It’s been a while since we took a swing around our local souk to see what’s stirring. In this morning’s New York Times, a story appears about scientific jiggery-pokery, but not in regard to research misconduct. The misconduct occurred after the research, which itself was conducted very, very well. It’s a matter of who gets credit for one of the great, really great, medical discoveries of the 20th century:streptomycin, the perfect drug for treating TB. Selman A. Waksman got the Nobel, the kudos and a nice share of the royalties accruing from the sales of the drug. But, there was another guy in the picture, and more to the point in the lab, a Dr. Schatz. He disputed Waksman’s claim to be the sole discoverer, and went to court about it. He prevailed and Rutgers and Waksman had to give him credit and a share. It was all very nasty and grubby, but the point here is that an alert archivist discovered some crucially important notebooks in the archives, where they had lain in an unopened box for years and years. Now, what happened in the lab at Rutgers can finally come to light.
Apple had a big show unveiling various things, including a Macbook Pro with Retina screen. This is a very nice machine, but the figure written on the price tag is going to scare some people off.The whole Macbook product fleet has been redone and there are a several machines at different prices with different loads. IO6 was previewed and drew appreciative oohs! and aahs!
The Swiss Army knife was officially registered this day in 1897 as an accessory for, well, troops in the Swiss Army. Soldiers entering the service are still issued with a version of the item, which has transmogrified almost beyond recognition.Switzerland by the way has conscription and a very long period of military eligibility. Troops keep their weapons at home and are supposed to be ready for call-up at very short notice. It seemed to me that there were soldiers everywhere, on train station platforms, on the march, but that’s because the reserve units exercise frequently, so there’s always somebody coming and going.
And finally, a shout from Open Access Alley, because the merchants there have been complaining about neglect. It seems that two gentlemen Peter Binfeld and Jason Hoyt have come together to found a new Open Access journal which they are calling PeerJ. A new scientific journal seems about as necessary as another Starbucks, but there is a catch: this one will offer OA manuscript vetting and publication for the sum of $99. Yes it does sound a little strange, but, read on:
OK , I think we’ll head back to the Palace now, since Our Grateful Subjects have had a chance to see that We are aware of them and their doings. Peace