Hey, here’s another one! The University of Cincinnati school paper has a bit entitled “Ecstasy might be linked to mental deficits” by one Gin A. Ando.

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I have been a bit distracted and keep forgetting to remind you that the DonorsChoose Social Media Challenge is coming to a close. If you keep meaning to donate to one of our selected projects or those of another ScienceBlogger (or heck, any project at all), now’s the time. The challenge ends at the end of the month. As always, don’t be too shy to donate even a little bit. Every $5 or even $1 inches those projects that much closer to funding. And I won’t lie, I love the idea of lots of people getting involved, even if they don’t have a huge amount to give.
I’m looking forward to the end of the fundraising drive because I get to distribute some Reader Appreciation Prizes to some of our reader/contributors.
CapTshirt1.jpgTshirtBack1.jpg Don’t forget to forward me your confirmation if you want to enter the drawing. Even if you don’t fancy wearing our nameplate, you’ll be able to shop at a selected number of other Sb’er schwagshops as well. So go donate, help some kids learn a little more science and throw your hat in the ring for a thank you from Your Humble Narrator.

I thought one of the Twitts that I follow was intentionally baiting me by linking a recent editorial in Nature Neuroscience. Turns out I am very pleasantly surprised by the degree of balance. For background, this editorial takes up the hoopla over the practice of the NIH in using out-of-initial-priority-score exceptions (aka “pickups”) to fund investigators who have never held a major NIH research grant before. I had observations here and here. To summarize, I am usually disappointed with the lack of understanding of the NIH grant business displayed by media accounts of this particular nuance of the funding picture.
Nature Neuroscience appears to grasp nuance, bravo.

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Entertain me

October 27, 2009

The person who posts a link to a blog related to substance abuse or publicly funded science careers that 1) I have not seen before* and 2) that most amuses me by the end of the day wins a Reader Appreciation Prize. Reference to your own blog counts.
that is all.
*or at least can’t recall

I ran across an article in a college newspaper, I think via a Google news search for “MDMA”. Cause I do that. The article is “Rocking and Rolling: An Inside Look at SoCal’s Rave Culture” in the University of California, Irvine paper under the byline of one Stephanie Vatz. My original response was via a Twitt:

drugmonkeyblog So completely full of FAIL that I don’t even know where to start. http://tinyurl.com/yz6gmlg #MDMA

I then started wasting my time Twitting one-liner objections but then a comment by @dr_leigh (who you really should be following) started me thinking about the changing nature of college journalism.

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Indirect Cost Snooping

October 26, 2009

I had a query from a reader today which put me onto something new. So I though a few of my readers might like the opportunity for yet more time wasting critical career-related research.
One of the many past times of the NIH-funded research scientist is best described as…whinging…about indirect costs. Otherwise known as “overhead”, the indirect costs of an NIH award are that bit of extra cash above and beyond the amount needed for the actual conduct of the research plan that is awarded to the University.
Scientists are exceptionally fond of one particular complaint which is “Where in the hell is my overhead going since you re-charge me for every dang thing I can think of that might be overhead costs?” Arguing about local mistreatment of your heroic golden goose scientist is all fun and games but there is another complaint which is even more entertaining because of inter-institutional warfare. It goes something like this:

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It is Red Ribbon Week

October 23, 2009

“What is that”, you ask.
I hadn’t heard of it until a couple of years ago either, which is strange.
The Red Ribbon Coalition site claims:

Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and brutal murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.


The following year the California State PTA adopted the Red Ribbon Week campaign. Then, in 1988, Red Ribbon Week was recognized nationally with President Ronald and First Lady Nancy Reagan serving as the first Honorary Chairs.
Today, the Red Ribbon Week brings millions of people together to raise awareness regarding the need for alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention, early intervention, and treatment services. It is the largest, most visible prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States.

So I ask, have you ever heard of this campaign, DearReader? Ever participated in any events at your kids’ school or what not?