Podcast Gems 11 – Jan 27, 2012: Dr Sacchetti on Emergency Medicine, Library Evolution, MindFlex Game, Master Class Violinist, Beyond the Book series, HTTP vs MQTT, and Sanctions Value

In episode #22 of “This Week in Microbiology,” Dr Alfred Sacchetti, Chief of Emergency Services at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden, New Jersey, talks for over two hours with a virologist and a microbiologist about trends, treatments and problems in the emergency room during the treatment of thousands of cases, annually. Here’s you will learn how heated milk bottles were once used on boils, the origin of the term “clap”, prevalence of toothaches, gangrene, pneumonia, MRSA, and STD’s.

Libraries are the topic of a two-hour discussion by Stephen Abram from Gale Cengage Learning, a world leader in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses, discusses general library technology, research databases, crowd sourcing, ebooks, library innovation, and library website development for over two hours at Bibliotech (http://bit.ly/yvwe9F). His company creates and maintains more than 600 databases that are published online, in print, as eBooks and in microform.

MindFlex is a game that uses brain waves to control a small ball suspended on a column of air. Fifteen minutes into a 50 minute broadcast, “Wired for Thought”, from seti.org a detailed ten-minute discussion about the game and its implications is presented.  The game sells for as little as $50 online at places like this one, but be aware the principals involved are questioned on YouTube and in Amazon.com reviewers. Here’s a nine minute YouTube evaluation by three neuroscientists. Following the MindFlex segment is another talk about the Human Connectome Project that’s investigating how the brain is wired. The site has still shots and videos representing various ways of examining the brain. If that interests you, another podcast running about 51 minutes, done in 2009, about the Allen Institute for Brain Research in Seattle is at BSP 61. In 2009 the institute was creating a map of the human brain to show what genes are active at any given location. The implications for neuroscience research, and the unique career challenges of working in the non-profit biotech industry are discussed.

Pinchas Zukerman, one of the world’s greatest violinists, is conductor of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. He regularly conducts master classes over the internet from a broom closet. How and why he can even teach in countries that block personal visits are explained in this 54 minute episode at Master Class.

Beyond the Book is a site that to date has produced about 273 podcasts, starting in 2006, and producing about twenty-five annually. I looked at summaries starting in 2011 until now and selected nineteen to hear. Of those six are worth recommending, as follows: the first, “Twitter by the Numbers” is on page four, lasts eighteen minutes and talks about how it is used, value to authors and publishers, how to access, and how to apply and manage time on it efficiently using such apps as Hoot Suite a social media dashboard, or TweetDeck.

“E-magination 2011,” the second selection, is 42 minutes long under Best of BTB at 42 min, evolution of e-books, e-readers, use of twitter, varied e-reader formats, iPad vs Kindle, US vs India, publication of an e-book on Twitter and ElectricLiterature.com Reference is also made to overdrive.com where over 150 devices are listed with the types of files they can read (PDF, Kindle, OEPub, MP3, OPDF, WMA, WMV ) so you can see what files will work on the Kindle or iPad or iPhone, etc.

Number three is “Self-publishing” where over eighteen minutes you’ll learn that Kindle is used most often for books and fiction prevails while non-fiction users who often apply the information on the job prefer hard copy. Self publishing boot camps exist! You also need an editor and cover designer so you don’t make such mistakes as having odd numbers on the left pages instead of the right, omitting a copyright notice and using unathorized images.

Writing and publishing scientific papers is number four, called “The Doctors Book Is In” and lasts 21 minutes by the author of a book on the subject. When it first appeared in 1979, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper outlined the basic structure of scientific articles, and detailed the basics of good scientific writing style. A generation later, the basics remain, but the writing and publishing process has evolved from the days of typewriters and printed galley.

Number five, “Copyright and Commerce” is 76 minutes with a three person panel that discusses SOPA, orphan works, non-profit vs commercial use, fair use of photos,  small claims alternative to litgation by owners, and the Hathi Trust, a very large-scale collaborative repository of digital content including content digitized via the Google Books project, Internet Archive digitization initiatives, and content digitized locally by libraries. One panelist points out that about 80% of images appearing on the internet are unauthorized.

European versus US mindsets is the theme of episode six, here, for fifteen minutes. Once upon a time, there were only two kinds of books — good books, and all the others. In recent years, though, books have rapidly changed and soon the distinction will be difficult. While printed books endure, many wonder how long. Hard copy now is often combined with an online supplement. The curation concept is discussed, and the 200 year history of dueling. You will also learn how “ginger nuts,” the sausage of cookies, were made.

Dr Ben Goldacre at a TED (Technology Education and Design)Talk discusses bad science with examples of each type in a fourteen minute video that cannot be downloaded, but can be played in the background with an audio recorder running to save the result for later listening. Ben Goldacre has degrees in clinical medicine and philosophy. He currently works as an academic in epidemiology and writes a weekly column, Bad Science, for The Guardian. You’ll see the download site is run by the Royal Institute of Britain where other videos are available, but Dr Goldacre’s talk was the most interesting item in the batch.

Dr Goldacre is a regular guest on the BBC Radio 4 Science Unit. Other podcasts from there include two 30-minute sessions devoted to placebos. Studies suggest the placebo effect can have a significant impact on the course of a wide range of illnesses, including depression, irritable bowel syndrome and angina. Dr Goldacre looks at the growing body of research into the placebo effect, and explores the factors influencing the strength of the placebo response. You can listen and record Part 1 and Part 2 but I couldn’t find a place where the files can be downloaded. Here’s the BBC location, if you wish to try.

Raj Patel argues for 54 minutes that the only way to feed everyone is to completely rethink agriculture at Feeding Ten Billion from his book The Value of Nothing.

Economic sanctions work, sometimes, but most likely on small rather than large countries as discussed for 23 minutes on Planet Money here. That they were used against Haiti with undesired effects is noted towards the end of the session.

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About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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