Mr Epidemiology

No, I'm not a skin doctor


April 2012

Useful Utilities: Pocket (formerly Read It Later)

Useful Utilities is a series where Mr Epidemiology outlines software he finds helpful. Today, he’ll be talking about Pocket, a free app that saves web pages so you can read them later. 

The internet is a great source of information. We’re constantly bombarded with facts, articles and opinions that, while we may find interesting, we might not have time to read. Especially when you’re in academia, and are checking Twitter or Google News right before a class/seminar.

Normally, you could just bookmark the webpage to check it later on. But the problem is that you then need to be on the computer/smart phone later to access it. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just save the link in the cloud and then access it from any computer or device later on?

That’s where Pocket comes in.

Continue reading “Useful Utilities: Pocket (formerly Read It Later)”

Interesting reads: April 21st – 27th, 2012

Sounds about right. (Artist unknown)

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend! Oh, and GO SENS GO!!


Epidemiology, Public Health and Science Hashtags: #EPID

I like Twitter. Can you tell?

I’ve been getting lots of feedback about my series on Twitter for Scientists, but the most common questions I get are “Where do I start and who should I follow?”

Well, the short answer is that you can start anytime you want, and follow whoever you find interesting.

But then I thought about it more, and, through discussion with Jeremy at RadarLake and Sara Johnson realized that we don’t have an “Epidemiology” hashtag. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a really useful thing would be to have a list of Epid-related hashtags and one unifying epidemiology hashtag.

PSA: If you’re going to tweet about epidemiology in any capacity, please use the #EPID hashtag. It’ll make it easier for us all to keep in touch, and it’ll help promote epidemiology.

I’m going to be curating a list of Epidemiology-related hashtags here to try and provide people with a jumping off point with Twitter. It will also help people network with others interested in their area and hopefully spur discussion. This is by no means exhaustive, so if you have any ideas or ones I’ve missed, please let me know either by email or in the comments.

Hashtags after the jump.

Continue reading “Epidemiology, Public Health and Science Hashtags: #EPID”

Interesting reads: April 14th – 20th, 2012

The video above explains the lack of posts lately 🙂

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend! Oh, and GO SENS GO!!


Guest Post: The Evolution of Sedentary Time

Mr Epidemiology: Today, I’m welcoming Lindsay Kobayashi back to the blog. You can find out more about Lindsay at the end of this post.

How sad.

The negative health effects of sedentary behaviour are a hot topic gaining scientific and popular attention. Any Canadian reading the news should be aware that sitting is killing us – Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and the CBC have all recently published on the topic. Given the tsunami-like obesity epidemic that has risen over North America over the past few decades, critical investigation of our sedentary behaviour is highly warranted.

Every time I hear someone talk about how sitting is killing us, I return to the same question – If I was born 50 or 100 years earlier, would I be less sedentary than I am now? In the figure above, I’ve depicted my average 16-hour day (waking hours only). Exemplary of a big question in the sedentary behaviour research domain, I am what you would call an “active couch potato” – I spend 7-8 hours week engaged in moderate-to-vigourous exercise, yet I still spend 50% of my waking hours sitting in front the computer! What does this mean for my health? And yours too – if you are reading this, you are likely somewhat similar to me. Is this sort of sedentary behaviour a new phenomenon of the latter part of 20th and early 21st century? Continue reading “Guest Post: The Evolution of Sedentary Time”

Interesting reads: April 7th – 13th, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend! Oh, and GO SENS GO!!


Interesting reads: March 31st – April 6th, 2012

I’m going to move this post to Fridays, since it seems like the weekends are busy days for people. Let me know if you prefer the Friday or Saturday updates.

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!


Some thoughts after the Science Fair

On Thursday March 29th, 2012, over 200 school-aged youth, and 100 judges descended on Queen's University's McArthur Hall for the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington County Science Fair

I wrote a guest post for the guys over at Obesity Panacea a few weeks ago about “scientific philanthropy.” Giving back is something I feel strongly about, and promoting science to high school youth is not only important, it is a necessary part of what we as graduate students should do. I have been fortunate to have excellent mentors that have helped me to where I am in my career today (ie starting one). The least I can do is pay that forward to the next generation of young scientists.

Last week was the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Science Fair (FLASF), a science fair held in Kingston since 1970. I’ve judged this for a few years, and each year I’m blown away by the level of science on display. I also want to give a shout out to my department (Community Health and Epidemiology at Queen’s University). We had about half of the study body there, clipboards in hand, ready to judge! Way to go guys!

I had a conversation with one budding scientist who was looking at the effects of coke and water on teeth. She had two teeth, took a picture of each, then put on in coke and one in water. She watched them over the course of a week, and every day took a photo to see what happened. As one would expect, the tooth in coke started turned black, while the one in water remained relatively okay (her words, not mine). Of course, my first question is “where did you get the teeth from?”

Turns out they were hers. That, my dear reader, is dedication.

Continue reading “Some thoughts after the Science Fair”

A Mr Epid-inar: Cardboard Boxes: Spaceships, Forts or Friends?

Mr Epid-inar’s are short talks delivered by Mr Epidemiology at various venues; classes, conferences, speaker series’ etc. They should not be confused with the leafy green vegetable (French humour! Le woohoo!)

Serendipity Hall is a talk series in Kingston. They’re set up in the spirit of TED talks, and are meant to provide a platform for people to discuss issues they feel passionately about, and to spur discussion among attendees. I used this opportunity to talk/rant about my view on higher education and how I think we need to make serious changes in the way we evaluate scientists.

I’ve embedded the talk below for those who want to check it out. If the link doesn’t work, then try this link instead. If it still doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll get my tech guy to check it out (ie me in sweat pants).

Serendipity Hall – Cardboard Boxes

View another webinar from mrepid

A note. The talk was hosted at The Grad Club in Kingston (thanks Grad Club for hosting us!) Around the 3 minute mark, someone came in to give out food, so there’s a bit of silence, and then around the 13 minute mark a fridge turns on, providing a comforting buzzing sound in the background.

Some more thoughts about TED talks and higher education after the jump.

Continue reading “A Mr Epid-inar: Cardboard Boxes: Spaceships, Forts or Friends?”

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