What @sciam’s actions tell me as a female scientist of color

Scientist and science communicator @DNLee5 declined an offer to blog for free from biology-online.org and got called a ‘whore’.  @DNLee5 posted a thoughtful response on her Scientific American‘s blog ’The Urban Scientist‘.  A short time later, her response vanished

I couldn't access her link...

I couldn’t access her link…

@DNLee5‘s response post was taken down by @sciam.  Why?

In the words of the wise woman Judge Judy…

I was born at night – 5:05pm to be precise – but it wasn’t LAST night.   Unlike @sciam admin, I actually read a number of @sciamblogs.  It may shock @sciam admin, but a number of your bloggers aren’t writing all about the wonders of “discovering science”.  In a post titled ‘This is not a post about discovering science“, Kate Clancy lists the FIVE posts she’s written that aren’t sciency.  Christie Wilcox also pointed to her own non-sciency stuff.  Janet Stemwedel is also dubious of @sciam‘s position.   These are two  three @sciam bloggers taking @sciam to task over their… shall we say… inconsistent policy (update: read comment #3 at this Christie Wilcox post).

Take a moment and go view the twitter profiles of Kate Clancy, Christie Wilcox, Janet Stemwedel, and Danielle Lee.  No, seriously, go look at each of their profiles. I’ll wait here.

Notice that one of these three four @sciam bloggers is not like the other? Was it perhaps the same one that had their “not appropriate” post taken down?  Was it the one that is blogging while brown?

Yes, it IS shocking. Here’s what it tells me….

@DNLee5 isn’t seen as equal to her @sciamblogs peers by @sciam admin.  It tells me @sciam has one set of rules for its real team members and another set for us brown folks.

It makes me angry and sad for @DNLee5 - a colleague and friend.  It makes me look at @sciam twice – and not in a good way.

I expected better from @sciam. I want better from @sciam. If I don’t get better from @sciam?

I’m done with @sciam.

_____

@DrRubidium
Editor-in-Commandant

________

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.@DNLee responds to being called a ‘whore’ for saying “no thanks”

wachemshe hao hao kwangu mtapoa

I got this wrap cloth from Tanzania. It’s a khanga. It was the first khanga I purchased while I was in Africa for my nearly 3 month stay for field research last year. Everyone giggled when they saw me wear it and then gave a nod to suggest, “Well, okay”. I later learned that it translates to “Give trouble to others, but not me”. I laughed, thinking how appropriate it was. I was never a trouble-starter as a kid and I’m no fan of drama, but I always took this 21st century ghetto proverb most seriously:

Don’t start none. Won’t be none.

For those not familiar with inner city anthropology – it is simply a variation of the Golden Rule. Be nice and respectful to me and I will do the same. Everyone doesn’t live by the Golden Rule it seems. (Click to embiggen.)

The Blog editor of Biology-Online dot org asked me if I would like to blog for them. I asked the conditions. He explained. I said no. He then called me out of my name.

My initial reaction was not civil, I can assure you. I’m far from rah-rah, but the inner South Memphis in me was spoiling for a fight after this unprovoked insult. I felt like Hollywood Cole, pulling my A-line T-shirt off over my head, walking wide leg from corner to corner yelling, “Aww hell nawl!” In my gut I felt so passionately:”Ofek, don’t let me catch you on these streets, homie!”

This is my official response:

It wasn’t just that he called me a whore – he juxtaposed it against my professional being: Are you urban scientist or an urban whore? Completely dismissing me as a scientist, a science communicator (whom he sought for my particular expertise), and someone who could offer something meaningful to his brand.What? Now, I’m so immoral and wrong to inquire about compensation? Plus, it was obvious me that I was supposed to be honored by the request..

After all, Dr. Important Person does it for free so what’s my problem? Listen, I ain’t him and he ain’t me. Folks have reasons – finances, time, energy, aligned missions, whatever – for doing or not doing things. Seriously, all anger aside…this rationalization of working for free and you’ll get exposure is wrong-headed. This is work. I am a professional. Professionals get paid. End of story. Even if I decide to do it pro bono (because I support your mission or I know you, whatevs) – it is still worth something. I’m simply choosing to waive that fee. But the fact is I told ol’ boy No; and he got all up in his feelings. So, go sit on a soft internet cushion, Ofek, ’cause you are obviously all butt-hurt over my rejection. And take heed of the advice on my khanga.

You don't want none of this

Thanks to everyone who helped me focus my righteous anger on these less-celebrated equines. I appreciate your support, words of encouragement, and offers to ride down on his *$$.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Professional woman declines working for free, gets called ‘Whore’

Scientist and science communicator @DNLee5 was contacted by Ofek, Blog Editor of biology-online.org regarding a non-paying guest blogging spot.  Deciding she didn’t wish to work for free, @DNLee5 informed Ofek that she was declining his offer.  Ofek responded…

whore email

Oh, poor biology-online.org editor! Ofek clearly doesn’t own – of have access to – a dictionary.  Here’s the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of ‘whore‘:

whore defn

Huh.  @DNLee5 has a PhD in biology, studies animal behavior and behavioral ecology, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at a Major Research University (MRU). She is also a member of the Scientific American blog network, is a sought after speaker, and regularly engages in science outreach.  She gets paid to do science research and science communication.  She doesn’t get paid to “engage in sexual acts” nor is she “a venal or unscrupulous person”.  She is not a whore.  What is she?  Let’s take a look at another Merriam-Webster definition!

professional defn@DNLee5  is professional with a particular set of skills, a person who is highly trained, a person that expects to be paid for her work.  You know, like all other professionals.

…but Ofek doesn’t view @DNLee5 as a professional.  Ofek doesn’t view @DNLee5 as a person worthy of professional treatment, of respect, of a minimum level of civility.  No, Ofek views @DNLee5 as a troublesome woman who won’t do as they’re told.  As such, Ofek called her ‘whore’.

I call Ofek ‘delusional‘ – and a few other choice terms.

___________

@DrRubidium
Editor-in-Commandant
Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Sleepless in Science

I have taken your Delusional Man-Child Has Most Incredible List of Dating Requirements and replaced it with a Delusional Scientist Has Most Incredible List of Collaboration Requirements.  

I am looking for a decent colleague that wants to be in a long term research collaboration with me.

I want the colleague to be smart.

I like colleagues that are brainy, or with a fast-thinking or nimble mind. A average brain is fine too, just as long as you are not over witless. I will not experiment with a overwitless or fatuous colleague.

I like colleagues that are 130 IQ points or slightly less. Of course wit needs to be in proportion to their humor, as long as they aren’t considred overwitless, they should be fine.

Being overwitless is a total dealbreaker with me.

I also like colleagues with long handwriting. I like a colleague to look like a colleague, not a manual, I like a fastidious, precise colleague. I like handwriting down to the footer at least. Sometimes I can make exceptions if it is shorter depending on how it looks on the page. But for the most part, I love long handwriting.

Redshirts are my favorite, next is Browncoats, and next is Batmaniacs, in that order. I like all 3, but I’m just saying if I had to choose, that’s my order of preference.

I will not work with a Biology colleague. I don’t care if they’re skilled like David Baltimore, I will not ever work with a Biology colleague.

However, I will work any other discipline, Chemist, Biochemist, Physicist, Mathematician, Computer Scientist, whatever, anything except Biology.

I do not like glasses on a colleague. Although, it’s not a dealbreaker, as long as they can wear contacts at least most of the time.

I do not ever want to have undergraduate researchers, so if a colleague is wanting to have undergraduate researchers, I am not her/his collaborator.

I will not work with a colleague that does not have a NIH or NSF career development grant.

I am not looking for any type of colleague that is materialistic or a gold digger or expects a collaborator to pay for everything.

I do not like tattoos on a colleague. If a colleague already has tattoos, it may not be a deal breaker unless they plans to get more in the future. If a colleague has something small and feminine like a butterfly or rose already on their ankle or something then it may not necessacerily be a dealbreaker. And it would also help if they would consider having them laser removed, something I might would even pay grant money to have done for them.

To me, tattoos just represent white trash or somone that’s been in prison. I do not care for following trends like mindless sheep and getting tats just because what ever Star on TV got them, they will always be a symbol of White Trash. The Colleague human body is the most beautiful work of science Evolution ever created, to tattoo it with ink is the same as vandalising a famous Monet painting with a can of spray paint!

I also do not like piercings on a colleague. I do not like a colleague to have anything pireced other than their Ears. If they has other piercings it’s not a dealbreaker as long as they removes them and never wears them again.

I do not like gamblers. I will not be in any relationship with a colleague that gambles or wastes money on such things.

I do not like technicians! I will not work with any colleague that has ever been a technician. I believe that the only person that should ever see a colleague’s lab technique is only their PI or collaborator.

I will not work with any colleague that has ever had a dual appointment, or a large number of past research partners. I do not want a promiscuous scientist, I want a normal, decent, good hearted colleague.

I will not work with any colleague that can not always be honest & faithful to me. This is very important.

I prefer a colleague that does not smoke, but as long as she/he does not smoke in my house or around me, if she/he can go outside and smoke, then I can live with that. I worked with my ex colleague for Eleven years, and she was a smoker.

I will not work with any colleague if she is still collaborating with any colleagues that she/he has been partnered with in the past, I believe once a collaboration with someone is over, it’s OVER.

I will not work with a selfish colleague. I do not like selfish colleagues at all.

I do not like sarcastic or cynical people, I do not like people that always think negatively either, so that type of colleague would also not be a good match for me.

I know sometimes on my website here, I may seem like a negative person because I point out sooooo many things that I dislike, but I assure you I am a very positive person, I am just tring to put out here my likes/dislikes so you can know more about me and what type of colleague may get along with me.

I do not expect a colleague to agree with all of my beliefs or opinions etc, but I do not like to argue, and it’s very important that we can work in peace together if at some point the colleague & I share lab space. I like to work in a quiet & peaceful environment. That is extremely important to me.

I like a colleague that dresses on the conservative side. Not like a senator, and not anything weird. Just normal is fine. T-Shirt & Jeans are OK. But a colleague in a lab coat really gets my heart racing! I also love it when a colleague wears a Tyvex with boots, not cowboy boots, but disposable booties. Or field work boots, I love spiked field work boots!

I like a colleague that takes care of themself and keeps themself clean of course.

I love it when a colleague wears business casual in the boardroom! Especially polo shirts!

I need a colleague that can be very wealthy & academic and loquacious.

It’s also nice if the colleague has a big R01 and appreciates simples things, and understands the value of small indirect costs etc.

I like a colleague that appreciates romance and the art of grant writing.

Data analysis is one of my most favorite things to do with a colleague, it’s very important. I also love to hold a colleagues hand when I am walking with she/he. And I love working beside a colleague and keeping them close to me, and sharing an office with she/he. In fact THAT is the reason I named this website “Sleepless In Science” because I haven’t had a single good nights sleep in years, ever since my collaboration ended with my ex-colleague.

And yes, I also liked the movie Sleepless in Seattle, haha :-D

It dosen’t matter at all to me how big or small a colleague’s instruments are. I prefer them to be reasonably new & solely owned though. I am against university centralized instrumentation facilities, I see them as unnecessery self-imposed budget constraint, and I would not want a colleague that depends on shared instruments.

I prefer a colleague that has never had undergraduate researchers, because having undergraduate researchers does ruin a colleague’s body of work often times. They end up with lower IF publications. And also sometimes it makes their lab looser, and I don’t care how many training exercises a colleague does, after she has 2 or 3 eighteen to twenty-two year undergraduate researchers, you can’t tell me it’s going to be 100% as tight as it ever was! Plus, what’s even worse than all of that, is sometimes during undergraduate researcher training the lab coat of a colleague get torn and they never look the same as the did originally even after they patch it, that’s why some colleagues even get expert tailoring to their lab coats after undergraduate researcher training to try and regain their original lab appearance.

Now I’m not saying having had a undergraduate researcher or two is a for sure dealbreaker for me, but it’s a case by case basis, and I prefer a colleague that’s never had undergraduate researchers if possible. My ex-colleague that I was with for Eleven years never had undergraduate researchers, she couldn’t because of an appointment at a non-baccalaureate granting institution.

I like to get a lot of attention in a collaboration, and I like to give it as well.

I also have a very high research drive.

__________

Tina Fey gif from here.
You’re welcome gif from here.
Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

It’s called a “J-O-B” for a reason

When I’m asked for advice, I usually confine my answers to three simple replies.   But for question, “Can I hit on somebody at work?”, I’m making an exception….

You should NOT hit on your coworkers.  

Yes, yes. You have follow-up comments.  Allow me to address those..

  1. “Surveys say of people meet their [whatever] at work!”
 

A survey also said polls are biased, so…

 

2.   “But where am I supposed to meet people for teh romance?”

 

 Let me help you…

 Try a dance club…

 

 …or a book club…

 
 

…or online…

 

 …or shopping

 

 …but NOT at work. Because you should be, you know, working.

 

 You’re paid to do your job. I’m pretty confident that your job description doesn’t include creeping on your colleagues.

 

3.  ”But s/he seems totally in to me!”

 
 

 This next part may just…

 …but what if s/he is NOT into you? What if they’re just being collegial? You know, because you’re colleagues?  What if s/he expects to be treated as a competent professional and not as the object of your desire?

 

 _______

Advice dispensed by @DrRubidium

 

_____________

Judge Judy image from here
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Confessions of a Shopoholic image from here
RuPaul image from here
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Samsung serves up sucky ad for good SSD

Samsung has a good solid state drive (SSD) which they’ve to decided to advertise with this…

4

Samsung 840 EVO Series Solid State Drive

4

Let’s look at the dialogue, shall we?

4

Q] What do you usually use your computer for?

Woman: “I look at pictures or videos of my children from family trips, use the internet and help my children with their homework, and that’s about it.”

Man #1: “I do homework, I play games, I sometimes transfer files to different devices, I also share files with friends.”

Man #2: “I mainly manage files for work.”

 

Q]What are your frequent computer-related problems?

Woman: “I leave my computer on because it takes so long to boot, so it’s always on while I do chores.”

...like watching this commercial?

Chores? Like watching this commercial?

Man #1: “Well, when I’m on the computer for a while, it starts to really heat up.”

Man #2: “My computer can be very slow when I have several programs running, that’s very frustrating.”

sorta like the dialogue of this commercial?

Like the dialogue of this commercial, Man #2?

Man #1: “After a few months of owning my computer, it doesn’t work as fast. So, I have to format it. Backup and organize my files, install a new operating system.  It’s annoying and just a waste of time.”

we're on the same page when it comes to this commercial, Man #1!

We’re on the same page when it comes to this commercial, Man #1!

Meet the Samsung Solid State Drive

840 EVO

Woman: “What?”

Man #1: “Wow! This is the SSD, right?!”

Man #2: “Ah, this is the SSD. I’ve heard of it. It’s so thin and light?!”

 

Q] Do you want to change your computer’s hard disk drive to this?

Woman: “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to.”

Man #1: “Okay.”

Man #2: “Okay. Let’s give it a shot!”

 

Q] Have you ever played with little toy bricks before? It’s as simple as that.

Woman: “Ah.”

Yes, even ladies can do it!

Yes, even ladies can do it!

Man #2: “Wow! That’s amazing!”

Woman: “Aw, I did it! Did you see that?”

 

Q] Has anything changed?

Man #1: “It’s exactly the same. All the programs are all there.”

Woman: “I can barely hear any noise. More importantly, it starts up faster.”

Man #2: “I never imagined that this SSD would be this good!  What have I been doing this whole time?”

 

Q] What differences have you noticed?

Woman: “It’s so easy to use, look at what I’ve done, I feel like an expert.”

Man #1: “Well, I play games quite often, but it took forever to load. But now, wow! This is great!”

Man #2: “I get bored waiting for large files to copy because it takes so long. And sometimes programs freeze. But now, it flies!”

samsung flies

So, the opposite of this commercial, Man #2?

Woman: “It’s easy to use.”

Man #1: “And it has amazing speed.”

Man #2: “I’d love to have the Samsung SSD 840 EVO.”

The End.

samsung evolve

Samsung, it’s time for your ads to evolve.

_________

All images captured from the Samsung ad mentioned herein.

__________

UPDATE! Check out this Reddit thread. Thanks to @criener  and @torgospizza!

 

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Science-as-utopia

During the latest #IsisVsTomasson, Tomasson touched on whole science-as-utopia idea…

One thing that I used to think was science was above all these social issues we’ve been discussing… I thought science transcended all of this identity politics…

There are people that believe science is above all the bullshit. Because science is facts and reason and shit, so scientists are totally above bullshit of any kind.  Scientists have achieved a Utopian State Of Bliss which non-scientists can only dream of.

To those science-as-utopia people, I say this:

Come join us in the real world.

living in fantasy land

Science is an endeavor. Done by people. You know, people.  The same people that can be bigots and assholes.  There is no Science Gatekeeper keeping bigots and assholes out.

you shall not pass

ScienceLand, like everywhere else, has bigots and assholes.  If you’re not seeing the bigotry or assholeness, maybe – just maybe – it’s because it’s not directed at you.  It’s directed at others so they are fully aware of their otherness.  If you’re not sensitive to the bigotry and the assholeness, maybe – just maybe – you’re not sensitive enough rather than others being too sensitive.

We scientists are not above the bullshit.  We are in it up too our motherfucking eyeballs. Just like everybody else.

_______________

@DrRubidium
Editor-in-Commandant

k

Fantasyland image from here
You shall not pass image from here
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We can’t have a female Doctor Who because BULLSHIT

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know two things:

  1. The Red Wedding went exactly how it sounds
  2. Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who

Let us focus on #2. And by focus on #2, I mean let us focus on the next, shiny new Doctor.

For years, Whovians have been wondering when we’re going to see a Doctor of Color and/or a Lady Doctor.  Wonder no more on the Lady Doctor! We won’t be seeing a Lady Doctor.  Because Doctor Who is “a family show”.  Because, as Russell T Davies explains

While I think kids will not have a problem with a female Doctor, I think fathers will have a problem with it.

That’s because they will then imagine they will have to describe sex changes to their children.

Well, we wouldn’t want dads to have challenging or awkward conversations with their kids.  Because explaining time travel, what up with the Daleks being so pissed at us all the time, those creepy stone angels, why people drop like flies around the Doctor, and how the Doctor can regenerate (albeit to only white dudes?) to kids is A PIECE OF CAKE.

Seriously, how did these poor dads explain the whole regeneration thing?  ”Hey kids, all white guys from the UK are basically interchangeable so don’t be freaked out and it’s totally cool.”

The mind reels to think of these dads explaining how the Doctor is now a man of color. Oh wait…

___________

@DrRubidium
Editor-in-Commandant

3

Image of the Doctors from wikipedia

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Fat PhD had enough willpower to write dissertation, just in case you were worried

Dr. Geoffrey Miller, a evolutionary social psychologist at the University of New Mexico, voiced a bit of concern over fatty would-be PhD students yesterday…

Hold on to your butts!  I was fat in graduate school.  I was fat when I was going to class and doing research.  I was fat when writing my dissertation.  I was fat when I defended my dissertation.  When I graduated, I grabbed my diploma with both of my fat hands.  I’m fat now.  Know what else?

I have a fucking PhD, bitches!!!!!!!!

Amazingly, when not scarfing down Doritos and Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, I managed to do all the shit required to get a doctorate in chemistry. You know, chemistry, one of those hard physical sciences.

Also amazingly, there were other fatties in my graduate program. They too got PhDs! It’s almost as if fatness has nothing to do with PhDness…. something Dr. Miller seemed to sorta, kinda, maybe, perhaps recognized after twitter blew up in his face.

Somebody’s been consulting the apology flowchart. How nice!

____________________

@DrRubidium
Editor-in-Commandant 
k

Editorial Materials & MethodsmA massive amount of carbs was consumed while writing this post and absolutely no willpower was utilized.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

What the fuck am I listening to?!

Miguel – How Many Drinks? – The Forum – Live in London – January 17 2013

We all know the downside of actually listening to lyrics of a catchy pop tune.  That’s right, you’ll realize the lyrics are wack, the song is ruined, and now you’re likely pissed-off at whoever wrote and/or sang it.

Case in point, Miquel’s ‘How Many Drinks’.  Let’s examine the lyrics, shall we?

Frustration, watching you dance
Invitation, to get in them pants
Come closer baby, so I can touch
One question, am I movin’ too fast?

Cause I ain’t leavin alone, feel like I could be honest, babe!
We both know that we’re grown
That’s why I wanna know 
How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?

Here’s what I’ve gleaned from the song thus far… Miquel has identified a person he’s sexually attracted to.  He’d like to take this person home for the purposes of sex, but he’s not sure said person will agree to his plan in their current sober state.  As such, he’s asking said person to ballpark how much alcohol they’ll need to consume to agree to his plan.  Hmmm… that sounds damn shady.  Perhaps I’ve made a mistake?

Yeah, you look good and I got money
But I don’t wanna waste my time
Back of my mind I’m hopin’ you say two or three
You look good, we came to party 
But I don’t wanna waste my time

Temptation, is calling your name
Sweet persuasion, baby this is a game
Come closer, baby, if you like what you hear
Impression, is what I’m makin you feel

Cause I ain’t leavin alone, feel like I could be honest, babe!

We both know that we’re grown
That’s why I wanna know 
How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?
Yeah, you look good and I got money
But I don’t wanna waste my time
Back of my mind I’m hopin you say two or three
You look good, we came to party 
But I don’t wanna waste my time (waste my time)

No… no… seems I was correct.  Miquel realizes his plan hinges on plying the person he’s attracted to with booze.  Miquel is hoping that it will only take 2 or 3 drinks – not because he’s cheap or poor, mind you!  Oh no, he’s “…got plenty of money”.  Miquel is hoping ‘seal the deal’ in the time it takes said person to ingest 2-3 cocktails, because Miquel is a busy man who doesn’t want his time wasted.  Miquel “…ain’t leaving here alone…”.  So, if the first person he tries to get liquored-up is a no-go, he’ll need to move on to - presumably - person #2.  Plan B, if you will.

Now, whatever you think of Miquel at this point, Miquel would like you to know he’s open-minded.

No, no, no
I ain’t judgin
If you do decide that you might be fuckin’ tonight, what?
More power to you if you do decide that you might be fuckin’ tonight

You see, if said person does decide to engage in sex with Miquel, he won’t think that person  is a whore.  How nice.

This next part of the song is a bit…. well… there’s a odd paleontology reference, he likes your ass (bonus?), appreciates your workout regime, and seems to wish he had a set of breasts like yours?

Le-le-let me dig that out like a fossil
Damn baby that ass is colossal
Pilates a mill did that body so good 
You’ve gotten a pair I wish I could

…and then we’re back to the whole how-much-alcohol-will-it-take-for-you-to-have-sex-with-me thing…

How many drinks would it take you to leave with me? 
You look good and we came to party but I don’t wanna waste my time. 
Back of my mind I’m hopin you say two or three
Agree? Indeed
You look good and we came to party but don’t wanna waste my time,
Or waste your time, or waste your time, or waste our time
Baby it’s alright, baby it’s alright, baby it’s alright
Oh it’s alright now, alright, oh yeah
I don’t wanna waste my time
I don’t wanna waste no time
I don’t wanna waste your time
I don’t wanna waste our time, 
Or my time

How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?
Yeah, you look good and I got money
But I don’t wanna waste my time
Back of my mind I’m hopin you say two or three
You look good, we came to party 
But I don’t wanna waste my time (waste my time)

…but remember, Miquel’s not judgey…

No, no, no
I ain’t judgin
If you do decide that you might be fuckin’ tonight, what?
More power to you if you do decide that my might be fuckin’ tonight
I ain’t judgin
If you do decide that you might be fuckin’ tonight, what?
More power to you if you do decide that my might be fuckin’ tonight

Let’s go, shit
You only live once right?
I mean, where’s the fun in forever anyway?

What the fuck am I listening to?!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments