Monthly Archives: May 2010

Report Suspicious Behavior

A black four door older model caddy in need of some body work and a new muffler turned into our street. The car drove quickly but furtively, the driver seeming to not quite know where she wanted to go, to the end of the faux cul-du-sac off of which each development’s street radiated. A sharp left turn brought the vehicle next to a large storm sewer inlet, and out of the car flew a suspicious black thing with wires. The car roared off, too quickly to get the plate but not too quickly to be able to describe it and its occupants.

Continue reading Report Suspicious Behavior

The best of the best in plant biology, conservation, photography, and evolution

I have about ten favorite species of tree, and one of them is the corotú. Why? Because of one of the most interesting plant-animal interaction stories of recent times. The story, complete with extinct elephant-like creatures and a real Sherlock Holmes science theme can be read, along with some great images, at A Neotropical Savanna: The Corotú and the Gomphothere.
Continue reading The best of the best in plant biology, conservation, photography, and evolution

Minifalsehood: We can’t tell what a word is!?!?

I am looking at the question: How many words are there in a language? I’d like to know for languages in general, comparatively, and for pedagogical reasons, in some well known western language which may as well be English.

What I found quite incidentally is a hornets nest of curmudgeonistic pedanticmaniacal jibberishosity. (There. Whatever the count was, it is now N+3)

(For more Falsehoods, click here. Also, listen to “Everything You Know is Sort of Wrong,” on Skeptically Speaking Talk Radio. )
Continue reading Minifalsehood: We can’t tell what a word is!?!?

Australian cave painting could be 40 kya, depicts megafauna

This just in from OZ:

Scientists say an Aboriginal rock art depiction of an extinct giant bird could be Australia’s oldest painting.

The red ochre painting, which depicts two emu-like birds with their necks outstretched, could date back to the earliest days of settlement on the continent.

It was rediscovered at the centre of the Arnhem Land plateau about two years ago, but archaeologists first visited the site a fortnight ago.

A palaeontologist has confirmed the animals depicted are the megafauna species Genyornis.

Archaeologist Ben Gunn said the giant birds became extinct more than 40,000 years ago.

Details here

Hat Tip: Iain Davidson

Program notes

The podcast version of Everything You Know is Sort of Wrong with me, and Bonobo Handshake with Vanessa Woods, all on Skeptically Speaking with Desiree Schell, is available on line here

For those of you waiting for the Berry Go Round carnival: It will be out on Monday some time. I sniffed the breeze and decided that not enough people were on the Internet for this important iteration of this important web carnival. But late Monday and through Tuesday they’ll be chomping at the bit.

I’ve restarted my occasional weather-watcher blogging here. So far the weather’s been uninteresting but that is bound to change.

Meanwhile, I’m busy working on a couple of interesting new writing/blogging projects. Nothing that will surprise you, but hopefully you’ll like it.