Oranges and Orlando

What symbolizes Orange more than Florida? Or is it the other way? (I think I’ll start this weekly photo challenge blogging theme to keep this alive and running) A trip with friends is amazing – made more so if it’s a reunion meeting up in another country! Familiar faces and tales are a comfort, one […]

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“We cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit and that the world in which we all grow up and the rules we choose to write as a society don’t matter at all.”

― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

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Cursive Sculptures

I’ve seen abandoned cars, mines,houses and dogs. But where do the abandoned minds go? Are they floating above in arcs of the lightning forming fissures of black dots like when you close your eyes? What is all these streams of consciousness blends into one visceral creation? Or perhaps it is but a flight of fancy […]

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500 days of {all four seasons}

Some seasons have been kinder than others. But in all, I have reached home after spending 500 days in the US. Kind of an interesting piece of information that my grandpa greeted me with as I yanked my suitcase, with the nighttime heat welcoming me as I stepped into Chennai. Actually, crying babies and rude […]

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Horrible title, yes, you can comment about it! I came home today and realized I was all out of tea.  Not even those reserves of Twinings tea bags. And this reminded me of one of my thathas (because saying granduncle seems too impersonal) who would never be found without his cup of tea or his […]

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All I have are words

The patterns, they started off beautifully. Unlike the rigid structure of jigsaw puzzles, these tesselations, they weaved in and out in intricate thoughts. They rose and fell to the blood flow patterns. They were reminiscent of sparks of neuronal excitement. Signature squiggles that were hanging like vines you could tug at, to be whisked away […]

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How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists


Pretty important. Perhaps, schools need to delve into a set of how-to’s before assigning paper reading homeworks.

Originally posted on Violent metaphors:

Update (8/30/14): I’ve written a shorter version of this guide for teachers to hand out to their classes. If you’d like a PDF, shoot me an email: jenniferraff (at) utexas (dot) edu.

Last week’s post (The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google) sparked a very lively discussion, with comments from several people trying to persuade me (and the other readers) that their paper disproved everything that I’d been saying. While I encourage you to go read the comments and contribute your own, here I want to focus on the much larger issue that this debate raised: what constitutes scientific authority?

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