Stranger Fruit

Archives for May, 2006

About twenty-five years ago, I read Gerald Durrell‘s book My Family and Other Animals (1957), an account of his early life in Corfu. One part made a distinct impression on me – his account of watching geckos on the walls of his house. To me, as a teenager in Ireland, this was the height of…

The Department of Education has issued its National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2005 science assessment noting that “[t]he national results show an increase in the average science score since 1996 at grade 4, no significant change at grade 8, and a decline at grade 12.” The report is available here (as a pdf) and…

In twelve days, I turn 38 – something I’m happy about considering I had a heart attack at the age of thirty two. As of today, my age is apparently equivalent of a dog that is ~5.428 years old and I am thus still chasing cats. Such is life.

Bentsen dead at 85

Lloyd Bentsen died today at the age of 85. You will remember that Bentsen, while running as Democratic VP candidate, countered Dan “Potatoe” Quayle’s self-comparison to John F. Kennedy with, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” (link).

Sonic hedgehog and Whales

What does Sonic Hedgehog on the left have to do with whale evolution? Nothing. However a soon-to-be-published study will argue that the gene Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) played a part. The abstract reads: Among mammals, modern cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are unusual in the absence of hind limbs. However, cetacean embryos do initiate hind-limb bud…

It’s a horse, people, a horse.

OK, I’m going to get grouchy here, but … I don’t understand the fuss about Barbaro, the horse that broke a leg at the Preakness on Saturday. His survival chances after surgery are the third story on Yahoo News, and ESPN this afternoon were acting like they wer reporting surgery on a President or somesuch.…

Worth a listen

Henry Rollins on ID: The breathtaking stupidity of irreducible complexity is only outweighed by the complete lack of science involved. it is just intellectually lazy and cannot be tested or challenged. You can’t get God to come down to the lab and prove a fucking thing. You just have to believe, and science does not…

Oh my Lordi!

Growing up in Europe, one couldn’t avoid the annual ritual that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Embarassingly, Ireland has won the contest more times (7) than any other county. Responsible for unleashing ABBA on an unsuspecting world in 1974, the contest also has to be blamed for “Riverdance“. The music is largely worthless, clean-cut, “EuroPop”,…

Going bipedal

Biggie here.

This is hilarious. Link goes to YouTube video.