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

Blogospherics: Recommended reads

A few items of interest:Ken Ham: Biology Professor Calls me Wackaloon” here.The flying spaghetti monster appears at the Fremont Solstice Parade … Here.This steamy novel is coming along quite well…Today, get your Africa news and perspective from here: “But they’re fightin’ terrorists, so it must be okay” .. hereSomebody give this guy A RIDE!!!!And for your natural moment today, consider Moustache Whales

Blogospherics: Recommended reads

New Blog: Twisted Physics. Here.Short, rather derivative, but cute because of the title: Yet more evidence that the Bible was written solely by old men

Why else would there be a story whose moral is, “If you make fun of bald men, you will be mauled to death by bears”?

Amazing, first time ever seen on the internet: LOL photographs integrated with listing of New and Exciting PLoS ONE Academic Papers. A Must See!!!! Totally LOL … (which I guess it would kinda hafta be….)Shame on Al Franken…. (perhaps a follow up will be Mike’s take on Jesse running for Senate).More on Al Franken as “comic”


A seemingly record hatch at PLoS ONE: Open access real live science research articles that you can read without being “special.” You don’t need to rely on zany press reports for this stuff. Read it yourself. Check it out at Blog Around the Clock. ERV is calling for volunteers to be on her brand new BLAAAAAAAAAG ROLLLLLLLL!!!!Carl Zimmer writes about Stockholm Syndrome For Moths and Ed Brayton writes about Victory in “Praying Parents” Case.My Vew Of It identifies a new disease: Elec-tile Dysfunction. You can imagine what that is about. Here.And last but far from least, Janie is Blogging Again. Blogging up a storm. Start here and work your way backwards and forwards.

Blogospherics: Recommended reads

More on Pterosaurs: Azhdarchid Fossil Distribution and Taphonomy at Afarensis. I have to tell you that this part of the paper, the part Afarensis is talking about, really grabbed my attention and I almost blogged about it. But it was a little too complex for what I wanted to do with that blog post. I’m very glad that Afarensis has tackled this. You will be to. If you are a total bone geek, that is.Population, pressure, commodities. Why fuel is at 4 bucks a gallon in the US. This is all very complicated stuff, and I like to read Trinifar to get a bead on it now and then. Check out “it needn’t be Dickensian” I’ve been harassing Janie Belle to blog more, and instead, she goes twittering… I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know if twittering is good or not, but this transition seems to be heating up the creative juices for her. Or making them flow. Or whatever one does with such juices.Well, speaking of juices, we discovered that you can’t put Oriole Juice in a Hummingbird Feeder and get Hummingbirds. The Hummingbirds don’t like it. But, THIS is something that I had no clue could happen. Continue reading

Blogospherics … Recommended reads

Religion is Sensible to the Extent That it is Vacuous at EvolutionBlog and ‘Wolverine’ frogs pop retractable claws from their toes at Not Exactly Rocket Science are too good to pass up.PZ has another poll. Do you think a class focusing on the Bible should be taught in public school? Here’s the skinny. If you think this is dumb and immaure, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait a day or two for when I report this poll as though it was real! Continue reading


…. 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.

Blogospherics — Recommended Reads

Learn Linear Programming at Good Math, Bad Math. This might seem obscure to many, but drip tips are actually one of the more interesting evolutionary enigmas I’ve encountered. Leaf shape in general is cool. Is it possible that Drip tips drain leaves more efficiently…? Seeds Aside wants to know.Respectful Insolence grinds away at the woo: From the ridiculous to the sublime: A journalist takes down Suzanne Somers over “bio-identicals”The platypus genome. Say no more.Minnesota Rebublicans Afraid of Cameras…

My impression of politicians is that they love the spotlight, they love the attention and they love to be on video. So, I am baffled at the reactions of the officials of the Republican conventions to a reporter and a blogger who took a video camera into a Republican convention. Why did he get kicked out?

Its too late this year, but Bug Girl tells us to put World Naked Gardening Day on our calendar for next year. Obviously these people do not live in Minnesota. Where today we think it is warm, and it is 54F.Dead Racist Society explores Defending marriage, Republican styleLunar Talks on Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor says respect atheists.And finally, Geek Sisters: Pangea day – girls in Africa need your vote!

Blogospherics – Recommended reads

The Staggering Cyclone Nargis Catastrophe by Chris Mooney

Most Americans haven’t paid any serious attention to hurricanes since 2005, the year that brought us Category 5 mega-monsters Katrina, Rita, and Wilma–storms that kept one-upping each other in intensity and together caused unprecedented damage to the United States. But for nations bordering the Arabian Sea or Bay of Bengal–technically referred to as the North Indian cyclone basin–such storms have been scarily active over the past year, and the toll in death and damage has been still more stunning.

Considering making the leap from Anerobe to Aerobe? Think Carefully. Ask Good Questions. Continue reading