Sunday, May 27, 2007

sneak preview?

Ah ha ha yes... on Friday I'm off to Uganda - here's the mammal list for Kibale.

Who's excited? I am.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Squashy hat and VLSB
Originally uploaded by sjryan3.
Almost a year after filing, I decided to go back and get the official "walk" done... I think the outfit quite suits me, don't you?

i am in ur dictionaries

i am in ur dictionaries
Originally uploaded by thewbert.
I'm still all in on the ur meme.

my d00ds are all about Bayes these days. I should talk to them more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Here we go; where are we going?

I'm going to go and grab my doctoral scroll tomorrow at Berkeley - just because I want to wear the squashy hat and have my mum take pictures. They will be posted. I'm sure they will be frightening.

On June 1st I'm heading out for two months to Uganda, Namibia, South Africa and Ghana. This morning I looked at my tickets and realised that I'm flying from Ghana to Johannesburg the day after I leave Joburg for England. Complicated. No matter, I don't even have my passport right now, so it's not that relevant. Perhaps I might want a secretary one day.

I'm also swimming in a sea of vaccinations... It turns out that a full 10 years have elapsed since the first time I needed to get all shot up for Africa. Oh Joy. The Stanford travel clinic claim that I now hold a record of some kind for shots in one shot... for $800, I should damn well think so!

In addition, my discovery of pyrethin (Permethin?) treated bednets at Boots in England is still the prime source. Fortunately one can import them with mum.

However, every blog needs some meat to chew on: there's some interesting debate afoot:
In the community assemblage debate, wherein one looks at presence/absence matrices and tests some kind of model to see if competition is shaping the community, or "random chance"; there is huge debate. Raging for the last 25 years or so.
Solution: find a post-doc at Santa Fe Institute who actually knows about traditional probability and statistics and let them have at the argument. PHEW!! So instead of saying that the models and the tests are wrong, it's now "what's the question?". Yes, we never considered that! The process should determine the questions and actually be laid out as such. Hmph. Is this philosophical? Highly. (and don't even get him started on definitions of words like "random" and "chance" - apparently we ecologists are much too glib and don't really know what we're up to!).

So we should ask: where are we going? Enter some answers and set it up right, and Here we go!
However, the current state of affairs certainly makes for wonderfully snarky conversations in the sunshine down here in Bucolia.

If you have any null models in ecology that might posess similar qualms, I'd be delighted to hear about them.