Friday 28 September 2012

Would you give your right arm for a 1st author Nature paper?

This is a slightly wacky post but I did warn you I'd go off on tangents sometimes!

My new bike, multi-tool comparisons and "how fast can you unfold a Brompton?"

My old bike was stolen back in March. We had gone to the campus bar to celebrate the publication of two papers my group had been involved with; the first on Breast cancer in Nature and the second on using sequencing of ctDNA to identify and monitor cancer mutations in ScienceTranslational Medicine. I was only in the pub for about 40 minutes when my bike was stolen.

When I was walking back to the lab with one of my colleagues we got into a conversation about whether “I’d rather have my bike than the papers”! I loved my bike but perhaps the two papers were worth it?

What do you think, what would you value the papers at and what would you be willing to give up for them? Would it matter where you were in the authorship list and does joint 1st author status dilute the value?

Is any paper literally worth an arm and a leg?

My new bike: Six months later and I finally have a shiny new Brompton. Six speed and dyno-hub lighting with a beautiful raw lacquer finish (just look at those golden welds) and a stunning Brooks saddle. Incidentally Brooks saddles are the oldest bike components still being manufactured and are pretty much as designed back in 1896!

Multi-tool comparison: I has asked my wfe toe get me a multi-tool to go with my new Brompton for my birthday but was not sure which one to buy. There are lots of reviews but I could not find anywhere to do a direct side-by-side comparison of different features. So I did one myself and thought I’d share it with anyone that can find it. The file is available on GoogleDocs.

 After much deliberation I went for the Topeak Alien II. Mainly because it had the basic tools plus a pedal wrench, knife and bottle opener. I think I could design the perfect tool now as about the only thing missing on the Alien II are the integrated tyre levers from the Hexus II. The perfect tool is out there somewhere! I thought I'd also give a runners up prize to Crank Bros, Lezyne's Carbon 10 and Topeaks Hexus II.

Topeak Alien II

Crank Bros, Lezyne Carbon and Hexus II (with integrated tyre levers)

My wife though I was crazy doing this, but she was watching trash on the TV anyway.

How fast can you fold a Brompton: There is an annual Brompton world championships. The 7th was held on in August at the Bike Blenheim Palace Festival Of Cycling. 682 riders took part with the winner completing the course in just over 20 minutes 17 seconds. The real fun is in the unfolding race where the winner was ready to ride in just 8.35 seconds while the average of the 70 competitors was only just over 16.5 seconds.

Alan Morris was "Best dressed Male" and Audrey Shannon took the "Best dressed female".

Sounds like fun, keep an eye out here if you are a Brompton owner and want to take part next year.

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