Bat development


It always gives a fellow a warm feeling to see an old comrade-in-arms publish a good paper. Chris Cretekos was a graduate student working on the molecular genetics of zebrafish at the University of Utah when I was a post-doc there, and he’s a good guy I remember well…so I was glad to see his paper in Developmental Dynamics. But then I notice it wasn’t on zebrafish—Apostate! Heretic!

Except…it’s on bats. How cool is that? And it’s on the embryonic development of bats. Even cooler! I must graciously forgive his defection from the zebrafish universe since he is working on an organism that is weird and fascinating and important.

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As an example of understatement, I could say that I’m no fan of Mark Steyn—he’s another of those deeply confused and stupid far right pundits who is convinced that vigorous support for violent action by others will compensate for his intellectual deficiencies—so I’m not really surprised to learn of his new phrase for bombing the hell out of Iran: “de-nuking”. We are going to nuke their nuclear facilities to de-nuke their potential to nuke. I guess it’s a new way to jigger a sentence to insert more “nukes” and thereby bring the sad little man to his desired wargasm.

But don’t think I actually read Steyn—I got this second-hand from Bouphonia, who neatly summarizes the world view of Steyn and so many others:

The notion that our era might be defined not by “de-nuking” Iran, but by some gruesome and perfectly predictable consequence of George W. Bush’s ostensible attempt to do so, would never occur to Steyn in a million years. Where sane people imagine a discredited, unpopular, bankrupt, and incompetent administration attacking a third country while botching the occupation of two others, Steyn imagines boundless fields of glory.

Somehow, I don’t think Steyn is a member of the reality-based community.

The effect of porn on male fertility

Once again, I bravely plunge into the fascinating world of kinky sex research in humans. This time, we learn something incredibly useful. Gentleman, would you like to know how to improve the potency of your semen? Do you need a good excuse to give your significant other when she catches you browsing porn sites? Do you want another excuse to sneer at those pompous business types who flaunt their fancy cell phones? Here’s the study for you.

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I’ll take anger over sleaze any day

I don’t quite understand this etiquette thing. So Maryscott O’Connor is angry about war and corruption and our incompetent administration, and that’s bad. Naughty leftist, she should be better mannered and respectful to our president, no matter how badly he screws up.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin sics her mouth-breathing minions on some college-aged peace activists, and they get swamped with death threats from right wingers. And she does it twice, even after learning what kind of sewage her pals are spewing.

Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. Angry denunciations of political actions vs. vicious but infantile threats. Unstinting demands that our leaders do right vs. outrageous extortion. Which side do I want to be on?

I’ll pick the door on the left, Bob. Without hesitation.

Hey, and could someone point David Finkel to a real story about bloggers?

You’ve got to hand it to TBogg for giving the Malkins the treatment they deserve.

They do everything

By way of Over My Med Body, I found this article that finds new virtues for seafood: it reduces anti-social behavior. This is great news! I plan to announce when I’m feeling cranky here at the Myers household, which will prompt an immediate serving of tasty salmon. I’m going to be eating fish every day!

Well, maybe not…I’m really not that cranky. But it is yet another piece touting the virtues of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially the essential ω-3 fatty acids in which sea food is rich, so it reinforces my preferences, anyway.


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I try to avoid censoring people here, and it takes some persistent nuisance value to get evicted. There are a few people, though, who really don’t add any value to the site, even though they haven’t done anything (yet) to warrant banning them. A reader sent me this script many of you might find useful: it requires Firefox and the greasemonkey plugin, and what it does is chop comments by certain people out of the page, so you don’t have to see them, or even see comments by people that refer to them. Cool—a www killfile!

If you’re interested, click here to download it. It’s currently set to kill comments by “JMcH” (I know there is now a sudden surge of interest), but as it’s simply a text file, it looks like it would be easy to edit to zap comments by anyone (even “PZ Myers”).

Maybe the author will speak up in the comments and help anyone out who has trouble getting it to work…please don’t ask me, though, I’m providing this as is.