Good answer

Stephen Fry gives a fairly standard atheist answer to the question, “What would you do if you died and found yourself in front of God?” — exceptionally well-stated, of course, but unsurprising. The best part is to watch the expression on the face of the interviewer in the various reaction shots.

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Octopuses do not have magic powers

That German octopus has much to answer for…or rather, the aquarium that got lots of free advertising by promoting it as a soccer game predictor does. Now an Arizona aquarium has an octopus that ‘predicts’ the outcome of the Superbowl, and it’s getting annoying. I have a quarter in my pocket that predicts the outcome, too — heads, Seahawks; tails, Patriots.

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My nightmare

I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I’d had a terrible nightmare that shocked me into consciousness, and then I couldn’t get back to sleep. What horror disturbed me so much?

The 1980s.

Specifically, 1980s technology.

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Temporary ecology/organismal biology position at UMM

We’re hiring! If you have skill in teaching, and want to hone those skills at a school with a reputation for excellence in teaching, apply!

Full-Time One-Year Position in Biology
University of Minnesota, Morris

The University of Minnesota, Morris seeks an individual committed to excellence in undergraduate education, to fill a full-time, one-year, possibly renewable, position in biology beginning August 17, 2015. Responsibilities include: teaching undergraduate biology courses including a 2000-level survey of organismal biology for majors (with labs), an introductory-level survey of biology for environmental studies/science students (with labs, including field trips to local habitats), and an upper-level organismal or ecological elective in the candidate’s area of expertise; contributing to other courses that support the biology curriculum; and sharing in the governance and advancement of the biology program as well as the campus at large.

Candidates must be at least A.B.D. in ecology, organismal biology, environmental biology, or a closely related field by August 17, 2015. Experience teaching undergraduate biology is required. (Graduate TA experience is acceptable).

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) is a residential public liberal arts college serving about 1900 undergraduate students. As one of five campuses of the University of Minnesota, the Morris campus is located 160 miles west of Minneapolis in the rural community of Morris, MN. UMM is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 10 Best Public Liberal Arts College. The student body is talented, diverse and engaged. The UMM student body is one of the most ethnically diverse in the University of Minnesota system with 20% students of color (13% are American Indian students) and a growing international student population.

The college values diversity in its students, faculty, and staff. The college is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our community through their teaching, research, and /or service because we believe that diversity enriches the classroom and research experience at the University

Applications must include a letter of application, resume, graduate and undergraduate transcripts, a teaching statement with evidence of teaching effectiveness, and three letters of reference. Applications may be sent to Ann Kolden, Administrative Assistant, at koldenal@morris.umn.edu, (320) 589-6301, or they may be sent to:

Biology Search Committee Chair
Division of Science and Mathematics
University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, MN 56267-2128

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Screening begins February 16, 2015. Inquiries can be made to Professor Heather Waye, Search Committee Chair, at (320) 589-6304 (wayex001@morris.umn.edu).

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To request disability accommodation or material in alternative formats contact: UMM Human Resources, (320)-589-6024, Room309, Behmler Hall, Morris, MN 56267.