Sam’s methods

26 02 2019

A screenshot from Sam‘s draft Chapter 2, typed with a fair amount of feeling I suspect:

Screenshot 2019-02-26 17.30.04

Carbon conference!

25 02 2019

I’m pretty excited about this invitation. I can’t promise much of a talk, but I can offer a stirring rendition of ‘Diamonds are Forever‘.

Screenshot 2019-02-25 14.01.17

Deadly need. And I mean DEADLY.

22 02 2019

Priceless addition to my collection from Lee Niel:

Screenshot 2019-02-21 21.43.48

My H index went up!

21 02 2019

It’s probably a bit sad how happy this makes me!

Screenshot 2019-02-21 11.32.59

Essential buy?

21 02 2019

I feel we need one of these devices:

Screenshot 2019-02-21 11.34.21



Graduation Day!

21 02 2019

While I enjoyed signs of spring in California, yesterday, my phone kept pinging: some serious graduating was happening in Guelph! Here are Misha, plus wife Gwen, newbie Oakland and brother Sam (top), and Aileen, Basma, Emma (in great shoes) and Tina’s student Lorrie (bottom). Congratulations everyone – so proud of you!






“Cat faces” resubmitted

18 02 2019

We got comments back from Animal Welfare on just before the Christmas break, and finally got our revisions back to the journal today.¬† One referee’s comments were niggly and hard to deal with (I think we did it though), while the other referee just loved the paper but only said this in one line (how about being a bit more fulsome Referee 2?!). But cautiously, I think we’re going to be OK at last! The survey was such a hit, and the results so cool, it would be so lovely to see this finally out!

Screenshot 2019-02-18 14.20.17




Bruno Gantz dies

18 02 2019

Bruno Gantz, who played Hitler in “Downfall has just died. His portrayal spawned 1000 internet versions, the very best being, of course, “The Third Referee“…

UK trip

18 02 2019

IMG_7495Yes, this is very clearly not the UK. But the start of a another trip (I’m in Palm Springs for a day or two before a work visit to Davis) spurs me to write up the last one.

In early December I visited London to give a keynote at ASAB (and see my family of course, for “Early Mason Christmas”), and took advantage of being in the UK at the right time to attend the UFAW Scholars’ Meeting too (in Glasgow this year).

The ASAB meeting was on welfare, and should have been fun. It was genuinely great seeing organisers Mike and Suzanne¬†and (very briefly) catching up with the other keynotes, Per and Lisbeth; and fab to see Becky and Maria in their new home turf, and meet baby Alice in the flesh. It was also great to hear excellent talks by her mum, our very own Big Emma (below; all the more more impressive because she hadn’t realised ’til live on stage that there was no ‘presenter view’!), and by Elodie Briefer (who I’d heard nice thiIMG_7316ngs about but never seen in action). And it was really stimulating brainstorming about “inactive but awake” mice with Carole, her postdoc Anna & tech Emily (another academic grand-daughter: she did her MSc with Maria!), and fabulous Argentinian Agustina (who’s won a fellowship to visit my lab this summer). But I was wracked by migraines the whole time, so not really sleeping or fully functioning (I missed large swatches of the meeting): bleugh.¬†

But once that finally passed, things picked up enormously: see below for a posh evening up the Shard with Maria (plus cousin Sarah and old school friend Katy) and Aileen’s perfect, perfect talk at the UFAW meeting.


How to revise for QEs

13 02 2019

Michelle, prepping for her PhD Qualifying Exams, shows us how it’s done:

Step 1: Let a cat soak up all the knowledge. This may take some days. Two cats can alternate here – that’s fine.

Step 2: Hug the cats firmly. Note: there should be fur to skin contact.

So, so confident she’ll be fine!