Mink art …

28 10 2018

.. spotted at Art Toronto yesterday (adding to my collection):



Losing the plot

28 10 2018

At our lab meeting on Thursday, we had our second attempt to understand split-plot designs, since we had reached that point in the Lazic stats book we’re reading.

You’d think I’d be good at this, since I’ve published on this, created a fairly understandable poster on this, and even won a prize on the topic.  But no, I’m totally rubbish: I never fully understand the maths-y details for more than a couple of hours, and they fade to nothing in under a day. Sigh.

Several of us get it intuitively (in a “by dividing you cages you get more bang for your buck” kind of way), but when Misha confidently drew out fields and sub-plots, I knew that I had lost the plot again. Back to the drawing board, with determination, next week!


Fame for a day

28 10 2018

Screenshot 2018-10-28 12.30.42The university publicised my CAGS recognition on Friday, so I’m enjoying a brief flurry of attention (which’ll probably all be over by Monday!).

Sad they didn’t report that I have academic great-grandchildren though: so proud of that.




Tea infusers for mink

28 10 2018

Slide1Sam’s been running some pilots for his planned boredom trials.  Carabinas proved better than paperclips for hooking the tea infusers on (because mink can’t bend and destroy carabinas by tugging on them).  And using 5 drops of odourant (mountain lion urine, pheasant smell or vanilla) on the cotton wool seemed to elicit stronger, more diverse reactions from the animals than only using 2-3.  Looks like Sam’s pretty much ready to start for real!


One more addition to the crazy month of October

25 10 2018

If you’re a slave to NSERC, everything gets submitted in October: scholarships, DG grants, and equipment grants too. (And then everything gets revealed in April. It’s clear they have nice loooooong summer holidays in Ottawa). So, I pulled together planned mouse work by my lab, Elena, Craig and new collaborator Boyer into an RTI submission that’s such a weird mix of welfare and neuroscience I can’t tell if it’s brilliant or doomed. It’s to buy three new startle boxes to replace our deeply flawed ones from Kinder (but this time from SDI). The price tag? $42,000.

Due in on Monday, there was very little sleep for me Sunday (not least as we went to an amazing Indian wedding that night … with the grant still not finished). And we then had absurd problems attaching Elena’s CV too (I had to coach her over the phone to swear like a Brit; that gave her the strength to find and fix the damn problem). But … success at last!

RTI... in!

Papers papers papers

25 10 2018

At last, the “cursed” play paper is properly out, after a YEAR in press! Here is free access for 50 days:   https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1XxPz1LenM8yI6

Screenshot 2018-10-24 21.17.32

(And if you don’t have time to read it, the answer’s “no”).

This week Maria also heroically submitted our mink brain paper, pulling a near all-nighter (something of an annual habit this time of year), to make sure collaborator Craig could get a submission no. for his CCV before his NSERC DG deadline.

Screenshot 2018-10-24 21.26.45






Congratulations to Andrea!

25 10 2018

She did fantastically in her QEs on Monday!!!!!!!