Posts

November 12, 2014

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11:07 AM | Jeremy Fox seeking applicants for the Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship
I am seeking applicants for the University of Calgary Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship. This is a competitive award, funded by the Killam Foundation. The purpose is to allow the Fellow to develop his or her own research program, under the guidance … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Hey Matt
Hey Matt, Hi. I’m Tim. I do some science. Some is good. Today, I managed to screw up one calculation, but I compensated by writing a paragraph for a paper that I think makes a nice compelling argument for some thing that may interest a few of my colleagues. This does not amount to much, since you contributed to landing a robot on a comet. But in terms of scientific achievement, I still come up way ahead today; and so do many, many other scientists over the world. Want to know why? How is […]
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9:00 AM | Scientific Schadenfreude | @BobOHara & @GrrlScientist
Advice to scientists on how to game the Altmetrics score system.Like everyone, scientists tend to cut corners when writing early drafts of our research papers: just to get our thoughts from brain to screen, to be reformulated later. For example, Bob OHaras early drafts uses prosaic comments like (REF) or BLAH BLAH BLAH, whereas GrrlScientist prefers the more pithy fuckity fuck fuck. Or (REF).These comments -- or obvious searchable flags -- are replaced later with the appropriate citations or […]
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1:53 AM | Economic growth and climate change
Climate change isn't the only problem with our addiction to growth. Growth is causing a Great Death of species and ecosystems. Continue reading →
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12:30 AM | LA Planners Do Not Want City Council to Ban Fracking
Planners are always on the side of growth and development. Society's "progress" syndrome prepares young people for their final brainwashing in college. Imaginations constrained by courses, teachers, and fellow students, planners can't conceive of a world without growth. Quality planning becomes full utilization of space for human benefit. Continue reading →

November 11, 2014

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11:00 PM | Making the Most of MCMC
Sometimes in grad school you need to write about topics that you yourself have little to no clue about. Part of this learning process is figuring out how to teach yourself some of these very difficult concepts. This blog post comes from a blog post I co-wrote with my cohort chum, Justin, By: Justin and MeridithMarkov Chains, and particularly Markov Chains Monte Carlo, are a difficult concept to explain. In fact, Dr. Hanks has stated that they are “Easier done than said.” At the […]
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8:58 PM | 50,000 US veterans are homeless
The Obama Administration set a goal of ending homelessness among veterans in 2015. This Veterans' Day, they are about 50,000 veterans away from that goal.
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7:02 PM | LA Planners Do Not Want City Council to Ban Fracking
Planners are always on the side of growth and development. Society's "progress" syndrome prepares young people for their final brainwashing in college. Imaginations constrained by courses, teachers, and fellow students, planners can't conceive of a world without growth. Quality planning becomes full utilization of space for human benefit. Continue reading →
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5:27 PM | Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Yard With Native Plants
By Rebecca Deatsman     Between finishing my undergraduate degree back in 2009 (how has it already been five years) and moving to Walla Walla, Washington this past June, I was moving continuously from one temporary housing situation to the next - a year here, three months there. In those five years I lived in four different states plus a couple foreign countries. All that time, I was telling
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5:09 PM | Forest dance on wires depicts a creeping fungal multitude blown back by a tornado
Plant biology PhD student Uma Nagendra of the Universit […]
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4:43 PM | What’s This Flower? (Advanced Edition) November 11, 2014
Ok, I knew it wouldn’t take long to get a correct answer on the first plant quiz this morning, but four correct answers within two minutes of posting?  Good grief. Apparently, that one was too easy for many of you, … Continue reading →
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4:04 PM | What’s This Flower? November 11, 2014
The temperatures dove into the low teens last night, and I had to be cautious of numerous icy patches along the highway this morning.  I found myself feeling reminiscent of summer wildflowers, and thought maybe you would be too. So … Continue reading →
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2:47 PM | Optimal hipster theory
I think people are trying to send me a message. For the last few days, I’ve been getting a steady stream of emails letting me know about a new paper posted on the arXiv – The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look … Continue reading →
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2:46 PM | Stuff Matters wins Royal Society's 2014 Winton Prize for Science Books | @GrrlScientist
Mark Miodowniks Stuff Matters has won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Stuff Matters, published by Viking, takes the reader on a lively and engaging exploration of some of the myriad materials that shape the modern world.Fans of popular science books will be excited to learn that Professor Mark Miodowniks Stuff Matters won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Continue reading...
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12:24 PM | Bugs fighting bugs: the evolution of the arthropod immune system.
Since the beginning of time, animals have needed to protect themselves from invaders. They primarily do so via their innate immune system, in which trained killer cells attack foreign pathogens – ranging from microscopic bacteria to macroscopic worms. While we … Continue reading →
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9:52 AM | Fretting over R2 and outliers
Two things I’ve been thinking about lately. First, outliers. A classical example of these arises in what is known as Anscombe’s quartet, four datasets with almost nearly identical properties (mean, variance, x-y correlation) yet very different when plotted: John Kruschke at “Doing Bayesian Data Analysis” has a terrific example of how to fit robust regressions through these […]

November 10, 2014

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11:57 PM | Plasticity in mate preferences and the not-so-needed Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES)
[ This post is by Erik Svensson at Lund University; I am just putting it up.  –B. ]Andrew Hendry at McGill was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post at his blog, where I would explain why odonates (“dragonflies and damselflies”) are great study organisms in ecology and evolution, and I happily grabbed this opportunity. I will also re-publish this post at our own blog, Experimental Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour. Here I will try to put our research and our […]
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11:43 PM | Listen in on small businesses discussing draft OSHA infection control regulation
A select group of small business representatives will meet with OSHA this week to discuss a possible new regulation to protect workers from infectious diseases. OSHA has been convening these panels since 1997, but it will be the first time that we'll be able to listen in on the discussion.
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10:40 PM | Diabolical Parasites: Ophiocordyceps variabilis and Relatives
My fungi friend Ulli and I were crashing through the bush on our way back to the car after a day of searching for oddities near Dorset, Ontario, when she pointed out these little beauties on a large rotting log. "Good eye," I said, since whatever they were, they were barely a centimetre tall. Having no reading glasses with me, nor time to inspect them with my loupe, and thinking the orange blurs were simply shrivelled jelly or coral fungi (it hadn't rained in a while), I roughly […]
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9:22 PM | Even more sincere answers to stupid questions
For better or worse, I am able to see some of the search terms that are bring people to this site. Some are tragic, some are misdirected, and many people attempt to use google as an oracle. As I’ve done a couple times before, her are some sincere answers to some stupid questions entered into google over…
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5:04 PM | Different genetic paths lead to the same phenotypic destination
Male field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) on the Hawaiian archipelago sing to attract mates using acoustic structures on their wings. While singing makes the ladies swoon, it also gives away the male cricket’s location, making it vulnerable to fatal attacks by … Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Behavior is as much about environment as it is about cognition
Over at TalkingBrains, Greg Hickok points to a review on embodied cognition that has several neat examples of how distinct behavior arises just by placing an agent in the correct environment: Robots with two sensors situated at 45 degree angles on … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Your Next Mission: Homemade Holiday
Help protect the boreal forest while getting your craft on!
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1:58 PM | Homemade Holiday Card Ideas
Need some inspiration for your Homemade Holiday cards? Check out these ideas.
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1:50 PM | Make Your Own Paper
Follow these instructions to learn how you can make your own recycled paper.
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1:31 PM | A Study in Scarlet
No doubt you’ve been wowed this autumn by the crimson colors of the red maple (Acer rubrum)! This tree, native to eastern North America, has grown even more numerous in the past 100 years. When the Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm Disease swept through eastern deciduous forests, it opened up space for the hardy red maple to move in. Add in the tree’s popularity in landscaping (and its tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions: sunny or shady, high or low nutrients, dry or […]
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1:30 PM | Ninety Companies Produced Two-Thirds of Global Warming Emissions
Oil, coal and gas companies are contributing to most carbon emissions, causing climate change and some are also funding denial campaigns. Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | Thank Ron Nirenberg for Conservation of Free-Tailed Bat Colony
The Mexican free-tailed bat is a precious treasure to Crescent Hills and it is vital that we continue to work to conserve this species. Thank you for your valuable efforts to secure the land and protect these bats. Continue reading →
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12:30 PM | More International Pressure On Wildlife Crime
What the public does not know is that crime is affecting many species, driving some to the brink of extinction and is depleting a wide range of economically important natural resources. Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Developers Attempt to Strip Tasmanian Forest Protection
Since 1985 more than half Australia's Great Barrier Reef’s coral has been lost, with remaining coral cover predicted to be lost with two degrees of warming through climate change. Continue reading →
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