Category Archive: Science

Jul 28 2014

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Cartilage!

Adam Summers

Jul 28 2014

Scariest news yet

Liberia is experiencing a major Ebola outbreak. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced the closure of most of the Ebola-hit country’s land borders after the deadly tropical virus spread to two of west Africa’s largest cities. Liberia, along with neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, is struggling to contain an epidemic that has infected some …

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Jul 27 2014



As if it wasn’t enough of an offense that the Minnesota Vikings got buckets of money to build a brand new stadium…now it seems that their soaring glass design for the thing is an invisible wall of death to migrating birds, and they’ve refused to consider using bird-safe glass. I guess it’s going to be …

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Jul 26 2014

The dog is a nice touch

The National Review apparently has an article this month, sneering at nerd culture in general and Neil deGrasse Tyson in particular (I haven’t read it, since it’s behind a paywall). It’s called “Smarter Than Thou”, and I guess Republicans find intelligence repulsive, and an intelligent black man is an affront to nature. But here’s a …

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Jul 25 2014

I like this hypothesis


But we have to be clear that it is only a hypothesis at this point. I was reading about domestication syndrome (DS) — selecting animals for domestication has a whole collection of secondary traits that come along for the ride, in addition to tameness. We are selecting for animals that tolerate the presence of humans, …

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Jul 25 2014

Friday Cephalopod: Not a bird with a curved beak, or a curvy flower

Ilan Lubitz

But still curvy.

Jul 24 2014

It’s mayfly season!


Every year around this time, we can expect a sudden eruption of clouds of mayflies to emerge, as Gwen Pearson describes. There have been a few times I’ve been out driving when caught in it, and the car gets coated with brown dead bug smears, to the point where visibility is a serious problem. But …

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Jul 23 2014

Botanical Wednesday: Cruel bird

This bird, over many generations, has warped the poor Centropogon‘s flower into that bizarre curve.

Jul 23 2014

They don’t understand allometry!


I think the engineers are just trying to wind me up, again. Joe Felsenstein tackles a paper published in an applied physics journal that redefines evolution and tries to claim that changes in aircraft design are a good model for evolution. It’s a terrible premise, but also, the execution is awful. But permit me a …

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Jul 22 2014

Those sneaky forms of academic bias…

It’s Tuesday…that must mean it’s “Let’s point out flaws in the academic system!” day. Here’s another example: some investigators did a study of the value of screening cancer patients for distress — they asked whether such screening actually contributed to patient’s feelings of well-being and willingness to follow medical recommendations, and whether it was cost-effective. …

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