Slides from my NDSU talk

By popular request, I’ve uploaded the slides I used in my talk at NDSU. I fear they won’t be very useful; you can see the structure of the talk, but what I was saying was the meat. For instance, there’s a slide that says “Francis Collins” and the title of his book, and what I did there was read an excerpt from his work, which isn’t anywhere in that document. Mac users, you can download the Keynote file, which has all the nice builds and transitions; everyone else will have to make do with a barebones
html version (there are a couple of slides where I dissolve in some photos that overlay the title…sorry, they won’t be readable here).

By the way, I’ve been using Keynote a lot lately—even when I’m going to do the presentation on a machine that only uses PowerPoint, I do all the creation and editing in Keynote and then export the whole thing to a ppt file. It’s beautiful. PowerPoint always gets in the way, doesn’t provide any help with what I actually want to do, and like everything Microsoft, is cumbersome, awkward, and ugly. Keynote is simple and clean and does the job, and then has those clever bits that make you appreciate how good Apple design is. Those alignment guides—brilliant! The dual-monitor setup so the presenter gets to see the next slide, with timers—I want it all the time! It’s also not that expensive for educators…heck, it’s not that expensive for non-educators.

Now if only it were available on every computer on which I have to do a presentation…


  1. ikonen says

    I’m no MS fanboy, but being a scientist like yourself, I understand that one is frequently forced to use MS products. And I completely agree about the side-to-side. One thing I miss about transparencies is being able to see what slide is coming next. So I thought I would point out you can do the side-by-side in PPT as well, even on a Windows machine. It’s just time consuming to setup because you have to change the behavior of the second monitor (presumably the projector) to extend the desktop rather than mirror what’s on the first monitor (presumably the laptop screen), and this is done in the monitors control panel, not in PPT. Then in PPT select “show slide show on secondary monitor”. It’s a long enough process that I’ve never had the chance to try it in a conference, where one is usually either expected to setup in a minute or pre-load the presentation onto the dedicated presentation computer, so I’m not sure how much this helps :-).

  2. Amit says


    I’ve become a Keynote fan myself. I agree, its *beautiful* I love those slide transitions.

  3. says

    Ahh, Mac. With the Darwin/BSD core and an X client, there’s simply no reason to use MS hackware at all. (I’m biased for three reasons: I do a lot of gfx production; I dislike viruses; and I like stable OSen.)

    I feel a long thread coming on here. :D

    Re the slides — digest version, indeed! Was the talk recorded by some diligent student willing to MP3ize it?

  4. jbCharleston says

    It’s a shame that MS has monopolized the science community. My son-in-law is a cancer genetist, and I’ve watched him slave over PPT (and he’s good at it). I’m a computer scientist, and we have been able to resist the spreading fungus at conventions. Most conventions I go to allow us to bring our own machines (about 1/2 of us bring Powerbooks). Keynote is SO much easier to use in creation and presentation. I can add narration or video clips trivially. And in the timing feature, I was once able to argue that I actually had another 3 minutes in my time allotment.

    BTW if there are any West Wing or Studio 60 fans, did you notice that when Sorkin left WW, the laptops turned from Powerbooks into PC laptops. Now that Sorkin is back in the saddle with Studio 60, all of the computers are Apple. This is a product placement I approve!

  5. says

    Boy oh boy, you got me that time PZ.

    I loaded up your slideshow expecting to see lots of amusing pictures of your lab boobery in practice (“stand back kids, I have no clue what might happen here…nyuk, nyuk, nyuk”), only to find the violent regurgitations of an obsessed, hate filled lunatic.

    Man…you *are* deep! Heh heh.

    And you do have quite a following!

    ikonen, you say you’re a scientist…”like PZ”….do you practice “science” in the same field, or do your obsessions have some other focus.

    Perhaps you’re driven mad about the continued existence of the nuclear family, or maybe the continued practice of natural procreation in the age of the Petri dish has you foaming?

    Heh. Now I why I’ve been unable to find any published work from PZ..I’ve been searching Google scholar!

    I expect I’ll have better luck now by focusing my search to “raving secularist militias”…no, really.

  6. QrazyQat says

    The one where Dick Cheney can have people arrested for criticizing him.

    God bless the USA, “where at least I like to pretend I’m free”. (corrected Lee Greenwood)

  7. says

    PZ, you should check out OmniGraffle if you haven’t already. As far as I can tell, Keynote borrows its alignment-foo from that app. I was using it before Keynote, it existed before Keynote, and it’s really good for making figures that you can easily paste into Keynote. The auto-alignment is much more powerful, and it’s also good for conference posters.

    Also, much as I hate to admit it, PowerPoint on OS X had the presenter view before Keynote, but Keynote’s version is at least better now that they have it.

  8. says

    Thanks for the link A-troll, it was very illuminating.

    Of, relating to, or induced by a mental disorder; insane or mad.

    In 2002 brainsick associate professor PZ Meyers presents his last paper, opting to abandon his scholarly research in favor of running around mocking persons of religious faith.

    This same year, PZ creates “pharyngula”, a webblog devoted to this insane obsession.

    Sounds like a cry for help to me.

  9. Blaine says

    ok… swiftee is either completly dishonest, or genuinely stoopid… I spotted this line on the CV within 10 seconds….

    Updated: July 10, 2003

    I think somebody needs thier own cry for help.

  10. says

    The dual-monitor setup so the presenter gets to see the next slide, with timers–I want it all the time!

    After reading some of Edward Tufte’s rants about PowerPoint, I realized that one common problem with PowerPoint presentations is that they try to do two things at once: show a slide to the audience, and show the presenter his notes.

    You yourself have said, I believe, that in a good presentation you can spend ten minutes talking about a single slide. But every square inch on a PowerPoint slide that contains presenter’s notes is space that can’t be used for a detailed graph or figure. So there ought to be a dual-head setup, where the presenter sees his notes and the audience just sees the figure.

    The easy way to do this is to print out notes on index cards, and just use PowerPoint for data-dense slides, but it would be nice to have everything in one file. I wonder if Keynote’s dual-head feature can be used for this.

  11. says

    arensb: yes, Keynote will show you your notes. You can completely customize the presenter view. If you want to have your slide and notes, you can have that. Or, you can just have your notes. Or your notes and a timer. You can move around and resize or delete any of the components.

    I used the notes view for my prospectus presentation and it went quite well.

    P.S. Blaine: Yes, I saw that too, but a quick glance through Google Scholar’s recent articles didn’t show any recent publications. PZ, maybe it’s time to update the ol’ CV?