May 30, 2012

Proofreading is important, part 3.

Apropos of this morning's post on the existence of an intelligent proofreader, as well as our earlier posts on the importance of proofreading in baseball and near school buses, it now appears that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may be running for President of Amercia [sic].

Could the Washington Natinals [sic] be Amercia's [sic] team?

A proof of the existence of an intelligent proofreader? [NeuroCooking FlashBack]

Just one sentence was deleted, the last sentence of an appendix-of-sorts at the end of a brief (three-page) article. And that deletion appeared to me to be a proof of the existence of an intelligent (if not loving) proofreader.

A few years ago I was invited to contribute a brief introductory article to a special issue of a magazine. So I did.

The professional society that publishes this magazine (and many journals) requests (insists) that every author supply a brief professional biographical sketch (the usual stuff: training, appointments, research interests), to appear at the end of the article. So I did.

Only, when I got the page proofs back (in PDF form), I found that the final sentence of my biographical sketch was gone!

I didn't mind. I certainly wasn't offended, nor did I think that this editing reflected poorly on the journal or its publisher. Indeed, I took the deletion of the final sentence of my draft biosketch to be a sign of the existence of an intelligent proofreader. As in "hey, someone is really reading this stuff!"

And that sentence? It was:
A son of the Garden State, Dr. Pekar is especially grateful to have worked with so many international scientists, who tend to lack the irrational prejudice against New Jersey so prevalent among his own countrymen.

This post first appeared in August, 2009

May 29, 2012

Привет, Россия!

Many NeuroCooking pageviews are coming from Russia, and we would be delighted to hear from our Russian readers.

Please, consider saying hello using the blog comments, or via twitter at @thaler or @jimpekar.

May 23, 2012

Adam Gopnik on Stories & Science

Good science is more like Proust than Mr. Popper’s Penguins; its stories startle us with their strangeness, but they intrigue us by their originality, and end by rewarding us with the truth, after an effort. It is the shock good stories offer to our expectations, not some sop they offer to our pieties, that makes tales tally, and makes comtes count. The story that tells us only that we like all kinds of stories lacks that excitement, that exclusionary power, which is the only thing that makes us want to hear stories at all.

May 21, 2012

The sun & the moon (heard on my morning commute...)

This morning on the Writer's Almanac I heard Garrison Keillor read from Alexander Pope's 1734 "An Essay on Man:"
"All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees..."
And then a few minutes later I heard Mr. John Darnielle sing the first lines of the opening and title track of the Mountain Goats 2002 album "Tallahassee:"
"Window facing an ill-kept front yard
Plums on the tree heavy with nectar
Prayers to summon the destroying angel
Moon stuttering in the sky like film stuck in a projector..."
Were you wondering, about Pope's trees, about just what kind of trees were they?

Turns out, they're plum trees...

Best. Coffee. Ever.

Following my attendance at the 20th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, I am pleased to present, for NeuroCooking readers in the National Capital Area, these six simple steps to get the best coffee in the world:

1. Take the Washington D.C. Metro to National Airport (DCA).
2. Fly from DCA to Los Angeles (LAX).
3. Fly from LAX to Sydney (SYD).
4. Fly from SYD to Melbourne (MEL).
5. Take a bus or taxi downtown.
6. Go to Naked Espresso at 390 Little Bourke Street, and order an espresso.

May 20, 2012

May 18, 2012

Seeing Is Believing.

Last week I was in Melbourne, Australia, for the 20th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, which took place in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. There, I made a remarkable discovery. The toilets bear warning labels:

These labels, clearly, compel a startling conclusion: In Australia, dogs can read.

May 17, 2012

On going wide (& tall) without schlepping.

When I travelled Down Under this month, I did not bring a "real camera," but I was able to shoot wide

The Cove, Sydney, Australia. May 13, 2012.

and tall

Town Hall, Sydney, Australia. May 14, 2012.

using the iPhone "Pano" app (click photos for larger versions).

"Finally, SUPEREGO-related neural activity was localized to lateral prefrontal and parietal cortex."

"A Triple Dissociation of Neural Systems Supporting ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO" (because "... Social Neuroscience, Neuroeconomics, and Developmental Social Cognitive Affective Clinical Neuroscience are just not cutting edge enough anymore...") appears in Psyence.

e.g., "Rule number eight: exploit superstitious thinking"

"Ten ironic rules for non-statistical reviewers" ("... written for reviewers who may not have sufficient statistical expertise to provide an informed critique during the peer-reviewed process, but would like to recommend rejection on the basis of inappropriate or invalid statistical analysis") by Prof. Karl Friston will appear in the journal NeuroImage.

May 16, 2012

"h" vs. "H" (and the Mountain Goats, Down Under)

The Mountain Goats rocking Melbourne's Toff, 9 May 2012 (iPhone photo).

Last week I was in Melbourne, Australia, for the 20th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Melbourne is a great place for live music, and, as it happened, I found out in advance that the Mountain Goats would be in town! So, when I travelled Down Under I did so with a ticket for what was to be a sold-out show at Melbourne's The Toff in Town.

How eager was I to see the Mountain Goats (whose songs I've loved for years, but whom I'd never seen live)? Let's just say I went to the Toff a whole day early, to check out the venue, which is how I came to see Max Savage and the False Idols play soul-tinged country-western Rock-n-Roll:

Max Savage and the False Idols at the Toff, 8 May 2012 (camera: Ricoh GX-100).

However, dear NeuroCooking friends, my topic today may not be singer-songwriters, or rock-n-roll, or intimate venues for live music, or fantastic audiences who shout out the choruses to early Mountain Goats songs, allowing Mr. John Darnielle to sing just the verses, or even the persistent paradox of how listening to songs about self-destructive persons engaged in abusive relationships can be uplifting. No, my topic today may be beer.

I like hoppy beers, like India Pale Ales. When I visit someplace with unfamiliar offerings on tap, especially overseas, I will ask the bartender to recommend a beer. So, that Tuesday night at the Toff, I asked the bartender:
"What's hoppy? Like an IPA?"
And he replied:
"Yes. Would you like a taste?"
I did a double-take, and looked at the taps, and yes, they had a beer on tap called "Hoppy."

And yes, it was.

This "hoppy" vs. "Hoppy" reminded me, instantly, of the old "Who's on first" routine:

It's too late to see Abbott and Costello live, but, thankfully, it's not too late to see the Mountain Goats, which I recommend that you do, wherever and whenever you can!

"We love you, John!" The Mountain Goats at the Toff, 9 May 2012 (iPhone photo).


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