Once again, note that this tree, which incorporating real data, is an inherently subjective synthesis, and should be used with caution. As always, comments and suggestions welcome.
References and further reading to be added shortly, once I have more time ;-)
I'm back! My wonderful time at Scientific American at The Ocelloid has come to a close, as I am currently not in the right place in life for semi-professional blogging. The pressure of having someone else's brand name associated with the blog actually made it hard for me to write, as all sorts of anxiety issues crawled out of the woodwork at the sight of that. It may take me some time to get back into regular blogging again -- while adjusting to graduate school -- but this is my primary online home again, for now. You know you've been away for a while when Blogger's interface is entirely different.
Hopefully, the more flexible commenting system here will help re-establish some of the readership and conversation that was lost in transition... well, over two transitions and a very long stagnant period, that is. It may be wishful thinking to expect anyone to remain here, but someone's gotta start sweeping up the dust!
This is mostly to ensure people coming from my last post at SciAm that I do, in fact, still have the keys to this place. Let's ignore that this is the first post of 2014... (whereas that last SciAm post was the... third post of 2014. Sigh.)
Anyway, I'll lay down this vaguely Christmas-y image of a red alga as a front door mat. Red algae are so vibrant under good optics that all too often the camera doesn't quite do it justice. Charismatic megaflora, if you will.
To those who have returned with me -- thank you for sticking along this far! And for those who are new -- welcome! Let's see where this particular leg of my blogging adventure heads to. (the leg must be quite confused as to why it suddenly gets a head, but that's besides the point)
Cheers, and hope to see y'all there, in some form! =)
I've been prompted to compile a collection of suggested resources on protist diversity and biology, and quite frankly, I'm getting a bit too lazy to look things up and send the links again and again. So I've made a page on Protistology Resources -- it's still raw, but I hope it can help some people get started. If there's anything you'd like to contribute, including own lab pages, papers, etc -- please feel free to comment or email me!
If anyone wonders where I hang out these days: I've a blog with Scientific American -- The Ocelloid. And yes, I definitely really really need to blog more, both here and there.
Cheers, and hoping to be around more often.
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No, not the annoying kind that secretly restarts your computer in the background because you just bought it and haven't gotten around to deactivating auto-update yet and told it to fuck off the last few times so it didn't pop up the window anymore because it was sad. Or the kind that Adobe's PDF reader mysteriously wants about four times a day. Just a very late bloggy kind.
Apologies for disappearing for a while there. Personal issues came up and didn't really feel like writing about science (or reading much about it for a while). Long story short, I'm may well be a failed scientist at this point (no grad school for me, yay), and the academic career is one of the few where once you fall off the track, it's practically impossible to get back on. And unlike in most other careers, the skills you acquire by that point are nontransferable anywhere else, meaning you're screwed, period. Add to that the worst economy since the Great Depression, and the party starts off with a bang. That said, I'll continue with my attempts to sneak past academia's fortifications under the cover of night, if no other reason than that banging my head against brick walls fucking arouses me.
Anyway, I'm getting back to blogging now. Should at least take advantage of the fact I still have a computer and internet; might be a bit harder to blog when unemployed and homeless ;-)
There are some exciting developments next month: one I can't tell you about yet as it's part of bigger news; the other is that I'll be going to a phycology-protistology meeting (PSA-ISoP) mid-July and will be officially blogging it! There's lots of awesome research going on in the area and I'm happy I'll be able to share some of it with you.
Microscopy Reddit Community - /r/microscopy
Every once in a while a stack of undeciphered micrographs appears before someone's conscience, and every once in a while a resolution of this issue is attempted by approaching yours truly. I'm still a novice to the realm of the small, and usually fail to identify creatures (or artefacts) in question, leaving behind a trail of disappointment and pristine befuddlement. Forwarding those images to friends and colleagues would be awkward, since those people have enough on their plate to begin with. In short, would be nice to have a centralised place where people could share images and others could voluntarily look them over and comment on them. Micro*scope/EOL is a nice image repository, but generally the images there are of good quality and are finished products; furthermore, I still don't know how to work the interface there despite having access privileges. What would be great is if people could host images wherever they like, and then link to them in a centralised place for discussion where anyone could participate. In other words, Reddit.
There already was a microscopy subreddit (a Reddit community), but it was largely inactive and abandoned. Anyway, I'm now a moderator there, and would like to develop it into a community where micrographs of all sorts can be shared and discussed, with emphasis on microbial organisms (but sliced up macrobes welcome too). Creating an account is really easy, as is submitting a link (just make sure it goes to /r/microscopy and not some other area of reddit). We need participants though, so if you have any neglected mystery images, please post them, and if you're in the mood to browse micrographs from time to time, feel free to stop by! Just keep in mind anyone can see the subreddit including the images, so careful with potentially publication-worthy data...
Hope to see you there!
There's a really awesome Russian underwater macrophotography blog I came across a while ago that you should all know about. The photos are stunning, mainly of pretty tiny inverts in the White Sea in northern Russia (and plenty of shots of Northern Lights and white nights and all that).