It ought to be up to Americans to decide what is true!

You must watch this episode of the Daily Show — it’s all about science. Lisa Randall is on it plugging her new book, Knocking on Heaven’s Door (she actually doesn’t get to say much about it, but I’ve ordered it for my iPad anyway — I know what I’ll be reading on the plane to New Orleans tomorrow), a good section on the recent confirmation of global warming, and my favorite bit of all, Aasif Mandvi blithely leading a chipper Republican operative to agree with the most egregiously ignorant, anti-science claims.

Mandvi: Why are surgeons the only ones allowed to perform surgeries?
Blithering Republican: Absolutely.
Mandvi: Doesn’t make any sense.
BR: It never makes any sense!
Mandvi: and the only other people who can check whether they’re manipulating…
BR: are other scientists!

It also features Marty Chalfie defending himself against accusations of rape.

(Also on FtB)

Homeopathic birth control

I think this new birth control method will face the same problem they all do: the wacky abstinence-only crowd will reject it.


But then I had a brilliant idea: instead of making it with a homeopathic dilution of fetuses, I’m going to market a birth control pill made homeopathically from astronomically well-diluted penises. I’ve always wanted to be a billionaire.

(Also on FtB)

Planet of the Apes

Isn’t it obvious that the story of Planet of the Apes is about apes from one planet dominated by apes finding themselves on a planet dominated by apes of a slightly different species?


Also, this comic bugs me a little bit: I’m flying off to give a talk in which I argue that the hallmark of human evolution isn’t brutality and conquest, but cooperation.

(Also on FtB)

So, so true

I’ve had all of these perspectives in my career, so I can tell you that they’re mostly right…except for the one about how professors see themselves. You should just substitute the postdoc:postdoc image for the professor:professor one.


Also, I worked my way through college as an undergraduate technician. Even with my lowly status, I really did see all the undergrads/grads/postdocs as spoiled children who were there only to screw up my lab and my precious experimental animals. Especially when they’d leave a pile of gore and blood and dead animal parts scattered all over the surgery, and expected me to clean it all up.

(Also on FtB)

Texas cynicism

Anybody know if this story is true or just an amusing joke? I like it either way.

In a small Texas town, (Mt. Vernon ) Drummond’s bar began construction on a new building to increase their business.. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”