The Loom

Archives for September, 2007

Bloggingheads Is Up

My talk with John Horgan on bloggingheads.tv is up. I’m sure the fact that the label “weird life” appears directly over my head was an accident (right, John?). Anyway, we had a good talk about parasites, aliens, and how to handle hype in science. I may have made some mistakes–feel free to fact-check in the…

"My tattoo is from an Irving Geis illustration of DNA. I was attracted to his attention to the molecular detail while also drawing in a representational spiral that doesn’t ignore the basic beauty of the double helix. This particular sequence (I’ve BLASTED) is too short to be specific to only one gene, but one human…

From blogger to blogginghead

I’m going to be appearing this weekend on the strangely addictive show bloggingheads.tv. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a show composed of two talking heads staring out of your screen at you, holding forth for an hour on whatever topic they choose (politics, television, science…). Actually, each speaker is staring into a computer…

Carrying Ancient History In The Gut

It is a day to write about Giardia, and I am happy to say that I cannot do so from firsthand experience. Friends of mine have suffered infections of Giardia in their gut, but they haven’t been terribly forthcoming about the details. It’s not fun, they assure me, and it can last for months. Unpleasant…

A while back I mentioned I’ve gotten a Facebook page and a Myspace page. They’ve been fun to toy around with, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re a harbinger of how we will all trawl for online information in the future. But to those who are asking to be friends at Myspace, leaving messages…

Spontaneous Book Club Meetings?

It’s a brave new world for us book authors. Today’s case in point: PZ Myers assigned some of his students to ready my book Soul Made Flesh, which chronicles how humanity figured out what the brain is for. Some of his students have bravely agreed to post their reports on the book on Myers’s blog…

Mathematical Markings

Mark sent this picture in, with this explanation: I don’t quite have a science tattoo, but I have a math tattoo. That’s close enough, right? Now, for the explanation. This is a formula called the Y Combinator. It is a fixed-point combinator in the lambda calculus and was discovered by Haskell Curry, a rather prolific…

The Scientist recently asked me to name the three best life-science blogs. I just sent them three ones I enjoy and read a lot–I find this sort of ranking to be interesting but fundamentally artificial. (I’d recommend all of the blogs on my blogroll on the left of your screen.) I didn’t realize that the…

My first book, At the Water’s Edge, was graced by illustrations by the marvelous Carl Buell. He’s got a lot of irons in the fire these days, including Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters, which publishes this month. Paleontologist Donald Prothero is the author, and it’s packed with illustrations such as this…

Link Love: Surrender Your Data!

I just took a survey about blogs about science, and you should too. Here’s the description: This survey attempts to access the opinions of bloggers, blog-readers, and non-blog folk in regards to the impact of blogs on the outside world. The authors of the survey are completing an academic manuscript on the impact of science…