Last 24 Hours

Sean B. Carroll is coming out with a new book called The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters. This is the molecular biologist Sean Carroll, as distinct from the physicist (who wrote this). Homeostasis is one of the basic principles of biology. The term can be applied broadly…

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves.” -David Reitze More than 100 years after Einstein’s relativity came out, one of its last great predictions — the existence of gravitational radiation — has been directly experimentally confirmed! The LIGO collaboration has observed two ~30 solar mass black holes merging together, producing a slightly less massive final…

We’ve got an interesting seminar coming to Morris next Thursday. Thursday, February 18, 2016, 5 p.m. Location: Imholte Hall 109 The origination of novel structures has long been an intriguing topic for biologists. Over the past few decades it has served as a central theme in evolutionary developmental biology, in part to highlight explanatory gaps…

“We stand on a great threshold in the human history of space exploration. If life is prevalent in our neighborhood of the galaxy, it is within our resources and technological reach to be the first generation in human history to finally cross this threshold, and to learn if there is life of any kind beyond…

I don’t normally write about faith (I’m an atheist, I’d be bad at it), but I do often write about climate change. But my friend and colleague Paul Douglas happens to be an Evangelical Christian, Republican, and Rock Star Meteorologist. You’ve seen his work if you’ve seen the movies Jurassic Park or Twister. If you…

February Pieces Of My Mind #1

I wonder what kind of event lead to entire 20-metre dinosaurs becoming fossilised as articulated skeletons. There’s been a lot of psychological research into the mental differences between conservatives and lefties. Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain summarises it well up to 2012. And the refugee situation has really brought this out to me. I follow some…

Senator Leo Foley RIP

Just a quick note that will be of interest to my local readers. Senator Leo Foley passed away at the age of 87, just a few days ago. Senator John Hoffman, who now hold Senator Foley’s old seat, wrote this: Last Friday, Feb. 5 former Coon Rapids Senator Leo T. Foley passed away peacefully surrounded…

Last week, I wrote about how conspiracy theories have been flowing fast and furious about the Zika virus and microcephaly. Even if you didn’t see that post (perhaps instead having seen this one), you’ve probably seen the news reports describing how last fall the observation of a large number of cases of microcephaly, characterized by…

CSIRO: science as a public good

Much fuss about the cuts at CSIRO climate research. This reminds me of a less serious situation 10, or perhaps 15 years ago, when cuts were proposed – I can’t recall if they actually happened – due to a conversation somewhat like: Scientists: Global Warming is Real! Government: OK, we believe you’re, we going to…

I’m looking at an exit poll by NBC and I have thoughts. Gender Gap Much has been made of the fact that Sanders got 55% of female votes, more than 44% for Clinton. That is indeed significant. But little has been said about the fact that among males, 66% voted for Sanders and 32% for…

President Obama released his 2017 federal budget proposal yesterday, recommending funding boosts for a number of public health priorities. And even though his presidency is coming to an end and so this budget is probably dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress, it’s worth a peek inside.

160/366: Nice Crowd

I did bring my good camera with me to Newport News, and took it on the tour of Jefferson Lab yesterday, but despite the existence of DSLR pics, you’re getting a cell-phone snap for the photo of the day: That’s the audience about 10-15 minutes before my talk last night, so it was a good…

Naturopathy advances in Hawaii

Naturopathy is quackery. That can’t be said often enough. After all, any “discipline” that not only incorporates homeopathy as a major part of its training but also requires that its graduates pass a test with a section on homeopathy certainly can’t be considered science-based. Actually, to be more accurate, naturopathy is probably at least 80%…

Growing in So Many Ways

We came back from the developmental pediatrician yesterday in a jubilant mood. Two of my sons came to us with significant developmental delays. Both of them have made wonderful progress, so last night was an occasion for celebration. A lot of parents have children who are delayed in some ways. Some kids catch up. Some…

In one of my last posts, I argued that White children need to read Black children’s books as much or more than Black children, and more importantly, need to read lots of good children’s books with Black language, culture and heroes. They also need to read about other non-White cultures, but given the beginning of…