The tolerance levels of big animals

A long time ago, before I began blogging, I read an article or book by an evolutionary biologist that said that dogs and wolves had evolved to have rules in their packs that gave the smallest members a great amount of latitude and that the bigger members of the pack would not be rough with them. This results in what appears to be the smaller animals ‘bullying’ the larger ones with impunity. [Read more...]

Fundamentals models for presidential elections

Academic political scientists tend to discount the value of opinion polls as predictors of presidential elections and tend to look at the so-called ‘fundamentals’. They construct models that correlate vote percentages with data that can be quantified. The ‘Bread and Peace’ model of Douglass Hibbs that I have written about recently is one such model that uses disposable income and wartime casualties as the independent variables. Of course, there exist a whole range of independent variables that one can choose to use in one’s regression calculations and they each predict different outcomes. [Read more...]

The three Abrahamic faiths

Here’s an oldie but goodie for those who haven’t heard it before, a great rant from Marcus Brigstocke about the three Abrahamic faiths. I particularly like the bit that begins at the 6:00 mark, where he nails the problem with trying to distinguish between ‘good’ religion (that we should seek to retain) and ‘bad’ religion (that we should try and eliminate). [Read more...]

Breakthrough in egg yolk separation technology

All the cooks out there know that there comes a time when recipes require you to separate the egg yolks from the whites. I remember when I was a little boy seeing people do that by breaking the shell roughly in two and pouring the egg into one of the halves. The yolk would get caught while the white would overflow the shell and pour into the bowl beneath. You would then pour the remainder into the now empty other half of the egg shell, with more white dripping down. By doing this several times, you get get a pretty good separation, though it required some skill to not shatter the shell while breaking it and not break the yolk on the jagged edges. [Read more...]

Older fathers can also create genetic risks for children

One of the features of evolution is that once we have passed the age when we can have and raise children to a point where they can survive on their own and go on to have children, we have played our part in the process and have become redundant, evolutionarily speaking. Although our own bodies start to decay, this has no biological effect on our children. [Read more...]