Pharyngula

PZ Myers

What do rattlesnakes do when they have the urge to punch someone? I’m pretty sure the loser was slinking away at the end.

Peter Watts has this short short story about a brain interface technology that allows people to merge their consciousness with other organisms — and in this one, “Colony Creature”, someone experiences what it is like to be an octopus, and is horrified by it. “Those arms.” His Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat. “Those fucking…

The delusion of immortality

Imagine all the poor transhumanists who were born in the 19th century. They would have been fantasizing about all the rapid transformations in their society, and blithely extrapolating forward. Why, in a few years, we’ll all have steam boilers surgically implanted in our bellies, and our diet will include a daily lump of coal! Canals…

Pffft. Multicellularity is overrated.

This morning, I read a pile of bullshit about Tyson written by an anti-intellectual reverse-snob — he thinks he should be proud of being so blatantly pro-mystery and anti-science. Neil deGrasse Tyson is, supposedly, an educator and a populariser of science; it’s his job to excite people about the mysteries of the universe, communicate information,…

Now I’m seeing exploding plants everywhere.

What is that thing?

The Tully Monster has been an enigma for half a century. Now it’s been reconstructed on the basis of analysis of 1200 specimens. That thing is weird. It’s been extinct since the Carboniferous, though, so we’re not going to be catching any nowadays, unfortunately. Note the eyes on stalks; the tubby body; the long ‘snout’…

A guy finds a hole in his wall, and behind it, a strange leathery brown mass. He pulls it out — first mistake. He cuts it open — second mistake. Within… It’s a wasp nest stuffed full of dead spiders, each with an egg planted in them. It’s just adorable. There are more photos. I…

Last month, Michael Balter published a story in Science about sexual misconduct in anthropology (I also mentioned it). A research assistant reported that Brian Richmond had assaulted her at a conference. In late September 2014, less than 2 months after Richmond had begun at AMNH, he and the research assistant attended a meeting of the…

They’re adorable! And you could watch them chase down, capture, and bloodily devour guppies! But they’re also delicate and demanding, and I sure wouldn’t rush to try…and I’m an experienced aquarist. But if you really must, here’s a discussion of a standard protocol.