afinal era preciso calcular a dita AUC porque "maior" ou "menor" ja nao chega para as exigencias da ciencia de hoje. Entao entra em cena um tal de Tai, que propoe... wait for it... the Tai Method of computing the AUC!!!!! O resto, so' visto:

"A mathematical model for the determination of total area under glucose tolerance and other metabolic curves

MM Tai
Obesity Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York.

OBJECTIVE--To develop a mathematical model for the determination of total areas under curves from various metabolic studies. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS--In Tai's Model, the total area under a curve is computed by dividing the area under the curve between two designated values on the X-axis (abscissas) into small segments (rectangles and triangles) whose areas can be accurately calculated from their respective geometrical formulas. The total sum of these individual areas thus represents the total area under the curve. Validity of the model is established by comparing total areas obtained from this model to these same areas obtained from graphic method (less than +/- 0.4%). Other formulas widely applied by researchers under- or overestimated total area under a metabolic curve by a great margin. RESULTS--Tai's model proves to be able to 1) determine total area under a curve with precision; 2) calculate area with varied shapes that may or may not intercept on one or both X/Y axes; 3) estimate total area under a curve plotted against varied time intervals (abscissas), whereas other formulas only allow the same time interval; and 4) compare total areas of metabolic curves produced by different studies. CONCLUSIONS--The Tai model allows flexibility in experimental conditions, which means, in the case of the glucose-response curve, samples can be taken with differing time intervals and total area under the curve can still be determined with precision. "

Bravo Tai!!! e' ja' um Nobel e uma visita ao tumulo do Leibniz!!!