Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: Where do you get yours?,

    I just don't buy much music any more. We have a selection of vinyl bought when it was new. We have slightly more CDs than fit in our CD racks (why is there never quite enough room?). And we have some concerts on Blu-ray. But because we don't listen to much random music (can't at work, don't at home) we just no longer hear anything new that we really like.

    Our last music purchase came via a facebook recommendation!

    Books I buy almost exclusively from Amazon kindle (US) now and read on my iPad, my partner buys some from the Whitcouls app because stupid book distribution rules prevent her buying things she wants from kindle US.

    I find fiction books by author linkages and by looking at the nebula and hugo awards and by looking at some of the amazon lists. Also I get some new authors that I like from Analog magazine.

    Movies I buy from Amazon UK and suggestions mostly from IMDB.

    And also I get books and music suggestions from my friends, because the people I like as people also have overlapping tastes in culture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Liveblog: Moving House (Literally), in reply to jb,

    that the head of CERA is blissfully unaware of the issue

    He's a busy man - lunch with Gerry pretty much writes off the whole day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Liveblog: Moving House (Literally), in reply to David Haywood,

    But I do have seeds

    Don't bother. Apples are predominantly outcrossing and extremely heterozygous. In English that means every single seed you plant will produce a completely different tree with different fruit ranging from tiny crab apples to fleshy big red spheres. And the trees will have completely different growth habits ranging from merely too tall to pick to freaking ginormous - unless you use a dwarfing rootstock.

    You will need to find a nursery to get a new tree - sorry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Liveblog: Moving House (Literally), in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    covenants

    I thought covenants were a private thing. That is, the seller sells the land but with conditions on it's use. Hence Sutton can't do much about them.

    It's a pity there was no developer smart enough to target those who wanted to move houses. They could have set up a subdivision and charged a premium on the land simply because it was the only new development that allowed old houses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Student Loans are Loans (Duh.), in reply to BenWilson,

    the importance of high achievers

    Not saying that the B graders aren't valuable. I'm one myself so I bloody well hope I'm valuable.

    But I am saying that genuine A graders are special. I've worked next to a couple of A graders. And they make connections and leaps that no amount of effort on my part would ever be enough to replicate. They often have a breadth of knowledge that is scary. Sure they can be limited and there aren't many of them. But there is simply no way we would make the progress we do in science without their ability.

    I'm deeply jealous of their ability and in awe as well. Exactly the same way I feel about sportspeople and artists. I'm sorry but I disagree with you, I don't think we value the truly talented anywhere near enough. Particularly in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Liveblog: Moving House (Literally), in reply to Deborah,

    you've been able to position the house on the section at a good angle for the sun

    Did you ever doubt they would Deborah :). I mean David is an engineer (apparently hard hearted too) so perfect solar gain positioning would have been high on the agenda.

    So tree planting is next?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Student Loans are Loans (Duh.),

    What Lucy said!

    This is something that is always tricky to talk about because it treads on people's sensitivities. But nobody has a problem with the idea that Dan Carter is special, genuinely gifted. It doesn't matter how many hours a club rugby player practices they will never be able to do the things Dan Carter does.

    The same is true in science. I'm good at what I do, I'm a solid B to B+ and on a good day with a tail wind I can sometimes put together half an A+ idea. I'm fortunate to work with three others who are as good or slightly better than I am and we work very well together, so between us we can work an idea into A grade level. But it takes all of us working hard and being on form to make that happen.

    But I've had the joy of working with genuine A+ scientists and I know the difference between what they do without effort and what my team and I can do with our hard, sometimes slow, work.

    As Lucy said sometimes those gifted people are flawed. And really they often just don't have the time to execute all the ideas they have and they can also be wrong. So there is definitely a place for all the B grade folks like me to contribute.

    And despite what I've said above, us B graders actually do make genuine discoveries which are every bit as exciting as my dreams were when I was a student, really our next paper is going to be so cool!

    So yes there is a difference between A grade and B grade. That doesn't make B grade as worthless as the managers of our CRIs seem to think. But it is real.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Liveblog: Moving House (Literally),

    So do you guys get a copy of all the footage they took? They must have many more minutes than what they showed last night.

    It would be a great historical record to attach to the house.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Student Loans are Loans (Duh.), in reply to James Butler,

    I’d just like to suggest that it is perfectly possible to want to study Law, Economics or Civil Engineering for idealistic reasons.

    I know James. Some of my best friends are ... really I have a friend who has a PhD in international conflict law. To be fair it is probably one of the worst paying law degrees possible :).

    But there is a balance in a society. All lawyers and no engineers results in really great contracts for buildings nobody knows how to build.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Student Loans are Loans (Duh.), in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Which is interesting, because from my perspective the problem is an overload of good people for few post-doc positions.

    From the perspective of trying to hire post-docs, nope. But bear in mind we pay crap. Really good post-docs go overseas where they can both do better research and get paid more for it.

    If you are actually good, as in A grade good, most places in NZ will move Heaven and Earth to find a way to employ you, except of course paying you more money. Because frankly all we see are B grade and worse. And we make good use of B grade folks, the reality is most of the science in NZ is done by solid hard working B grade folks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

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