Category Archive: History

Jan 11 2014

Brace yourself for August

I know most of my readers are Americans, and the United States media will not have much to say (other than to sound an occasional note of triumphalism), but if you’re at all informed about the world, you should be thinking about WWI this summer — it will be the centenary of the beginning of …

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Dec 31 2013

Emma’s tragic story

It’s really, really cold out there. Here in Morris, we’re deep in the deep freeze, in a place where exposed flesh only stings for a little while before the skin goes novocaine numb and you begin to worry that ice crystals are killing your dermis; where I live across the street from my office and …

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Dec 03 2013

A little history of zebrafish research


I was amused to see this review of the history of zebrafish publications. It describes some of the trends in the research (read: lots of developmental biology), and plots the number of papers published. I started working with zebrafish in 1979, so I’ve marked where I began. You know, when I started out as a …

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Nov 23 2013

Is that you, McLuhan?

Our little discussion about the direction Darwin would have sauntered about the sandwalk has been interrupted by an informed opinion: Rowan Blaik, Head Gardener at Down House, has left a comment. The short answer to whether he walked counterclockwise around the sandwalk: probably. Read the comment, there’s more.

Nov 21 2013

An important historical question!

Does anybody know the answer to Which way did Charles Darwin walk around the Sandwalk?. When visiting Down House a couple of weeks ago I took a walk around the famous sandwalk, where Darwin took several walks each day. After walking anti-clockwise, which may surprise some, I asked a member of staff if he knew …

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Nov 11 2013

Who deserves honor?


Today is the day when nations around the world pause to celebrate their most colossal failures, the events that killed the greatest numbers of their citizens, that broke and crippled their men after they’d been intentionally trained to dehumanize other human beings. We love to take our young people, especially our young men and boys, …

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Oct 23 2013

Now I’m feeling old


I really didn’t need to see this 1970 magazine in my twitter stream. Really, I didn’t. Those of you who weren’t even born in 1970…just shut up. Shhh. Hush. Go back to your video games and toys, the adults are talking now.

Oct 13 2013

Sean B. Carroll talking to atheists

This morning, in 45 minutes, I’ll be tuning in to AM950 to listen to Sean B. Carroll on Atheists Talk radio. He’s going to be talking about his new book, Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize, the story of Jacques Monod and Albert …

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Oct 11 2013

Adjust your image of cave painters


You may have heard that men and women have some subtle differences in morphology — there is considerable variation and overlap, of course, but there are discernable patterns. It’s not just the obvious breasts and shoulders and hips, either, but, for instance, slight differences in the hands. Men tend to have ring fingers that are …

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Oct 10 2013

How can smart atheists be bamboozled by Joseph Atwill?

Atwill is this guy who claims to have evidence that Jesus wasn’t real: Christianity was a cunning product of a Roman imperial conspiracy, intentionally designed to placate those troublesome Jews, and he claims to have a Roman confession that he’ll reveal next week. I think a few too many atheists are seeing “Scholar Says Jesus …

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