The Oransky Journal

Interesting stuff that doesn't fit on Embargo Watch or Retraction Watch

I wrote a play about the immune system when I was 11. Really. Here it is.

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This guy, I'm not.

This guy, I’m not.

For several years, I’ve been in search of a play that I wrote in the sixth grade, circa 1984. (Strictly speaking, it was a short story, but my class performed it as a play.) I was reminded of it by an event, perhaps something that was part of EST/Sloan’s project on plays involving science, and earlier this month, my mother texted me to say she’d found it her house.

Some background: My father was a pediatrician in private practice, and he was frequently beeped — yes, this was the early 1980s — in the middle of family meals. So, inspired by a case of strep throat that interrupted dinner one night, I wrote a short story/play on the immune system. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Would you pay $41 to see a bear along a road? The Bear News, July 21, 2014

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bearcubtwitterHow much would you pay to see a bear in a national park?

That’s the question posed by a paper in the Journal of Environmental Management that our friend Skeptical Scalpel sent along. From the background of the study, which focuses on Yellowstone:

Traffic jams on the Park’s roads due to bear viewing began in the early 20th century, a time when visitors could feed panhandling bears from stagecoaches with some regularity (Schullery, 1992). Practices such as these led to an increase in the number of bear-inflicted human injuries within the Park’s boundaries, averaging 48 injuries per year from the 1930’s through the 1960’s (Gunther and Hoekstra, 1998). With the implementation of a strictly enforced bear management program in the 1970’s, this number declined dramatically, with a large portion of the decline coming from reduced black bear caused injuries on roadsides (Gunther, 1994).

Here’s the abstract (emphasis mine): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

Posted in bear news

Man bites (OK, saves) bear, bears eat cupcakes and cookies: The Bear News, July 7, 2014

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bearcubtwitterEver since I took on the persona of a bear — my Twitter avatar is a cub that wandered up to our living room window a few years ago — people send me a lot of news about bears. So I figured I’d share these important tidbits periodically: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 7, 2014 at 9:30 am

Posted in bear news

Bears like oral sex, pepper spray, and the NIH campus: The Bear News, June 19, 2014

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bearcubtwitterEver since I took on the persona of a bear — my Twitter avatar is a cub that wandered up to our living room window a few years ago — people send me a lot of news about bears. So I figured I’d share these important tidbits periodically:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Posted in bear news

Bears in cars, hammocks, and pools: The Bear News, June 5, 2014

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bearcubtwitterEver since I took on the persona of a bear — my Twitter avatar is a cub that wandered up to our living room window a few years ago — people send me a lot of news about bears. So I figured I’d share these important tidbits periodically: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Posted in bear news

Mad Men: An Oransky in the advertising business

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nyt“Keith is now paying for the service at the rate of 10 cents a day by shining Mr. Oransky’s shoes.”

That’s the kicker of an item in the April 1, 1960 advertising column in The New York Times. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 23, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

In which I become an expert on global technology because I have an email address

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erolsThere are all sorts of ways to be recognized as an expert. Courts typically certify those who’ve published peer-reviewed literature, or who have years of experience, or who fulfill some other criteria. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t take that much.

From an email solicitation I received today:

I am calling on behalf of [redacted] an independent global research consultancy. We are conducting a survey of Opinion Leaders such as yourself to understand your views on a number of important issues related to how global technology companies are viewed and how they might better meet stakeholder expectations. You do not have to be actively involved in technology (ie : – IT/programming/Manufacture etc ) so long as you have some views on the subject such as ethically sourced materials for manufacture, energy efficiency & responsibilities to workforces.

Well, as many of my friends and family would agree, I certainly have some views on any number of subjects, so I should be OK here. I have views on proper capitalization, for example, and that would appear to be helpful in this case.

But it’s the next paragraph that really cements my status as an expert: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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