All entries for Wednesday 26 July 2006

July 26, 2006

Ramsey slaughters eel and Jonathan Ross eats its still beating heart – Yes!

I am sure that Ramsey is going to get some stick over his latest programme. If you missed it a Japanese chef killed a live eel with a quick blow to the head, a metal spike through the head. Following this the chef cut out the heart which Ramsey and Ross argued over who was going to eat it.

Earlier in the show Ramsey interviewed a lady who pointed out some of the worst elements of the indusrtrial pork industry – cramped, awful conditions and pretty awful practices.

Compare this to the respect the japenese chef paid to his eel. 'This is a strong fish' he declared and he made sure that whatever could be eaten was. He handled the fish carefully, having spent 5 years learning how to cook just that type of fish. Problem is though, you can bet that the graphic picture of the fish getting the chop and the beating heart is going to cause more of a storm than the treatment of the factory pigs.

We seem happy to chomp away on the pigs but treat the representation of the eels death as terrible and something to deny, hide away from. This seems horribly hypocritical and just wrong.

I come back to a point raised before – we have to take responsibility for the food we eat. This includes making sure that the production is ethical in the acknowledgement that something must die for us to eat meat. Ramsey has done well in reminding us of this.

Academic Posters

Writing about web page

Some advice from Colin Purrington, Department of Biology, Swarthmore College on how to create scientific posters.

Now, I'll admit to have never really seen the point of these and the weird ritual of the 'Poster Session'. However, I know many academics are rather keen on these so if you are going to do them, better do'em'right as it were.

I like Colin's description of a typical poster session:

The best general advice I can give a first–time poster constructor is to describe the circumstances in which a poster will eventually be viewed: a hot, congested room filled with people who are there primarily to socialize, not to look at posters. Because poster sessions are often concurrent with the (free) "wine and beer" session, chaos is further increased by hundreds of uninhibited graduate students staggering around hitting on each other.

Sounds like fun, huh! On reflection, perhaps this is preferable to listening to 50 undergrads/postgrads stumble through presentations on their latest research – I think I begin to see the value to the academic…

July 2006

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