The Edge Effect

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Science Map

I know I've been a bad blogger lately. Besides actually making progress on my dissertation, I've been busy running arbordog. Still, I know that is simply no excuse for slacking here on the edge.

So by way of apology I present to you something extremely cool. This is a schematic showing relationships between different fields of science based on the publication and citation of their papers in journals.

The map is mostly intuitive but I am a bit surprised that "Social Scientists Don't Do Chemistry." On the diagram there doesn't appear to be a single link between social sciences and chem, but there are links between ss and physics, maybe even quantum physics.

I spent last weekend in a very sciency lab with C who was doing all sorts of chemistry in pursuit of archaeological knowledge. Not that I understand any of it, but there are a number of archaeologists and biological anthropologists who have deep interests in chemistry. Likewise there seems to be little link between ss and biology.

Of course the unknown here is how papers were coded. It may be that journals with the chem-heavy anthro were not used or that they were not considered social sciences for some reason.

The other interesting thing mentioned in the article is the closeness of computer science and social science. Ain't that nice?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Get a Job

Looks like I got one. Yay! More details after things are signed and official, but most of you probably already know that I've had a series of interviews for a temporary position. I finally got a tentative offer for it today.

Woo hoo!


Is It Just Me...

Or is M-live the very worst website ever designed? Even Drudge is more efficient in organizing information.

You'd think the AA News could just set up its own website and leave M-live to be a state-wide community events calendar. I think if they hired the inventor of pop-up advertisements and partnered him with my grandmother who has never used the internet, they would still come up with a website that is easier to navigate than M-live.

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Friday, April 27, 2007


As promised, here is the complete list of words-of-the-day involving all vowels in alphabetic order:






I'll let you discover the definitions on your own. All fun words. I could actually see myself having application for anemious, facetious, and possibly annelidous and abstemious. I have a hard time though imagining how I will slip caesious into conversation.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ward Park Planning Meeting

If the A2 Dog Park issue is important to you don't forget that there is a community meeting tonight to discuss the possibility of an off-leash area at Ward Park.

7:00 PM
Ann Arbor Church of Christ

Monday, April 23, 2007


You are probably aware that the word facetious includes all five vowels, each only once, and in alphabetical order. Some time ago I read or heard someone ask what other English word does this, and apparently facetiously doesn't count even though it also has 'y.'

Anyway, I never heard the answer to that question and it still bugs me from time to time. But this week the word of the day e-mail list that I belong to is doing this as a theme. All week! So there are at least five English words that fit these criteria, who knew?

This probably shouldn't excite me so much, but I feel like light has been thrown onto a long-time mystery. I'll share the other words later in the week.

abstemious (ab-STEE-mee-uhs) adjective

Sparing, especially in matters of eating and drinking.

[From Latin abstemius, from ab- (from) + temetum (liquor).]

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hey Look Over There

It's a new blog about dog parks in Ann Arbor.

I'll post more details here later, but I've been in contact with the city and went to the Parks Advisory Commission meeting Tuesday to find out why things are moving so slowly.

The short story is that I was blown off by most of the committee members and the others expressed support, but none of them see any hope for an off-leash area this summer. The resources are available, but there is simply no will to move quickly.

The supportive members suggested that pressure from residents *might* help expedite things. So if you support the creation of a safe and legal off-leash area in Ann Arbor and you would like to see it happen this summer rather than maybe next winter, please contact the people listed over at arbordog. Tell them that you want action to be taken now so that we have this resource this summer. "Maybe next October" is not good enough.

[end rant]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I had a phone interview yesterday for a temp assist prof job. I think it went pretty well, but I was way unprepared. It's been like 10 years since I had to interview for anything at all and doing it over the phone added a dimension of unpleasantness.

The faculty were all quite nice, but I could never tell if they were agreeing, getting bored, wanted to talk, whatever. I only ended up talking over them a couple of times.

The questions were pretty predictable I suppose, but I hadn't prepared for them. What exactly do I think a student should get out of an undergraduate education in anthropology? And what were my best and worst teaching moments?

It also turns out that the class they want me to teach is different than the one I was prepared to talk about. They just said "North American Indian Cultures" so I emphasized contemporary issues rather than a living relics approach. But they offer a contemporary issues course and really want someone to teach basically ethnohistory and government relations contact to early 20th century. That's ok, because I could also do that and had a few ideas at the top of my head.

So all in all I think I did fairly well. And I don't think the applicant pool for this one is too deep. That's the variable that will make the difference I suppose. They asked if I could visit campus some time soon so that's a good sign, but no definite dates or invitations yet.

Fingers crossed.

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