Posts Tagged ‘CALAS’

I have to admit, I had decided to lay off criticizing CALAS Pacific (at least for a little while) and focus on more important issues in science, ethics and research. But time and again, CALAS is practically falling all over themselves to give me writing material. And this one takes the cake.

Remember the little thing you learned in school about how copying other people’s works is bad? Well, apparently that message did not resonate with the members of the CALAS Pacific executive committee.

In their latest newsletter, they’ve cut and paste an article verbatim from Associated Free Press journalist Otto Bakano, entitled “Sniffer ‘hero rats’ saving lives in minefields and labs”. I’ll remind everyone that this newsletter is a PAID access newsletter. You must subscribe to receive it. And reprinting another person’s work in a paid access newsletter without credit, a byline or even a link to the original article and author is illegal, unethical and completely disrespectful to writers everywhere.

Here’s the original article, again.

And here’s a cut out of the newsletter. I will note that since this article is not legally theirs, I am not reprinting private material. I blanked out the name of the CALAS member who physically submitted the article. Nice that they gave her credit for googling an article but could not give credit to the author, eh?

“From different websites”?  A simple google search of the title clearly yields the name of the author of this article.  Not so hard to give a guy his due credit is it?

Writers, bloggers and social media unite! Nothing is worse than having your work and words stolen without due credit. To know that your work is populating a paid subscription while you are not receiving any compensation – insult on top of injury.

And in case anyone would like to argue that the Associated Free Press is happy to have people redistribute their work, here’s their disclaimer (2), which is found by following the “copyright” link at the end of the original work:

Copyright © 2010 AFP. AFP text, photos, graphics and logos shall not be used for commercial purposes, reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP shall not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP content, or for any actions taken in consequence. AFP materials may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer except for personal non-commercial use. As a newswire service AFP does not obtain release from the subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, graphics or quoted in its text. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted material where the marks and material are included in AFP photos or content. You shall be solely responsible for obtaining any and all the necessary releases from whatever individual or entity is necessary for any of your uses of AFP material. You agree to indemnify AFP from any losses, damages and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) it incurs as a result of any claim based on your use of its materials in violation of these terms.

Think this sucks? Let’s let the world know!

Leave a comment on my blog!
Retweet the following on Twitter: RT @AlbinoMouse Writers and bloggers deserve credit for their work! http://bit.ly/9VcG7p #CALAS

Disclaimer: (1) I am not personally associated with AFP in any way.  (2) Bolding in this text is my own edit, and not theirs.

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Lots of new followers on Twitter this last week, thank you so much everyone.  I appreciate the support.  🙂

I promised a post on rodent euthanasia last week and it’s almost-but-not-quite done.  Coming up soon!  I had a few other blogs to write for last week, but should have more time this week.  Also this week, I’m hoping to update a few previous blogs with some interesting links that I’ve come across.

No CALAS gossip this week, but there is an upcoming seminar which is a secret and held at a secret location!  Ooooooh!  It’s on rodent hydration and if you want to go, you’ll have to be pre-approved by Their Royal Majesties the… er… CALAS execs.  In all seriousness, rodent hydration is important – rodents can rapidly loss weight when stressed or sick and good techs need to be cognizant of the topic.  Whether or not an industry sponsored talk is the way to that knowledge is another question.

A few things to munch on this week as we enjoy our additional hour of sleep:

  1. I am not entirely sure why this is, but the number one search term for reaching my site is “masterbating squirrel”.  Seems a lot of people out there are either really interested in the STD avoidance strategies of  African ground squirrels, or… well.  Hm.
  2. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts about stem cells!  The article is done and I’ll share it when it’s published, along with some of the comments and answers I received.
  3. Nicholas Wade recently published commentary in the New York Times which does a good job of expressing some of the wariness I feel about basic research.  Basic research is valuable, of course.  But it’s misleading to portray basic research as the easy, straight road to “breakthroughs” and success.

African ground squirrels who are not currently masterbating...

Thanks all.

[Photo from Wikipedia: African ground squirrel]

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Woops!  Attentive readers may have  noticed that this post went “live” a little sooner than intended before being quickly nuked by yours truly.  😉

So I had a bit of a stressful week and a bit.   CALAS is harassing me again (hey, they’re finally doing stuff that doesn’t seem to waste member money!!!  lol), but it seems to be under control.   Work has been awesome though – I implemented a neat search feature which allows for dynamic search and display of data tables.

Brain candy for the week:

  1. Search for CALAS Pacific in Google and I’m one of the top hits!  HAHAHAHA.  Thanks to everyone for making that happen!  Keep it up folks – lets direct people to a site that cares about animal welfare more than it cares about self promotion and protectionism.
  2. Nature News reports that although conservation targets were not met, efforts are still making an impact on preserving biodiversity. However, up to one-fifth of vertebrate species are still at risk, particularly the “uglies” like sharks and amphibians.
  3. Some cool research being done to grow human livers in the lab from researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  Waiting for some entrepreneurial PI to start up “Liver Labs” – Your Source for Hepatic Pharmacological Testing.

Some upcoming posts – My thoughts on “Mo-vember”, CO2 as a method of euthanasia, and any neat biodiversity tidbits I come across.

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Today CALAS-Pacific had a webinar on a system called MouseOx by STARR Life Sciences which measures oxygen content in mice using infrared light. I’m not in the best of moods today – I seem to have come down with some sort of flu – and this seminar did a great job with getting me riled up. Grrr…

The apparatus itself is a good idea. It’s a non-intrusive way of measuring oxygen content and can be used in a variety of settings from research science to veterinary offices. But you know what would have been better? PowerPoints that showed up on screen. Narration that is clear and understandable. And more than 15-20 people showing up.

After the webinar wrapped up, a gentleman who had been sitting off to the side stood up an announced that there was some reading material available by the door for anyone who would be interested, and then he left.

Meanwhile, I stopped to ask some of the CALAS members what they thought of the talk. The general response was that they were “happy to be allowed to come” but that they “didn’t understand it”. This is what I have been saying, no, shouting, into internet cyberspace for the past year! Members are eager to learn and to improve their skills and knowledge, but CALAS-Pacific is not providing the appropriate training opportunities! What good is telling them about pulse oximetry when they don’t understand what arterial blood pressure is, or how hemoglobin works?

Duly informed, I made my way to leave and was planning my blog when I was accosted by the former Program Co-Chair for CALAS-Pacific who shoved a stack of papers in my face and demanded, “Are these yours?” These were the papers that the quiet gentleman had left behind. Huh? Um… you and everyone else saw that some unknown man left after announcing he was leaving papers for CALAS members to read. Clearly they belong to him. Why accuse me? And what am I being accused of!? :/ There is little more I hate than passive aggressiveness.

I ignored a glare and left our illustrious CALAS execs and former execs to themselves, grumbling over pieces of paper.  I am still not entirely sure what that was about, aside from using it as an excuse to make snide remarks to me.

Now, I am returning to the safety of my couch to nurse my flu.

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Hi all,
Just a reminder that CALAS-Pacific has finally gotten around to gracing us with another seminar Wednesday Oct 20 and guess what? It’s a webinar! :p Your member dollars at work…

I think this one is at least somewhat interactive, but I’m not sure. The speakers will be discussing a new technique for measuring oxygen content in mice.

It will be held at the BC Cancer Research Centre at 675 West 10th Ave, Vancouver BC tomorrow from 2:30 – 3:30. Enter from the main doors and head to your right to get to the auditorium.

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CALAS inquiries

I often get emails from local animal techs who are looking for more information about their local CALAS chapter. I got news for everyone: I’m not involved with that disfunctional group any longer and have not been for a while!

I would also strongly suggest that if you are a CALAS Pacific member that you DO NOT renew your membership for 2011. Instead of improving animal welfare and the education of animal technicians, they spent $250 on a failed restaurant reservation, intending on throwing a party for one of the executives. This was a party that members were NOT consulted on, despite the fact that it was member fees which paid for the costs.

And after this party failed (no one wanted to come to a party in the middle of nowhere), ANOTHER dinner was set up where the “guest of honor” was wined, dined and gifted (along with her husband – remind me again, what he has done for animal welfare?) on your membership dollars. Brilliant! When the regional organization has an annual budget of only a few thousand dollars, spending several hundred on one member doesn’t seem right to me.

Add that to the additional $500 the chapter spent to send this same person to the Quebec CALAS conference (even though there were other qualified nominees) and suddenly you have a suspicious amount of money being spent on one person.  Hm.

And how many educational seminars have been hosted outside of RLAT training? ONE seminar. ONE webinar (which was industry arranged and presented, and hardly counts as more than advertising).

Anyways, my ranting aside, if you still would like to contact CALAS, try this site for national contacts. And if you ask nicely, the national contacts should also be able to direct you to local contacts.

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I learned recently that the professional group I used to belong to (CALAS) spent $250 on a failed restaurant deposit in a bid to throw a party for one of the executives.

*hangs head*

I’m not sure what to say about this group of people, other than the fact that I’m deeply ashamed that they have taken members money and spent it so frivolously and without consultation. They have only had one educational seminar this year and one webinar that cost nothing. This is a group that is supposed to be educating the research technician community in Vancouver, and they are throwing away money on restaurant deposits????


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