Showing posts from October, 2015

10 Phrases to Avoid

1.     That’s the way we have always done it. Some people ask why; others ask why not; yet others are happy with the status quo. 2.     I did what you told me to do. The implication is that it is not your fault that you messed up something but that of your supervisor for not maintaining a constant vigil. 3.     I’m not feeling well enough. All of us go under the weather sometimes. A few have to live with genuine medical issues. However, using this as an excuse for inaction is the pinnacle of being unprofessional . 4.     It is none of your business. Really? This is the 21 st century. Your competitors probably know your “secrets” better than your colleagues. Refusing to share relevant information is a hangover from colonial days.   5.     That was my idea. Ideas are great. How about some execution? 6.     That’s not my job. Applies only to government officials. For the rest of us, everything is a part of the

2015 Ig Nobel Prizes - "Celebrating" Improbable Research

  “The Ig Nobel awards are arguably the highlight of the scientific calendar.” – Nature This is the Nobel season. Awards for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, and Literature have been announced. I will write about the Nobel in another column. This column is about the Ig Nobel Prizes – awarded last month. Founded in 1991 (and now in its 25 th year) the Ig Nobel is about celebrating improbable research – research that makes people laugh and then think . Real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere, good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless, is collected, filtered, and the “best” (?) ones are chosen for the honor. The award ceremony is held at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater, followed by public lectures at MIT. Here’s the most improbable part of the event: Real Nobel Laureates present the Awards. Here are the 2015 winning proposals with a brief description of the research. For details, references, and acceptance speeches, visit