Sunday, April 25, 2010

Top Gear Visas

Here's an excerpt from the British TV program "Top Gear" concerning U.S. Visas: rather topical for the current travails of our lab:

James: What we have down here is a selection of American muscle cars. Now the recipe for this for this sort of thing was always very simple: massive engine; crude, simple suspension; very low price; and finally [gesturing to a Dodge Challenger] some orange paint. Now, this sort of thing never really caught on in the civilised world and we thought that what with petrol prices being so high now, they'd have died out in America as well.
Richard: However, in the last few months three brand-new American muscle cars have arrived. So we thought we best pop over to the states and find out if they're any good.
Jeremy: Unfortunately, there was a problem. You see, we all have visas which allow us to go to America and make a factual documentary. But, since our last trip over there when I might have accidentally put a cow on the roof of my car, the American — the U.S. state department no less — has decided Top Gear is actually now an entertainment show.
James: And unfortunately that requires a different type of visa and we didn't have time to go and get one. So, in the end we were only allowed in to the country if we promised — this isn't a lie is it?
Jeremy: No, this is absolutely, hand on heart...
Richard: This is for real.
James: — if we promised not to be entertaining.

with credit to where I originally found this.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

They're the Champions...

Norwich City just won the League One Championship.

Hence I should keep my promise and again lend them my support.


Let us not forget the team's 2005-2009 elegant swan dive from the heights of the Premier League to the sleepy backwaters of England's third division, which at times drew serious comparison with Britain's Official Worst Football Team (AFC Aldermaston, who recently scraped a draw after 40 consecutive losses).
Hopefully, the return to the second tier signals the swan dive was in reality just the first half of a sweet sinusoidal bungee jump back to the very top.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano

See here for photo credits.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yes, thought so, missed one.....

..from Reasons to be Cheerful Part III:

Sampath K. got a Spot Award from Novartis for a novel method for assessing protein structures.

....and that officially closes the Reasons to be Cheerful blog entry.

Reasons to be Miserable coming up.....(suggestions welcome, to me via e-mail, not directly as a comment here (!!), and no whining please:-)))).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part III

(i.e. successes of people I am working with..
..see here and here for Parts I and II.)

Jerome B. got an NIH grant with Igor Jouline.
Xiaolin C. has been publishing like crazy.
Tongye S. got a cheery new postdoc.
Ricky S. got a cheery new supervisor.
Hong G. got a cheery new DOE mercury grant (with cheery me:-)).
Hao-Bo G. got a PNAS paper and yanked his green card out of the fire.
Barbara C. is getting her mega-CPU drug design stuff in shape.
Krishnan got a faculty position
Moumita got a well-behaved cellulase reaction profile.
Jerry P. was on TV talking about our mercury stuff.
Loukas P. is, amazingly, self-similar over 3 orders of magnitude.
Nikolai S.'s simulations agree with spin-echo experiments.
Srini got invited for a faculty interview.
Zheng got beamtime for P450 neutron experiments.
Yinglong got intriguing solvent-channel results.
Dennis G.'s paper on water model comparisons was published.
Xiaohu H. got weird and wonderful phase transitions in water (do we believe them?:-).
Benjamin L. 's lignin:cellulose simulation movies wowed the Undersecretary and others.
Roland S. scaled MD to 150,000 cores.
Jason H. decided wisely to join us.
Barmak M. has learned he can work well wherever he is.
Isabella D. got a faculty position.
Zoe C. got a faculty position.
Nadia E. became a Mum (and got her bacteriorhodopsin paper finished as well!)
Thomas N. graduated summa cum laude.
Petra I. seems to be quite desired in Germany these days.
Jakob U. has definitively solved the peptide membrane partioning problem.
Mithun B. has his theory paper on DNA submitted.
Emal A. is getting a mega-salary (f0r a while).
Tomasz B. got good reviews for his paper.
Mai Z. got good reviews for her paper.
Dieter K. got his QM/MM paper submitted.
Thomas S. got his second actin paper submitted.
Lipi T. understands peptide folding like no other.
Corinne W. got her Diplomarbeit nailed.
Heinrich K.'s model for cellulose H-bonds behaves most interestingly.
Karine V. has a cheery mechanism for nucleosome dynamics. who's going to come back at me for forgetting someone this time?....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ORNL Voted Top Place to be a Postdoc in The Scientist magazine, though dropping to 38th place from 11th last year.

Did they take into account that Knoxville is Number One nationally for allergies?