I feel a bit like a cat with a fat mouse between its paddy paws—although the temptation is there to bite its little head off and crunch on its itty-bitty bones, I think I’ll bat it around a bit and extrude a single needle-like claw and stick it in somewhere non-vital and twist, and maybe pluck out something pink and stringy and wet, and elicit a few squeaks for the sadistic fun of it all.

Yes, Fred Hutchison has replied to my challenge. We’ve swapped some email back and forth. I’ll see how long I can keep him on the hook—I’m hoping that he’ll try to turn this into another triumphal column. My email to him will appear here sometime after I’ve finished playing with him.

It’ll be rather like the cat who drops the bloody bits and pieces of his prey on his master’s carpet, thinking he’s done something so nice…but you won’t mind, will you?



What do you think of when someone mentions the word “Kansas”? Maybe what leaps to your mind is that it is a farming state that is flat as a pancake, or if you’ve been following current events, the recent kangaroo court/monkey trial, or perhaps it is the drab counterpart to marvelous Oz. It isn’t exactly first on the list of glamourous places. I admit that I tend to read different books than most people, so I have a somewhat skewed perspective on Kansas: the first thing I think of is a magic word.


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PZ Myers’ Own Original, Cosmic, and Eccentric Analogy for How the Genome Works -OR- High Geekology


I’m teaching my developmental biology course this afternoon, and I have a slightly peculiar approach to the teaching the subject. One of the difficulties with introducing undergraduates to an immense and complicated topic like development is that there is a continual war between making sure they’re introduced to the all-important details, and stepping back and giving them the big picture of the process. I do this explicitly by dividing my week; Mondays are lecture days where I stand up and talk about Molecule X interacting with Molecule Y in Tissue Z, and we go over textbook stuff. I’m probably going too fast, but I want students to come out of the class having at least heard of Sonic Hedgehog and β-catenin and fasciclins and induction and cis regulatory elements and so forth.

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Long, silky blonde hair…


…on a crustacean? Kiwa hirsuta is a new decapod crustacean discovered living near hydrothermal vents in the Pacific. It’s eyeless as well as hairy.

I’m sure there’s a dumb blonde joke in this somewhere, or since it was discovered by a French team, something about unshaven armpits. I wonder how low the comments are going to sink on this one; go ahead and vent and get it out of your system.

David Berlinski: très creepy

There’s a bizarre “interview” with David Berlinski at one of the ID blogs. What’s bizarre about it, and the reason I have to put “interview” in quotes, is that the interviewer and interviewee are both David Berlinski. It is nothing more than a pompous exercise in preening his ego; he arrogantly babbles on, saying nothing much except to sneer at anyone who has pricked that colossal ego.

I’m pleased to say that I’m one of them, and again find myself in good company.

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Fred Hutchison, Renaissance fool

Please forgive me: you’ve probably all forgotten Fred Hutchison, the incredibly delusional right-wing paragon of hubris, but I’ve got to bring him up again. He wrote one of the more painful diatribes against evolution on Alan Keyes “Renew America” site (yeah, that Alan Keyes; you know we’re deep in crazytown already) which I ripped up a while back. This is a guy who gets everything wrong, and wraps it all up in the most astonishingly pretentious, arrogant tone. Hutchison himself is a CPA. He thinks he has demonstrated that Darwin and Einstein were all wrong.

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A small step for a scientist…

DFLers, today is the day for the precinct caucuses. Here in Morris, we’re meeting in Old Number One Southside at 7 PM—be there! Most importantly, Pete Wyckoff is running for the chairmanship of the Stevens County DFL party. We need to get a scientist elected for the position, since this is our first step in American domination, which will culminate in the election of a philosopher-king to run the country.

First Stevens County, Minnesota…then the world!