Daily Archives: February 12, 2012

Looking for stuff about birds?

i-ef676820e4e535acf02dee18357216fe-Hornbill500-thumb-270x234-72553.jpgAll of my Bird Book Reviews are Here, and some of the reviews include broader discussions that go beyond the book, so do browse through them.

Feeding Birds:

Should you even be feeding the birds to begin with?

Birders get annoyed at squirrels for obvious reasons. But you can be happier about the squirrels in your yard if you just change your attitude and see the gray squirrels as food!

Watching Birds
Mysterious Mass Deaths
Bird Origins

The Perfect Bird Family Tree …

It is easy to forget that chickens are birds. It is even easier to forget where chickens come from to begin with!

Birds Biology, and Behavior

Council Member Ed Hansen of West Saint Paul just might be a Racist Dick

Confederate Flag hanging on porch
West Saint Paul Council Member Ed Hansen's porch, sporting a Confederate Flag with the word "Redneck" on it. Ed says this is not a symbol of racism and that anyone who does not get that is ignorant. Everybody else on the planet thinks Ed is a fool.

Everyone knows that the “confederate flag” when flow outside of Dixie is always a racist symbol. (When flown IN Dixie, it is usually a racist symbol.) Everyone knows that “redneck” is a term often applied to intolerant ignorant yahoos who are typically racist. Therefore a confederate flag with the word “redneck” written across it can’t be interpreted as anything but a racist, and/or white supremacy symbol.

Ed Hansen was elected to the West Saint Paul city council in 2010. A short while back he hung the flag on his porch. A neighbor notes that a prospective buyer of an adjoining property shied away from the buy because of this flag, but Hansen insists that everyone is making a big deal out of nothing.

“I’m not a racist, and I don’t think it’s racist. People like to play the race card, though, when they don’t get their way.”

Regarding the prospective home buyer who did not want to live next to a racist yahoo, Hansen said:

Good. I don’t want him for a neighbor then. If people choose to be ignorant, that’s their own fault. They should study history. It represents true sovereignty.

The story is reported here and here. Ed Hansen’s email is ehansen@cityofwsp.org in case you want to drop him a line.

Does anybody know, is this the same Ed Hansen who owns Rocco’s Pizza in Little Canada?

For those not familiar with the local geography: “West Saint Paul” is not part of Saint Paul, nor is it west of Saint Paul. It is a town in another county that is called West Saint Paul because it is on the “West Side” of the Mississippi River from Saint Paul, but because of the squiggly nature of the river here, that means it is south and, in fact, east of much of Saint Paul. Little Canada is not near Canada, but it is little. And, even though there is a “Pizza” place called “Rocco’s” there are no actual Italians in Minnesota.

Charles Darwin February 12, 1809 – April 19, 1882

i-a8249f6d6c07d094b425470d3bde8734-Darwing_Face.jpgCharles Darwin’s research and writing on Evolution and related topics is still very much alive today, modified and expanded on but only in a few details replaced. Here is a selection of writing about Darwin and his work to be found on this blog:

Darwin and his Formative Fieldwork

2008-02-13 Charles Darwin and Coral Reefs. Darwin’s study of coral reefs was a defining project for him; he became the kind of scientist he was because of this study, and this helped define the nature of science itself.

2009-09-06 A conversation with David Dobbs about his book (reviewed here) on Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral. (See also this.)

2008-02-14 Darwin’s Finches are the group of birds that Darwin studied and collected on the Galapagos. These birds make a great example of evolution in action, and their role in Darwin’s development of evolutionary thinking is somewhat overestimated. It is true, however, that birds and islands are at the root of Darwin’s theories.

A journey through the Voyage of the Beagle

Darwin Scholarship

Darwin’s notebooks, and not just his publications, are available to read and review. If you can read his handwriting.

2008-06-21 A talk about Biology and Darwin by Darwin Scholar Mark Borrello, at the Evolution 2008 meetings.

2009-02-08 Celebrating Darwin: a radio talk show about Darwin and Evolution at the Bell Museum.

Let’s have a look at Wallace vs. Darwin; how were their theories similar and different?

Darwin was a geologist!

Reflections on The Origin of Species.

Mark Pagel on Charles Darwin; in which my favorite living evolutionary theorist talks about my favorite dead evolutionary theorist.

Evolutionary Theory:

The Modes of Natural Selection … there are ways of categorizing Natural Selection in action. Here’s the best way to do it.

For Natural Selection to work, three necesssary and sufficient conditions must be met. And then, it’s kinda hard to avoid it.

2010-08-25 Natural Selection vs. Opportunity in Macroevolutionary Patterning of the Fossil Record … a recent analysis pertaining to Darwinian theory.

Why didn’t Darwin discover Mendel’s laws?

Darwin had more than one theory, and at least one of the pertains to the question of the origin of life: NASA’s new organism, the meaning of life, and Darwin’s Second Theory

Minnesota Rabbinical Association Speaks Out on Marriage Amendment

The Minnesota Rabbinical Association came out in opposition to a proposed anti-marriage constitutional amendment that is expected to be on the Minnesota ballot this November. The amendment would make it unconstitutional for people to get married under certain conditions, such as if both partners are men or if both partners are women. Orthodox rabbis support the anti-marriage amendment so they did not sign on with the other, nicer Rabbis.

Recently, the Minneapolis City Council sent a statement to the State Legislature, expressing unanimous opposition to the anti-marriage amendment. The state wide organization in charge of the anti-marriage movement in Minnesota issued a statement saying that the city council of Minneapolis is of absolutely no relevance and is made up only of “ambitious politicians.”

The group, Minnesota for Marriage has been running ads all over the state asking people what they think about same sex marriage. Apparently only 60 percent of the people who respond to these ads agree with the organization’s anti-marriage stance.