Rogue Scholar Digest January 3, 2024


This is a summary of the Rogue Scholar blog posts published December 29, 2023 - January 2, 2024.


Martin Fenner

Front Matter


January 3, 2024

import requests
import locale
import re
from typing import Optional
import datetime
from IPython.display import Markdown

locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, "en_US")
baseUrl = ""
published_since = "2023-12-29"
published_until = "2024-01-02"
feature_image = 1
include_fields = "title,authors,published_at,summary,blog_name,blog_slug,doi,url,image"
url = (
    + f"posts?&published_since={published_since}&published_until={published_until}&language=en&sort=published_at&order=asc&per_page=50&include_fields={include_fields}"
response = requests.get(url)
result = response.json()

def get_post(post):
    return post["document"]

def format_post(post):
    doi = post.get("doi", None)
    url = f"[{doi}]({doi})\n<br />" if doi else ""
    title = f"[{post['title']}]({doi})" if doi else f"[{post['title']}]({post['url']})"
    published_at = datetime.datetime.utcfromtimestamp(post["published_at"]).strftime(
        "%B %-d, %Y"
    blog = f"[{post['blog_name']}]({post['blog_slug']})"
    author = ", ".join([f"{x['name']}" for x in post.get("authors", None) or []])
    summary = post["summary"]
    return f"### {title}\n{url}Published {published_at} in {blog}<br />{author}<br />{summary}\n"

posts = [get_post(x) for i, x in enumerate(result["hits"])]
posts_as_string = "\n\n".join([format_post(x) for x in posts])

def doi_from_url(url: str) -> Optional[str]:
    """Return a DOI from a URL"""
    match =
    if match is None:
        return None

images = [x["image"] for x in posts if x.get("image", None) is not None]
image = images[feature_image]
markdown = f"![]({image})\n\n"
markdown += posts_as_string

Molecules of the year 2023 – part 2. A FAIR data comment on a Strontium Metallocene.
Published December 29, 2023 in Henry Rzepa’s Blog
Henry Rzepa
I will approach this example of a molecule-of-the-year candidate – in fact the eventual winner in the reader poll – from the point of view of data. Its a metallocene arranged in the form of a ring comprising 18 sub-units.[1] Big enough to deserve a 3D model rather than the static images you almost invariably get in journals (and C&EN). So how does one go to the journal and acquire the coordinates for such a model?

The ribs of Brachiosaurus: stranger than you thought
Published December 30, 2023 in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Mike Taylor
As we’ve often observed, it’s a funny thing that incredibly well-known dinosaur specimens can sit around for decades, or for more than a century, before someone notices something fascinating about them. One lesson to learn from this is the importance of collections — their creation, maintenance and accessibility.

Running Around: 2023 running dataviz in R
Published December 31, 2023 in quantixed
Stephen Royle
2023 has been a great year in running for me. Previous running round-ups are here (2022, 2021). My two main goals for 2023 were to run 3000 km and also to run 50 HM-or-more distance runs. I managed both with a couple of weeks left. I also bagged new PBs for 5K, 10K and half marathon as well as a handful of segments on Strava. I won no races but I did win two little running competitions at work.

Citation.js: 2023 in review
Published December 31, 2023 in Syntaxus baccata
Lars Willighagen
This past year was relatively quiet for Citation.js, as changes to the more prominent components (BibTeX, RIS, Wikidata) start to slow down. I believe this is a good sign, and that it indicates the quality of the mappings is high.

Books for 2023
Published December 31, 2023 in Corin Wagen
Corin Wagen
(Previously: 2022) #1. Tony Fadell, Build #2. Giff Constable, Talking To Humans #3. Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Doing Hard Things #4. Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People Sounds Machiavellian, but actually quite wholesome: a “dad book,” as my friend called it.

Large Language Publishing
Published January 2, 2024 in Upstream
Jeff Pooley
The New York Times ushered in the New Year with a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft. The paper covered the suit, fittingly, as a major business story.

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