Carnivalia, and an open thread


Take a moment and get caught up in these tangles of links:

Otherwise, chat among yourselves (hmmm…seems to be a lot of these open threads around here lately. Don’t worry, next week I’ll tell you all to shut up, it’s my turn.)


  1. JW Tan says

    This link is interesting:,,2-2401745,00.html

    Particularly this question:

    “Q Why do so few Americans believe in evolution? (human sciences, Oxford)”

    And this one:

    “Q Why don’t we just have one ear in the middle of our face? (medicine, Cambridge)”

    Hard to answer without knowing something about evolution…

    My favourite, however, is this one:

    “Q If there were three beautiful, naked women standing in front of you, which one would you pick? Does this have any relevance to economics? (PPE, Oxford)”

    My answer would be that it would be a good test of the empirical validity of the Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference, ignoring the first question completely. At 18, however, I would probably have answered the first question, and ignored the second. I wonder which approach gets you into Oxford PPE.

  2. JW Tan says

    Also this year’s Nobel Peace Prize (which, I think, is a second economics prize sneaked in by the back door).

    Score one for social justice and poverty reduction.

  3. says

    Times Online, via JW Tan:

    Q Why don’t we just have one ear in the middle of our face? (medicine, Cambridge)

    A better question might be: Why don’t we have a third ear in the middle of our face?

    Answer: Because God doesn’t have one there, of course!

    (Sorry. Slipped into right-wing fanatic mode there for a moment. Life as a Yank in a red state can be trying.)

  4. redstripe says

    Today’s Salon has a four-page telephone interview with Dawkins, re: The God Delusion. I haven’t read the whole article (b/c he essentially gives the highlights of his major arguments in the book), but if you haven’t read the book, this would be a good place to get interested.

  5. says

    Quote of the Day

    “While Sister Judith is quick to embrace the latest technological innovations, don’t expect to see Vatican bloggers anytime soon. A blog is “so personal, such a mind dump,” she says. On the Internet, the Vatican draws the line at self-indulgence. Pride, remember, is one of the seven deadly sins.” – Sister Judith Zoebelein is the editorial director of the Internet Office of the Holy See and webmaster of the Vatican website.

    from Business Week

  6. Steviepinhead says

    PZ, ahem, PZed fans may enjoy this hot-off-the-presses fossil find from China–the headline in MSN’s report of the Reuters story reads:
    “Fossil embryos caught in the act of dividing
    “Ancient eggs found in the Guizhou Province of southwest China”
    Not only is the preservation good enough to show the cell division, but it’s also exquisite enough to show organelles–vesicles and even the spindles that are facilitating the division.
    And here’s the link:
    “[N]o one knows what kind of animals would have grown from these embryos, but [one of the discoverers] guessed it might be a sponge-like creature.”

  7. bernarda says

    More Rethuglican Family Values.;_ylt=ApbHpZYxlvzKnCEDrfF0VKOs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OTB1amhuBHNlYwNtdHM-

    “WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Ney (news, bio, voting record) pleaded guilty Friday in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation, the first lawmaker to confess to crimes in an election-year scandal that has stained the Republican-controlled Congress and the Bush administration.

    Standing before Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, Ney pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements. He acknowledged taking money, gifts and favors in return for official actions on behalf of Abramoff and his clients.

    Ney did not immediately resign from Congress, and within minutes, Republican and Democratic leaders vowed to expel him unless he steps down. The White House also called for Ney’s resignation.

    Beleaguered GOP leaders, struggling to overcome fallout from a separate scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record) and teenage male pages, said they would make Ney’s ouster the “first order of business” in a postelection session.”

    This is what Ney said a few months ago,

    “House Republicans gave Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) a standing ovation after he told them yesterday that he has no plans to resign and will vigorously fend off a likely federal indictment.

    Unlike Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who announced his retirement after a former top aide pleaded guilty in the Jack Abramoff investigation, Ney is vowing to remain in Congress despite the recent plea deal of a high-level ex-aide, former Chief of Staff Neil Volz.”

  8. says

    A nice round-up of carnivals. I have my weekend reading cut out for me.

    In the meantime, I was looking at the funnies. Damn it if Johnny Hart’s B.C. isn’t totally unamusing again. Of course, I got a laugh or two out of it — for all the wrong reasons! If you can make more sense out of the utterly lame punch-line than I did (I just said Hart wasn’t trying), I would love to hear your theory. Here’s mine.

  9. Rieux says

    Sometime soon after the management gets back from Pommyland, we in the Peanut Gallery demand a review of Letting Go of God, Julia Sweeney’s deconversion-story-cum-one-woman-play that will be out in CD and book form within the next few weeks.

    I, anyway, found the excerpt from the play that aired on NPR’s “This American Life” ( ) just stunning.

    Sweeney and LGOG were mentioned twice in Dawkins’ The God Delusion, of course. . . .

    Well? . . . . .

  10. says

    Jeez Myers what’s your carbon footprint with all this flying? Well I guess it doesn’t matter since the future is “synthetic ecology” a la Dawkins. What a joke!