Pharyngula

Archives for March, 2008

Friday Bonus Cephalopod:I want one!

Last weekend, I met a young woman who asked me to sign a picture of a friend’s tattoo (not the real tattoo, unfortunately!), and it’s so pretty I said I’d have to include it on the Friday Cephalopod. Here it is: (Eat your heart out, Carl!)

Thaumelodone gunteri Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.

GP for the masses

My colleague Nic McPhee (with a couple of other people) is an author of a new book, A Field Guide to Genetic Programming — I think I’m going to have to read it. Genetic programming (GP) is a systematic, domain-independent method for getting computers to solve problems automatically starting from a high-level statement of what…

Take the quiz!

This scientist spotting quiz has me wondering — has a Peterson’s Field Guide on this subject come out yet? Creationists apparently need one, although I’m not too keen on being ogled by weirdos with binoculars. (By the way, I got a perfect score on the quiz.)

This is kind of sad, actually. It’s a slick website from a guy in Utah who claims to have discovered pre-Cambrian dragons. Browse around his gallery, and it’s clear that what he’s got are pictures of random rocks, and that he’s seeing shapes in them like one sees shapes in the clouds. He reminds me…

How come nobody told me?

I did not even know that Julia Sweeney had a blog, and it looks like a good one, too (she also knows Ben Stein personally, and does not have a high opinion of him). I have to plug her CD, Letting Go of God — it’s hilarious and insightful. I’ve got a lot of driving…

Wheee, another airplane ride

In spite of all of the work piled up around me, I’m taking off today to attend the NEA/AFT Higher Education Joint Conference in Washington DC. I’m in the middle of this busy month where I spend just about every weekend flying off somewhere, in between weeks that still have the same teaching load waiting…

Run for office!

Scientist and Engineers for America is running a workshop to encourage more scientists to be politically active. The focus is on telling you how to run for office, which seems like an excellent idea to me. Get out there and acquire some power, people!

Blanch, you delicate souls, blanch. Somebody else finally gets it. I’d like to suggest a very simple strategy for American liberals: Get mean. Stop policing the language and start using it to hurt our enemies. American liberals are so busy purging their speech of any words that might offend anyone that they have no notion…

Uh-oh. Bad news from Florida.

Florida did it: their ridiculous “academic freedom” bill that promoted creationism has been approved by their senate committee. Here’s the cast of characters: Chair: Senator Don Gaetz (R) Vice Chair: Senator Frederica S. Wilson (D) Senator Larcenia J. Bullard (D) Senator Lisa Carlton (R) Senator Ted Deutch (D) Senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R)…