The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for July, 2010

Virginia Heffernan wrote a piece in today’s NY Times Magazine. She writes: Science blogging, apparently, is a form of redundant and effortfully incendiary rhetoric that draws bad-faith moral authority from the word “science” and from occasional invocations of “peer-reviewed” thises and thats. and Does everyone take for granted now that science sites are where graduate…

Here at Thoughtful Animal headquarters, we are conducting series of seven-question interviews with people who are doing or have done animal research of all kinds – biomedical, behavioral, cognitive, and so forth. Interested in how animal research is conducted, or why animal research is important? Think you might want to do some animal research of…

Zedonk!

I’m not going to create a new category for this creature, because I never expect to blog about these critters again. At least it’s clear that she’s a mammal. A zedonk, an unusual cross between a donkey and a zebra, is attracting attention at Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in north Georgia after being born there about…

Have you heard about NCBI ROFL? It’s a previously-independent blog that has been incorporated into “Discoblog,” one of the blogs at Discover Magazine. What they do is find amusing or funny abstracts by searching Pubmed (which is run by the NCBI – National Center for Biomedical Information) and just post the abstracts. No commentary, no…

BYU students made a spoof of the Old Spice ads, about studying. Did you know that eight out of five dentists say that studying in the library is six bajillion times more effective than studying in your shower? (h/t The Education Standard)

What I’m Listening To

A French selection for today: Slave by Fran├žois Feldman. (Lyrics in French with an English translation.)

This blog needs a logo

Like the headline says. I’ve been thinking about setting up a schwag shoppe, and so I’m going to need a logo. So I’m turning to you, my brilliant readers who (I hope) are far more photoshop-proficient than I am. Though I did make my own banner in photoshop, which I think is pretty awesome, if…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: EcoPhysioMichelle explains a giant methods FAIL on a recent paper that “claims that women who are approaching menopause become ‘more willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities to capitalize on their remaining childbearing years.’” NeuroKuz wonders, “Is it really possible to empathize with…

Monkeying Around

This is a tamarind: The fruit pulp is edible and popular. The hard green pulp of a young fruit is considered by many to be too sour and acidic, but is often used as a component of savory dishes, as a pickling agent or as a means of making certain poisonous yams in Ghana safe…

In general, the ability to attribute attention to others seems important: it allows an animal to notice the presence of other individuals (whether conspecifics, prey, or predators) as well as important locations or events by following the body orientation or eyegaze of others. We’ve spent a lot of time here at The Thoughtful Animal thinking…