Wednesday, June 06, 2012

There's a little black spot on the sun today

Just the same old thing as 1769....

There are lots of good pictures of the current transit of Venus streaming in from people with actual skill in photography, astronomy, or both.  The purpose of this post is to point out that with a set of binoculars, you can project the sun (and Venus) onto just about anything.  For example, a toy box:

So you really can see it anywhere, as long as the sun is still up where you are right now. The key thing is that you need to hurry! If you don't catch it in the next hour, you'll have to wait another 105 years before you can try again.

Monday, June 04, 2012

AGU to outsource journals to commercial publishers??

Does anyone know about the decision by AGU to outsource the publication of its journals to a commercial publisher?  Do any folks actually in America and active in AGUing know what is going on? This is all I know :
(exerpt from AGU spam)
“There continue to be major changes in AGU. For the last few years, publications have been discussed extensively by Council and the transformation of AGU’s publications was identified as a high priority objective in the Strategic Plan. Recently, the AGU board reached a decision to evaluate partnering with a third party publisher for production, sales and marketing aspects of AGU’s publications. This decision followed a third party external review by Rising Tide of AGU’s publications, which involved widespread consultation with Council, editors and the Publications Committee. The decision is based on both scientific and organizational considerations. In order to ensure that the scientific criteria for evaluating potential partners is well developed, the leadership of all sections and focus groups have been invited to share their input and to provide comment on initial criteria as developed by the Board and Publications Committee.”
This decision will herald a new era of progress in AGU publications, as well as bring considerable benefits to AGU in terms of finances and reduction of risk at a time when there are major changes and uncertainties about the future of scientific publishing. AGU will retain ownership of copyrights and content, responsibility for all editorial control and oversight through its journal editors and Publications Committee. The decision also brings many opportunities for innovation. The outsourcing organization will be the platform for production, distribution and marketing, so will only handle the more mechanistic aspects of publication. There will be joint decision-making for journal strategies, including pricing and the business model. AGU and its members will benefit from advanced technologies, worldwide sales and distribution, mitigation of risks in an uncertain publishing environment, reduced capital investments by AGU and improved financial performance of journals through economies of scale.
AGU expects to make a decision on outsourcing and identify the commercial organization in July. Over the next few weeks AGU seeks views of members through Council on the key criteria that should inform the contractual arrangement with an outsourcing organization.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Crowd-sourcing the Googlefail

Ok folks.  I'm looking for a favour.  I am trying to find a pre-Thermo-merger logo for Finnigan Instruments.  Google came up empty.  If anyone can find one, either on the net or by taking a picture of their old manual, I would greatly appreciate it if you could send it to me.