Posts

July 25, 2014

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10:11 AM | Americans and Math
From the current issue of The New York Times Magazine: One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder;…
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2:17 AM | Fields work travelog – Day 13, Of seeds and fruits
Today’s focus was the entirety of the Hanna Formation below the lake beds around camp. For fun, we started in the Cretaceous Steele Shale, looking for more vertebrate material. We found a large chunk of long bone. We then worked … Continue reading →

July 24, 2014

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11:02 PM | Kids as Young As Five Hunt Giant Bird-Eating Goliath Tarantulas in the Venezuelan Jungle (Video)
Children in the Piaroa tribe in Venezuela are taught at a young age how to fend for themselves, including how to find food while on their own in the jungle. One of the youngsters’ favorite jungle snacks comes right out of most people’s nightmares: the goliath birdeater tarantula, the world’s largest spider. These huge tarantulas can reach up […]
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8:53 PM | Dropped cell phone calls become rain gauges in West Africa
A shaky cell phone connection during a rainstorm can be an annoying nuisance. But now scientists are showing that these weakened signals can be used to monitor rainfall in West Africa, a technique that could help cities in the region better prepare for floods and combat weather-related diseases.
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6:39 PM | Flump – Defaunation, Beta diversity, LDG, Marmoset genetics,
It’s Friday and that means that it’s time for our Friday link dump, where we highlight some recent papers (and . . .
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6:27 PM | Kulindadromeus images
While I’m sure huge parts of the internet are currently going mad over the new ornithischian Kulindadromeus and the implications for fuzzy dinosaurs (or otherwise) there current crop of pictures available isn’t that great. Inevitably those in the paper are small and crammed into the limited space (in the main paper at least, I’ve not […]
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6:07 PM | Changing Times: EPA’s Report on National Trends
By Gaelle Gourmelon Some things in my childhood memories look different when I revisit them as an adult. That tall slide in the playground? It’s really only four feet high. The endless summer bike rides to the beach? They now take ten minutes. Sometimes, however, things seem different because they’ve actually changed. I recently went […]
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5:42 PM | Compuversity
This site is designed to help STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) teachers & learners to find useful resources – e.g. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), online tutorials & videos, references, examples, etc. We will post information about upcoming online courses, so that you can register for them before they start. Some courses can be…Read more →
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4:46 PM | Despite All the Depressing News, The World Is Not Getting Worse, It’s Getting Much, Much Better
Today, I woke up and skimmed the world news headlines. 80% of the stories were about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis or the Malaysian aircraft shot down in Ukraine. The other 20% was mostly news on the Air Algerie flight which disappeared earlier this morning and ISIS’s exile and persecution of the Christians in Mosul. It was a very depressing […]
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4:22 PM | It’s Sensitive – a simple Mr. Wizard Experiment
It’s summer in Kansas, and although the weather has been mild and rainy all year, it has recently turned into the hot, humid days that I’ve come to expect since moving here five years ago. As part of our effort to escape the sun, my son and I decided to do an experiment today on the […]
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4:10 PM | Photo of the Week – July 24, 2014
I’m definitely a better close-up photographer than a landscape photographer.  Part of that is just the way my mind works – I tend to look down instead of up when I walk around a prairie.  I can always find an … Continue reading →
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3:43 PM | Survey: where do you prefer to publish your theory papers?
Bruce Kendall, chair of the ESA’s Theoretical Ecology section and an editorial board member at Ecology, is surveying ecologists on where they prefer to publish ecological theory and models, and why. The motivation is to help the ESA make its … Continue reading →
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3:38 PM | Should museums charge for enquiries?
Originally posted on FromShanklin:As a museum curator I get a huge variety of enquiries from members of the public. My most popular is the ‘meteorite’ enquiry; in 7 years, I have only ever seen one real meteorite. (99% of the time the‘meteorite’ is unquestionably waste from smelt works, wonderfully called ‘slag’.) The most interesting enquiry…
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3:33 PM | A Mother’s Testimony in Support of The Prenatal and Neonatal Congenital Toxoplasmosis Prevention and Treatment Act
Dana Morel suffers from toxoplasmosis. Janet, her mother, testified before the Illinois State Senate accompanied by Rob and Dana, in support of Senate Bill 3667, the proposed Prenatal and Neonatal Congenital Toxoplasmosis Prevention and Treatment Act.
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1:32 PM | Promises: The Psychology of Making, Breaking or Exceeding Them
What our attitudes to promises reveal about a fair society.Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:Rule-Breaking Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs Can You Get Things Done Without Making People Hate You? Making Music Dramatically Improves Young Children’s Behaviour Psychology in Brief: 5 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week (28 June 2013) 10 Current Psychology […]
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12:09 PM | Video of Anolis lemurinus Displaying
Short video of a cool, but underappreciated, anole.
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11:47 AM | 10 Minute Interview – The new Science of Geocognition
We are back! After a few weeks without posting, we thought it was about time we blogged! I have a HUGE backlog of 10 minute interviews that I have to transcribe from EGU 2014. The General Assembly was a great place to meet lots of young scientists doing all sorts of diverse and extremely interesting […]
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9:55 AM | Guardian Political Science Blogs: The Politics of Science in Social Media
Cheating on my usual blog. But it was only to write a little report on an event I organised. It was just a one-off and everything will be back to normal and fine after this honest. http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2014/jul/22/the-politics-of-science-in-social-media
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9:45 AM | Director’s Update: Thinking about our grant schemes
Originally posted on Wellcome Trust Blog:Since he joined us last year, Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, has been listening – to staff, to researchers, to members of the Wellcome community, and more. In this post he explains…
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9:00 AM | Random Natural History: Valley Oaks and their Galls.
Ok, time for a short bit of natural history. I live in the Sacramento Valley in northern California. The dominant tree species (outside of urban areas) seems to be the Valley Oak (Quercus lobata). Now, there aren’t a whole lot of trees in the valley, so it’s pretty lucky that Valley Oaks are fairly spectacular. They […]
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7:37 AM | The Multiverse is a Done Deal
That title is somewhat facetious, of course, but I do think the multiverse is far more than an idle speculation. I think it is an idea that is sufficiently well-supported that it is those who deny it who should be on the defensive. I would make an elaborate argument in defense of that claim, but…
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7:08 AM | Beyond Quantification: Digital Criticism and the Search for Patterns
I’ve collected some recent posts (from New Savanna) on patterns into a working paper. It’s online at SSRN. Here’s the abstract and the introduction. Abstract: Literary critics seek patterns, whether patterns in individual texts or patterns in large collections of texts. Valid patterns are taken as indices of causal mechanisms of one sort or another. […]
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2:54 AM | “Concrete Facts” and “Irrefutable Evidence” Aren’t Needed to Add Someone to the Terrorist Watch List
Recently, I reported on the rapidly growing terrorist watch list in the United States. In the past 5 years, the government has been adding names to the list at an increasingly fast pace, peaking last year with 468,749 names being added. Well, it seems part of that ridiculously high number may be explained by a new set […]
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12:15 AM | Afghan curse of 39 causing economic problems
There is supposedly a curse associated with the number ’39′ in Afghanistan. People are refusing license plates that has that number and it’s beginning to piss off the government. This exact issue has come up in the past as well. Afghan car buyers urged to defy the ‘curse of 39′ – Yahoo Finance UK. Afghans’… Source: Doubtful News

July 23, 2014

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11:19 PM | Field work travelog – Day 12, the Paleocene-Eocene boundary
Today has been a delightful day. Much learning was had. Our crew now includes expertise in paleobotany and stratigraphy, so we walked all around the rocks that bracket the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. I learned a ton today and now beret understand … Continue reading →
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7:49 PM | 12 Pieces of Street Art That Seamlessly Mesh With the Nature Around Them (Photo Gallery)
Street art is one of the more creative art forms around today. Because of its visibility, it is often used to make political or social statements, like the street art that emerged in Brazil before and during the World Cup. But some street artists like to use their work to bring out parts of the natural […]
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6:44 PM | Citizen Science is a Shore Thing!
Share jellyfish sightings, track stars during evening beach strolls, count fireflies, or report dragonfly swarms while you’re at the beach this summer. Or participate in dozens of other summertime citizen science projects and advance fields of research in the process! …The post Citizen Science is a Shore Thing! appeared first on CitizenSci.
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3:58 PM | How In the World Is This Tree Able to Produce 40 Different Kinds of Fruit??
Sam Van Aken is an art professor at Syracuse University in New York. He wasn’t always immersed of the world of art though- as a child, he grew up working on his family’s farm before pursuing his art career. So, in 2008, when Van Aken learned that the orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment […]
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2:45 PM | Peer review: New approaches to an old system
A scientist’s reputation and funding for research can hinge on recommendations by other scientists in the centuries-old peer review process. To ensure a credible body of scientific knowledge, research papers and proposals are evaluated by other scientists in their field—or peers—before they are accepted for publication or funding. However, the …
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2:44 PM | Computer Viruses… as art
Computer Virus Catalog, provides us with an illustrated history of the worst computer viruses in history. It also has an artistic interpretation of each virus, which look really cool! Below are some of my favorites!  
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