Life Science

I saw this video and that description, and my first thought was “siphonophore”. Got it in one.

What’s going on, Scotland?

Scotland is going to formally ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops. Apparently, this was an easy step for them to take, because it’s the scientists who are explaining that this is a foolish move, and everyone knows you can just ignore the scientists. I also think it’s a matter of fearing the unknown. Scotland…

Those sneaky gingers pop up everywhere

I have a brother with red hair. I also have a son with red hair. Once upon a time, my beard and mustache contained many red hairs among the dominant browns. If you’ve ever wondered how these gingers appear all over the place, Petra Haak-Bloem offers a good explanation (although it needs some editing: how…

Friday Night nightmares

Taxidermy is art, and art can be disquieting. I think Kate Clark is doing some amazing art here.

Friday Cephalopod: TONMOCON is coming!

Oh, my…the meeting looks very interesting, especially that one titled “Cephalopod Neurogenomics: Insights into the evolution of complex brains”. Can I escape to Florida that early in the semester? Can I afford it? My schedule and my wallet are moaning “noooooo…”

It’s a mystery!

I have a question for the partnered gay and lesbian couples out there. I know you get the question, Which one of you is the “man”, and which is the “woman” from ignoramuses who are unable to think beyond their narrow sexual biases, but I’m wondering about a subtler, messier question. Do you ever get…

Reconstructing a brain

Every once in a while, I get some glib story from believers in the Singularity and transhumanism that all we have to do to upload a brain into a computer is make lots of really thin sections and reconstruct every single cell and every single connection, put that data into a machine with a sufficiently…

I nuked Morris, Minnesota

You can bomb your hometown too! Just put your location into that link, and it’ll show you the area of devastation if your town were hit by the Hiroshima bomb. Here’s the effect if the nuke went off at my house: I was a bit disappointed, actually. All that happens to Cyrus is broken windows?…

A real chemistry set?

Here’s a cool kickstarter: it’s for a real chemistry set, like the ones we had in old days. Go watch the video, and you’ll see that it actually lets you set things on fire!

I used a cruel headline, but this is actually a useful list: Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases. It’s not just the popular media that mangle scientific language, but also more technical works sometimes slip into misleading shorthand. For instance, #1…