Daily Archives: July 3, 2009

Life in Biosphere 2

Several years ago, I was at a going away party for Bruno. Bruno was a hard core scientist who was being brought into the Biosphere project down in Arizona to get it straightened out after a long period of bad press.

One of the folks at the party was an archaeology graduate student, Ben, who had a very dry sense of humor. As Ben was leaving that evening, he turned to Bruno to wish him well.

“Bruno, see you around! And good luck with the terrarium!”


Sorry, that’s my only Biosphere story. Here’s a Ted Talk on it:

Continue reading Life in Biosphere 2

Morning Sickness is an Adaptation, not a … Sickness

The best of last June

There is new information from an older idea (from about 2000) by Paul Sherman and colleagues. The idea underlying this research is simple: Symptoms of illnesses may be adaptive. Indeed, this may be true to the extent that we should not call certain things illnesses. Like “morning sickness.”

ResearchBlogging.orgBroadly speaking, there are two different kinds of reasons that a woman may experience nausea in association with pregnancy. 1) This pregnancy thing is a complicated mess with all kinds of hormonal (and other) things going on, so you puke; or 2) a woman who is pregnant feels nauseous for good evolutionary reasons.

Continue reading Morning Sickness is an Adaptation, not a … Sickness

Amnesty International Report Rejected …

Nigeria’s state oil company rejected criticism from a leading human rights group Wednesday, calling an Amnesty International report “inaccurate.”

“We have issues with the report,” said Levi Ajuonoma, a spokesman for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Amnesty said Tuesday that pollution and environmental impacts from the oil industry in the Niger Delta are creating a “human rights tragedy” in which local people suffer poor health and loss of livelihood.

Governments and oil companies are failing to be accountable for the problems, Amnesty said in its report, called “Petroleum, Pollution and Poverty in the Niger Delta.”

But the state oil company said it was local communities who cause much of the environmental damage by vandalizing pipelines for monetary gain.

Source: Shell Oil

Mail Order Russian Brides, Woovending, Shell Oil and Silence

As I noted several days ago, a temporary change in policy has brought ads for “Mail Order Russian Brides” as well as a number of other … interesting … products to the ad spaces on Scienceblogs.com. Since I pointed this out, other Scienceblog bloggers have apparently noticed it as well and complaints now abound among the bloggers and commenters. I had not personally noticed it, but apparently these new ads also include woovending. And of course, the site is still sponsored in part by Shell, which from a human rights perspective may be far more significant than Mail Order Russian Brides (but how does one compare, really).

Continue reading Mail Order Russian Brides, Woovending, Shell Oil and Silence