Keep an eye on Carl Zimmer AND Phil Plait…

Both have gone dark. Both are making announcements today at 5:00 EST. This could be big. A BloggoBlockbuster of some kind in the making.Maybe they have been having a secret affair all along and are moving to CA to get married!?!?!?Maybe they are starting their own blog, what with Phil being cosmic and Carl being more life sciencey, they could cover EVERYTHING.Maybe they’re coming out with a new Theory of Everything!!!Who knows?One thing I do know: I know where I’m going to be a five o-clock Eastern Standard Time today…… looking at The Loom and Bad Astronomy. (Hat tip on Phil’s announcement from TUIBG … Maybe Mike will have more observations later)UPDATE: What if this is linked to the Large Hadron Collider going on line?!?!?!?!?

Cool on the Intertubes

Please have a look at the latest I and the Bird (Number 78) blog carnival, located HERE at It’s Just Me. Also, PLoS has published a number of avian biology papers lately, all of which I want to read and eventually will (at least some of them). But for one of them, there is a journal club starting up that has some activity on it. You can visit this location, read the paper, and make comments. Likely, you’ll end up speaking with the author or other bird experts.Here is the paper, here is the journal club, and here is Coturnix’s writeup of this (he is the community manager for PLoS).

How about a little rational thought for dinner?

I’m going to a blogers’ dinner tonight, so I thought it would be fun to point to a couple/few items on the internet that have to do with Rational Thought. To kind of offset what is likely to happen when too many bloggers get into one actual real place.First, check out these two items regarding Ray Comfort:The Creationist’s NightmareRay Comfort answers a questionNow look at a nice summary of responses by insane people to some very interesting research. The research verges on falsifying the hypothesis that Intelligent Design is real and the responses clearly demonstrate that Intelligence is rare. Very rare:Creationist critics get their comeuppanceTangled Up in Blue Guy claims that there is No Need to Redefine the Word Theory I agree but I think he left out some details. Gonna have a talking to that guy.Most cool: Oregon now has a Day of Reason. It is June 21st. So, one state has one day of reason. That’s better than the other 49, so far. Continue reading

The blogger’s birthday

I want to explain about birthdays and bloggers. This is going to take a couple of minutes.Blogging is a new kind of social phenomenon generally speaking, and it is still very new to me. So much of it remains to be worked out. I have to say, in this regard, I ‘ve been watching closely a number of bloggers to see how they project and manage ‘self’ and how they interact or avoid interaction, and so on. I am increasingly impressed with a handful of them. These are often the individuals to whom I point a lot, which would make sense.I’m very used to certain parts of this science blogging because it is a little like being a teacher. It is like being a teacher in the way that people come to like you and respect you, or hate you and disrespect you (depending). But it is different because there is no way that I am “on duty” as a blogger in the same way that a college instructor is.Whatever parts of myself I put out there on this site become available (obviously) for public consumption. This means, for example, that I can’t pretend that I’m not a foaming at the mouth atheist with my gentile semi-religious or spiritual-type co-workers at the college. Most of my coworkers don’t know about my blog, but every now and then someone lets me know that they just discovered it or was shown it by someone, and that is one more person in my life who has a piece of me in a way that is asymmetrical and a little unusual. I’m not complaining at all. Just making note.For this reason, the “me” that blogs here is not necessarily exactly the same “me” that exists in any other context. That’s true for everyone in every context, really. It is always useful to remember this about other people, by the way. No one is everything that they are in each context in which they exist. We complex human beings are distributed unevenly among the divers contexts we inhabit.Well, almost everyone.And some people are too distributed. I once knew someone who was so distributed that she came to the conclusion that she did not exist. Unfortunately, she was wrong. She did exist. But I digress Continue reading

Today’s List of Things To Do

Ruin this poll on abortionUPDATE: This one too.Look at cute pictures of cute birds and cute mammals and shit. Read this unbelievable post at Larry Moran’s site about a professor who sued her students for being unenlightened. Which would be cool if they really were, but is totally uncool because clearly it is she, the professor, who is, well, let’s just say someone you would not want on your team if you were a liberal. But I don’t want to say anything specific or the screeching bitch might sue me. (Did I say that out loud? … The TRUTH is, I’m only kidding of course. Which only counts if you believe in reality. OK, Just stay away from me, OK? …. )Read all the George Carlin posts on Science Blogs

Blathering

…. so you don’t have to….My best friend, indeed, the “best man” at my wedding, is married to the co-director of a really really cool documentary called “The Listening Project.” I learned Sunday morning, during a visit to the Walker Sculpture Garden, that this documentary has won yet another major award. It is now the recipient of the Best Of Awards at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, Durango Independent Film Festival, the Oxford Film Festival, and the Omaha Film Festival. That is pretty freaking’ impressive. Way to go, Dominic!!!!Check out this factoid, dog … In the early days of Spanish colonization of the New World, at a time of war among the Spanish, the Dutch and the English, two weather related events occurred that changed the course of history. In 1640, a good chunk of the Dutch fleet was destroyed by a hurricane just before a planned attack on the Spanish. In 1666, most of the British fleet in the area, including 2,000 troops, was wiped out by a Hurricane, foiling an attack on the Spanish. It is believed by many that had either (or certainly, both) of these attacks not been thwarted by destruction of the fleets, the Spanish would likely have been driven out of the New World. So what you say? Well, this set of historical events had a HUGE effect on the history and destiny of the worlds pirates. So what you say? You know nothing of pirates! Read this post by Tangled up in Blue Guy about the Dutch Zeerovers. (Which I loosely translate as “Sea Dogs”…)I could tell you stories about giant beetles. And crickets. But I won’t . Have a look at Giant Beetles: Not Your Average Everyday PetAnd finally, don’t miss out on Dinosaur Tracks from Yemen.

Arthur Clarke’s Questions

On March 19, the prolific British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke died at age 90. At his 90th birthday party, in December, Clarke made three wishes: for the world to embrace cleaner energy resources, for a lasting peace in his adopted home, Sri Lanka, and for evidence of extraterrestrial beings. So…Which of Clarke’s three wishes do you think will happen first?

This is the question being asked in our latest Reader Poll. Here.Or use this handy plugin:

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More Blog Things to Do

There is a Pharyngula Bash Fest over at Sandwalk, including all the usual suspects other than Larry Moran himself, such as the weird anonymous bloggers of BlaBlaBlaBlog. PZ is getting raked over the coals good, but some of the Pharyngulistas are in there defending him as well.Speaking of Pharyngulistas, this is a topic much more interesting that Larry Moran’s hit meter: Tangled Up in Blue Guy has a lengthy and thoughtful rant about fish. Not just any fish, but fish as a metaphor for all that stinks. It is possible that God has spoken to mike:

Death is a necessary part of life. There is no escape, even for the creosote bush.

but I don’t think so .. I”m pretty sure it was Mike who told me to never trust a burning bush. Anyway, check out Faith is RationalCoturnix has a series of things you must attend to. First, a video on how authors of research papers get totally ripped off by the Pirate Publishers. Second, he’s got a cover for the new Journal Club at PLoS. Check it out.

Science Diversity Meme

Science, Education and Society is running up a Science Diversity Meme focusing on Women Scientists.You are supposed to make a list of five women in each of the following fields, without looking at any resources …. just what you know in your head … and without using names of any one at your current institution. (That is rather difficult if you’ve been at a major research institution for ten years, but easier if you’ve just moved between institutions!)Here are the disciplines:AstronomyBiologyBiomedical & MedicineChemistryGeneticsGeographyGeologyPhysicsPsychologySpace & Planetary SciencesSo, you make the list somewhere. If on a new blog, I guess you link back to the original here and go there and put a comment (I’m not sure how this works as a meme, actually).Here is the list I get when I combine the fields in a way that makes sense to me and put down what I can think of right here, right now: Continue reading

Fight! FIght!

For those of you who are interested in the seamy side of Scienceblogs.com:1) I’ve revised my otherwise utterly irrelevant post on Linda Buck’s paper retraction on the advice of fellow blogger Mark Hoofnagle. 2) Mark is picking a fight with Jake, and notes the ongoing and developing spats amng Myers, Wilkins and Dawkins, how Shelley broke his heart, and starts an interesting discussion about poaching doctors, over on his blog.3) In the mean time, I wrote a vaguely interesting post hidden as a comment on Denialism Blog, which you will find here.