There aren't that many unique last names out there and looking for a paper by someone with a popular name might be a pain. For instance, according to statistics, the author named Y. Wang publishes more than 10 papers a day, and obviously it's not the same person :-)
Also, sometimes people change their names, use nicknames, or omit some of their initials, so introducing such unique ID's will be greatly appreciated.
The idea was around for quite a long time, with a few attempts of realization (one of those being the ResearcherID by Thomson Reuters). I hope it will work out this time.
A solid scientific base for what basically everyone knows already :-) Also, unlike previous analyses appearing on the internet, this one is in English, so everyone can understand it and spread the word.
I was used to think that spilling coffee while walking (and then making innocent eyes and speeding up) was my own problem, because I basically break everything I touch. This article made me feel normal, just as everyone else. Finally, there is a scientific base for spilling coffee!
If you feel desperate this Saturday night and think life has no meaning – search for "by other authors" on arxiv.org. Of course, it doesn't mean all of these papers are plagiarized, but lots of fun anyway.
"...An implication from this work is that elsewhere in the universe there could be life forms based on D-amino acids and L-sugars, depending on the chirality of circular polarized light in that sector of the universe or whatever other process operated to favor the L-α-methyl amino acids in the meteorites that have landed on Earth. Such life forms could well be advanced versions of dinosaurs, if mammals did not have the good fortune to have the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroidal collision, as on Earth. We would be better oﬀ not meeting them."
You probably know that in 1917 the October Revolution happened in Russia: the bolsheviks got power and created the Soviet Union five years later. The revolution split many lives into the "before" and "after" the 1917.
Here is how famous Russian mathematician Dmitrii Menshov tells about those times:
"...In 1915 we studied function series, in 1916 - orthogonal series. And then the 1917 happened. That was a very memorable year in our lives, this year there happened an event that had drastically affected our future lives: we started looking at trigonometric series."
It turns out that a number of people suddenly discovered my blog and I didn't update it for a while. In a nutshell: I moved to the US, changed the research subject a little (I just have to write a popular post about my research at some point!), and things of that sort, which is nothing but peanuts :-) Here comes some funny stuff.
After coming to the US I was surprised how many people are opposing Elsevier, and deny publishing, reviewing, or collaborating with them otherwise.
The reason is that Elsevier was actively pushing so-called Research Works Act, the directive that would prohibit open-access publishing of the federally funded research. Apart from just being unscientific, this directly contradicts the NIH policy stating that the taxpayers-funded research must be freely accessible online.
This very effort was triggered by mathematicians and spread widely across the general scientists' community, a good example is the website, where everyone can sign the "boycott petition."
Finally, Elsevier withdrew the support for the act, but it seems that most of the scientists' activity was prompted by Elsevier's pricing and things of that sort alone, without people discussing the Journal of Chaos Solitons and Fractals (Google it) and 6 fake medical journals they've been publishing. A few years ago my PhD institution and I had a funny story related to it, which made some established scientists join the boycott movement (if we met - ask me in person :-).
Apparently, all that is a consequence of Elsevier being run as a money-making machine, as juxtaposed to many publishing houses ran by scientific societies, like APS, ACS, AAAS, and so on.
It was founded almost 60 years ago and apparently became a very credible scientific magazine. At least, some people take it very seriously:
"...JIR received attention from American military intelligence when a copy of one of their articles was found among other papers in an abandoned terrorist headquarters in the Middle East. The article was a highly unrealistic and farcical explanation of how to build a nuclear weapon that some unwitting Al Qaida member had filed away. Nonetheless the discovery prompted a short-lived official investigation..." (wiki)
We all know that accelerated charged particles emit light - that's how modern high-intensity light sources, synchrotrons, function. Interestingly, uniformly moving particles can emit light too.
The idea goes back to the 1904 Sommerfeld's paper, where he studied the motion of charged particles in a vacuum, and demonstrated that particles flying faster than the speed of light emit radiation even when moving uniformly . Of course, the special relativity theory that appeared next year, rendered Sommerfeld's discovery just a funny mathematical result that has nothing to do with reality, since according to the special relativity no particle can move faster than light in a vacuum.
It's worth noting that the velocity restrictions imposed by the special relativity apply only to a single particle (a group velocity of a bunch of particles can be anything) moving in a vacuum (the speed of light in a medium is much smaller than in a vacuum and particles can move faster than that). However, it took more than 30 years to generalize the Sommerfeld idea to the case of charged particles propagating through a material.
Pavel Cherenkov was pursuing a PhD under Sergey Vavilov, a brother of a famous geneticist Nikolai Vavilov (who was imprisoned and eventually killed by the Soviet regime). Cherenkov was studying the luminescence of uranium salts in solutions irradiated by gamma-rays, and was quite surprised to see the "luminescence" of a pure liquid (sulfuric acid it was), with no salts added. Actually, he was convinced that his PhD work was completely ruined .
And it was Vavilov who suggested that this radiation was not luminescence but something completely new, and encouraged Cherenkov to continue the measurements. Indeed, very soon Igor Tamm and Ilya Frank developed a theory for the effect, showing that the radiation is emitted by electrons propagating faster than the speed of light in this particular solution. In 1958 Cherenkov, Tamm, and Frank shared a Nobel Prize for this discovery (unfortunately, without Vavilov who deceased in 1951).
Although Russians call it the "Vavilov-Cherenkov effect", it seems that the name of Vavilov is omitted in the rest of the world where people simply refer to the "Cherenkov Radiation". Why do they?
The funny thing is that immediately after the discovery Vavilov (himself) wrote a paper and submitted it to Nature, where it was rejected (!), and then to Physical Review. This paper had a single author - Cherenkov .
I wonder whether such an extreme academic generosity would be possible nowadays :-)
 A. Sommerfeld, Göttingen Nachrichten 9, 363 (1904); 201 (1905)
 V. L. Ginsburg "About science and about myself" (2001)
A nice essay by Prof. Rick Trebino from Georgia Tech (here is the comment he finally published). I heard people complaining that publishing comments is hard - a lot of politics involved, journal editors don't want to confess in publishing wrong articles, and so on.
Perhaps, it might be a good idea to make a separate journal publishing only comments and replies to them, as guys propose here (in Russian). In such a way one may highlight all the fraud/misconduct/delusion cases via peer-reviewed comments and replies, without any troubles due to politics of a given journal.
Bad food in the university cantine can be described by simple math. Every day they feed us with Fibonacci Salad - it's when you mix a yesterday salad with a salad from two days ago to get the salad for today.
...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...
....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.
"The uppermost circle is not a place of punishment, so much as regret. Those who have committed no scientific sins as such, but who turned a blind eye to it, and encouraged it by their awarding of grants and publications, spend eternity on top of this barren mountain, watching the carnage below and reflecting on how they are partially responsible..."
Second Circle: Overselling
"This circle is reserved for those who exaggerated the importantance of their work in order to get grants or write better papers. Sinners are trapped in a huge pit, neck-deep in horrible sludge. Each sinner is provided with the single rung of a ladder, labelled 'The Way Out - Scientists Crack Problem of Second Circle of Hell"
Third Circle: Post-Hoc Storytelling
"Sinners condemned to this circle must constantly dodge the attacks of demons armed with bows and arrows, firing more or less at random. Every time someone is hit in some part of their body, the demon proceeds to explain at enormous length how they were aiming for that exact spot all along."
Fourth Circle: P-Value Fishing
"Those who tried every statistical test in the book until they got a p value less than 0.05 find themselves here, an enormous lake of murky water. Sinners sit on boats and must fish for their food. Fortunately, they have a huge selection of different fishing rods and nets (brandnames include Bayes, Student, Spearman and many more). Unfortunately, only one in 20 fish are edible, so they are constantly hungry."
Fifth Circle: Creative Use of Outliers
"Those who 'cleaned up' their results by excluding inconvenient data-points are condemned here. Demons pluck out their hairs one by one, every time explaining that they are better off without that hair because there was something wrong with it."
Sixth Circle: Plagiarism
"This circle is entirely empty because as soon as a sinner arrives, a winged demon carries them to another circle and forces them to suffer the punishment meted out to the people there. After their 3 year "post" is up, they are carried to another circle, and so on..."
Seventh Circle: Non-Publication of Data
"Here sinners are chained to burning chairs in front of desks covered with broken typewriters. Only if they can write an article describing their predicament, will they be set free. Each desk has a file-drawer stuffed full of these, but the drawers are locked.
Eighth Circle: Partial Publication of Data
"At any one time exactly half of the sinners here are chased around by demons prodding them with spears. The demons choose who to chase at random after ensuring that the groups are matched for age, gender, height and weight. Howling desert winds blow a constant torrent of articles announcing the success of a new program to enhance participation in physical exercise - but with no mention of the side effects."
Ninth Circle: Inventing Data
"Here Satan himself lies trapped forever in a block of solid ice alongside the worst sinners of all. Frozen in front of their eyes is a paper explaining very convincingly that water cannot freeze in the environmental conditions of this part of Hell. Unfortunately, the data were made up."
American Physical Society started a new journal - Physical Review X. It's somehow analogous to the New Journal of Physics: an online-only open-access journal, covering all branches of physics. As far as I understand, there will be no page limit for articles, and you'll have to pay $1500 to publish there (you also retain copyright to your articles due to open-access).
The first call for papers opens in March 2011, so hurry up! :-)
I had a job interview in one of the US universities. It was full of conspiracy: one day per every candidate, you're not allowed to attend other candidates' talks or even show up on the campus during that time. I find it great, probably better than the European system where all the short-listed candidates often spend the whole day together.
Flying to London on my way home I started a small talk with a girl sitting next to me. Guess what? It turned out that she was interviewed at the same place the day before. You know, these transatlantic planes are huge, like 50 rows, so the probability of such an event seems to be negligible. But it happened anyway.
The authors found that women's tears contain some molecules, which, being sniffed by men, reduce their sexual desire and the level of testosterone:
"...We found that merely sniffing negative-emotion–related odorless tears obtained from women donors, induced reductions in sexual appeal attributed by men to pictures of women’s faces. Moreover, after sniffing such tears, men experienced reduced self-rated sexual arousal, reduced physiological measures of arousal, and reduced levels of testosterone."