Hit List

The last two Septembers have been “food songs” month in the Thornapple blog. Truth to tell, it gives me a bit of relief from thinking up a new blog every week. Contrary to a sentiment I attributed to Doug Anderson in an entry last year, there are hundreds of food songs. I haven’t even had …

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Mr. Waters goes to Washington

On September 18th, I was a Congressional lobbyist. Before you tar and feather me, I was part of the Michigan State University “Rally for Research” team at Washington DC. This event brought together hundreds of researchers and advocates from 40 states to lobby Congress and the Senate in support of increasing funds for biomedical research. …

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Commuting to Campus

My first five years of grad school,  I lived within walking distance of the campus. I always felt that being close to the university community was important for bonding with other students and becoming a part of the general area. I loved spending my Sundays buying fresh vegetables from the university’s farmers markets, visiting campus …

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Time for Resurgence

Last winter I wrote about the magazine with the same title and subsequently, my decision to reinstate a subscription that I let lapse to save a few dollars. Well, last week the new issue (September/October 2013) arrived. It continues to solidify in my experience, that it is THE periodical of sustainability. Non-subscribers can view a few articles …

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ASBMB Special Symposium hosted by GEDD July 25-28

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” – an insight from fly geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky that underscores how evolutionary insights permeate all aspects of biological research. Faculty from the Michigan State University Gene Expression in Development and Disease Focus Group hosted a special symposium through the American Society of Biochemistry and …

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To Edinburgh and Back

I had a terrific visit to Scotland last week.  The graduate students in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh invited me to speak there.  Thanks especially to Manon Ragonnet and Sam Lewis for organizing and hosting my visit. It seems a bit extravagant to fly overseas for a one-hour lecture.  But …

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A CLOSER LOOK AT GAMING COMPACT NEGOTIATIONS IN MICHIGAN PART I: The history of Michigan’s first gaming compacts

The Bay Mills Indian Community’s pending Supreme Court case has sucked a lot of the oxygen out of the room here in Michigan.  And it has definitely overshadowed an impending showdown between the State of Michigan and seven six* tribes over the negotiation of new Class III gaming compacts. The negotiation of new tribal-state gaming …

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University Blogging

We’ve soft-launched a blogging channel for researchers at Michigan State. If you’re a faculty member, researcher or graduate student who blogs (or would like to start!) you are welcome to contribute! We’re hoping to grow the list of contributors into the hundreds, if possible. There are about 2000 tenure stream faculty and 10,000 graduate students …

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Budgeting For You

The Budget. He’s a devilish creature. But I couldn’t avoid it any longer. The other day I finally relinquished to the gravitational pull of my guilty conscience and pulled up our family budget in an Excel spreadsheet. It had been too long since we had visited our family finances, and I could no longer put …

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A scary reminder

A post by Kay Holekamp. Photo courtesy of David S Green. I stayed in from afternoon obs yesterday to work on the talks I must give in India next week. At 7 pm, I realized I had been sitting at my computer non-stop since 10am, and that my back was hurting from sitting so long …

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International Day of Democracy

On 8 November 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed 15 September as the International Day of Democracy, inviting Member States, the United Nations System and other regional, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations to commemorate the Day. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to highlight the centrality of this universal core value and to review the …

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The Color of Green

The mother of the term so frequently evoked to represent care for the environment, Petra Kelly, would find much of its use now to be simplistic and much shallower than what she had in mind as she forged the birth of the Green Party. She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1982 for ” .for forging …

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Keeping up with Trends

In our crazy, everyday graduate student and “real” lives, how does one keep up with broader academic, discipline-specific, and tech trends? Should we even try? Is it worth it? Is it too late/too early to do so? In this post, I offer tips and tools to stay on top of the most important research, academic …

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Blogging’s Long Reach

I’m busy with real work, so just a quick post tonight for fun. At WordPress, I can see where the viewers of this blog come from. It’s already up to 72 countries! Not surprisingly, the US is in the lead by a large margin, with the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, …

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Presentation: Food Fraud Overview at the Food and Ag SCC/GCC

Tuesday, September 20, 2013, Washington, DC — Later this morning I will be presenting Food Fraud Overview at the Food and Agriculture Sector Joint Quarterly Meeting.  This group organized under the US Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council  (CIPAC), which was created under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7.  From the CIP website: “CIPAC  membership encompasses critical infrastructure …

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The Good Old Days

I started applying for faculty jobs in 1983, after about a year and a half as a postdoc.  The job market was tight then, as the US was coming out of a deep recession.  (Sound familiar?)  And faculty jobs in microbial evolution simply didn’t exist in those days.  So I applied for any and all …

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Seeing mathematics everywhere…

Dame Kathleen Ollernshaw was deaf since the age of 8. Despite this she had an amazing life as a mathematician, amateur astronomer, politician (she served as mayor of Manchester as well as in the Thatcher administration) and mother. To learn more about her read this story on the Scientific American website, titled Centenarian Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw—Conqueror of Magic …

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STEM Crisis: Fact or Fiction?

After reading assorted articles about a looming crisis in the supply of qualified STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) graduates, today LinkedIn pointed me to an article on the IEEE Spectrum site titled “The STEM Crisis Is a Myth“. It seems to be cogent and fairly well researched, but I’m not sure I entirely buy the …

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