S#*@ scientists say

How do you define "aerosol", or "manipulation"? What about "organic", "mutant" and "confidence"?

The truth is that scientists often say words that do not mean what the general public thinks they mean. And that's a problem. If you're not speaking the same language, miscommunication is inevitable. There's a new paper up in Physics Today, which argues that it's the responsibility of all scientists to think about the colloquial meanings of words and talk in a way the public can understand.

But here's the first step: Making it clear to scientists which words cause communication problems. You can see the list from the Physics Today paper above. Meanwhile, the Southern Fried Science blog has added to the collection, and Southern Fried Science blogger Andrew Thaler is looking for more suggestions. You can add words that you think scientists and public use differently to Thaler's Google Docs spreadsheet. If you've got a good alternative for a confusing word, add that, too.

Via Mountain Beltway Read the rest

Douglas Adams lecture

Her's an 80-minute Douglas Adams lecture entitled "Parrots, the universe and everything from the University of California in 2001.

Douglas Adams: Parrots, the universe and everything

(Thanks, Arkizzle!)

Previously: Douglas Adams lecture: "Is there an artificial god?" Douglas Adams's HITCHIKER'S typewriter for sale: ... Buy the typewriter on which Douglas Adams wrote Hitchhiker's Guide ... Douglas Adams meets Dr. Who Douglas Adams on the now-extinct Baiji dolphin Zaphod Beeblebrox-inspired teddy bears from Douglas Adams fan-club ... RIP, Douglas Adams. Aw, crap. Tomorrow is Towel Day, for Douglas Adams Read the rest

Everything I need to know I learned from D&D

Chad sez, "Last night I gave a talk at IgniteOKC, Oklahoma City's part of the Ignite series of talking events, called 'All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Dungeons and Dragons.' I had a ton of fun with it and I think it will be of interest to any fans of roleplaying games in general and D&D specifically. I am especially proud of my slides, which are all hand drawn by me :)"

This was an absolutely sweet little talk -- Chad, you should put your slides online separately, since they're a little hard to make out in the video.

All I need to know about life I learned from Dungeons and Dragons - an IgniteOKC talk

(Thanks, Chad!)

Previously: Portrait of the blogger as a young D&D addict Steampunk D&D Beholder sculpture - Boing Boing Dungeons & Dragons Creator Gary Gygax Passes Away; Interview on ... D&D-style map of C++ - Boing Boing Election 08 as a Dungeons and Dragons campaign - Boing Boing Sleazy proposed new Dungeons and Dragons license seeks to poison ... New Dungeons and Dragons license less sleazy than I believed ... Flowchart: How D&D is a gateway drug to every flavor of nerdiness ... Origami D&D miniatures - Boing Boing Read the rest