Friday, 5 December 2008


It’s late Friday afternoon. After a marathon two weeks I’ve cleared a ton of papers at the journal. The queues had built up because of various trips (Chicago and Geneva/Lausanne). But as of a few minutes ago, there were no more papers requiring an editorial decision (accept/revise/reject/etc), and no more papers that needed to go out to review. Of course, come Monday that will all change. But at least I can breath a sigh of relief and look forward to a weekend during which I can remind myself of the other things in my life.

But before I do that: 396 is the number of manuscripts this year which I have designated “accept” or “reject”. So given that today is the 340th day in the year (apparently), that means that I’m making an accept/reject decision more than once each day. I have also made, in those 340 days, 194 “revise” decisions (some of those ended up coming back and becoming “accept” or “reject” decisions). Fortunately, help is on the way. There’s beer cooling in the fridge.

Not in the fridge, but cooling just as effectively, is the pond. The fish are enjoying a spot of hibernation, or whatever it is that fish do when it’s so cold that they just float motionless at the bottom of the iced-over pond. Actually, they don’t hibernate - their metabolism just slows down to a rate approximating my own... And in fact, the pond isn’t quite iced-over - it’s amazing how many holes can be poked in the ice by an over-active 11-yr old. Just as well, though, as a fully-iced over pond isn’t good for the fish. I’m not sure that all the noise made by banging through the ice is much better for them, though...