Monday, February 24, 2014

Best Editing or Least Editing...How will 2014 Oscars Fare?

Last year I went public with the theory that that longest movie each years seems to win the Oscar for Best Film Editing each year.  It's as if the Academy Awards were honoring the film with the least amount of editing.  That has never seemed right to me but I had nobody to tell.  Until now.

Looking at my stats from last year's post, the longest film was more than twice as likely to win the Oscar (at 43%) than it would be by chance (20%).  In other words, nearly every other "Best Edited" film is also the longest.  This is way more than should be expected by chance and I seemed to really be on to something.  Of course, last year the Academy snubbed me by letting a much shorter film win.  But I don't yet feel discredited.  The Academy will surely revert back to the mean soon.

Taking the length of each with data from and, we see the following for this year's films:
  1. American Hustle (138 minutes) -- Should win the Oscar!
  2. Captain Phillips and 12 Years a Slave (tie at 134 minutes)
  3. Dallas Buyer's Club (117 minutes)
  4. Gravity (91 minutes)
So what does this year portend? Check in to the Oscar's Sunday night to see, and come back here when the longest film wins yet again.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Big News from OpenScientist!

Hello there! Long time no see.

My apologies for not posting in the last few months as the OpenScientist's life has been very busy. But all for a good reason. I'm proud to announce the pending birth of my new son!

Come March we expect to meet the newest citizen scientist in the family and all the preparation has hindered my recent writing. Once things settle down it should open up a whole new world of posting.  Though I can't promise twice-a-week updates any more this blog will continue and the Citizen Science posts will keep on coming. Like all great experiments I go into this expecting a great result while eagerly awaiting the unexpected surprises you can't prepare for.

As a biochemist I've watched fruit flies grow and embryos divide. I've isolated DNA and replicated it 1,000-fold in a beaker. But the miracle of these events never hit home. It's not a generic egg I've watched's a mini-me growing from a single cell to (currently) 5+ pounds in a few short months. And it combines the best of me and replaces the worst parts with those from Mrs. OpenScientist. It's not just me, it's a better me, enhanced by the wonders of my lovely wife.

Of course the fragility of life has strongly hit home too as getting to this point is never easy.
Parents can try do everything can for a child but there's so much you can't control. The chain
reaction of meiosis halts for no man and may even (heartbreakingly) refuse to start. But now the
runaway train rolls full steam ahead with a mind of its own.

Literally, a mind of its own.

From ultrasonically watching the body grow we soon begin to watch the brain grow. I can't wait
to meet this new guy and teach him everything I know. I want to learn new things to later
teach them to him, and I want to just watch him learn. Most importantly, I want to see the world new. I wondered at it the first time and can't wait for the second go around.

In just a few short weeks the whole adventure will begin.  I don't know where it will go but let's learn these things together.