Monthly Archives: October 2006

Fraptorday: Weekly Raptor

Here Pablo, a male Harris’s hawk, returns to Diane. We were at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area trying to find some pheasant. We saw some during the day, but I don’t recall either Pablo or Rusty connecting, though they had some flights to pheasant.

Nature 2006/10/12

Hmm. Lot’s of cool stuff in the Nature issue of 2006/10/12. There’s the article on the use of ketamine to treat depression, and how its mechanism of action has got researchers rethinking what depression really is. Ketamine is a drug primarily used (legitimately) as an anesthetic agent in animals and young humans, and recreationally by… Read More »

Spam as DoS

The server here handles several WordPress weblogs. I have Akismet running, so they weren’t filling up with spam being served. What I hadn’t realized was just how much bandwidth and resources spammers were sucking out of the server. Reed Cartwright and I worked on the issue last night. Reed got a per-IP connection limiting module… Read More »

A Small Howlerfest

I’m going through photos to find documentation of the existence of some items that are in my insurance claim. Along the way, I’ve run across some pictures from the 2003/04/14 Howlerfest in San Diego. There were about three weeks to go before my dissertation defense, but given the opportunity to hang with Ian Musgrave and… Read More »

What’s Wrong with this Signal?

At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2001, the display at this vendor’s booth stopped me cold. Apart from putting all that money into a booth display without bothering to spell-check it (Individual Multiple Stands?), there was the “Before” picture of a signal, degraded by the ill-judged use of some competitor’s signal cable. Ixos says, “signal… Read More »

Fraptorday: Weekly Raptor

Well, my DSLR was stolen, but I still have my archives to draw upon. Steve Layman gave a demonstration at the 2001 California Hawking Club of the sort of results he gets using straight operant conditioning with his falconry birds. Sharp-shinned hawks are accipiters, high-strung and with a reputation for being temperamental. Layman’s technique, though,… Read More »

Darwin Online

Darwin Online Dr. John van Wyhe has been on a mission for years now to collect and make available the text of Darwin’s work online. The web site has been up for at least a couple of years, but now apparently has attracted the attention of Nature, so there is now a bit of a… Read More »

Photo Daydreaming

It seems unlikely that whatever insurance covers in the end will be sufficient to replace the photographic gear that I lost: a Fuji S2 Pro DSLR, a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, a Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 lens, and a Promaster 12-24mm lens. So I likely will have to compromise on something, somewhere. But at the… Read More »

Science and Modeling the Mind

The October 6th issue of Science had a special section of articles on “Modeling the Mind”. This is something that I enjoyed reading, having concentrated on the computational side of these techniques in studying for my master’s degree. For some time during my Ph.D., I was developing background to explore modeling the mental processing of… Read More »

I’ve Been Robbed

Yesterday, we went out hunting. I fought a headache all day long. We got home about 6 PM, parked the van in the driveway, stumbled inside, and went to bed. Apparently while Diane and I tried hard to knit the ravelled sleeve of care, other folks were busy. They ripped off various and sundry things… Read More »

Luskin Gets Something Right

In a long and tedious response to my article pointing out that Casey Luskin had experience in “flying under the radar” himself, Casey got one point right. It’s a heading that he used: “There Is No Comparison Between My Situation and Celeste Biever’s Deception” That’s correct, I did not compare Luskin and Biever to try… Read More »

Getting Cozy with Drupal

Recent software upgrades on the server here busted the xtemplate themes that I had set up for three domains running CivicSpace. CivicSpace is based on the Drupal content management system, so a perusal of the Drupal themes page led me to the “interlaced” and “argeebee” themes that I’m using as-is at the moment. I’ve been… Read More »

Ohio Ditches the Discovery Institute

As reported on the Panda’s Thumb, the Ohio State Board of Education killed off Resolution 31 on Tuesday. The apparent Intelligent Design advocate strategy was to keep the Achievement Committee pondering the issue assigned to it last February until after the November elections. This strategy backfired when the full board met and decided to take… Read More »

We Have a Winner!

We all knew that she had it in her to do this. Former U.S. Representative Helen Chenoweth-Hage had demonstrated her cluelessness before with “endangered salmon bakes” and assertions that government “black helicopters” were harassing Idahoans over compliance with the Endangered Species Act. She rebutted the report that salmon were endangered with the observation that she… Read More »

Taming Wild Water

The New York Times reports on a cheap new device to help people get good drinking water in places where clean water simply isn’t available. The invention is called Lifestraw, a plastic tube with seven filters: graduated meshes with holes as fine as 6 microns (a human hair is 50 to 100 microns), followed by… Read More »

If It Worked for Columbus…

The Eclipse That Saved Columbus The article by Ivars Peterson recounts a tale we know today from a variety of literary sources that took the experience of Columbus and ran with it. The voyage of Columbus in 1502 to the New World wasn’t going well. He and his crew were stranded on Jamaica, and the… Read More »

Luskin, Undercover Agent

The Cornell University IDEA Club web site, The Design Paradigm, offers up a story about New Scientist reporter Celeste Biever requesting information about the club via an assumed identity as a Cornell student. They close with the following: We’re simply a forum for civil, informed discussion, and we like having various points of view. If… Read More »

Fraptorday: Weekly Raptor

This week, I’ve got a fresh picture taken at this morning’s exercise with Shelby and Rusty. Shelby here is making contact with the lure swung by Diane. We’re working on having Rusty and Shelby work with the lure a bit more like falcons than like hawks. Diane tries to work the lure such that they… Read More »

Two Reported Antidotes from the University of Wisconsin

‘Failed’ experiment yields a biocontrol agent that doesn’t trigger antibiotic resistance New drug blocks influenza, including bird flu virus The two press releases linked above report work with broad claims for the control of disease. The first discusses the production of a bacterial plasmid that undergoes lethal runaway self-replication. The researcher also has developed a… Read More »