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James W. B. Rae

Earth Sciences title

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XY Chart Labeler

A very handy add-on tool for Excel, which lets you label points on charts with labels from a cell range. Download it with the link below. Copy it to your applications folder. With excel open, double click the XY Chart labeler application. Then select a graph and the XY chart labeler will be under the tools menu.

XY Chart Labeler

LaTeX - TeXShop

LaTeX (pronounced Lay-tech - the final letter is a Chi) is a powerful word-processing/typesetting program, which uses the TeX formatting engine. A full distribution of LaTeX is available at the following site, complete with the very nice TeXShop front end and BibDesk citation manager. Go to the MacTeX.mpkg.zip link on the Obtaining page - it's a big file, but comprehensive.

The file structure of LaTeX is quite complicated. If you need to add on other packages/bibliographies/style-files etc. a good option is to create a file called texmf in your home directory library folder, a folder tex within this, and a folder latex within this where you put your goodies. One of the nice things about LaTeX is the ease with which you can write your own commands. I keep a Commands.tex file in this folder with commands such as:
\newcommand{\dB}{$\delta^{11}$B}
and then access this in the preamble to each file with:
\input{Commands}.
The following manual is also really helpful:
LaTeX-manual

TeXShop

BibDeskToWord

A great wee application that allows you to use your BibDesk library to insert references and a bibliography into a manuscript written in MS Word.

BibDeskToWord

Disk Inventory X

A visual representation of how your hard-disk space is used. Great for realising how much space is taken up by iLife libraries you never use, and clearing them out.

Disk Inventory X

Foram photos

A very nice way of putting together publication-quality pictures of forams, or anything else with significant 3D structure. Allows you to take photos at a range of focuses (getting the bottom focussed, moving up to the top) and then stitch them together to produce a fully focussed image. You can, of course, get a fully focussed image with SEM, but I prefer light microscope, as it gives a much more realistic image of how the bugs look when you're picking them. Unfortunately this software isn't free, but it does have a 30 day trial period, so get your pictures ready first!

Helicon Focus

Here's one I made earlier...
Polar bear photographed on Baffin Island

Podcasts

A godsend for labwork, especially picking.

BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy Current affairs comedy, very funny, alternates between The News Quiz and The Now Show.

Radiolab Popular science at its best, with amazing sound effects. Try "The Good Show" - I really enjoyed this look at altruism within natural selection.

The Moth Live stories, about 15 minutes long, from an amazing variety of people.

Lit2Go Free audiobooks, easily accessible from iTunesU.

Climate Change

Yes it's happening, yes it's us. For a good introduction and neat run through of the classic climate change skeptic arguments spewed out by horrendous newspapers and misguided people see:
Skeptical Science Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
and accompanying iPhone app.

And for more detail and current climate news see:
RealClimate Climate science by real climate scientists

For all other queries...

Further Information:

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Useful stuff
Department of Earth Sciences home page: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/earthsciences/
Bristol Isotope Group: http://www.big.bris.ac.uk//