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Artificial penis Sunday

April 26, 2015

Zadm_drydockMany large ships today sport a significant bow bulb. Naval architects claim that is done for efficiency at speed. But architects are a dodgy lot.

Archaeologists digging an old latrine in Gdańsk uncovered an 18th c. dildo.

The label was wrong

April 24, 2015

The fish kill at the Texas State Aquarium was caused by a wrongly labeled chemical, that came from a different supplier than the one tested.

New antenna theory?

April 22, 2015

Really new. Old hams will find this interesting.

Tools before people

April 21, 2015

Archaeologists have discovered stone tools  and the remnants of their knapping that date back 3.3 million years. The significance of this is that these tools are some half-million years earlier than the origin of our own genus.


April 20, 2015

Paleontologists are trying to resolve conflicting theories about the domestication of dogs. I would put my money on “older, still.”

Dogs — but not wolves — experience a spike in oxytocin when interacting with their owners. And their owners, likewise.

Cool with global warming

April 17, 2015

Mt Tambora in 1815 gave us the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. And led to the creation of Frankenstein’s monster.

The monster known as ALEC has lost a long list of corporate sponsors because of its anti-science propaganda, and so no longer wants to be known for denying global warming. It can pick and choose from a variety of climate views among intellectual conservatives. Mankiw is the only one in that list who might qualify.

Jonathan Franzen writes a smart article on why the effort to limit carbon emissions has failed, and why environmentalists cannot let the political battle over global warming dominate their efforts:

To demand a ban on lead ammunition (lead poisoning is the foremost cause of California condor deaths) would alienate hunters. To take an aggressive stand against the overharvesting of horseshoe crabs (the real reason that the red knot, a shorebird, had to be put on the list of threatened U.S. species this winter) might embarrass the Obama Administration, whose director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, in announcing the listing, laid the blame for the red knot’s decline primarily on “climate change,” a politically more palatable culprit. Climate change is everyone’s fault—in other words, no one’s. We can all feel good about deploring it. There’s no doubt that the coming century will be a tough one for wild animals. But, for countless species, including almost all of North America’s birds, the threat is not direct. The responses of birds to acute climatic stress are not well studied, but birds have been adapting to such stresses for tens of millions of years, and they’re surprising us all the time—emperor penguins relocating their breeding grounds as the Antarctic ice melts, tundra swans leaving the water and learning to glean grains from agricultural fields. Not every species will manage to adapt. But the larger and healthier and more diverse our bird populations are, the greater the chances that many species will survive, even thrive. To prevent extinctions in the future, it’s not enough to curb our carbon emissions. We also have to keep a whole lot of wild birds alive right now.

Ending fish

April 16, 2015

The Texas State Aquarium accidentally killed the fish in two of its largest tanks, while trying to treat the tanks for a fish parasite.


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