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As the World Turns

Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:41:54 +0000


What do frogs and humans have in common? [Life Lines]

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:41:54 +0000

Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain to suppress appetite in humans. While researchers at the University of Michigan described a similar appetite regulating role for leptin in South African clawed frogs (Xenopus), they also discovered that leptin signals limb development in tadpoles. They suspect that this happens once there are sufficient energy stores to begin the…

I like this book so much I’ve read it 3 times: Neotropical Companion [Greg Laden's Blog]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:04:13 +0000

The Neotropical Companion by John Kricher came out years ago, in the late 80s if I recall correctly. I’ve got a copy of it around somewhere. I loved that book because it did a great job integrating all the things in one place: animals, plants, habitats, evolution, etc. Even though I was working in the…

Trump’s Take It Or Leave It Approach Makes Sense [Greg Laden's Blog]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:02:47 +0000

In real estate. I’m not an expert on this but I’ve seen the sausage being made a few times. Individuals with investment money, commercial businesses that might use new space, other possible tenants, maybe or maybe not some designers or builders, municipal or other government stakeholders, community stakeholders such as neighborhood associations, etc. consider a…

Midnight 28 years ago: Exxon Valdez ran aground, 11 million gallons crude oil released [The Pump Handle]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:41:46 +0000

28 years ago today, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Alaska and released 11 million gallons of crude oil.

Friday Cephalopod: Did you ever wonder…? [Pharyngula]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:07:09 +0000

What it’s like to be an octopus? This review of Peter Godfrey Smith’s book, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, captures perfectly why I’ve been fascinated by them — they’re the closest thing to aliens we’ve got. Unlike cetaceans – whose sentience it is possible to imagine, partly because…

“CERN Invented the Web” Isn’t an Argument for Anything [Uncertain Principles]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:58:57 +0000

I mentioned in passing in the Forbes post about science funding that I’m thoroughly sick of hearing about how the World Wide Web was invented at CERN. I got into an argument about this a while back on Twitter, too, but had to go do something else and couldn’t go into much detail. It’s probably…

How big was the Universe at the moment of its creation? (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:06:33 +0000

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” -Carl Jung 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it came into existence. Today, the part we can observe is 46 billion light years…

Anticipation [Aardvarchaeology]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:21:13 +0000

14 months of no teaching gigs and several bad professional disappointments have brought me down a bit. So I checked my calendar for things to look forward to in the coming months. April. War games exhibition at the Army Museum. Katana sword exhibition at the Royal Armoury. Fieldwork at a promising site in Östergötland. May.…

The Central Problem of Academic Hiring [Uncertain Principles]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:43:21 +0000

A bunch of people in my social-media feeds are sharing this post by Alana Cattapan titled Time-sucking academic job applications don’t know enormity of what they ask. It describes an ad asking for two sample course syllabi “not merely syllabi for courses previously taught — but rather syllabi for specific courses in the hiring department,”…

Friday Fun: We all believed in science at some point…or did we? [Confessions of a Science Librarian]

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:37:36 +0000

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. But at least we can laugh as we’re sucked relentlessly into the Hellmouth. Maybe if we all collectively understood science and evidence better, the path to Hell wouldn’t be quite so straight and narrow. So maybe that’s what’s making me think of these particular funny…