Pharyngula

Archives for June, 2008

Except, unfortunately, what the heck it was. The Tunguska event was the mysterious explosion of unidentified origin that occured in a remote area of Siberia on 30 June 1908, flattening trees over 2000 square kilometers, but leaving no trace of a crater. Archy has put together a thorough account of what we know, including some…

I must have a lot of Australian readers, or the few of you are really upset about this, because I’m getting a rising volume of email about World Youth Day. This is a bizarre Catholic get-together for young people — bizarre because, well, the idea of a pack of Catholic priests herding a flock of…

At least, it beats “Mr Gay”, which sounds so frivolous. It seems the American Family Association, which you can tell from the name is yet another institution that has mistaken “patriarchy” for “family”*, was a little overzealous in their use of search and replace, and renamed an athlete named Tyson Gay briefly. *Try it! Just…

Evolgen disputes my explanation!

RPM of Evolgen disagrees with my definition of synteny! This is terribly distressing. Especially since, strictly speaking, he is precisely correct. The word has evolved in its usage from the pure form that RPM is describing to a more colloquial, pragmatic, somewhat sloppier sense as used by people looking at comparative genomics rather than classical…

Something up Orac’s … alley

What? How could Orac pass this story by? A monument to the enema, a procedure many people would rather not think about, has been unveiled at a spa in the southern Russian city of Zheleznovodsk. The bronze syringe bulb, which weighs 800 pounds and is held by three angels, was unveiled at the Mashuk-Akva Term…

Catching up with old news

I have been very, very bad. I have been neglecting my obligations as a member of the blogosphere to share links to interesting stuff, all because I’ve been busy with travel and work. I missed the Carnival of the Liberals, the Accretionary Wedge, I and the Bird, the Carnival of Space, and even the Carnival…

The propaganda movie opened in Canada, and the weekend box office numbers are in. $24,374. Nationwide. So Canada is a smaller country in population than ours, and their money is worth a little more than ours, but still…I don’t think we can call that anything but a flop. Where’s Creationist Keith now? He was ranting…

Evolving proteins in snakes

We’ve heard the arguments about the relative importance of mutations in cis regulatory regions vs. coding sequences in evolution before — it’s the idea that major transitions in evolution were accomplished more by changes in the timing and pattern of gene expression than by significant changes in the genes themselves. We developmental biologists tend to…

It’s the nature of these things to trivialize. Yet again, media hysteria fuels the absurd fear that flipping a switch in Switzerland will Destroy The World…and they’re running a poll to let non-physicists guess at the risks. This one has two polls: “Is the gaint[sic] particle smasher worth the risk?” and “Which do you think…