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Monthly Archive: May 2009

May 31 2009

Oh old board games

So I went home this weekend to see family and friends. Whenever my friend Mike and I get together, for some unholy reason we play Trivial Pursuit (the most aptly named board game ever). It usually starts off fun, but ends in me throwing pieces after I’ve missed my wedge question for Sports & Leisure …

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May 30 2009

Judge refuses to dismiss National Day of Prayer case

From AP (short enough that I’ll just copy and paste the whole thing): “MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled this week the case brought by the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation can move …

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May 30 2009

Human FOXP2 in Chimps – Ethical or not?

Jerry Coyne, one of my favorite evolutionary biologists who blogs over at Why Evolution is True, talked about the mouse FOXP2 experiment I mentioned the other day. He definitely took a bit of the wind out of my sails, since I had gotten pretty excited, but he’s probably more realistic than I am about this …

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May 29 2009

Evolving Robot Behavior

Yet another reason why science is freaking amazing. Swiss scientists have a population of robots, and they’re watching their behavior evolve. Each robot had LEDs and photodetectors, and its habitat consists of battery-charging “food” zones, and battery-draining “poison” zones. Their programming is initially random, and after they’ve traveled around their habitat a certain amount of …

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May 29 2009

Mice given human speech gene

Man, science is so cool. Stuff like this is why I’m a geneticist. The FOXP2 gene is considered the “language gene” in humans. People who have nonfunctional versions of the gene have a hard time controlling the fine movements in the face needed for forming words, and their areas of the brain associated with language …

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May 29 2009

Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology

People using IP addressed owned by the Church of Scientology will no longer be able to edit Wikipedia articles. Apparently members of the church have kept trying to edit articles to be pro-Scientology, which goes against Wikipedia’s neutrality rules. Ha. Seriously though, Scientology creeps me out big time. It’s scary how much they try to …

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May 28 2009

And Japan fills in for Jennifer

I’m lacking inspiration at the moment – sorry folks. I’d like to blame the drugs, but I’m done with them and actually feeling great. I’m going home for the weekend, so maybe driving through rural Indiana will inspire me. Until then here are some videos from Japan that scare me and make me laugh at …

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May 27 2009

Is a battle ever too hard to even bother?

I mentioned a couple of days ago that our student group was going to start fighting religious aspects of our public university’s graduation program (I didn’t get many comments, so I’m going to assume you all just sort of passively agreed with me). I sent out an email to our club for feedback, and I …

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May 26 2009

Not Cool, California

“California high courts upholds same-sex marriage ban” California, I am very disappointed in you. You’ve been moved to the list of “Very Uncool States.” Yeah, I’m grouping you with the likes of Alabama and Arkansas now. How does that feel? Sigh. At least they’re letting all the marriages performed before Prop 8 remian. I can’t …

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May 25 2009

Tylenol 3 + Benzonatate = Crazy Iron Chef Sleep Walking

I guess the meds they put me on are extra special. I’m feeling pretty good today (only mild stuffiness and medium coughing now!) but I haven’t slept well in days. Why? I’ve had crazy pseudo-sleep walking experiences that keep waking me up. I say pseudo-sleep walking because I’m sort of aware of what I’m doing, …

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