Pharyngula

Archives for July, 2008

Tyrannosaur morsels

This story is in the news again, so I’ve reposted my description of the paper from 3½ years ago. This is an account of the discovery of soft organic tissue within a fossilized dinosaur bone; the thought at the time was that this could actually be preserved scraps of Tyrannosaurus flesh. There is now a…

Janet live-blogs her mammogram

It seems to be an evolving tradition around here to put descriptions of our medical adventures online. Janet contributes with a an account of her recent mammogram. I was disappointed — there are no pictures. Hey! I’m scheduled to have a colonoscopy late next month! Shall I…?

An organization of the Catholic leadership has now condemned my actions. This is sad news: it’s clear that at least this tier of the Catholic hierarchy is as deranged as the wackaloons flooding my mailbox. We find the actions of University of Minnesota (Morris) Professor Paul Myers reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional. His flagrant display of…

Evolve: Eyes

The warm-up act for this program was a dinosaur program called “Jurassic Fight Club”, which was loaded with CGI and lots of gratuitous razzle-dazzle — but I thought it was a hoot. It also had enthusiasatic scientists talking about how they figured out what had happened (although it does bug me that they treated some…

Would you believe the NY Times published an op-ed today…calling for closer monitoring of UFOs? I think it’s intended seriously. It begins by suggesting that it — our neglect of will-o’-the-wisps and reflections of Venus — is a security loophole that terrorists might exploit, and then it gives several anecdotal accounts of unlikely events, such…

Tonight, on the History Channel…

It’s the much anticipate first episode of a new series, Evolve – Eyes. They are one of evolution’s most useful and prevalent inventions. Ninety five percent of living species are equipped with eyes and they exist in many different forms. Learn how the ancestors of jellyfish may have been the first to evolve light-sensitive cells.…

Good advice

I’d like to thank Megan for mentioning Colin Purrington’s excellent essay on what you can do to improve the presentation of evolution in museums. It’s positive, it’s simple, it’s stuff you can do on your very next museum visit.

How nice

Finally, after months of silence, my old server at pharyngula.org lives again. It turns out that all my head-desking was for nought — the reason it was offline is that it had been intentionally blocked on suspicion of harboring illicit p2p activity. They just forgot to mention it. Anyway, all anybody will really care about…

The Birmingham city council has put up blocking software to lock out atheist websites, which is OK — they’ve got to crack that whip and keep their employees focused on the work at hand, of course. Unfortunately, they apparently aren’t doing this to improve productivity, but simply to shut down a point of view some…

Science museum or playground?

I approve of this article criticizing the dumbing down of science in museums. I think a lot of science museums need a good sharp kick in the pants, because they are going too far down the road of pandering to mass media sensations — our local museum is running a big show on the science…