Apr. 16th, 2012

terriko: Evil Soup (evil soup)
This post about kettles is strangely fascinating:

To raise the tem­per­ature of one litre of water from 15°C to boiling at 100°C requires a little bit over 355 kilo­joules of energy. An “average” kettle in the UK runs at about 2800 W and in the US at about 1500 W; if we assume that both kettles are 100% effi­cient† then a UK kettle sup­plying 2800 joules per second will take 127 seconds to boil and a US kettle sup­plying 1500 J/s will take 237 seconds, more than a minute and a half longer. This is such a problem that many house­holds in the US still use an old-fashioned stove-top kettle.


I actually did have people ask why I have a stove-top kettle back when I was in Ottawa. I usually said it was just habit (true) and I just didn't have space for another appliance (true) and then later when I wound up with a free electric kettle, I'd tell them that my electric kettle was terrifying (also true), but now I realize I could have said it was all about voltage and seemed *way* more into the science of my tea.

I'm doubting that all of us who use stove-top kettles actually thought about it that way, though. It's just what I was used to. I only switched a few months ago when an electric kettle was all I had while my stuff was in transit. And even if I'd cared, I might not have noticed a difference since water boils around 85°C here instead of 100°C (woo! Altitude helps protect me from burnt tongue!)

... all that said, I almost always boil water in the microwave now. 55s to hot chocolate!
terriko: I am a serious academic (Twlight Sparkle looking confused) (Serious Academic)
A while ago, I saw a mention in a UNM newsletter about Google Scholar profiles and decided to give it a try. Like many people in my field, I already keep a list of publications on my website, but this had graphs! Citation counts! I wasn't too sure about this whole social-media-for-researchers aspects, but I like graphs.

I had totally forgotten about it 'till a few days ago when I got a reminder email, and upon looking at my profile I was pleased to see that my very first paper now has 60 citations. Sixty!

For context, the average citation rate in computer science was 3.75 from the period 2000-2010 (Source: Times Higher Education), and even the average citation rate for science in general was 10.81. So 60 seems awesome, even if average may be a weird number for something that I know is a power law distribution. Still, go me! I've got a few above-average papers, mostly the spam work (I was the first to apply artificial immunology to the spam problem, so subsequent people working in that space generally cite me) but I notice that SOMA's almost made it up to 30 citations, and that's the first of my papers in the web space.

It's still a pretty modest accomplishment in the grand scheme of things. Check out Paul's list or Steph's list if you want to feel small, but those are both totally amazing, exceptional people who run whole labs. For my weight class as a newly minted PhD, I'm happy enough, but I need to do more...

So now to take that pride and turn it into a totally awesome, citation-worthy paper summing up my remaining thesis work!

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terriko

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