Friday, September 23, 2011

Science on Screen @ Amherst Cinema - Jeff Podos on bird song, and Hitchcock's The Birds

Amherst Cinema's newest film series, Science on Screen, will feature a speaker on a science subject and a related film.  First up is UMass biology professor, Jeff Podos, and The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock.  See website for full details.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

UMass Amherst Cold Spring Orchard - Belchertown

You can also buy fruit at the UMass Orchard in Belchertown, and buying the fruit there will support the orchard's operation.  Right now, they're selling peaches and plums.  Some varieties of apples for which they are most noted should be ready as well (site says "app. August 20").

I have never actually bought fruit there, but I'm hoping to go this autumn.  They are open 7 days, but only from 10-5.

Peach season! How about Nectarines?

Local peaches are ready! I was reminded of this through an email from CISA, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, the folks who have the "Local Hero" campaign in the supermarkets.

If you're interested in buying or picking peaches, they list which of their members offer various kinds of produce, and you can enter your zip code to find farms near you.  This list is for peaches.

I actually prefer nectarines; sad to say there are many fewer outlets for this wonderful fruit.

You can also find out what kind of farm it is, whether they use pesticides or not, etc. If you're a localvore, you'll find this site very useful.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Scientific Journal Article Retraction Rate Growing

On the Media, a public radio show, recently covered the increase in the rate that scientific journal articles are being retracted by interviewing Ivan Oransky. From their description of this interview:
There's often a really interesting story behind a retraction. That's what Ivan Oransky told us. He's a doctor and journalist and founder, along with Adam Marcus, of a blog called Retraction Watch. They monitor scientific journals and investigate why articles were retracted. They uncovered serious ethical breaches at a variety of journals. We asked Oransky to tell us about some of the stories he's covered this year.
Oransky discusses some of the reasons for the increase, including some anecdotes about the papers retracted, and the actions of some authors, editors, and publishers. Because, dismayingly, many retracted papers continue to be cited, he suggests changes in how these papers are marked in the scientific record to reflect the fact that they have been retracted.