Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I believe it to be no coincidence that the culinary highlights of my life have been served up primarily in one city, albeit at different establishments. The city in question - Philadelphia - is host to the finest coffee (La Colombe), the finest fine-dining (Vetri), and the finest wackiest tea (Bubbles Tea House). The tea in question  does indeed contain bubbles - tapioca bubbles (more ball than bubble) - which sit at the bottom of whichever flavour tea you choose (I had iced peach tea), and which you suck up through an extra wide straw. I'd never had anything like it. It was a totally new (and somehow unlikely) experience.

Equally unlikey, but no less satisying, are the astonishingly good-looking brain scans that my collaborators in Philadelphia have collected. Research barely gets more exciting than this.

Very much less exciting, is all the work I'm behind with. Aside from an experiment to analyze, a thesis to read, three papers to revise, and a gazillion manuscripts to process at the journal, I'm also giving three talks over the next two weeks (one in Austria, two in Spain). One of them is to an advisory board that I'm a part of - advising Elsevier on the next-generation online tools for managing their journals. My talk, based on way more experience than anyone should have to endure, will be about "The mobile editor: The challenges of editing a journal at 30,000 feet" (gives a whole new meaning to "the mile-high club”). The challenge, by the way, is that everyone these days is into “cloud computing” - they forget that “the cloud” is completely useless when you’re flying through them.