Sunday
Nov282010

Pew Survey on Mobile Health

According to a recent Pew Internet Survey:

 

Most people turn to a health professional, friend, or family member when they have a health question; the internet plays a growing but still supplemental role -- and mobile connectivity has not changed that´╗┐.

 

It's an interesting conclusion, but considering that accessing health information through mobile devices wasn't really feasible until a few years ago, the 17% figure* is impressive.  It'll only go up.

The report (pdf).

* # of cell phone users who have used their device to look up health info

Saturday
Nov272010

Experience and Peer-Review

An interesting read on the purported decline in performance of peer reviewers as they gain experience.   Yes - age and its associated declines makes sense:

 

Other than the well-documented cognitive decline of humans as they age, there are other important possible causes of deterioration of performance that may play a role among scientific reviewers. Examples include premature closure of decisionmaking, less compliance with formal structural review requirements, and decay of knowledge base with time (ie, with aging more of the original knowledge base acquired in training becomes out of date).

 

But twas a loss of motivation that first popped to my mind:

 

Competing career activities and loss of motivation as tasks become too familiar may contribute as well, by decreasing the time and effort spent on the task. Some research has concluded that the decreased productivity of scientists as they age is due not to different attributes or access to resources but to “investment motivation.”


At some point reviewers must start seeing it as more of a chore than as a philanthropic service to the community. 

(via Retraction Watch)

Tuesday
Oct192010

Demonstrating the Curve of the Base Ball in the Lecture Room (1899)

Found this in PubMed (PMID: 17829932) and couldn't resist:

 

The limited space in the lecture room, and the presence of one's audience makes a demonstration of curve pitching difficult even if one has the necessary skill.  If the curve is to be made at all apparent in a limited space the ball must be exceedingly light, and the axial rotation very rapid.

 

Sounds like RW Wood's late 19th C lecture hall was the place to be. 

Monday
Oct182010

"In Praise of Copying" (Boon 70)

A new book by a York University professor (Marcus Boon).  Available as a free download.


My goal in this book is to account for our fear of and fascination with copying. I argue that copying is a fundamental part of being human, that we could not be human without copying, and that we can and should celebrate this aspect of ourselves, in full awareness of our situation. Copying is not just something human—it is a part of how the universe functions and manifests. The issue of regulating copying, of setting up laws restricting or encouraging copying, is secondary to that of recognizing the omnipresence and nature of copies and copying in human societies—and beyond.


(via Michael Geist)

Saturday
Oct162010

MHSLA '10

Earlier this week I attended the annual MHSLA conference.  As a first-timer. Was great experience.  Exceeded my expectations.  One of the better conferences I've attended.   And, I'll definitely attend next year.  

One of the sessions I attended was Christine Tobias's Tech Tools talk.  She listed a # of online tools potentially useful for health sciences librarians.  I hadn't heard of many and will try out one or two.  Her slides: