Monthly Archives: August 2008

Catching Up with the Past: A PDA and Skype

The era of multi-use phones is seeing the personal digital assistant (PDA) either acquiring phone capability or phones adding PDA-like features. Count me in the ranks of the academically underfunded, though; the bleeding-edge gadgetry simply isn’t in my budget. Earlier this summer, though, I was able to score a used PDA cheap off of eBay.… Read More »

McCain Picks Palin: Medium Threat to Science Education

John McCain has picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential candidate. Palin comes with solid conservative credentials, including agreement with the Religious Right on hot-button social issues. Palin is also known to be receptive to antievolution arguments. Back in 2006, the issue of creationism came up in the Alaska governor’s race. Palin’s responses there… Read More »

New Popular Book on Marine Mammal Research

From the MarMam email list: The following is posted as a courtesy to Dr. William E. Evans (http://www.myweebio.net; email: evans1930@sbcglobal.net), who is pleased to announce the recent release of his new book published by Pensoft Publishers — Fifty Years of Flukes and Flippers: A Little History and Personal Adventures With Dolphins, Whales and Sea Lions-… Read More »

Disappointing Spam

Subject: Huge tool to please your lassie What, email about table saws? A 3-axis CNC mill? A tractor plus mowing accessory? At least a lathe, surely… Nope, just more useless “male enhancement” spam. Diane would have liked any of the other tool items listed.

A Cool Genome

Another genome has been sequenced, and this time they did Trichoplax adhaerens. This is one of the simplest of multi-cellular animals, and a phylogenetic curiousity: the phylum Placozoa contains only T. adhaerens, a species discovered in 1883 in an aquarium. The genomic work shows shared genes between T. adhaerens and H. sapiens: Still, humans share… Read More »

Checking China Censorship

WebSitePulse has a China firewall test that gives users a way to check if a particular website is being blocked by the Chinese government. A TV news item from the Olympics noted that multiple blogging athletes had no access to their weblogs from the Olympic Village. In the cases of sponsored athletes, part of the… Read More »

More Depressing Ocean News

A report says that exotic Pacific red lionfish, a staple of hobbyist salt-water aquaria in the USA, are expanding across the Caribbean following an accidental release during Hurricane Andrew in south Florida. The voracious and poisonous predators suck up reef fish at an astounding rate, destabilizing already-fragile food webs on reefs dealing with disease, pollution,… Read More »

The New Independent: Paris Hilton?

John McCain’s invocation of Paris Hilton in attacking Barack Obama has garnered a response from… Paris Hilton. With tongue firmly in cheek, Hilton takes up McCain’s snideness. She also delivers an energy policy that is at least as sensible as the sound bites delivered by the candidates themselves. If somebody organized a McCain/Hilton debate, that… Read More »

Nikon and DIY

Back in college, I used to take long exposures of things at night. Using my trusty Nikon F2, I could manage this two ways. There was a “T” setting on the shutter dial; if I set that and clicked the shutter release, the camera would open up and stay that way until the shutter dial… Read More »