Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Archives for June, 2007

Friday Flower Porn: Sweeeeet!

Today, small, simple, pale white, and dare I say it, almost virginal. But soon, red, swollen and sweet on the tongue. Yes, we’re talking Rosaceae fragaria, strawberries. This particular cultivar is an everbearing variety called Berry Basket. About a half dozen plants sit in two long window boxes on our elevated deck. The berries are…

Bypass Capacitors

Shifting gears from the usual ranting at the Refuge, I came across a nice series of articles from Audio Design Line on the usage and selection of bypass capacitors in electronic circuits. This is a topic with which my students often seem to have difficulty. There is a nice tutorial on the modeling and behavior…

21.285 km in one hour. That’s what legendary Ethiopian distance ace Haile Gebrselassie managed at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet today. Full details here This is roughly equivalent to an average velocity of 4:32 per mile, 13.23 MPH, 5.91 meters per second, or 354.8 meters per minute. I could add furlongs per fortnight if you’re…

UK gold medalist in the triple jump, Jonathon Edwards, long known for his wear-it-on-your-sleeve Christianity, has admitted to apostasy. Here is an article in The Times Online. It’s a good read. Here’s an out take: Once you start asking yourself questions like, ‘How do I really know there is a God?’ you are already on…

The common foxglove Digitalis purpurea is certainly one to affect your heart. Literally. Foxglove is, of course, the source of the cardiac drug digitalin. Ingestion of foxglove can be fatal, so no munching, no matter how much you may be attracted to it. Symptoms may include nausea, hallucinations, and bradycardia (slowing of heart rate). A…

Friday Flower Porn: Lily Fair

Lily fair, lily fair, around the house, everywhere! Yes, we’ve got all types: Oriental lilies , Tiger llilies, Daylilies, and the ever-so-shy but pungent Lily of the Valley. Interestingly, most of those mentioned above aren’t true lilies (the exception being the Asian or Oriental types). I can sort of understand the confusion with the Tiger…

Thumbs Down on Rimonabant

Following up on the wacky tobaccy post, the FDA advisory panel voted 14-0 against recommendation of rimonabant to move forward as a treatment for obesity, citing the need for further safety studies. As noted, the primary concerns are psychiatric/neurological issues. I really can’t resist a “No shit, Sherlock!” as pertains to the psychiatric and neurological…

Fast Food F(r)iends

Yesterday, I mentioned the Fast Food Friends program at Gardendale First Baptist Church in Alabama. Here is how they describe it on their website: It is a creative way to show people in our community the love of Christ. You ask how does it work? The next time that you go to your local fast…

The Sound (and Cost) of Worship

Audio is where I spend much of my time, both professionally and as a hobby. In fact, quite a few years ago I used to design public address systems and components (most notably loudspeaker systems and subwoofers). That venture didn’t last too long because I discovered that many people just didn’t care that much about…

Today, the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabologic Advisory Committee reviews rimonabant, the cannabinoid receptor antagonist developed by Sanofi-Aventis, for recommendations, or lack thereof, as an anti-obesity medication. Rimonabant was approved in Europe for limited cohorts of obese patients, but rejected as an anti-smoking medication. Approval for marketing rimonabant in the US is pending next month, and…