Tag Archives: xkcd

Impossible

xkcd by Randall Munroe (CC BY-NC 2.5)

xkcd by Randall Munroe (CC BY-NC 2.5)

Turns out biology is hard because biology is hard.

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P-Value Interpretation

If all else fails, use “significant at p>0.05 level” and hope no one notices.
xkcd by Randall Munroe

I can’t say that I ever thought about doing this, but I can admit feeling enormous stress proofreading for “less than” signs pointing the wrong direction – an anxiety that may have been justified on more than one occassion.

xkcd by Randall Munroe (CC BY-NC 2.5)

What the Philae are you doing here?

UPDATE 12 NOV 2014 11:10AM (ET): Apollo 11 shit went down today. No matter what else we might be, we are a species that landed a robot on a comet about 500 million kilometers away for the purpose of scientific exploration. Not too shabby.

UPDATE 12 NOV 2014 11:54AM (ET): There is concern that Philae has not anchored to the comet properly. They are working on it.

Look, we appreciate you stopping by; but humanity is trying to land a robot on a comet for the first time ever. There is Apollo 11 level shit going down today. You can watch the ESA’s webcast live with us. The Philae lander is scheduled to touch down at about 11:00 AM (US Eastern).

Over at xkcd, Randall Munroe is doing live updates of the Philae lander’s progress (and its internal monologue).

HT: Emily Lakdawalla (whom you should be reading today)

Protein Folding

I am contractually obligated to discuss the basics, the very basic basics, of protein folding with my class over the next week or so. This strip from Randall Munroe’s xkcd will be appearing in the lecture.

xkcd by Randall Munroe (CC BY-NC 2.5)

I will be watching closely for looks of recognition, which will allow me to evaluate how cool my students are. You decide which direction the “cool” runs on that one.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…

How is astronomy like biology? Every time we build better tools for observation (eg, space telescopes & next-generation sequencers), we learn about the incredible variety of things that we are missing and get to wildly speculate about what it all means (we also get to regularly confuse “wild speculation” for actual “knowledge”).

“Exoplanet Neighborhood” by Randall Munroe at xkcd (CC BY-NC 2.5)