Daily Archives: August 11, 2010

New Primate Fossil Informs Us of the Ape-Monkey Split During the Oligocene

ResearchBlogging.orgThe newly reported Saadanius hijazensis may or may not be a “missing link” but in order for this monkey to climb onto the primate family tree, a new branch had to be sprouted. So, not only is Saadanius hijazensis a new species, but it is a member of a new taxonomic Family, Saadaniidae, which in turn is a member of a new Superfamily, Saadanioidea. Why is this important? It’s complicated. But not too complicated.

The fossil was found while University of Michigan paleontologist Iyad Zalmout was busy looking for dinosaur fossils in western Saudi Arabia. He found the monkey, from a much later time period, instead. Ooops.
Continue reading New Primate Fossil Informs Us of the Ape-Monkey Split During the Oligocene

Maybe oil spills reduce hurricanes?

No, no, probably not, although I did receive my first BP Oil Spill denialist comment this morning. Nonetheless, we have had very little in the way of storms that might develop into hurricanes.

The best I can do for you now is Tropical Depression FIVE, which is sitting in the Gulf and heading for New Orleans, where it will be a very bad storm with heavy rain and wind … an actual “tropical storm” … but not enough of a problem to do much other than remember to close the windows and cancel the soft ball game or whatever one does out doors for entertainment in August in Coastal Louisiana.

TD Five is likely to turn into an actual tropical storm by tomorrow mid day or afternoon, and will reach landfall and move inland in a few days, dissipating well before next Wednesday.

Teabagger Ron Micheli and the Wyoming Governor’s Race

Wyoming, which is a pretty stupid state sometimes, although you don’t hear about it too often because almost no one lives there, has a candidate for governor who

  • … wants teachers to be required to teach creationism. “I think it is as valuable a theory as any other theory.”
  • … is opposed to abortion even in the context of rape.
  • … in what the Casper Star-Tribune called “A momumental display of bad judgement” he advocated for leniency for his friend Ty in a rape case. Ry is now serving 60 years in the pen for raping a Casper woman in her home.

Continue reading Teabagger Ron Micheli and the Wyoming Governor’s Race