Posts

April 13, 2015

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1:52 AM | Spring cleaning
One problem with herbaceous perennials is the spring cleanup. Most herbaceous perennials need to have last years aerial shoots pruned off before this season's new shoots really get going. This process is complicated in our gardens by all the leaves collected by all of last year's shoots. The amount of plant litter that needs to be removed and gotten out of the way is quite voluminous both because of the number of herbaceous perennials, the size of the gardens, and the amount of leaves […]
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1:04 AM | Recapitating Apatosaurus
You may have felt rumblings reverberating through the Internet this week, like the roll of distant thunder. That’s …

April 12, 2015

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9:26 PM | You Should Know: Irene Mathieu and Maladi Kache Pa Gen Remed
Welcome to the twenty-seventh installment of You Should Know, where I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs you may not yet know about. I love how this series not only... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:27 PM | The Turcana and Other Valachians
I’m about as interested in domestic animals as I am in non-domesticated ones. Sheep of various kinds have been discussed on Tet Zoo a few times, and right now I want to say a few brief things about a... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:25 AM | Geomorphology at Fern Valley and along the Little Killbuck
The group at Fern Valley. Gaging Wilkin Run and measuring water levels in wells. We are fortunate to be able to monitor the streamflow, climate and geomorphic changes along Wilkin Run. Thanks again to Betty and David Wilkin for donating Fern Valley to the College. Leo examining the Ice Contact stratified drift of the terminal […]
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7:41 AM | Sunday Chess Problem
Okay, I’m back from Tennessee. The talk went pretty well, and the conference was a lot of fun. So let’s celebrate with another installment of Sunday Chess Problem! Our last entry featured a series mover. It seemed to be well-received, and they happen to be fairly easy to blog. So let’s try another one! The…

April 11, 2015

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9:20 PM | Causality in linguistics: Nodes and edges in causal graphs
This coming week I’ll be at the Causality in the Language Sciences conference.  One of the topics of discussion will be how to integrate theories of causality into linguistic work.  Bayesian Causal Graphs are a core approach to causality, and seem like a useful framework for thinking about linguistic problems.  However, it’s not entirely clear […]
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11:38 AM | Sleeping hummingbird "snores" | @GrrlScientist
In today’s “Caturday” video, we watch a hummingbird “snoring” as she awakens from torpor in a small environmental chamber at a research station in PeruA few weeks ago, a twitter follower asked me if birds snore. I told her that snoring in birds is a sign of trouble requiring immediate veterinary intervention. But that question did make me ponder “snoring” in birds because, depending upon how you define “snoring”, you could claim that […]

April 10, 2015

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8:25 PM | Glossary of Terms for Cultural Evolution
This is a short list of terms that I have come to treat as terms of art in thinking about cultural evolution. I have no idea how stable these terms and definition will prove to be. I am posting them to a page at New Savanna so that they can be readily referenced. Most of […]
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7:49 PM | Google is, like, 13
Talking to my newly mustachioed son, with his increasing levels of testosterone, can be very frustrating. It’s not as though we have nothing in common. Clearly we are both geeks. We watched Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game on Friday for Family Movie Night, in celebration of the beginning of spring break and the complete lack of homework. We both enjoyed it, but it seems we got entirely different things out of it. He sees details and I see […]
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6:25 PM | Friday Fabulous Flower - Liverleaf
Liverleaf is one of TPP's favorite early spring woodland wildflowers.  Interestingly enough the common name liverleaf, and it's genus, Hepatica, derive from the similarity between the plant's three-lobed leaf (H. acutifolia), which is a dark reddish-purple color in the early spring having persisted from the previous season, and a liver. One of such leaf appears just below the flowering stalks at the lower left.  Such associations were actively sought based on a traditional medicine […]
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5:21 PM | Book in Brief: How to Clone a Mammoth
“Will there ever be a real Jurassic Park?” I’ve heard this question more times than I can count. …
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5:00 PM | Gorillas (genomes) in the mist
Mountain gorillas are an endangered great ape subspecies that number around 800 individuals, inhabiting mountain ranges in central Africa. They have been the subject of numerous field studies, but few genetic analyses have been carried out. Xue et al. (2015) sequenced … Continue reading →
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4:04 PM | Quick Tip for NSF DDIG Appliers
I just got back my NSF DDIG reviews, and I learnt something about the process that I think might be useful for others to know–do NOT expect reviewers to read anything more than the Project Description, or integrate information provided … Continue reading →
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2:56 PM | New Books Party: books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
This week’s books include a biochemist’s reasoning that protons are the fundamental reason that life evolved in the way it did; a botanist’s assertion that plants are intelligent beings; and an exploration of one of the basic principles of geology, plate tectonicsThe Vital Question: Why is life the way it is? by Nick Lane [352 pages, Profile Books; 2015; Guardian Bookshop; Amazon UK hardcover/Kindle UK; Amazon US hardcover/Kindle] Continue reading...
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1:18 PM | Meeting report: Defending Drosophila
Fruit flies suffer from an image problem. Maybe it’s the alliteration in the name, or the association with bananas, but Drosophila have become a go-to target for politicians looking to ridicule wasteful public spending. In February, presidential candidate and US … Read MoreThe post Meeting report: Defending Drosophila appeared first on Genes to Genomes.
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11:33 AM | A week of links
Links this week: Behavioral Public Choice: The Behavioral Paradox of Government Policy. HT: Ryan Murphy Happiness and growth. The genetic component of sex offending. “[I]is growth mindset the one concept in psychology which throws up gigantic effect sizes and always works? Or did Carol Dweck really, honest-to-goodness, make a pact with the Devil in which she offered […]
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4:24 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A tectonically-deformed Early Cambrian trilobite from southeastern California
This wonderful trilobite was found last month by Olivia Brown (’15), a student on the Wooster Geology Department’s glorious field trip to the Mojave Desert. Olivia collected it at Emigrant Pass in the Nopah Range of Inyo County, southeastern California. It comes from the Pyramid Shale Member of the Carrara Formation and is uppermost Lower […]
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12:50 AM | Creature Feature XIV: Vasaka and Heliconia
Oops, forgot to post last month’s Creature Feature, on pollination syndromes in an Old World and a New World plant. Here it is! This piece is based primarily on the following papers: Shivanna (2009). Pollination biology, breeding system, and reproductive … Continue reading →

April 09, 2015

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11:30 PM | Today's Spammy journal Editorial Board Offer #1
Just got this - pretty lame given that, well, I do not do anything related to this journal.Dear Dr.Jonathan A Eisen,  Hope this mail brings you good health and prosperityFisheries and Aquaculture Journal is successfully publishing quality open access journals with the support from scientists like you. We are aware of your reputation for quality of research and trustworthiness in the field of science and thereby we request you to be an Editorial Board Member of our Fisheries and […]
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9:31 PM | Fossil Fish Sliced Prey With Bizarre Jaws
Paleontology collections are wonderful. Shelves and cabinets hold anywhere from thousands to hundreds of millions of years of …
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8:14 PM | What Attention Is
Sometimes I still enjoy listening to my old, analog LP records, even with their snaps, crackles and pops. If we are going to argue that language is a system for harnessing attention, we ought to be clear which of the...
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2:00 PM | Predicting replication
The Behavioural Economics Replication Project: This project will provide evidence of how accurately peer prediction markets can forecast replication of scientific experiments in economics. In order to incentivize prediction market activity, and collect evidence on actual replication, eighteen (18) prominently published studies in experimental economics were chosen for trading in prediction markets, followed by replication. […]
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2:00 PM | Visualizing Linkage Disequilibrium in R
Patterns of Linkage Disequilibrium (LD) across a genome has multiple implications for a population’s ancestral demography. For instance, population bottlenecks predictably result in increased LD, LD between SNP’s in loci under natural selection affect each others rates of adaptive evolution, selfing/inbreeding populations … Continue reading →
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1:45 PM | April GENETICS Highlights
The April issue of GENETICS is out now! Check out the highlights below of the full Table of Contents here. Nascent transcription affected by RNA polymerase IV in Zea mays, pp. 1107–1125 Karl F. Erhard Jr., Joy-El R. B. Talbot, Natalie C. … Read MoreThe post April GENETICS Highlights appeared first on Genes to Genomes.
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12:52 PM | Island Biogeography Revisited: an online experiment | @GrrlScientist
As an experiment in online book reading clubs, I will share a series of pieces about a group of scientists that is reading and discussing the book, Island Biogeography Revisited -- are you willing to join us?In the 1960s, the term “island biogeography” was coined by ecologists Robert H. MacArthur and E. O. Wilson, who wrote The Theory of Island Biogeography (1967, Princeton). This landmark book, which is still used today, describes a general mathematical theory that MacArthur and […]
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6:45 AM | To Tennessee!
I’ll be heading off to Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I will be giving the big keynote talk at an undergraduate research conference at the University of Tennessee. Do you think maybe I’ll be talking about the Monty Hall problem? I think maybe I will! So, if you’re going to be in the…
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3:49 AM | Why I’m Uncomfortable With #IAmAScientistBecause
I’m fairly new to Twitter, and given my inability to express thoughts concisely, I don’t tweet too often. I mostly just retweet things I find interesting, and use Twitter to publicize my articles and blogposts. But every now and then, … Continue reading →
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1:19 AM | How unfortunate! Poodle pruning is a no-no.
One of the shrubs that you should never, ever poodle prune is Forsythia. When pruned properly Forsythia is an open shrub with some gracefully arching branches with a lacy look in when in flower. Sometimes an unruly shoot does grow straight up, but they are easily removed. When poodled the shrub is an ugly blotch of yellow when in flower and when not in flower it has no saving grace at all. The problem is that it's actually a fairly large shrub and takes quite a bit of […]
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1:17 AM | More microbe-themed art - the Eden Project's "Human Biome"
Just got pointed to this Wired article by Katie Collins -- Eden Project's 'Human Biome' is a gross, musical microbe showcase (Wired UK)Fascinating project that I actually don't think is gross in any way.  From the articleInvisible You: The Human Biome will explore the community of microbes that live in and on each and every one of us. Artistic and interactive displays will show bacteria, fungi and viruses, with 11 artists commissioned to create works for the exhibition.I want to just […]
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