Posts

September 15, 2014

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7:25 PM | An unforgettable sendoff
After researching the coral reefs surrounding the island of Mo’orea, French Polynesia since 2009, and in my final hours on the island, I was fortunate enough to see a side of nature I had never seen before. This encounter made … Continue reading →
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4:56 PM | Anole Apartment Invasion: What Can Be Done?
AA reader Katharine from southern Florida writes: “I live on the 4th floor of a 4-story concrete constructed condominium building (6 units to a floor) with catwalks in S.E. Fl.  In front of the ground floor walkway of our building there is landscaping & ligustrum trees that reach up to the 2nd floor with catwalks with overhead lights on in […]
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4:55 PM | Embargo break by Dallas Morning News on fracking study is PNAS’s 8th this year
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is having a rough time of it in 2014 embargo-wise. For the eighth time this year, the journal had to lift the embargo early on a study because of a break. PNAS tells us this message to reporters resulted from a Dallas Morning News story today: […]
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4:49 PM | To Keep Moving is To Live
We’ve all seen the scenario in our high school biology textbooks. A single population of fish shares a large Pond. But then something drastic happens in the landscape. Perhaps a drought occurs, and the large Pond partially dries up to leave two smaller ponds separated from each other by a hill or expanse of higher, dry land. If this separation lasts long enough, combining the fish from pond A and pond B produces an interesting effect – the fish can... Read more
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4:49 PM | To Keep Moving is To Live
We’ve all seen the scenario in our high school biology textbooks. A single population of fish shares a large Pond. But then something drastic happens in the landscape. Perhaps a drought occurs, and the large Pond partially dries up to leave two smaller ponds separated from each other by a hill or expanse of higher, dry land. If this separation lasts long enough, combining the fish from pond A and pond B produces an interesting effect – the fish can... Read more
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4:06 PM | Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison
Can’t eat poison without dying? Maybe your gut microbes are to blame. Rodents in the Mojave Desert have evolved to eat toxic creosote bushes with the help of specialized gut bacteria. Although scientists had long suspected that bacteria might be key to the rats’ power, they proved it by feeding the rodents antibiotics and ground-up […]The post Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison appeared first on Inkfish.

Kohl KD, Weiss RB, Cox J, Dale C & Denise Dearing M (2014). Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins., Ecology letters, 17 (10) 1238-46. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25040855

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2:49 PM | Beating Back the Risk of Diabetes
The factors that improve your chances of avoiding the Type 2 variety of the disease are unmistakable: weight loss and exercise.
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2:18 PM | The Surprising Effect of Little Daily Hassles On Your Long-Term Health
What's more likely to kill you: little hassles or major stressful life events? 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:Can Everyday Hassles Make You Depressed? How Long-Term Stress Affects Short-Term Memory How Long-Term Stress Causes Serious Mental Disorders Family Problems In Childhood Affect Brain Development The Surprising Power of an Emotional ‘Memory […]
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12:44 PM | River woes as mystery spills pollute water
A giant wave of foam overtakes the River Lea in London while unidentified brown “gunk” affects an Ohio river making locals nervous. A wall of suds appeared on the River Lea. Authorities have not been able to figure out how it developed. Huge mass of foam floats down River Lea in north-east London – News… Source: Doubtful News
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12:00 PM | Vocabulary, teaching, and being understood
English is a crazy language, with an exceptional number of grammatical conventions, and required exceptions to the conventions. And that doesn’t even explain the senselessness of pronunciation. There are many ways of saying the same thing, with different shades of meaning. By choosing words carefully, we can increase accuracy and precision of meaning. This can present a dilemma…
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7:46 AM | Sunday Chess Problem
This week I want to build on something I discussed near the end of last week’s problem. I mentioned that a problem’s genre should in some way complement its theme. So, if your problem is a selfmate, it is better if the theme employs logic that is specific to the selfmate genre. If your idea…
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7:00 AM | Physiotherapy led falls pathway service for adults with learning disabilities showed reduced falls in evaluation
Recent NICE guidance suggested that 30% of people over 65 and 50% of people over older than 80 fall at least once a year and there is evidence that in people with learning disabilities there is some increased risk and this impacts on people of younger age. Finlayson, in a prospective cohort study suggested that [read the full story...] The post Physiotherapy led falls pathway service for adults with learning disabilities showed reduced falls in evaluation appeared first on The Learning […]
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2:38 AM | How to live with elephants, in the modern wired world by Madhusudan Katti
“Coexistence is a journey… not a destination” That useful reminder comes from the main human protagonist of this beautifully told story (see video below) of how elephants and people can coexist, even in places with a relatively high density of people sharing habitat with a small but resilient population of elephants. Over the course of but […]
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2:13 AM | Editorial board of “Journal of K-Theory” on strike, demanding Tony Bak hands over the journal to the K-Theory foundation.
Text of the announcement below: Dear Colleagues, We the undersigned announce that, as of today 15 September 2014, we’re starting an indefinite strike. We will decline all papers submitted to us at the Journal of K-Theory. Our demand is that, as promised in 2007-08, Bak’s family company (ISOPP) hand over the ownership of the journal to the K-Theory Foundation (KTF). The handover must […]
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12:38 AM | Ralph Nader on nukes
(H/t to David) Lengthy essay outlining how nuclear power is a big swindle. https://blog.nader.org/2014/09/05/nuclear-powers-insanities-taxpayer-guaranteed/

September 14, 2014

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11:46 PM | If British Airways Offered Jet Service To The Moon, How long A Flight Would It Be?
Have you ever thought about how long a commercial airline flight to the Moon would take?? It’s actually a good question, and an excellent way of getting your head around the vast distances of just our own solar system. It’s actually an easy math problem, and while not all such questions are that simple, they almost all come with surprising results. Meteorologists frequently get these type questions, and  can tell …
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10:18 PM | New POTW Posted
The title pretty much says it all. I have a new teaser for you, along with some discussion of palindromes that you might enjoy. The solution to last week’s problem has been posted as well. Let me know what you think!
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7:42 PM | Brain Size in Autism: Some New Preliminary Reports
I attended a conference last week in La Ciotat, France, called the EMBO Conference on Brain Development and Disorders. While the title may suggest a width breadth of research, it […]
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7:35 PM | Biotech Tweets of the Week (September 8-12)
Thanks to everyone for the tremendously supportive response to the first edition of the BiotechDueDiligence Tweets of the Week. Sarie (a.k.a. @23aloha) and I are back with the next compilation. Featured tickers: $AMRN $ARNA $BMY $GILD $HPTX $MRK $NPSP $PSDV $RTRX $SPPI I know nothing about the $HPTX situation - repeat: nothing - but amid the blame for the actual perpetrators, maybe a due diligence failure?— Michael Gilman (@michael_gilman) September 8, 2014 […]
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6:48 PM | While you’re waiting for the bus
Stuff worth reading All Our Sad Stories Yes, we too often discount the effects of emotional abuse. I like to walk loudly, in shoes that clack, because I was not allowed to make a sound when I walked. All The … Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Monday Micro – from cat poo to kai moana!
Last week I attended a symposium hosted by Massey University’s Infectious Diseases Research Centre (IDReC). There were many fascinating talks but one that caught my attention was by Dr Wendi Roe, a veterinary pathologist, about her work on Hector’s dolphins. Hector’s dolphins are an endangered species living off the coast of New Zealand. A 2010/2011 [...]
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4:59 PM | ABS 2014: A Novel Social Behaviour in Uromastyx Lizards
I’m a big believer in the utility of watching animals in their natural environment, and it’s therefore no surprise that one of my favourite talks at the Animal Behaviour Society 2014 meeting was based on many, many hours of painstaking observation of Uromastyx ornata lizards in the rocky, arid cliffs of the Eilat Mountains in Israel. Amos […]
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1:31 PM | One More Reason Why Teenage Behaviour Can Be So Extreme
Adolescent behaviour can seem very weird to adults -- this basic mental process helps explain why. 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:Later School Start Times Improve Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents The Irritating Reason That Overconfident People Get All The Breaks Mysterious Brain Region That is Vital to How You Decide The Honking Experiment: Can You […]
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11:00 AM | A History of the Essex Lunatic Asylum: Part 2
The search for biological causes and effective remedies continued unsuccessful for some years, fostering a growing sense of therapeutic nihilism within the psychiatric profession. The available treatments were viewed as non specific, and a major emphasis remained on fresh air (outdoor relief) and a healthy environment, distinctly unglamorous interventions compared to the technological advances being made in medicine.
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2:17 AM | That Facebook Book Meme Thing
My friend Iain Davidson tagged me with the facebook novel meme. Here are the rules: Oh, hell, never mind the rules. I wanted to provide links to the books so I decided to do this as a blog post which I’ll paste on my facebook page (and of course tag some unlucky facebook friend). Here…

September 13, 2014

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9:45 PM | A History of the Essex Lunatic Asylum: Part 1
“...aims at making the Institution really and truly an Asylum, a place of refuge and retreat from pain and sorrow; an Hospital and a home.” Extract from the Essex Lunatic Asylum Medical Superintendent’s Annual Report, 1874
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8:14 PM | Spider Catches Knight Anole
We’ve seen photos of spiders eating anoles before, but this takes it to another level, a nasty golden orb weaver spider taking down the King himself. Admittedly, King, Jr., but still. Whoa. The photo is online with no information.
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7:02 PM | Dr Raj Persaud in conversation with Jeremy Beider on the psychology of sleeping and sleep problems
Dr Jeremy Beider talks to Raj Persaud about the psychology of sleep on this downloadable audio podcast – click the link below.   Problems sleeping are one of the commonest difficulties that doctors in the UK deal with – possibly leading to massive over-prescribing of hypnotic drugs which can be highly addictive. What are the […]
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4:48 PM | Husband or Wife? The Partner Whose Happiness Matters More For The Marriage
Which spouse's happiness is most important for marital satisfaction? 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:New Study Affirms 4 Very Old-Fashioned Guidelines for a Good Marriage Movie-and-Talk: Can This Simple Exercise Help Save a Marriage? The Key to Happiness: Brainpower or Social Connectedness? 4 Dark Sides To The Pursuit of Happiness Our Genes Respond Positively […]
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4:44 PM | Highlights from the installation speech of UBC’s 13th President, Arvind Gupta
Here are excerpts from the speech of Arvind Gupta at his official installation as UBC’s 13th president. Canada’s post-secondary system should take notice. “We recognize UBC as a Place of Mind, but also as a place of shared cultures, traditions, and … Continue reading →
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