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Category Archive: biology

Jul 21 2014

Unexpected Science: Sixth Grade Edition

Lionfish live in the ocean Little Lauren gets a notion: Might they live in rivers, too? Would they thrive in brackish water? Lauren, ichthyologist’s daughter, Knows just what to do Slowly starts desalination Learns some brand-new information Of which we’re now aware New understanding’s always great So, never underestimate The sixth-grade science fair! Via NPR, …

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Jul 08 2014

Vials Labeled “Variola” Found. Could Have Been Worse.

Unless you are from Brazil, the scariest news today may have been the discovery of forgotten, unsecured, vials labeled “variola” (smallpox, to you and me) in an NIH lab. Hey, at least it was labeled! I’ve been cleaning out my office these past weeks, and if that NIH lab had been anything like my office, …

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Mar 31 2014

PZ Gets Demoted

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 5.55.48 PM

You should make a major issue Of incinerating tissue If you don’t, we’ll make you wissue Had a different point of view! Cos abortion can’t be easy And the doctors must be sleazy So the comments made by PZ Are a special sort of woo! If his scientific training Contradicts what we’re maintaining Does it …

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Mar 15 2014

Meat

Just finished an absolutely wonderful book (about which, more later); in the notes was a mention of Terry Bisson’s wonderful short story “They’re Made out of Meat”. Studio 360 aired a version a while ago–give a listen: Bisson’s site has the transcript (or rather, the original story), for those who want. I love it.

Mar 04 2014

The Paradox Of The First Common Ancestor

We have no appropriate label And it seems, well, insulting, a bit But I really can’t see Using “He”, or else “She”, And it almost feels weird using “It” It’s the most insignificant being Just a blip—microscopically small It may not have been strong But it passed life along— It’s the ancestor…thing…to us all! The …

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Feb 14 2014

On Coughing And Sneezing My Way Through Valentines Day

It’s Valentine’s Day (and that never gets old) I could give you my love, but I’d give you my cold So, much as the Hallmark folks wish to inspire us I’ll stick to my couch, here, alone with my virus You’d think some affection is not much to ask But a kiss ain’t a kiss …

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Feb 13 2014

Backyard Dinosaur Count This Weekend

It’s time to count the dinosaurs— It shouldn’t be that hard Just grab yourself a window That overlooks your yard A pencil and some paper To make a little list A “field guide to the dinosaurs” To name the ones you missed The count begins this Friday, And by Sunday night, it’s done It’s time …

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Feb 11 2014

Did You Ever Consider The Possibility That Maybe God Is A Parasitic Worm?

There’s a little kid, infested with a parasitic worm His extremities are swollen and in pain But this doesn’t pose a problem, or disprove a loving God As philosopher Plantinga will explain: See, God created Eden, which his favorite—Man—beheld, But of course, the fruit of knowledge, He forbids It was absolutely perfect, but humanity rebelled …

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Feb 07 2014

Genesis II (Or III, or IV, or…)

A puddle full of chemicals Was baking in the sun When some combined a different way And new life was begun It replicated, once or twice Till now there were a bunch— They chanced on an amoeba, though, Which ate them all for lunch. Some inorganic molecules Embedded in some clay Began a new reaction, …

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Jan 12 2014

Neurophrenology

Scannily, cannily, Neuropsychologists Use pretty pictures to Search for the mind; Sadly, it’s no more than Neophrenology— Looking for lumps of a Different kind I think if I read one more article using fMRI (or any other brain scan) to find the substrate for this that or the other experiential phenomenon, I may have to …

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