Monthly Archives: January 2006

How are your reflexes?

Try out this little test of coordination. I made it to a little over 16 seconds. This one is good for maybe ten minutes of distraction.


Projects with deadlines invite work applied elsewhere. Thus the new-fangled drop-down lists in the sidebar, with code taken from the Neuron theme. Meanwhile, I am getting some work done towards my presentation for this coming Saturday and for a revision of a paper. Busy, busy. Tomorrow, we’re also picking up Diane’s trailer for her field… Read More »

Dogs and Cancer

A Science Daily item notes that an experimental cancer treatment for dogs with melanoma shows some promising results. The technique involves making a vaccine by culturing melanoma cells, turning off the runaway reproduction of those cells, then adding DNA to also have those cells make proteins that stimulant the immune system. As is usual, funding… Read More »

An “ID” Survey in the Blogosphere

I got a request to respond to a survey, the survey group being those who run pro-science websites and weblogs (though not referred to in quite that way), the particular answers to remain anonymous, and the results to be posted to an “intelligent design” weblog when completed. The survey has but one question: On which… Read More »

The Welcome Mat

Hi. If you are dropping in from “Unscrewing the Inscrutable” or “DailyKos“, this message is for you. I got into the whole evolution/creation thing by being a little too curious. In 1986, I attended an antievolution lecture at the University of Florida and spoke to the lecturer afterward. I asked if there were further materials… Read More »

Progress in Advertising?

Well, here’s a note for the culture wars: Evolution sells. Or, at least it seems that recognizable bits of cultural iconography associated with evolutionary biology do not, in the minds of advertising types, raise a red flag for at least one segment of conservative culture. In the February 2006 issue of the National Rifle Association’s… Read More »

Rusty At Dusk

Yesterday, while returning from looking at RVs for Diane’s upcoming field season , we stopped at a place that had a small patch of brushy cover around a streambed. It was just past sunset. While we don’t usually like to start hunting Rusty so late, it was either take this opportunity or simply not have… Read More »

“Evolution Makes a Mockery of Fishing Policy”

Over on the Science A GoGo site, they have an article titled, “Evolution Makes a Mockery of Fishing Policy”. The study used strong selective pressure on fish populations mimicking the policy of taking the largest fish in the population. What they found was that the populational response was an evolutionary one, that part of the… Read More »

Sight and Sound

There’s notice in Scientific American Online of a neurological study of owls showing that the coordination of sight and sound processing in the brain modulates attention: there is increased attention given to sounds that correlate with the direction of gaze. The article notes that this is the first nonprimate species in which this sort of… Read More »

Turning a Card, Part 1

I want to take up an issue out of an essay by Orson Scott Card on “intelligent design”. While Card usefully concludes that “intelligent design” is not yet science and thus does not merit attention in science classrooms, he unfortunately is behind the times on the issue of the identity and continuity of antievolutionary argumentation… Read More »

Quantifying Spin

With the most fiercely fought Canadian election in more than a decade taking place on Monday, the crossfire of political rhetoric between the incumbent prime minister and his Conservative Party challenger is becoming heated – but which one is more trustworthy? According to a new computer algorithm, Prime Minister Paul Martin, of the Liberal Party,… Read More »

There Is No Substitute

When it comes to conservation research, a study suggests that surrogate or model species do not “stand-in” for endangered species. An article in the latest issue of Conservation Biology examines the use of surrogate animals to predict or target what is endangering another species. Researchers often use similar, often called umbrella or flagship, species to… Read More »

Another Credit Card Call…

This time another of my credit card banks calling to let me know that they’d be sending out a free credit report to me to check for anything untoward, and, by the way, they would simply love to help monitor my account for signs of identity theft and credit card fraud, completely free. For the… Read More »

Rusty Bags a Big Bunny

Or, more precisely, a smallish jackrabbit. Diane had Rusty out today, and Rusty went missing. The battery in the transmitter seemed to be a bit weak, so Diane was only getting an intermittent signal. But eventually Diane tracked Rusty down, where Rusty was munching on the second jackrabbit that she has caught, the first having… Read More »

“The Hawk Is Dying”

There’s media buzz about a new low-budget drama film being screened at the Sundance Film Festival, “The Hawk Is Dying”. Paul Giamatti stars as a guy who continues to pursue his interest in “falconry,” despite the fact that he’s simply no good at it, and has even killed a few birds in the process. Perhaps… Read More »

Raptors and Human Evolution

Raptors munched on human ancestors, the headlines could well say. The American Journal of Physical Anthropology is publishing research by Lee Berger saying that damage to the skull of the Taung child shows a pattern similar to monkey skulls that have been worked over by eagles. The Ohio State study determined that eagles would swoop… Read More »

Speaking of Archiving

One of the things that would be good to do would be to keep track of changes to my web pages over time. If everything I did went through a content management system, one way would be to keep some sort of transaction log. But that’s not the situation I want to consider. Many of… Read More »

A Personal Tragedy

Back in December, I visited my friend, Mark Perakh, author of “Unintelligent Design” and the fellow behind the TalkReason website. He lived with his wife and two dogs in a two-story home a bit north of Escondido, California. He sent an email earlier today to say that his house has burned down. Everyone got out… Read More »

Federal/State Permitting

One of the things that George Allen brought up was that the joint federal and state permitting system for falconry is planned to go away, to be replaced by permits issued by each state. While some falconers and NAFA have urged getting the federal permits out of the picture, my personal experience has been that… Read More »

Presentation at Falconry Meet

I made these notes on the PDA during the presentation on Friday night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t successfully post with my connection. George Allen of the US Fish and Wildlife Service presented on falconry take. He gave the results of population modeling for eight species with good data, showing species specific differences in maximum sustainable yield.… Read More »