Lynette “Medley” Millett has released the 1999 Medley Medals, and I’m grateful that GeneHack was noted. Thanks Lynette! I think I’m a regular reader of all the other sites that she’s mentioned, and I also recommend them highly. Now onward with the sharp topical commentary you all know and love…

My parents have been talking about buying a computer, and I was going to get them a book on PC selection and/or getting on the Internet for Christmas. However, the thought of Mom spam makes me hesitate just a little bit – I’ve already got a couple of ‘those people’ already; I’m not sure if I can take another.

This web site featuring all kinds of Microarray Resources is just getting started. Check it out and drop the maintainers some feedback, eh?

Also, you bioinfo hacker types looking for work might want to check out this lab. If I didn’t have something lined up, my CV would already be on its way to them.

So, let’s get this straight: Gengineered poplar trees are scary, but gengineered grass is a suburbanite’s dream come true. It’s good to see a rational response to new technology…

Via more 'bloggers than you can shake a stick at: Vermont Supreme Court backs same sex marriage. Good on them.

Also noted quite a few other places: Oral health may contribute to other disease. It certainly seems to make sense, but I have to ask: how carefully were other factors controlled for? It seems like people who don’t take good care of their teeth would be more likely to be poor or to neglect other aspects of their health care, and vice versa. I don’t work in the field, but it seems like controlling for that influence would rapidly become what we simple molecular biologists sometimes call a ‘bitch kitty’. Anybody out there who can shed some light on the methodology of the study?

Control Freak looks like an interesting little piece of work, for those of you running Linux and missing your floating palette launcher type apps.

Salon’s running a somewhat-interesting interview with Gary Larson. Like many geeks and scientists, I’m a big Gary Larson fan, although I agree that the quality was beginning to slip towards the end. Far Side, Bloom County, and Calvin & Hobbes – those were the days! (If you’re not catching the Calvin & Hobbes reruns, you’re missing out.)

Pedantic word usage comment the first: The whole time I was reading this otherwise wonderful rant about Dilbert-ism among college students, I was muttering to myself “Wally, not Dilbert, dammit”. As a complete aside, I will provide the data point that The Wife no longer questions me about episodes like this, or even looks at me curiously. Make of this what you will.

Pedantic word usage comment the second: Found linked from CamWorld, Seth Grodin’s rant on competence was not otherwise wonderful. In addition to applying a heavy semantic load to the word “competence”, which just isn’t justified – competence is an entirely different thing than mediocrity – Grodin also confuses issues of results (i.e., competence) with issues of process (i.e., being open to newer, different, and/or better ways of doing things). The further and further into the essay I read, the more difficult it became for me to make any sense of Grodin’s thesis, simply because of the overwhelmingly wrong way he talks about competence – let alone when he begins to trumpet the virtues of being incompetent. Suggested holiday gift for Mr. Grodin: dictionary.

Science, one of the leading journals, picked the top ten scientific advances of 1999. Genomics was the first runner-up, behind human stem cell research.

Pursuant to last week’s ( $the_wife == $speed_racer ) entry, when The Wife went to use the state’s web-based form to sign up for traffic school, she discovered that the form to transmit the sign-up info isn’t secure. This is an issue because in Arizona, as most other places, your driver’s license number is typically your Social Security number.

A small music note: I recently picked up Galaxie 500’s live album Copenhagen (because it was only $0.99 from my tape club). It’s very good; especially the guitar solo in Fourth of July.

I don’t link directly to Dave’s stuff all that often, but A Millennium Vignette is worth reading:

I don’t know this for sure, but it’s probably a tough time for almost everyone. There’s a lot of stress floating around now. Here’s a request. Let’s cut everyone else some slack for the next few weeks. When you think someone’s trying to do something to you, give it a moment’s pause and a deep breath and consider that we’re all going thru this together.

It’s like a graduation, but on a global scale. There’s never been anything like it. It’s never happened before, and in our lives it will never happen again. If you screw it up you won’t get another chance. So play it safe and assume everyone means well, and let it go at that.

**Navel gaze the first: ** rc3.org, one of my daily stops, got a nice makeover late last week.

**Navel gaze the second: ** First Jorn, now Wes. Whenever I see a picture of a 'blogger that I regularly read, they never look like I imagined – but I can’t figure out what I expected them to look like, either.

**Navel gaze the third: ** Somebody actually did a Google search on genehack yesterday (and clicked through, which is how I know about it). Interesting that there are over 300 hits returned, too. Next time it gets slow at work, I might browse through that list in backwards order and see if anything interesting comes of it.