I have decided to close down comments on the pine nut blog post. I have been meaning to do this for some time but people seemed to find it very useful, or even therapeutic, to be able to express their feelings and I figured I was providing something of a service in this respect. As we…Read More The Nuts Are Off!
These are some of my blood relations in 1906. The two guys on the right hand end of the second row down are Chadwicks and the first guy on the front row is a Nicklin.Read More More Relations
This is the graph you will not see presented often in the media – I had to make it up myself. It shows the proportion of the vote and the proportion of seats in the House of Commons both plotted together from the results of the May 2010 election (649 seats declared). The Conservatives only…Read More Why We Need Proportional Representation
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and…Read More Now what would a physicist know about taxonomy?
My blog post “Bitter taste after eating for days – caused by pine nuts?” has just past the 1,000 comments mark. Today’s count is 1,013. I have been thinking of trying to get funding to research a DNA barcoding system for pine nuts. I am sitting here surrounded by people working on DNA barcoding of…Read More On reaching 1,000 Comments.
This page on the NHS England website claims that eating fish oils (long chain Omega-3 I assume rather than any Omega-3) help prevent depression. It says: Omega-3 fatty acid Research has shown a link between the amount of a fish people in different countries eat and the level of depression. In Japan, where people eat…Read More Fish Oils Contradictions
Although there are standards for abbreviation of author names (notably Brummitt in botany) these are not always followed and often embellished. Furthermore it is believed that the added nomenclatural precision author names add is not worth the cost of their inclusion. If author names were included then every variation of authority string would result in…Read More Are author names really necessary?
In the last weekend of the Christmas break I was sat in Starbucks in Waterstones in Edinburgh considering which of a stack of potential books I was going to spend my Christmas book tokens on. I had just been playing with a Sony eBook reader and so was thinking maybe I should take the plunge…Read More DIY Book Scanner: Learn By Doing
Just doing some SQL against the Catalogue of Life ’09 database and came up with some figures unrelated to what I set out to do. I can’t decide if they are useful or not so they are going here. Species % of species Genera % of genera Species in monotypic genera 41792 3.6 41792 38.3…Read More What do genus names mean to us?
Amazon are selling an ebook of Siddhartha by Herman Hess for the Kindle for $3.51 and it appears in different versions for even more. Siddhartha is out of copyright so it costs them nothing for the rights on this book. The $3.51 is all for them. Does this mean that $3.51 is the cost of distributing an…Read More When will eBooks stop being a rip off?
It is just past Christmas and the turning of the decade so I thought it would be worth capturing a train of thought on time and space. The future doesn’t exist yet. The past no longer exists. The present moment is vanishingly small. Consider the sounds you hear in a piece of music. Sound is…Read More The Present Moment Does Not Exist
At last month’s TDWG2009 conference I was on a panel for a brief discussion at the end of a session. There were around 200 people in the audience and handful of us up front as lambs for the slaughter. One of the questions from the floor concerned the automation of the taxonomic process. I don’t…Read More Biodiversity Informatics – A ‘sackable offence’
Keeping up with the nearly-year-old tradition of putting all outputs on my blog here are the latest two reports I have submitted as part of the PESI. Report on authoritative taxonomic standards from multiple sources suitable for deployment within European Research Area – resubmission with some clarifications. (PDF = PESI_D4.1_Standards_Report_v2.1.pdf ) Report on Procedures and Mechanisms…Read More Lastest PESI Reports on Nomenclators
I have been wrestling for some time with how to handle taxonomic hierarchies when combining multiple classifications. This is partly motivated by a pressure to produce consensus hierarchies for navigation (a task that I think is probably not worth doing but which is beyond the scope of this post) and partly from a need to…Read More Synonyms Are SubClasses And Higher Taxa Are Just Tags
I have just come to the end of “Mindfulness and Mental Health: Therapy, Theory and Science” by Chris Mace. My motivation for tackling such a book is to learn more about the link between mindfulness meditation and the mental health/psychotherapy field. The book has been an interesting but challenging read. I have a scientific training…Read More Mindfulness and Mental Health – a glimps of the madness?
In this episode of our longest running soap opera Terry & Tina confuse Eric who takes off with Malcolm. “Cabinets” is a public service broadcast with the aim of promoting community understanding of complex taxonomic issues. — Cue opening credits — The story so far:Terry is a taxonomist and he works very hard to produce…Read More Episode 987: Cabinets – A Taxonomic Soap Opera.
Several years ago I was involved in the developing the “TDWG Ontology”. Quite what the TDWG Ontology was/is remains an enigma for many. Around 2005/6 we tried to move away from modeling things in XML Schema and into some form of frame based modeling with well defined classes and properties – as opposed to the…Read More Managing The Managing Of The TDWG Ontology
Over the past few months I have been working on how to represent biological taxonomy and nomenclature using Description Logics. Here I combine these thoughts with a rather naive view of DNA Barcoding to suggest a new approach to taxonomy. Description Logic (DL) is an extension of frame based languages (such as those used in…Read More Nomenclature is Dead! Long Live Barcode Taxa!
Last week I took part in a meeting at GBIF in Copenhagen to discuss the role GBIF could play in Persistent Resolvable Identifiers (the technology formally known as GUIDs and often confused with UUIDs. Perhaps they should be called PRIs – pronounced ‘prize’ – just kidding.) This is the culmination of the LGTG (a.k.a. the…Read More My part in GBIF’s Role in Persistent Resolvable Identifiers
You may not have heard of it but Kite Aerial Photography is quite a widespread hobby. It involves strapping a camera to a kite and flying it over something interesting. The camera can be fired remotely or just on a timer. Serious people build complex radio control rigs to move the camera around and point…Read More KAP – Another photographic box ticked
Recently I have been sitting with the The Community of Interbeing in Edinburgh – that’s Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh‘s students to you. The Edinburgh sangha has a wonderful atmosphere. As part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace the sangha ran a Mindful Peace Walk around Prince’s Street Gardens. I arrived a little late…Read More Mindful Peace Walk: ‘Peace Begins With You’
Here is the first draft of a book chapter I have written for an upcoming Systematics Association volume. My intention with this work is to outline the current situation with regard to taxonomy and GUIDs for a slightly more general audience. It includes a walkthough of the difference between nomenclature and taxonomy and an explanation…Read More Taxa, Taxon Names and Globally Unique Identifiers in Perspective.
I was writing a report on the role of nomenclators in PESI when I realized that (with a little tweaking and injection of dangerous opinions) one section would make a good blog post. In order to facilitate the accurate exchange of taxonomic information, both within the taxonomic community and more widely in the biological and…Read More Calling Time on Biological Nomenclature
This programme, in the generally brilliant BBC Analysis series, is a fascinating discussion of a ‘new’ approach to philosophy where researchers actually do experiments and are exploring the relationship between our ‘morals’ and our reason. What is great about it is that one is continuously wanting to chip in and say “yes but…”. The thesis…Read More Is Buddhism Experimental Philosophy?
I just gave a talk at e-Biosphere ’09 . This was a 15 minute talk to possibly the largest audience I have ever addressed (400ish). Several people asked for copies of the slides so here it is as a PDF. Why you should care about data standards The thought of recording audio to go with…Read More eBio09 – Why you should care about data standards
Until December 2010 I am employed as the project officer for Work Package 4 of the PESI project. My particular responsibility is the adoption of standards that will facilitate the integration of European, biological taxonomic data. The first deliverable of WP4 is a report on the current state of biodiversity standards and how they apply…Read More PESI Standards Report Number #1
Last weekend we got away from the city for the first time this year to camp in Northumberland and visited The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This is a tourist mecca of an island accessible via a causeway that is only open at low tide. Think of many retired people with ice creams and you will…Read More Old Boats from Shady Past
Tdwg Ontology 03.Key View more presentations from rogerhyam This talk has been put together for the LifeWatch WP5 workshop “Semantic Data Integration” taking place in IBED Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam between Monday 18 may 13:00 and Tuesday 19 may 15:00, 2009. Having discovered Slideshare I am wondering whether I should put all talks…Read More TDWG Ontology Talk on Slideshare