About Subluminal

Science is, above anything else, a human endeavor. The best of science writing shows this, and the humanity of the authors and subjects shows through. Too much of science that is learned in the classroom sets itself apart from this. Brilliant jokesters are given a veneer of respectability so that we aren’t biased by their common decency. This is good, but it also takes the passion out of one of the most passionate endeavors we can conduct. So, this blog is going to be as well-written as we can manage, express the humanity and energy that exists in the fields that we will talk about, and try to be entertaining and engaging. We will talk about good science (with a view to promoting it) and bad science (with a view to improving it).

Let’s see how this goes.


Jim McCusker

My research is in distributed computing, including parallel and grid models, as well as scaling semantic web data systems.


  • Songhua Xu, James McCusker, Michael Krauthammer. Yale Image Finder (YIF): a new search engine for retrieving biomedical images. Bioinformatics. Advance access July 9 2008

One thought on “About Subluminal

  1. Hi Jim, I saw your post on the codinghorror blog about ergonomics, where you wrote:

    “A better arrangement is to place the keyboard at least eighteen inches in on the desk and rest your entire forearm on the desk.”

    I’ve found the exact same thing, I built a desk around this idea which I make and sell in my spare time, you can see them at http://www.ergoslope.com. I explain it more in my post on that blog:

    “The ultimate computer desk should be one that conforms to a person, people are not blocks, so why should our desks be? The best position is the ‘nuetral’ rest position, which you can see in photos of astronauts sleeping; every joint moves to it’s natural resting position. A chair should be formed around this position, some companies claim ‘nuetral position’ chairs, but they always sit the occupants bolt upright, as was cited by another poster recent studies show that is not a healthy position. Common sense should dictate this as well, a bolt upright position puts all of your upper body weight on your lower spine, which is weak, this is why the most frequent injury of stunt men who jump cars and helicoptor pilots, who also sit bolt upright, is lower back injuries. A proper seating position, and ‘nuetral’ position should be one partially inclined so the seat back takes some of the weight of the upper body. With a reclined seating position however, the nuetral rest position of the fore arms is not horizontal, it is tilted slightly upward. I built an inclined sloping desktop which wraps around you like a drafting table with a notch cut into it and combined it with a reclining office chair and *all* of my wrist back and neck pain went away. I make and sell these in my spare time and they can attatch to any desk in a few seconds, check them out if interested http://www.ergoslope.com

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