Monthly Archives: August 2005

Yecke Appointment Gets Noticed

Cheri Pierson Yecke’s appointment as Florida’s K-12 Chancellor got media attention today. The notice ran from the unexamined stance of the Star Banner that Yecke “previously served as commissioner of education for Minnesota” to the editorial in the Lakeland Ledger that said, “The wish of the University of Minnesota’s biology professor that Yecke become someone… Read More »

Getting to Know Cheri Yecke

Here are some news clippings on Florida’s new K-12 Chancellor of Education, Cheri Pierson Yecke, from her days as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Education… “[Commissioner of Education, Dr. Cheri Pierson Yecke] said the state standards shouldn’t address creationism, which is based on the belief that God created the world in six days. The other main theory,… Read More »

Florida and Antievolution

My native state hasn’t had headlines go nationwide over antievolution lately. But there are indications that Florida may be one of the next big targets of the antievolution advocates. Ron Matus at the St. Petersburg Times wrote about this in today’s paper: Nationally, it’s a raging debate. President Bush weighed in this month. Time magazine… Read More »

An Annual Ritual

I went today to the local Big 5 Sporting Goods store today to prepare the other necessary paperwork needed for falconry: obtaining my hunting license. The molt is about over, and various seasons will start opening up soon. Of course, jackrabbits are fair game year round, but none of our birds thinks that those are… Read More »

Pseudo-Dolphin Click

Whitlow Au’s The Sonar of Dolphins is a treasure-trove of information concerning odontocete biosonar. It does, therefore, cost a fortune. I bought my copy back in 1993, when it was going for $86. To get in on this now, it looks like it will cost you $126. On page 79, Au gives a mathematical equation… Read More »

Some Memories

I was doing some IM chatting with Skip Evans earlier, and we were harking back to what we were doing back in high school. These bits are taken from our chat… I was working construction in 1977. I was on the survey crew for Superior Paving. I worked summers there from 1977 to 1980. We… Read More »

Florida: Here We Go Again

Update: Drat, this is way old news. I’m backdating the post to put it in the proper place, but it is basically a “never mind” item. According to James Van Landingham in the Independent Florida Alligator, Florida Representative Dennis Baxley (R – Ocala) has proposed another “academic freedom” bill (House Bill H-837), and cites failure… Read More »

Animal Behavior Society, Day 3

I attended a presentation by Bruce Robertson on evolutionary traps. This describes a situation where a previously reliable signal used to trigger a fitness-increasing response becomes associated instead with fitness reduction when the response is made. An example Robertson gave was that of just-hatched sea turtles, which have to make their way from high on… Read More »

Animal Behavior Society, Day 2

We slept in a bit, which meant we missed the keynote talk early in the morning. When we did arrive on site, I certainly did feel some dizziness and breathlessnes. But one I had a seat inside I started to feel better. So I think my stronger reaction to altitude the first day probably had… Read More »

Animal Behavior Society, Day 1

Diane and I said good-bye to our house-sitter and drove to the Animal Behavior Society conference meeting. This year, it is being held in scenic Snowbird, Utah. We briefly chatted with Colin Allen, who is here with his wife, Lynn, and their two children. Then we were off to the ice-breaker, a barbecue dinner. After… Read More »

Of Frauds and Fingerprints

Over on his weblog, William Dembski has a post making reference to an article on a means of “fingerprinting” textured surfaces, like paper. It is an interesting article. But look what Dembski has to say about it: The Logic of Fingerprinting Check out the following article in the July 28th, 2005 issue of Nature, which… Read More »