Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Archives for January, 2007

Way back when I had a time to maintain a freshwater aquarium (pre-career and pre-children), my favorite fish were a pair of firemouth cichlids, Thorichthys meeki. This happy couple reproduced and guarded their eggs faithfully, only to have the plecostumus hoover ‘em up when Mr. and Mrs. Meeki let down their guard one night. Cichlids…

Welcome to Science Class

At the beginning of each semester I give my new students what I’ve come to call “the metric lecture”. Since we do everything in metric units and many of the freshmen have only a vague knowledge of the topic, I tend to go on a tear. Many years ago I put this all down in…

What’s Bred in the Bones

Last Sunday, my son, who is home for his rapidly waning semester break, and I met a couple of friends in New York City where we enjoyed breakfast at good enough to eat followed by a visit to the nearby American Museum of Natural History. We dedicated ourselves to the fossil halls on the fourth…

I just can’t get enough of arachnids these days! Maybe I am unwittingly engaged in exposure therapy for my phobia. This parody gives a nod to Peter Witt’s research on spiders’ web weaving abilities while under the influence. For a legit example, see A. Christiansen et. al (1962), “Changes in spider webs brought about by…

Let’s see, the Biz shot its right foot with the Vioxx debacle, then its left foot with Zyprexa (and others, but that’s a recent one), so now it must look for another site for further damage of its tattered n’ shattered image. Hmmm, how about lobbing off a couple of fingers? The FDA’s approval of…

Spider Sex – Yes! Yes!! YES!!!

As an arachnophobe (see Do I Get a Badge for This?), the title alone, Spider Cries Out During Sex, was enough to give me a powerful case of the heebie jeebies. Then I started reading the article from Live Science: While mating, female Physocylus globosus spiders emit high-frequency squeaks to let males know what they…

Here’s a belated follow-up on my previous yammering about the SciFi Network’s series Eureka. As I expected, the show blends the quirkiness of Northern Exposure with the Big Science of the Manhattan Project. I watched most of the episodes and would rank it in the “OK, I guess” category of marginal TV. Keep in mind…

I likes my science, but Geez Louise!!

Man-o-manischewitz this is some hot sh*t. Science is wonderous, intriguing, captivating, sublime, but as Frank Zappa said, Music is the best! Check out VC about 7:05 in.

“Intelligent? Design?”

The latest issue of Freethought Today, the newsletter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has a bunch of goodies, including an article by Daniel Dennett, a transcript of Sam Harris’ speech at the 29th annual FFRF convention this past October, and an article by atheist Brenda Frei who appeared on an episode of 30 Days,…

Hypermiler or Hyperdumb?

Mother Jones has an interesting article this month concerning hypermilers, that is, people who try to get the absolute highest possible fuel mileage out of their vehicles. Lots of folks are concerned about the environment along with high fuel costs, so I figured these drivers might be able to give me a few pointers. Boy,…