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  #581  
Old 19.02.2008, 13:04
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I'm a bloke, but I'm not sure how much of this is to do with the male/female divide and how much is more the boss/human being divide. During my PhD I got a lot more useful help from postdocs and the like than from most of the so called 'big men'. I never had woman for a boss mind you, so I can't compare.

Last edited by ommthree; 19.02.2008 at 13:05. Reason: Added last sentence.
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  #582  
Old 19.02.2008, 13:43
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Here is a question only vaguely related to science itself--but nonetheless relevant:

I cannot communicate with my male bosses. I feel like they never value what I say, tell me to do one thing one week and act like I'm an idiot if I bring it up in the future, shoot down my ideas, and never give the input or guidance I ask for, aside from to say, "You should have done it like this" or "Why did you waste so much time on that?" I try very hard not to take it personally, because, intellectually, I know it's nothing personal, but as my PhD is my baby right now, this is easier said than done. I end up just avoiding them and going to other people for help....but sometimes it's the bosses' help that I really need.

I know why--it's because I am a woman and communication is fundamentally different for men and women, probably also I'm a young scientist and they are a lot more experienced.

My question is, what can I do about it? I'm interested if other Ladies of Science also find this a problem...maybe it's a major problem for me right now because I'm in the final stages of my Ph.D. I know I'd like a career in science if only I could handle dealing with other scientists :-P

Meh, I don't buy it. As this is your PhD, I would imagine your experience with other academic advisors is somewhat limited. It's not a male/female thing it's probably a you/him thing. One of the keys to being a successful PhD student is figuring out how to deal with your advisor in a way that allows you to get what you need.

It's also quite common to hate your PhD advisor more and more the closer you get to defending. It happened to me, it's happened to many other people I know. How you feel about him will change. That being said, perhaps you might look internally and figure out if he has valid reasons for asking you those questions.

Being a successful female scientist is not for the meek. If your boss is asking you why you wasted time on something you should be able to make him understand why you did what you did. Stand up for yourself, own your actions.
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  #583  
Old 19.02.2008, 18:58
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Re: Ask a Scientist

An article on choosing one's research advisor: http://chronicle.com/jobs/2000/01/2000010702c.htm
Of course, you already have one, but it might help you to understand where he's coming from.

Funnily enough, I wished my advisor was an ars***le -- instead, he's a really nice and understanding guy...

Btw, do you know the PHD piled higher and deeper comic strip by Jorge Cham? I found it therapeutic in a humourous way, at some point during my research.

Last edited by Cochrane; 19.02.2008 at 19:08. Reason: extra text added
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  #584  
Old 22.02.2008, 17:08
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Believe it or not, some chemists do have a sense of humour, and this page is a testament to that.

Last edited by gooner; 05.03.2008 at 09:50.
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  #585  
Old 22.02.2008, 17:18
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I had an interview with a researcher who offered me a project studying ring strain in arsoles. comedy.

Being a chemist, I even made my own comic strip (which I haven't added to for a month) which I posted earlier upthreaad, but here's the link:

http://www.tonykeenebirds.co.uk/dfp/dfp1.html
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  #586  
Old 22.02.2008, 17:29
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Keep the updates coming.. they're really good.
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  #587  
Old 04.03.2008, 15:55
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Time for another practical drinking-related question...

If one shakes a bottle of champagne or a can of beer then the contents will explode everywhere once it is opened. How long does the shaken bottle/can need to be at rest before it will settle down to normal? And is there some kind of formula for calculating how long it needs to be left for?

eg bottle of capacity x at temperature y will need to rest for time z before it is safe to open.

Failing that, is there some proven way for speeding up the settling process? eg freezing the shaken bottle or getting someone else to open it?
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  #588  
Old 04.03.2008, 21:57
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Re: Ask a Scientist

As a fizzicist with a copy of "Bubbles, drops and pearls" by the Nobel Prize winner Pierre Gilles de Gennes on my bookshelf, I thought I'd better have a shot at this.

When you shake the can or bottle, it generates lots of little bubbles that collect on the surface. When you open the bottle, the pressure drop causes them to expand really fast. No shaking = no bubbles until you open, so the foam rises slower.

The effect will disappear as soon as the little bubbles are gone. How long that takes depends... bubbles in pure water only last a second (watch as your bath is running). Bubbles in protein-rich Guinness last longer than it takes you to drink it.

Cheers!
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  #589  
Old 05.03.2008, 07:10
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I guess fizz or beer is a CO2-saturated solution. Shaking the can/bottle may cause the gas to come out of solution. But it doesn't seem as simple as that - there must be a phase diagram involved as well, because opening the can/bottle changes the pressure inside the can/bottle.

How long does it take the gas to go back into solution, (or to settle down), and is there a way to accelerate the process?
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  #590  
Old 05.03.2008, 08:57
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Hi Saharanz

You may wish to edit your post because clicking on the link returns a "page not found" dialogue. I noticed that the URL you supplied has two "http's" at the start. It shows in the address bar like this:

http://http//www.chm.bris.ac.uk/sillymolecules/sillymols.htm

Just knock off the http// and Voila!!

Funny page by the way

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  #591  
Old 05.03.2008, 09:20
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Shaking a carbonated beverage causes the formation of bubbles on the walls of the bottle or can. In cans you can reverse this by pressing the wall with a finger or two. The dents effect a dissolution of bubbles. I've tried it and it mostly works.
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  #592  
Old 05.03.2008, 09:52
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Re: Ask a Scientist


I fixed the link, that gave me a good laugh.
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  #593  
Old 05.03.2008, 21:08
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Anyone in chemistry (and probably a great deal who aren't) will understand this...

http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/nanos...no_grants.html

The worst thing is that so much funding goes on this crap.
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  #594  
Old 05.03.2008, 22:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I take it that you're complaining about crappy research projects on which money is being wasted, rather than the money spent on nanoscience in general...

The website reminded me of the even better Computer Science paper generator: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/ . Generated papers come with LaTeXed version and are complete with pictures, graphs and references to other "own" articles!
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  #595  
Old 16.03.2008, 20:40
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Which brings me to another question--any nutritionists/biochemists out there? Glucose is the sugar used by the body, the most quickly metabolized.
I recently started doing resistance exercise at a gym. I read on the internet that glucose promotes rapid post-exercise recovery.

My question: Must I buy expensive "nutrition" products from a sports shop? Or is cheaper "generic" glucose available in a grocery or pharmacy?

Thanks to the nutritionists/chemists/athletes who know.
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  #596  
Old 16.03.2008, 22:51
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I'm sure the cheap stuff is fine. Most of what you buy in sports stores & other fancy outlets is vastly overpriced and not bringing any added value.

I wonder if what you read is correct. How much does it really matter between sucrose/glucose/HFCS?

I went for a pretty tough 2 hour bike ride early this morning on an empty stomach. Afterwards I ate three bits of toast & marmelade and felt fine...
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  #597  
Old 16.03.2008, 23:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

There is consistent research and advise on the urgency of preventing glycogen deficiency after intensive exercise. Such deficiency causes muscle tissue to be cannibalised. That is highly undesirable for those who do not have much muscle or want/need more.

For cycling performance tips, see:
http://www.cptips.com/cmplxcb.htm
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  #598  
Old 17.03.2008, 18:05
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Re: Ask a Scientist

There's been quite a bit of info and discussion on water quality both here and in the Swiss Tap Water thread but is there a good website providing the mineral breakdown of ground water and / or tap water in Switzerland beyond the concentration of calcium? I'd like to know about sodium, suplphate, bicarbonate, etc.
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  #599  
Old 17.03.2008, 18:16
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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There's been quite a bit of info and discussion on water quality both here and in the Swiss Tap Water thread but is there a good website providing the mineral breakdown of ground water and / or tap water in Switzerland beyond the concentration of calcium? I'd like to know about sodium, suplphate, bicarbonate, etc.
Are these sites any good?

http://www.trinkwasser.ch
http://www.wasserqualitaet.ch/

Sorry, I forgot to mention that these sites only offer French, German and Italian.

Last edited by JVC; 17.03.2008 at 18:21. Reason: Languages available
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Old 17.03.2008, 18:22
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Re: Ask a Scientist

First one is pretty poor - I googled that before posting and got quite excited by it's url - not great though.

The second one looks interesting.... but on the train it's misbehaving so it will have to wait half an hour or so.
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