bioephemera

Archives for July, 2009

Vague Scientist

“Vague Scientist,” by the clever/hilarious Stephen Collins of coelecanth diaries via lots of places (New Scientist, Wired, etc.)

. . .Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. According to editor Jason Rekulak, I know there are a lot of vampire fans, but the genre feels exhausted to me. Whereas Sea Monsters allowed us to draw inspiration from so many rich and diverse sources–most obviously Jules Verne novels and Celtic mythology, but also Jaws, Lost,…

Wow. Here’s another inexcusable case of bad science journalism – one that clearly has political motives. This is the lede from a story by Amanda Carpenter in this morning’s Washington Times: President Obama’s top science adviser has toyed with extreme measures of population control, even suggesting in one book how to make it more publicly…

That Had Value

I’ve posted before that I’m a big fan of Garfield Minus Garfield, the alternate reality in which Jon Arbuckle’s barely suppressed mental illness is fully revealed. Now we have Garfield: Lost In Translation, in which the dialogue is translated into Japanese and back into English. Though not as awesome as Garfield Minus Garfield, I still…

Earlier, I blogged about the seriously flawed Telegraph article about rape. Now Carl Zimmer has discovered that the newspaper has yanked the article from its site. No explanation, no apology – it’s just gone. I feel silly that I didn’t grab a screencapture of the original article. Although I’m aware that nothing is immutable on…

Wow: it looks like PZ Myers and his fans are embroiled in a bit of a kerfuffle with Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum and their adherents over the new Mooney/Kirshenbaum book, Unscientific America. First, PZ says the book is “useless.” Chris says well, phooey, because plenty of other people like it. And then everybody calls…

A tale of two commenters

Readers, this week I had to do something I have never done before.

Mixed Messages

Opened the July 09 issue of The Scientist to find an article by Steven Wiley on why, contrary to popular belief, you aren’t necessarily a failure if it turns out you’re not suited for academic research: There is no disgrace in failing to achieve a career as a scientist. Truly. Some of my students achieved…

That’s one way to get bacon

If anything can put you off bacon, this awesome vintage French ad will! While the ad appears bizarre to us today, it makes sense in a different social context – one in which animals exist primarily to serve human needs, and all’s right with the world when they’re fulfilling that function. I find it especially…

Random Art: Gazebonooga

Wandering around the Chattanooga waterfront at night, we encountered this charming random artwork. It’s sort of Greek Temple x [Tesla + Buckminster Fuller]. And the wire hemisphere was full of tiny insects! It was only one of many artworks scattered around the Aquarium, Hunter Museum, and pedestrian bridge. Chattanooga has really done a lovely job…