Monthly Archives: May 2011

Arsenic-Based Life Controversy Keeps Bubbling

That controversy about arsenic-based life that I blogged (on my other blog) back in December is still cooking. I don’t read Science so I had to learn about it in Ars Technia:

The authors have stuck to their guns, but have reiterated arguments that their critics are likely to find unconvincing. And that’s somewhat surprising; it should have been possible for them to accept at least a few of the criticisms and indicate further work was under way that would handle them.

I am curious to find out what the facts are, here. I’d be stunned to learn that DNA’s chemistry works with arsenic as well as phosphorus, or that both forms can code for the same amino acids. But stunning me is what science is all about.

Pivot Tables in Google Docs

This is amazing. I used to use Pivot Tables on a daily basis, but the last two versions of Excel have made them inexplicable to me. These days, if I need a Pivot Table, I save the spreadsheet table as CSV data, import it into MySQL, and then do SQL queries there to produce a pivot table. But now I might have to try it in my browser instead: