The weekend reads — stories you might have missed

Final Reminder | Deadline April 30 Early-bird deadline is April 30 for submissions for the 2013 ISTVS 7th Americas Regional Conference, which we're holding in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Agronomy Society of America.

Already submitted? Give better academic presentations

ISTVS Membership Directory | Connect easily with others who share your work interests and reach out to find colleagues with particular areas of expertise for collaboration: the ISTVS members-only LinkedIn group welcomes the participation of all current members. Participate in this live membership directory. Current members: request membership.

The weekend reads

New unmanned ground vehicle | This UGV is aimed at explosive ordnance disposal: a six-wheeled vehicle with a manipulator arm and a three-finger gripper. It includes a sensing system for control and dexterity to minimize damage to property and preserve forensic evidence. Top speed of 7.5 miles per hour; can also 'creep' for delicate operations. From Northrop Grumman. via LR

Happy Richter Scale Day | You may have missed this: Friday was International Richter Scale Day. It is the commemoration of the birth of Charles Francis Richter (26 April 1900–30 September 1985), the American seismologist who is the creator of the Richter scale in 1935. (ed.: GS Lutz Richter reports no relation!)

Survival tips for PhDs | To share with students you know: "A Survival Guide to Starting and Finishing a PhD"

Also for students... and their profs | Crazy wisdom for effective teaching: "Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Game Theory Exam"

We're all interface designers | Great short read if you work on anything has a user interface. Cred: the author is the cofounder of a company with an app that has been downloaded 130 million times: "Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think"

Making email better | VSRE: like RSVP, but for email: "very short reply expected". Allows for dispensing with extra politeness; short, not rude. Longer explanation: original discussion and the blog post. Pair with NRN: "no reply necessary." Canonical list here.

Mordor's Fire | The Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka, Russia, is terraforming actively this month and this guy’s taking amazing pictures. Here’s a live webcam where you might see some gaseous emissions.

And Ice | Cool off again with this picture of fresh tracks in Finland snow.