Monthly Archives: June 2010

OpEn YoUr EaRs aNd LiStEn! ComSci on the Radio!

My favourite source of information is the Radio. I can’t get enough of listening. And my newly named and invented genre what i just did make up this second ‘ComSci’ is my favouritist of things. Science meets comedy. I’m sure there’s a better merging of names to be found but it’s going to be Comsci for now. 🙂

I’d like to spend a few mins just recommending some brilliant, funny, and often very informative shows (by that I mean you may not learn facts and figures, but they will make you think!)

1) *New* The Infinite Monkey Cage. Why listen? Well ROBIN INCE! and sexy sexy science man Prof Brian Cox are the hosts, for one. And for another, they get some fantastic guest on board to discuss some mind bogglingly good shit each week 🙂

2) Genuis wacky creativity of the public, combined with the optimistic cynicism of Dave Gorman = Glorious.

3) Museum of Curiosity a brilliant show, with the sweet Jon Richardson taking over from Sean Lock, who replaced Bill Bailey as museum curator. Wonderfully interesting guests with genuine sincerity about thier donations to the museum. I always learn at least one new thing a week from this program. Best episode ever was one with Sir Terry Pratchet.

4) Science in Action – from BBC world service. Useful and playful look at the study mentioned in the Blind to Change blog post earlier.

Just type Science into Iplayer. Or browse around a bit you’ll find stuff. Some television programmes can be great too for this sort of thing, but have a tendency to be patronising, particularly if the involve richard hammond. I never find that with the radio shows.

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Blind to Change..?
Recent news story covering work at Queen Mary’s uni London. Quite nice that they’ve put little video clips up of the stimulus so you can try to spot the differences yourself. I’d like to say I saw all three changes instantly, but if I’m being honest I didn’t see a single one. It wasn’t until it was pointed out to me that I saw it. Clearly I’m very ‘blind to change’. I’m not sure this is purley visual though, clearly the whole experiment is from an attentional perspective. Would be interesting to see if they’ve conducted it using the same paradigm within different sample populations. A fair amount of attentional work for example looks for attentional differences between people with autism and those without.
Also I wonder how applicable a 26 second clip of changing scenes can be to real life. If you were to change something subtle on a persons route to work for example it would most likely be quite obvious to them. As oppose to changing a fraction of a picture that they’d never seen before. The role of representational memory must be of some importance, a sort of template for expectation and an error feedback is what allows for noticing a change? Perhaps. Just waffling now.

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Joining the Real World- Take One

So I have applied for a grand total of 6 jobs so far, not as many as I should have really. I just felt I should keep score of how those applications and future ones go, and where better to do this than on my science based blog. All the posts have been for ‘research assistant’ or ‘assistant psychologist’ roles. I’m not sure if my MSc will qualify me to do anything beyond this, or even if it has qualified me to do those jobs in the first place! It might have been helpful to have had a tailor made carers talk some time ago but I assume the suggestion would have been to go straight into a PhD, which I definitely don’t want to do right away, well maybe definitely. I guess if something amazing crosses my path during all my google job searching then I might consider applying, but I’d rather work for someone else for a year than do my own project for three.
So on that bright and hopeful note, I’m off to search yet again for anything new that hasn’t got an immediate start date, that doesn’t want a postgraduate PhD student, and is okay with very little research experience.. wish me luck.

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