March 29, 2015

10:19 PM | No money for tiger chow
Is there some contest among GnOPe governors to see who will be the "REAL" fiscal conservative as determined by who can make the most drastic cuts?  Now there are cuts, and then there are cuts, but the GnOPe always takes aim at the same two things, social programs for the poor and public education. Until recently, the USA could look to public education as one of its great achievements, institutions that allowed kids like TPP from blue collar backgrounds to become college professors, of […]
6:08 PM | You Should Know: Kristina Campbell and The Intestinal Gardener
Welcome to the twenty-sixth installment of You Should Know, where I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs you may not yet know about. I am also continuing my Women’s History... -- Read more on
7:27 AM | Sunday Chess Problem
I had originally picked out another Circe problem for your enjoyment this week. However, this particular problem was in the genre of “series” movers, and it occurred to me that I had never shown you one of those before. I didn’t want your first one to be the rather complex affair I had selected. So,…
6:40 AM | The Vacuity of “Natural Law”
In this recent essay at The New York Times, philosopher Gary Gutting argues that the Catholic Church should reconsider its ban on gay sex and its opposition to gay marriage, for explicitly Catholic reasons. He is especially critical of “natural law” arguments against homosexuality. It’s mostly a sensible essay, I think, but it is not…

March 28, 2015

6:18 PM | How to keep up with microbial ecology and the built environment: microBEnet is your place
Just posting a wrap up of posts on microBEnet (where I blog frequently as do many other folks that work on something related to microbial ecology, the built environment, or the intersection of the two).  microBEnet is really becoming a central place to find out what is going on in the world of microbial ecology and the built environment.  And I love that we are getting more and more posts from outsiders about their work, their meetings, their ideas and more.  Anyway - here is a […]
11:18 AM | Venom As Medicine Won't Solve The Lionfish Invasion
The lionfish eating their way through the Atlantic and Caribbean are among the worst marine invasive species to date. Anything we can do to limit their populations is a step in the right direction, thus it's not surprising that some are getting creative when it comes to control. One of the most common questions I receive goes like this: What if there's something worthwhile in their venom? Could we convince people to hunt them in droves if we can find a medical use for their spines? It sur
4:30 AM | l’oliva di mare: disturbance and genetic diversity
Seagrasses are important ecosystem-engineers of coastal regions around the world. Previous work has demonstrated the correlation of high genotypic diversity with resistance (e.g., Hughes and Stachowicz 2004) and resilience (e.g., Reusch et al. 2005). In a recently accepted paper in Molecular Ecology, Jahnke, … Continue reading →
1:21 AM | Dinosaur Whiskers?
Every day I’m home, I’m surrounded by cats. The clowder is rarely more than a few feet away …

March 27, 2015

2:49 PM | Friday Fabulous Flower - snow Trillium
Oh, this really is a fabulous flower, and it really is Friday. This is Trillium nivale, the snow trillium, the smallest trillium and earliest flowering woodland wild flower in these parts. This species is a new addition to our gardens and trying to find a place where it could be seen and yet not over whelmed was quite a challenge; too bad we don't have one.  A sloping rock garden would be just right. This plant is about 3" tall and about 3" across when the leaves are fully […]
1:56 PM | Self-promotion: shamelessly selfish or shamefully misunderstood?
I am reposting a blog post that I co-authored with Anne Osterrieder in 2012. I’ve always liked this post and been proud that we did it. A colleague brought it up to me yesterday, and I was sad to hear that the blog had been killed by hackers, with the original post lost, but Anne […]
8:00 AM | A week of links
Links this week: “If compulsory voting were to help Democrats at all, it would probably help the bad Democrats. The Democrats would end up running and electing more intolerant, innumerate, hawkish candidates.” The management / bureaucratic speak of World Bank reports. It’s worth clicking through to the full article. Paul Meehl was talking about today’s […]
5:38 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: An encrusted scleractinian coral from the Middle Jurassic of southern Israel
This week’s fossil is in honor of Annette Hilton (’17), who is my Sophomore Research Assistant this year. She has been diligently working through a large and difficult collection of scleractinian corals from the Matmor Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of Hamakhtesh Hagadol, Israel. These specimens were collected as parts of many paleoecological studies in our […]
4:23 AM | YECs Have Been Searching for the Wrong Adam and Eve
A G+ discussion led me to do some thinking. The discuss […]

March 26, 2015

10:14 PM | When discussing Humanity’s next move to space, the language we use matters.
Elon Musk’s vision for the humanity and colonizing Mars makes me incredibly uneasy. It’s not that Elon Musk has said very many inappropriate things, it’s that so much of the... -- Read more on
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