Monthly Archives: February 2005

End of the Season

This past weekend was the last of the upland bird season for falconry. So we headed north to see if the hawks and dogs might find something to chase and perhaps catch. Genie Scott’s friends Ira and Shirley Lee have vineyards and graciously allowed us to come and see what the hawks might find there.… Read More »

Wired for Sound: A Q&A Concerning Dolphin Brains

I took preliminary exams for my Ph.D. back in 1997. One of my committee members was Sam H. Ridgway Senior Scientist at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program. About half of the questions he asked had to do with neural organization in the bottlenose dolphin and modelling it. “DarkSyde” asked in comments about such things,… Read More »

The Transitional Fossil Existence Challenge (2005/02/24)

First, have a look at the following text: This gradualism insisted upon by Darwin has proved increasingly embarrassing to modern scientists. If evolution occurred at an excruciatingly slow rate, then why can’t we find transitional forms in the fossil record? There should be literally millions of instances where a fossil manifests many of the characteristics… Read More »

Mice with Second Sight

A news item reports that researchers at the Schepens Eye Institute have succeeded in regenerating an optic nerve in mice. The research reached that stage by producing strains of mice that were genetically manipulated to not turn on a nerve growth inhibiting gene and also with reduced glial cell activity in the brain. So this… Read More »

Trying out the new plugin…

Just tried installing a plugin that will let me add formatted math stuff… [tex]\displaystyle Joules = \sum _{i=1}^{n-1} {\frac {P_i + P_{i+1}} {2} * A [/tex] This is the LatexRender plugin, which is nice if your server can handle [tex]\displaystyle \LaTeX[/tex] and ImageMagick.

Blog upgrade

I’ve upgraded the blog software to WordPress 1.5 from 1.2.1. With version 1.5 comes themes, which means I’ll need to do some tweaking to suit. It also brings improved “spam” comment handling, “pages”, and various other cool features. One annoying thing that I’ll try to tweak is how the right hand column appears and disappears… Read More »

“whatcha readin’?” meme

From Profgrrrrl via Pharyngula: 1. Grab the nearest book. 2. Open the book to page 123. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions. 5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest”� book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you. Well,… Read More »

Good News, Bad News

In a good news item, The European Union rejected a bill to establish “software patents”. They were trying to call it “computer-implemented invention”, and it did not fly. Basically, the “software patent” issue pits businesses who want to claim patent protection for things like, oh, particular types of widgets in graphical forms, not just esoteric… Read More »

Flu fading…

I’m happy to report that my flu symptoms have been diminishing over the course of Thursday. Now I just need to figure out getting to sleep. There was something making noise in the yard, so I had to check that out. It’s a bit foggy out. I didn’t find the proximate noise-maker, but away off… Read More »

The Flu

OK, now I know why people took their chances of dying of exposure in lines last fall trying to get the flu vaccine. I didn’t get the vaccine then, and I came down with the flu this past Sunday. In my case, I started off with a pounding headache, soon joined by fever. After two… Read More »

Fisher and Falsehood

You might think with the title above I’m going to criticize something from noted 20th century evolutionary biologist and statistician Sir Ronald Fisher. You would be wrong. This time, I’m looking at an op-ed piece by Larry Fisher in the Searcy, Arkansas Daily Record. This Fisher is a justice of the peace in Beebe, Arkansas… Read More »

Birdbrains – The Smart Kind

Scientists: ‘Birdbrained’ doesn’t mean stupid Jarvis, who studies how birds learn vocalizations such as songbird songs and imitated speech in parrots, said their behavior can be surprisingly complex. They can use tools, they can use songs and imitate human language to communicate and they can count. The article doesn’t mention the groundbreaking work of Irene… Read More »

End of the Week

This was my first part-time back to work week since I went on disability following surgery last October. I commuted to the office three days this week. All in all, things were OK. I’m more tired in the evenings, but that is only to be expected. The dogs are being left out while I’m at… Read More »

Gonzales is In…

Alberto Gonzales has been confirmed and sworn in as our new Attorney General of the United States of America. And so the denial of any sort of conscience concerning the wholesale violation of human rights that our once-proud country now engages in continues. Having started with the presidential election of 2004, we now confirm and… Read More »