Daily Archives: April 27, 2008

Ernest Madu

Dr. Ernest Madu runs the Heart Institute of the Caribbean in Kingston, Jamaica, where he proves that — with careful design, smart technical choices, and a true desire to serve — it’s possible to offer world-class healthcare in the developing world. Listen for some eye-opening statistics on heart disease, which is as ruthless a killer in poorer nations as in richer ones.

Continue reading Ernest Madu


My friend Matt says that when he gets up in the morning, the first thing he does is to reach his hands skyward, extend to first and second fingers on each hand, and produce two synchronized rapid curling motions with these fingers.In so doing, everything else he does that day is “in quotes.”Have you ever noticed how often quotations are used incorrectly, and don’t you “find” this totally “annoying?”The main problem, of course, is that people “think” quotes are for “emphasis” … when they are really for the exact opposite. Something that you put in quotes (that is not a, well, an actual quote) is something that you don’t really believe. So, the following is correct:

Intelligent design is a “theory” about evolution. Well, not really.

An incorrect use of quotes would be as in the following hypothetical sign in front of a resturant:

Come on in and try our “delicious” “food”

So, well, go have some “fun” at “The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

Teach Creationism in the Classroom

This page is designed for teachers, pastors, youth leaders and organizations to provide useful tools and resources to promote the ideas surrounding this highly anticipated film.

You can get Expelled! movie clips to show in your life science class. This site has many movies designed for Christian teachers to use in the classroom… The developers of the side have

… made showing movie clips fast and convenient for anyone to use. It’s as simple as a click of a button. Also, we custom edit clips to better illustrate specific points. For instance, we might delete a portion of a scene, combine two scenes from the same film, filter out inappropriate content, adjust the brightness and/or audio volume, etc., for the optimal viewing experience in a church setting.

At the same site, WingNuts.com, you can also get sermon outlines and other useful items.It costs about 16 bucks a month to access this material.All For you. At WingNuts.com.

Enigmatic Sex Ratio in a Nearly Extinct Bird

Pterodroma magentae is the Magenta Petral (also known as the Chatham Island Taiko). There are between 8 and 15 breeding pairs in the New Zealand home range of this species. Indeed, this bird was thought extinct for quite some time before it was rediscovered in 1978.A recent study indicates something funny is going on with sex ratio and mating strategies in this bird, which may, although I’m not quite sure how, lead to improved conservation efforts. From a BirdLife press release: Continue reading Enigmatic Sex Ratio in a Nearly Extinct Bird

Ancient Soft Parts: Dinosaur and Elephant Tales

Some of my colleagues are downplaying the recent paper in science showing a: that mastodons are elephants and b: that birds and dinosaurs … in particular Tyrannosaurus rex and turkeys … are related. (See here and here, for instance)ResearchBlogging.orgYes, it is true that these phylogenetic findings are wholly uninteresting, being exactly what we expected. But that is WHY these particular phylogenies were carried out.You see, the research is being done with organic material that is very very old, and is amazingly, remarkably, unexpectedly and astoundingly preserved. The point of using this material to test a phylogeny that we already know is actually to test the material … the organic stuff in the ‘fossils’ … to see if it is for real.And yes, indeed, it is. Bits of rotted flesh from a mastodon and an old dinosaur exist. Ick.Here are the ancient elephant and the dinosaur resting comfortably on their phylogenetic laurels: Continue reading Ancient Soft Parts: Dinosaur and Elephant Tales

Trends in Inequality of Mortality in the U.S.

ResearchBlogging.orgInequality in mortality is the most poignant reminder of persistent, often multi-generational differences in socioeconomic status (SES). Poor people are more likely to get sick and die than rich people. As a society develops over time, one would hope that this disparity would be reduced, but in fact, it often increases. Recent research published in PLoS Medicine heralds this bad news.This study is fairly unique in that it examines life expectancy across counties, which are the smallest demographic unit for which the appropriate kind of data are collected. The study examines death rates by county in all US states and D.C. from 1961 to 1999. The data are broken down by sex and disease type.The following general patterns were noted: Continue reading Trends in Inequality of Mortality in the U.S.