Daily Archives: September 2, 2010

I’m Editorially Selected!

As you know, I often write blog posts that are reviews or evaluations (or, often, just English translations) of Peer Reviewed Research. Those blog posts, and all the other ones written by dozens of bloggers around the world, are aggregated at Research Blogging Dot Org. It is a great place to get unfettered expert opinions and enlightened elaborations of current research in all fields of science.

Anyway, every now and then Researchblogging.org, on their own blog site, makes “Editor’s selections” of their favorite peer reviewed reviews. It is roughly like getting an Emmy or an Oscar. Very prestigious.

Anyway, I was one of four recipients in this round, all of which you can find listed here. The winning blog post was my piece on “Natural Selection vs. Opportunity in Macroevolutionary Patterning of the Fossil Record,” which was really a rant about how when a certain paper came out the press turned it into a “Darwin was Rong” media event. Which was wrong. Darwin was right, and the paper in question is also probably right.

I’d like to thank Jarret Byrnes, the editor at Research Blogging, and Dave Munger for his help in setting up the site, and Bora for his encouragement by helping people get PLoS access (even though this wasn’t a PLoS paper) and my parents for leaving me in the woods all those times so I would develop an interest in science, and my family for allowing me to express myself this way, and … Oh, sorry, out of time, got to go to the store to pick up organisms. (Never mind … those of you whoa are life science teachers or married to life science teachers will know exactly what I mean.)

Technically speaking …

This is interesting: Drupal has released a new code of conduct for their community. It has five points:

* Be considerate
* Be respectful
* When we disagree, we consult others
* When we are unsure, we ask for help
* Step down considerately

The fucker stole the whole thing from Ubuntu, as it turns out. How dare they!!!!111eleventy!!!

Gmail just got like skype, sort of.

Five days after the announcement of Voice and Video Chat service in Gmail for Debian-based Linux distributions, Google unveiled a Gmail phone call service for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Rather than having both parties tied to their computers and logged into their Gmail accounts, one user can now call anyone in the US and Canada with telephone service. Google states that rates will remain free for the rest of the year and very low for international calls.


Aircraft Flight Recorder technology is hardly ever upgraded, and thus, will always be stagnant. Why is that? Why are the designers of something so important so conservative? Maybe they should be.

But really, there is no reason that when an airplane crashes, all the flight data has not already been downloaded as part of a continuous process using high speed networks and satellites. That would have been nice for Flight 447, oui?

Anyway, here’s a story about black box upgrades.

Another Gulf Oil Rig Has Exploded

An offshore oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, west of the site of the April blast that caused the massive oil spill.

A commercial helicopter company reported the blast around 9:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, Coast Guard Petty Officer Casey Ranel said. Seven helicopters, two airplanes and four boats were en route to the site, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

The Coast Guard said initial reports indicated all 13 crew members from the rig were in the water. One was injured, but there were no deaths.


What is life? New Biology Textbook

My old friend, colleague, suaboya, and educator extraordinaire, Jay Phelan has written what many believe will be the next Campbell. The name of the book is What Is Life?. There are two versions: one regular, and one with extra physiology. And both are based firmly on and integrated thoroughly with excellent evolutionary biology.


Continue reading What is life? New Biology Textbook