Making Science Sexy

I’m giving a talk on October 6th at the Wildlife Society Annual Conference, as part of a plenary symposium on science outreach. In advance of that talk, they asked me to write an article about science communication. So I told a story about how I prepare for a Craig Ferguson appearance. If you’re interested, you can read the article here.

My favourite tweet of the week

I just saw this tweet go by on twitter:

That has me very excited. I can’t wait for Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You to come out March 4th, and am thrilled that people are already talking about it! Thank you @argenplath and @jackccole!!!

Why (I think) Microsoft Office made both people the same colour in track-changes, and how (I think) I solved the problem

Summary: Quit microsoft word, and then open only the file that has the problem of multiple users with the same colour. That worked for me.

What happened: I’m getting close to finishing work on my book Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You. A few days ago I got the copyedited manuscript from the publisher. The copyeditor had used Microsoft’s “track changes” function so I could see where her edits were, and asked me to use the same so she could see what additional changes I made. As I started working, though, all changes were highlighted in red, regardless of authorship, making it very difficult to keep track of edits. I searched the internet for a while, but the best hypothesis I could find was that the file was corrupted.

I learned that you can’t manually choose what colour your user is. Lame.

I think the reason it happened was that I opened two separate documents with only one track-changes user in each, at the same time. Document A had only the copyeditor’s changes. Document B had only my changes. Both documents had the user in red. Then, when I started making changes to document A, it kept my color as red in both.

Despite the problem, I kept working, saved and closed the files. Then, later, when I opened only document A, my changes were suddenly green (the copyeditor’s still red). When I then opened document B, my changes were green in that file, too.

I think that when microsoft office opens files, it looks to see if multiple users are within the same document, and then sets their colours to be different. However, if you start making edits, it will try to give you the same user colour as you have in any other open document, without checking to see if that creates conflicts. This is just a guess.

I hope this helps someone, some day.