In a twist in the ongoing saga about predatory journals, Rick Sanchez (the drunk, swearing dimensional traveling scientist in the adult-oriented cartoon Rick and Morty) has finally made his academic mark. Farooq Ali Khan—an undergraduate college professor and PhD student in Hyderabad, India, sent out a fake paper written by “Beth Smith” titled Newer Tools to Fight Inter-Galactic Parasites and Their Transmissibility in Zyrgion Simulation detailing a way to use magnets to fight back against intergalactic parasites that live by implanting false memories in their hosts. Vice Motherboard details the prank and which predatory journals fell for it. Read about it here.
Nisan Lerea and Matt Nowicki are entrepreneurs and former engineering students from the University of Pennsylvania. For their senior project, they needed a water jet to cut steel–but the university didn’t have one. So, they built their own small, affordable iteration. They’re now co-founders of Wazer, an affordable personal water jet cutter. Read their story here.
The night before a big exam, it’s tempting to stay up all night and hit the books to get an extra edge. After all, you’re young and you can sleep when you’re dead, right? This is important! Baylor University, however, gave students an incentive to sleep before their tests: extra points on a final exam if they get a solid 8-hours’ rest. Guess who scored better–even without the extra credit? Read about it here.
Mental health and emotions are fraught topics in academics and hiring. Your mental state affects not only performance and grades, but also how people perceive you–fairly or not. It can seem like a trap when disclosing mental illness might help, but then people judge you based on it. Continue reading Express Yourself
Textbook prices have long been a problem, particularly in the sciences. They’ve become worse, however, as digital editions become available and professors struggle to keep students all on the same page. The Chronicle of Higher Education examines what’s behind these price hikes and what teachers can do to help. Read it here.