Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday fun fest

Time for a few more light hearted links before we can launch into the weekend proper:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Two giant stalking things

"Disease and depravation stalk our land like... two giant stalking things."
- Edmund Blackadder

Well, the two giant stalking things on my radar today (I do have a radar, it makes me look like a Teletubby) are these two stories, one good, one decidely less so.

  • Quantum computation expert Dave Bacon (aka The Quantum Pontiff) has announced the launch of - a digg-like service for arXiv papers - in this humorous posting. This is a very exciting development and could let some of the better papers in arXiv rise to the top and get more attention than they currently do.

  • A frankly depressing report from Nature on "PR's pit bull" discrediting open access publishing. Peter Suber (see comments) provides the incredulity felt by many.
I think we'll see what advice filtered through to the major publishers in public statements/press releases over the next few months. My guess is that - following this expose - they won't be able to use these arguments even if they wanted to.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Misc., various, assorted.

Amid the lashing rain and high winds currently turning much of the UK into a maelstrom (OK - it's a bit wet and breezy) there were a plethora of great posts and links in my Google Reader this morning. I have been very good and condensed these down for you:

Work continues apace on PhysMath Central - get in touch if you want to be involved in any capacity.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Good arrows!

It's been a while - but I'm happy to get back in the blogging saddle with a roundup of what's been on my mind for the last week or so.

First of all, congratulations to Martin 'Wolfie' Adams for finally winning the World Darts Championship. In a thrilling best-of-13 sets final, Adams went 6-0 up before the break, but then lost the next 6 sets to Phil 'Nixy' Nixon. He finally held it together in the final set to win 7-6. It's a funny old game, darts. Many people dislike it or have a strong indifference to it, but that's usually because they haven't watched it. I got my wife to watch it with me and she was hooked. Next time you have the chance, tune in and get carried away with the silly nicknames, 180's and 'Let's Play Darts' chanting and general friendliness of the whole competition.

Physics World currently has a special issue on the forthcoming publishing revolution in physics, stemming from an adoption of web2.0 services for online journals. Some articles are free to read online, but you'll need the paper copy to read all about it(!). PhysMath Central will, of course, be a central player here. Some examples of our intentions are spelt out in this interview with First Author: BioMed Central Branches Out.

Finally, FlashEarth is a great mapping application that lets you switch between Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and Microsoft Earth on the fly. Sometimes the simple ideas are the best!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Back to normal

It feels like a long time since my last post - due in part to the holiday season, but also because of a somewhat disabling back problem, which finally seems to have cleared up. However I spent much of Christmas and New Year flat on my back (and not due to over-indulgence on the sherry!)

I was going to post a round-up of the end-of-year posts from other maths and physics blogs, but the moment has passed, so I'll wave goodbye to them and assume you read them elsewhere.

More current goings-on:
  • The new issue of Science is a special issue on astroparticle physics. Well worth looking at.
  • Great post from Mark Liberman at Language Log on 'executable' articles. I am particularly interested to how this would translate to physics and maths articles.
  • Heart-warming, real-life hero story from the New York Times.
That's it for now. We are busy recruiting editorial board members for our first journals in high-energy & particle physics, condensed matter, AMO, applied & nonlinear physics. If you or a colleague would be interested in joining the open-access revolution - get in touch with me at this email address: chris.leonard [at]