bioephemera

Archives for December, 2008

Merry Christmas

Something Rich and Strange Jessica Palmer, 2008 Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Bioephemera! A big thank you to everyone who reads and comments on my blog – you are why I do this. Enjoy your holiday and have a wonderful New Year! Jess

Need a last minute gift?

Just FYI: a DonorsChoose gift card is a great idea. The recipient gets to browse teachers’ projects and pick one to fund, and when the project is complete, several weeks to months later, they’ll get a letter from the teacher and thank-you notes from students. I just got the thank-you package for one of the…

Medical Textbook Cake

This cake, complete with circulatory and musculoskeletal diagrams, is pretty amazing. (I’d like to give one to my friend Rhett to celebrate his admittance to an excellent medical school.) Via shewalkssoftly

At io9, Annalee Newitz asks, “can robots consent to have sex with humans?” Do you think the blondie bot in Cherry 2000 was really capable of giving consent to have sex with her human boyfriend? Or did her programming simply force her to always have sex, whether she wanted to or not? And what about…

A Victim to Science

I’m snowed in here with the staffer in Washington state, but our luggage made it and we have Wifi, so it’s all good. For your pre-holiday enjoyment, here’s a treasure from an old book – “Pepper and Salt” by Howard Pyle. Click the image for a larger, more readable version.

. . . at least according to XKCD: (All right, fine: they’re acknowledging cephalopods’ supremacy, not biologists’. It’s probably a ploy to lull us into complacency while they corrupt our cuttlefish minions and eventually wipe us out.)

Apparently Winston Churchill was not the greatest poet at 15 (but then, who is? Keats churned out some horrible clunkers[1] when young). In this month’s BMJ, Angus Nicholl and colleagues call our attention to Churchill’s classically influenced poem “The Influenza”. (No, it’s not actually called “Ode to Flu” – but it might be cooler if…

Mimic Octopus acts in self-defense

This Indonesian mimic octopus pretends to be other creatures in order to avoid predators:

Words to nest by

Vireo bellii nest with newspaper Rosamond Purcell Egg & Nest “It seems the bird had confiscated a shredded detail from a story involving Adolph S. Ochs, newspaper baron and one-time owner of the New York Times and Chattanooga Times. . . since the story is from Tennessee but the nest was found in Texas, I…

I want them. They’re backordered. I can’t have them. Cry. Mad Scientist Blocks from Xylocopa: “At Xylocopa, we know that the key to a successful education is to begin learning at a young age. Like many of you, we are concerned about the state of science education in the public school system, especially in the…