Archiv der Kategorie: Joke

The data may not contain the answer

(stolen from )

John Tukey (1915-2000), American mathematician best known for the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm and the box plot

Paul Dirac and the parrot

Found at‌​

When Bohr bemoaned to Ernest Rutherford,‌ “Dirac never says anything,” Rutherford replied with a story about a shop owner assuaging a dissatisfied customer who had purchased a parrot that would not speak. “Please forgive me. You wanted a parrot that talks, and I gave you the parrot that thinks.”

Fair enough

Wouldn’t pay 20 bucks for Mullis while 40 for Brenner is ok

My Life in Science
Sydney Brenner
BioMed Central: 2001. 191 pp. £14.99
“In April and May of 1994, Sydney Brenner sat down in front of a video camera and talked to Lewis Wolpert, recording enough to fill 15 videotapes. Errol Friedberg and Eleanor Lawrence have taken sections from the transcript of the interviews and woven them, with linking and explanatory passages added by Friedberg, into My Life in Science, an ‘autobiography’ of Brenner’s more than 50 years of research.”



Im Zug einer Recherche zu Wolfgang Wodarg habe ich über einen Welt Artikel einen interessanten Wikipedia Eintrag zu Gerd Postel gefunden:

Dennoch bewarb sich der 24-jährige Postel schon kurz darauf im September 1982 als Dr. med. Dr. phil. Clemens Bartholdy um eine ausgeschriebene Stelle als stellvertretender Amtsarzt in Flensburg.

Unechte Urkunden bestätigten scheinbar seine Angaben zu Prüfungsergebnissen und Berufsweg, Andere Unterlagen fehlten zwar, da Postel aber zuvor Kontakt zu Amtsleiter Wolfgang Wodarg aufgebaut hatte und man sich sympathisch war, wurde er eingestellt.Unter Postel sank die Quote der psychiatrischen Unterbringungen auf Antrag hin von über 95 % auf lediglich 10 %.

Auch seine Leistungen während der Probezeit in der Zschadraßer Psychiatrie wurden vom damaligen Krankenhausleiter Horst Krömker als „überdurchschnittlich“ beurteilt. Postel meinte hierzu „Wer die Dialektik beherrscht und die psychiatrische Sprache, der kann grenzenlos jeden Schwachsinn formulieren und ihn dann in das Gewand des Akademischen stecken“.

The career is based on 3 things

Forbes/B Y Lee summarized the 3 things: grants, papers, kissing

In many academic settings, particularly in medical schools, your research career will live or die based on three things: how much grant funding you bring in to the institution, how much you publish in scientific journals, and who happens to like and not like you, not necessarily in that order. You don’t necessarily have to do all three to advance. For example, those who can’t really do the first two may focus on doing the third, which is otherwise called kissing up or playing politics. Note that none of these three are necessarily indications of how much you really innovate and contribute to science or society.

Fastest ever data transfer: 126 Petabyte per second

1 x ejaculation expells 250,000,000 sperm at a speed of 500 cm/s. Each sperm contains 3,088,000,000 base pairs = bits ~ 368 megabyte of genomic DNA

Each base pair takes 2 bits (you can use 00, 01, 10, and 11 for T, G, C and A). … And remember, you have to go from bits to bytes to get to an answer in megabytes. A bit is just a single unit of digital information, but a byte is a sequence of bits (usually 8). And because computers work in binary math, 1 kilobyte = 1024 (i.e. 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 1024). 1 gigabyte = 1024 megabytes = 1048576 kilobytes = 1073741824 bytes. So you take the 3,088,000,000 bits and divide it by 8 to get 750,000,000 bytes. Divide that by 1024 and you get 376,953 kilobytes. Divide it by 1024 once more and you’re left with 368 megabytes.

Add 30,000 CpG islands x 8 bytes ~ 0,2 Megabyte
Also add 75 mitochondria x 16,569,000 base pairs ~ 148 Megabyte
So in total 516,2 Megabyte per sperm

250,000,000 x 51,2 Megabyte / 1024 = 126,000,000 Gigabyte = 126,000 Terabyte = 126 Petabyte

Medical Honours

I am not convinced that medical honours are not doing any good (except some additional research money that may be welcome). There is a current twitter thread about the British monarchy which explains reasons to decline honours

Jon Snow: renowned journalist turned down an OBE Because he believed working journalists should not take honours from those they report on he said “I tried to find out why I’d been given it and was unable to get a clear answer or, indeed, to find out who had proposed me.”


Francis Crick: The physicist who discovered DNA, was offered a CBE in 1963 but declined, one year after they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. He apparently believed the British monarchy to be “out of date”


L.S Lowry: He turned down knighthood and the offer of 5 British royal honours although he said it wasn’t for political reason he wanted his life to remain unchanged and dedicated to his art.

Postscripts reported it first that marriage proposals have been placed in the acknowledgments

One such proposal published in a 2015 paper in Current Biology reads: “C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?”

Another postscript in Global Change Biology is more worrying

Jos Barlow, a conservation scientist from Lancaster University in the U.K. and the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil, who led the team, wrote in the acknowledgement: “Some contributors declined authorship to maintain anonymity. We regret this was necessary and thank them for their important contribution.”

Wann sind Tiere am erfinderischten?

Die SZ weiss die Antwort

Womöglich gedeihen Innovationen manchmal ganz im Gegenteil besonders gut, wenn ein Tier genug hat: ausreichend Zeit und Energie, um etwa mit dem Schloss einer Futterkiste herumzuspielen. Neues ausprobieren kann vor allem, wer sich nicht rund um die Uhr mit Futtersuche, Wacheschieben und Revierverteidigung aufreiben muss, sondern derartige Verpflichtungen auch mal an Artgenossen delegieren kann.

Vermutlich ist es bei den Menschen auch nicht viel anders. Wenn man sich nicht rund um die Uhr mit Futtersuche, Wacheschieben und Revierverteidigung aufreiben muss.