Daily Archives: June 24, 2008

Sex Ratio Bias in India

Sometimes boys are worth more, sometimes girls are worth more. In an evolutionary sense. Or, more correctly, the value of a certain sex … as an offspring … can be measured in fitness terms. Fisher noted this and hypothesized this was the explanation for the 50-50 sex ratio we usually see. As one sex becomes more rare, it becomes more valuable, and thus parents (mothers, perhaps, usually) bias towards that sex. Then the disparity goes away and thus the differential value goes away.Of course, the truth is that we don’t actually see the 50-50 sex ratio all the time … many species of organisms have a highly biased sex ratio. Many have a highly biased ratio in adults, much more biased than in offspring. This sort of thing varies quite a bit. But what about humans, and what about the report that Indian girl-boy ratios at ‘all-time low’ … Continue reading Sex Ratio Bias in India

The Earth Will Not Be Sucked Into A Black Hole. But it may coexist with a large number of tiny black holes until the end of time as we know it

An utterly incomprehensible paper has been produced by a team of physicists, designed to make everyone feel better about the possibility that the Large Hadron Collider will produce black holes that will suck the Earth into themselves.There is no effort whatsoever in this paper to speak to normal people. The most I can get out of it is that yes, black holes can form, and possibly very many of them, but it will take them longer to destroy the planet than it will take the sun to destroy the planet by exploding on its present schedule (of some billions of years from now). Which makes no sense to me at all until I saw this in the paper:i-3e69757bc7246d8a6a0807af04327d1d-stopping_black_holes.jpgAh, that makes me feel so much better….

Gotha!!! Big Goof in Press Report

We anthropologists love this stuff. This is why we go to zoos. So we can stand around near the ape cage and say to people .. “No, that’s not a monkey. It’s an ape….” and so on.Look a this cute little guy:i-c3d8c96632e7c6c3577900c5f133890f-aged_lemur_1.jpgObviously, this is an emperor tamarin, Sanguinus imperator. But the news report labels it as an Emporer tamarin and uses this headline:i-a2d760cc066136a6532cf20853fc6e6d-aged_lemur_2.jpgHA! Lemurs are, of course, prosimians, while tamarins are New World monkeys. That’s like calling a deer a cow, roughly.I quickly ad, I no my blog is ful of erors. But I do not have an editorial staff and it’s free.source

Ken Hubert, Hero of Life Science Teaching

i-68efa548cdb44e33126c5936c96fe3ed-evolution_2008.jpgContinuing with our discussion of the Evolution 2008 conference …Yet another item from the first day of the conference, the pre-conference teachers day sponsored by Evolution 2008 and the Minnesota Citizens for Science Education (MnCSE) …The Minnesota Citizens for Science Education presented Ken Hubert with an award. I am blanking on the name of the award right now, but eventually, the MnCSE web site will probably have a page on this, or an announcement about it. (We need time for some dust to settle.)Who is Ken Hubert?Well, when it comes to the Evolution – Creationism ‘debate’, Ken is Case Law 101… Continue reading Ken Hubert, Hero of Life Science Teaching

… too sexy for my blog … (Birthday wishes)

I had the strangest dream last night:

…The DHS girl had picked up that something was amiss, but a strategically placed index finger run from just behind her ear down to her throat while I explained the situation alleviated her concerns. She was suddenly quite helpful, and half a ton of red tape miraculously disappeared. It turns out she was a fan of Greg’s. …and mine.Greg was going to get his gift, and I was going to give it to him….

But it turned out to be Janie talking to me via the Intertubes, and wishing me a happy birthday. Thanks Janie!My grandmother was forever uttering these statements of fact … If her ankle hurt, she would say “It’s gonna rain” or if somebody spilled something she would say “an angle just sneezed” or whatever. And if I would scratch my nose, she would say “someone is talking about you.,..” But on the Intertubes, you just check Technorati, where I just found this. Thanks for the kind words, Troll Slayer!And this nice present from ERV (Thanks ERV!):i-8877f56fd39cd01e64bf5d42dbe9d9b5-is-mah-birfday-where-r-caek-dammit.jpg

Technology Tidbits

A new thing called “sporn” hits the intertubesi-b4d74b5686c2d3e402c453f559c7c5ef-ERV_spore.jpgErv writes a post: SPORE: Obvious happens, EA shocked which points out a flaw in the plan by EA games to take over the world … they may be causing the “The Internet is ruining society” scenario du jour.You see, spores (entities that users, players of the game, create on by what is all accounts amazing entity-creating software) created in this new universe are automatically converted to readily available animations, automatically uploaded to You Tube. But they can be very racy, even pornographic.

EA has been taking down sporn YouTubes and Sporepedia entries, and putting sporn makers accounts in ‘time-out’. Evidently it is someones job to sift through every single uploaded creature to make sure they arent ‘naughty’

Continue reading Technology Tidbits