Friday, March 31, 2006
A Very Nice Introduction To Blogging
Apparently, if you want to be an educator in Scotland, you need to know something about blogs. If you don't, you fail an exam! For that purpose, the Scottish Qualifications Authority
has put together a really nice primer on blogs and blogging on a Wiki. It should be useful for everyone, not just Scottish teachers. Check it out here.
It is only a tad little bit out-of-date which should not be a problem for newbies. Also, it contains the '10 Rules' by Jakob Neilsen, that were viciously eviscerated by bloggers who actually know something about the medium (use Technorati Search to find those posts form last year).
Circus of the Spineless
It's time to pass the torch to the new host. Use the dichotomous keys to identify blog-posts about invertebrates in the latest Circus of the Spineless
up on Research at a Snail's Pace.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Tar Heel Tavern - call for submissions
The next edition of Tar Heel Tavern
will be hosted by Laura at Moomin Light
next Sunday (or really late Saturday night):
This week's theme is strong opinions. Anything, either current or older, where you've written about something concerning your passionate opinions - positive or negative. The opinions can be about anything - political, social, personal, artistic, NCAA, whatever! This shouldn't be too hard - I would say the majority of bloggers get into blogging to express their strong opinions!
Please send: Your blog name, Your blog URL and The URL of your opinionated post to songfinn AT yahoo DOT com
by Saturday at 9 pm.
The power of MySpace
and the power of Tom Anderson
(founder of MySpace)! The fact that kids got politically active and organized warms my heart....
Not Just Algebra
We know Richard Cohen does not know any algebra. We know he has no understanding of politics or how the world works. But here is
an amazing proof that he does not know anything. At. All.
Do sponges have clocks?
* Evolutionary principles used to predict cancer
Like a diverse ecosystem, a tumor with highly diverse cells will evolve more quickly -- to cancer, a study has found.
* Brain found to mature faster in highest-IQ kids
The thinking part of the brain thickens and thins faster in high-intelligence youth as they grow, researchers say.
* One universe or many? A panel debates
Physicists brawled over a question that's nearly unanswerable, yet somehow very alive in science today.
* Loneliness linked to health risk
U.S. health officials say they're seeking ways to ease loneliness nationwide, as a study has tied it to to high blood pressure and other health risks.
* Science in images
What does our planet look like during a solar eclipse? A photo from the International Space Station tells us.
I And The Bird
Now, this is a novel way of doing a carnival! Go check out the Bird-icio-us edition of I And The Bird on Bootstrap Analysis
The Skeptics' Circle
The Skeptics' Circle #31 is right here in my neighborhood, on Terra Sigillata
. Very, very nicely done! There are some great entries there. Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Carnival of the Green
Carnival of the Green #20
is up on Greener Magazine.
Carnival of Education
Carnival of Education
is up on Right Wing Nation.
Carnival of the Liberals
Carnival of the Liberals #9
, with Religion as the topic, is up on About.Atheism. Go read the Top Ten posts of this blogging cycle. Then write one of your own and send it to Pharyngula
for the April 12th edition.
Tangled Bank #50 is up on Island Of Doubt
. Enjoy the best of science blogging.
The most dangerous kind....
|You Are 26% Evil|
A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.
BTW, how does not believing in God make one evil? I thought it was the other way round (see my previous post)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Atheists ARE persecuted in the USA
Atheists in the US are not just misunderstood
, but also actively discriminated against
, no less than by the judges ruling in custody cases. You can read the whole study (PDF) here
on 70 recent cases (only those that were appealed, thus probably just a drop in the bucket) in which an atheist parent lost custody or was instructed by the court to provide "... a plan to the Court of how [he] is going to commence providing some sort of spiritual opportunity for the [children] to learn about God while in [his] custody....."!!!!!!!!!
in a comment thread on Pharyngula).
National Sleep Awareness Week
This week (March 27, 2006 - April 2, 2006) is the National Sleep Awareness Week
. So, I assume that Circadiana
will get a lot of hits this week. Perhaps if you all link to it....(hint, hint LOL)
Carnival of Homeschooling
Carnival of Homeschooling #13
is up on Why Homeschool.
Stanislaw Lem, RIP
Stanislaw Lem, one of the greatest of the greatest of Science Fiction writing, has died
yesterday at the age of 84. In the West, his best known work is undoubtedly Solaris
, though I liked the original Tarkovsky movie version better than the more recent George Clooney film.
However, my personal favourite of Lem's works is his least characteristic, the absolutely amazing and terrifying The Invincible
, which I have read quite a few times and need to read again now that I am an adult.
His trilogy about Ijon Tichy (The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
, Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences Of Ijon Tichy
and Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
) is also a great read, a SF satire at its best.
You can learn more about Lem here
Monday, March 27, 2006
The most beuatiful and creative edition of Grand Rounds is now up on NHS Blog Doctor
Republican War on Science
Lots, and I mean LOTS! of good discussion of Chris Mooney's book, over on Crooked Timber
Sceptic or skeptic or skeptik?
Abel Pharmboy of Terra Sigillata
is hosting the Skeptic's Circle this Thursday. Send him your entry by Wednesday to be included.
If you are out of inspiration - oh, what new hoax should I fisk this week - try your hand at this one
. You can start with this quote "Do realize that my .... theory is only a theory, and has not been established as fact" and go on from there - tons of material to look at, facts to check, background information to gather - a fresh new topic for the Skeptic's Circle.
Obligatory Reading of the Day
Does Population Genetics Theory Explain?
and why not? By Robert Skipper of hpb etc.
. Excellent summary of the problem and a great list of references.
God or Not cancelled...
...due to non-participation of theists
. Draw your own conclusions.
More blatant plagiarism by the MSM
Associated Press stole text from a blog and printed it as its own. When confronted, their response is "We do not credit blogs!" WTF?!
The original article is here
and the AP article is here
, so you can compare.
The whole story is reported here
, so you can get more details. Read the comments, too.
Someone needs to sue their asses for some Big Money. In the meantime, shame them by posting links to the three articles I just linked above.
(From Shakespeare's Sister
- also read the comments - via OxDE
Clocks, birds and eggs
I have just posted, over on Circadiana, a post with some data and some hypotheses suggesting that the circadian clock in birds may be involved in the evolutionary trade-off between egg-number and egg-size
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Tar Heel Tavern #57
The new edition of Tar Heel Tavern in up on StoryBlogging
. We need a host for next week. Let me know if you want to volunteer.
On my other blogs....
For those of you who may be interested, I have recently posted about the third week of teaching biology lab
on The Magic School Bus, and about the shifts in sleep schedules in adolescents
Playing video-games is hard work....
...so Miss Marbles needs to rest a little bit...
[Wow! This is the first time in a week that I managed to upload an image on this blog! And it took about 2 minutes until it "took"]
Medicines from unlikely places
My wife told me about this last night, so I had to Google it and post it so my medical/sceptical blogger friends can take a look and comment:Gila Monster An Unusual Help For Diabetics
(KDKA) PITTSBURGH Deborah Keene of the South Hills knows all about diabetes, and now she's using something that's really changed her life - the new drug Byetta.
"I started out with oral medications. They didn't provide the level of control that was optimum and Dr. Gordon suggested I might want to start using Byetta, which is an injectable," said Keene.
Byetta is a medication that works differently than pills or insulin. It helps your body produce the right amount of insulin at the right time.
Now made synthetically, it originally was discovered from a most unusual source - a gila monster.
"They produce venom. It's a modified saliva under their tongue and that's what they use as a defense mechanism," explained Henry Kacprzyk of the Pittsburgh Zoo. "If you get a bite from this guy, you can die, but the truth is you'll probably just wish you were dead."
But through research, it was found that this substance had a very positive effect, in particular for diabetics.
"It's a first in its class of drugs that's been approved for diabetes that affects the mind-gut interaction, it affects our satiety center, reduces our appetite and allows us to lose weight," said Dr. Murray Gordon, director of endocrinology at Allegheny General Hospital.
For Keene, it's really improved the quality of her life.
"It has done a really great job. My glucose levels have dropped back to pretty much where a person who didn't have diabetes would be," she said.
Healthy foods and a good exercise program can help control diabetes, but the use of this newly approved medication, Byetta, can really help some patients manage their condition. And, as a bonus, in many cases patients loose weight.
Dr. Paul Nemiroff is a nationally-recognized surgeon who specializes in head and neck cancer and reconstructive surgery. Watch KDKA-TV for his expert advice on today's medical issues.
I am fascinated by venom. I am even more fascinated by medicinal uses of venom. Can someone tell me more about this?
I am locked up in a mezzuzzah factory and can't get out (written on the parchment inside my mezzuzzah)
My weblog owns 18.75 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?
I am surprised! I thought my blog is my life - 100%!
* Can mice succumb to Mozart?
Few if any people would claim that rodents like Mozart. But three research groups say this much: his music seems to do something for them.
* New type of comet may be source of our oceans, study finds
Three objects reported to look like comets, but act like asteroids have grabbed scientists' interest.
* Global warming yields 'glacial earthquakes'
Researchers are warning of dramatic sea level rises and a newfound phenomenon, glacial earthquakes.
* Solar eclipse coming
On Wednesday, a total eclipse will be visible in parts of the world. Some others will get a partial eclipse.
One more reason to get rid of Lieberman
Apparently, he has bought into the autism-mercury-thimerosal-vaccine connection crap
and is pushing this BS
through Senate in some bill or something.
Divine Right of the President
Administration tells Congress (again) - We won't abide by your 'laws'
As usual, the most amazing aspect of all of this is not that the Administration is claiming these powers. It is that even as it claims them as expressly and clearly as can be, the Congress continues to ignore it and pretend that it still retains power to restrict the Administration by the laws it passes. And the media continues to fail in its duty to inform the country about the powers the Administration has seized, likely because they are so extreme that people still do not really believe that the Administration means what they are saying. What else do they need to do in order to demonstrate their sincerity?
If you are a born-and-raised American, it is hard to believe taht this really is happening in America. Wake up while you can still do something about it, before it is too late. Read the rest of the article, of course...
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Obligatory Readings of the Day
Early prototype, expect instability
: What is stupidity and how it evolved.A moral suggestion
: How did ethics and moral evolve? One quibble with this one - there is one place where it mentions "selfish gene" as a mechanism behind a particular evolutionary path, then proceeds to desribe something very different and much more applicable (even opposite) of selfish gene - the "group selection" theory (which is just a part of 'hierarchy of units of selection' - the author mixed up the units - or "levels" - big time in this article).
Friday, March 24, 2006
Justinsomnia and other local bloggie stuff
For some odd reason I have not followed Justin Watt's blog Justinsomnia
since he left Chapel Hill for some California sun (Hi, Justin! The computer did not work as a whole, but I scavenged it for parts! Thanks, man). Perhaps it is because he's not aggregated on NCBlogs
Now, I see he's become a mini-celebrity, ACLU defending his sweet little parody billboard against the nuts of Exodus International (so, why don't they, well, exode somewhere internationally and leave us alone?). You can get more information on his blog, of course - just visit Justinsomnia
, which looks so much nicer and spiffier since the last time I visited. Or, you can check out the commentary by other locals who know Justin, e.g., Arse Poetica
(who I had great fun chatting with last night at the Blogger MeetUp) and Will Raymond
, who, after a short slump after losing the darned election, changed the blog name to Concerned Citizen
(but could not make it last night to the meetup) and is going at it full speed again.
Will also posted a nice list
of local political blogs that are a Must-Read if you live in the Triangle (I guess Pam
is now too stratospheric
to be included in this local list, although she was up for Koufaxes in the State/Local category for some unfathomable reason - and she missed the MeetUp, too!).
Speaking of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Bloggers MeetUp
, there were nine of us there last night. I had a particular pleasure to finally meet in person Abel PharmBoy (no, when you get a comment from him it is not spam, as Anton
thought) of Terra Sigillata
, another rare science blogger in the area. I made him tell the story of the crossword puzzle
that brought him thousands of British fans!
Speaking of Anton, he is hosting
this week's Tar Heel Tavern
, not on his main blog, but on StoryBlogging
, in order to give the storyblogging concept and action some more prominence among the local bloggers. So, have you submitted your entry yet? (Shame on me, I have not...yet).
Speaking of storyblogging, we had an idea to try to recruit non-bloggers to write stories and guest-blog on our blogs, or, if they are more comfortable that way, to be interviewed by us and the interviews posted on our blogs. I immediatelly thought of my mother, my brother, a professor who's been everywhere in the world, a student who is doing AIDS research and educaton in Lesotho... I'll try to twist some arms and get that to happen.
God or Not - call for submissions
On March 27th Buridan's Ass
will host the 11th edition of the GOD or NOT Carnival. The theme is Evil or "the problem of evil" or Theodicy.
Quote of the Day
By Seth Lloyd:
Unlike mathematical theorems, scientific results can't be proved. They can only be tested again and again until only a fool would refuse to believe them.
Hat-tip: John Lynch of Stranger Fruit
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Call for submissions for Carnival of the Liberals and the Carnival of the Godless
This is long and involved, so just go to Neural Gourmet
to get all the details. In short, this week's theme for the Carnival of the Liberals is Religion, and so is the Carnival of the Godless (surprise, I know).
Art & the New Biology of Mind
If you are in New York and can make you may be interested in attending this - it sound fantastic. I wish I could go:Columbia Forum on Art & the New Biology of Mind
THE ITALIAN ACADEMY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Columbia Forum on Art & the New Biology of Mind
FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2006
New York, NY - February 15, 2006 - The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University is proud to announce the first Columbia Forum on Art and the New Biology of Mind which will be held in the Academy's Teatro on March 24, 2006. This forum will be the first major gathering of neuroscientists, philosophers, art historians, and artists with the specific purpose of establishing the foundations for understanding the potential of the relationship between the visual arts and the neurosciences.
Speakers will include the leading experts in the neurosciences from around the world: Antonio Damasio, Vittorio Gallese, Raymond Dolan, Margaret Livingstone, Joseph LeDoux, V.S. Ramachandran, and Semir Zeki. The forum will be led by the Italian Academy's Director, art historian David Freedberg, along with Nobel Laureates Eric Kandel and Richard Axel. A panel of distinguished artists, including Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson, George Condo, Robert Irwin, Neil Jenney, Richard Meier, Joan Snyder, David Salle, Philip Taaffe, and Terry Winters with the participation of Arthur Danto will respond.
Recent studies of the brain have begun to make an enormous difference to our understanding of art. Neuroscientists have made a number of remarkable discoveries about vision, recognition of faces, places and
bodies, emotional responses, memory, and a whole variety of sensual responses to the world around us, including to works of art. The scientists who will participate in the Academy's March 24 forum have done important, original work on subjects ranging from the emotional brain to mirror neurons, empathetic responses, the study of vision,
luminance, and color, synesthesia, and scanning techniques. The forum promises to be a landmark event in which an assessment will be made, in the most rigorous way possible, of the prospect for a newly-enriched understanding of our complex relations to visual art.
The Louise T. Blouin Foundation is a co-sponsor of the forum, as is the Columbia Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. The Italian Academy's Teatro in Casa Italiana is located at 1161 Amsterdam Avenue between 116th and 118th Streets. All seats for the forum must be reserved by contacting Rickhitaker via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Animalcules, Volume 1, Issue 4
Welcome to Animalcules
, the carnival of all things microbial. I got a few entries at the last minute, and dug through some blogs of usual suspects for a few more, and I hope you enjoy the choices.
Tara Smith of Aetiology
, the inventor and founder of this carnival, sent in The potential of papilloma virus vaccines
, but I thought that - in the spirit of "more the merrier" - another post may also be included: Determining an infectious cause...not as easy as you'd think
.Mike the Mad Biologist
sent in An Interview About Antibiotics and Agriculture
, but I also picked an additonal post: More on Phage Therapy
...or two: Wash Your Damn Hands, Part I - Can't Count That High
A protist, Plasmodium falciparum
, is the main character in this Circadiana
post: Some hypotheses about a possible connection between malaria and jet-lag
And if you think that Plasmodium and other protists have incredibly complicated life cycles, you ain't seen nothing yet! From Grrrlscientist
, with a quiz at the end! Your work may not be safe for this post!Paul Orwin
has some Challenges in Microbiology
. Of course, hypothesis-testing is not the only part of scientific method (outside freshman science classes), so he is home free.
Sandra Porter of Discovering biology in a digital world
is asking: What allows a virus to begin infecting a new species? Doing the cross-species hop
Carl Zimmer on The Loom
- we all have viruses:The Sixty-Million-Year Virus
On Effect Measure
, I found a post with a very un-Animalcules-like title - Cats, dogs, birds
, but it is really about all the animals that avian flu can infect.Complex Medium
wrote a variety of stuff on microorganisms lately, some more, some less serious in tone - find out which is which:Compensatory mutations to antibiotic resistanceVirus as metaphorRunning out of targets?
, andFinally, something we can useTechnology in Teaching
sent in the picture of her scarf with a microbe on it - it is Mycobacterium, the tuberculosis fella. With Blogger being a mess, she could not post the image, and I could not do it on two of my four blogs (thus the ascetic look of this carnival!), so you have to go look at it here
will resume in two weeks. Volume 1, Issue 5. will appear on April 6, 2006 to be hosted at Complex Medium
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Chapel Hill/Carrboro Blogger MeetUp
Tomorrow night at 6pm at 3 Cups Coffee. Check Blog Together
for more information. I assume that Michael
will come again [Update: No, he cannot make it, unfortunately].
Last night, Rep.Brad Miller (D) showed up at the Raleigh Blogger MeetUp. You can read what they talked about on blogs by Josh
Carnival of Education
Carnival of Education #59 is up on The Education Wonks
Why Friendster Lost and MySpace Won
explains in: Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad?
Read it also for important message about impending dangers to the freedom of the Internet as a whole.
On Teaching Science
an excellent article written by a student about science education in elementary schools and beyond:Light a fire under students for math, science programs :
Upon reviewing the major points of the bill, however, I failed to find a specific focus on improving science and mathematics education in grades K-6. The bill seems to be geared toward secondary school students - those in junior high and high school - and even college students.
However, interest in science truly begins at the elementary level. A key component of improving the number of American scientists and engineers is igniting interest at a young age and nurturing that interest throughout a child's education.
Educational television can help to interest a child in a subject. When I was young, I watched "Bill Nye the Science Guy" and "Magic School Bus," and I learned much from those shows that I remember and utilize today. High school science teachers often use "Bill Nye the Science Guy" in their classrooms because it is such an excellent resource.
Currently, educational television leans toward multicultural education. While multicultural education is indeed extremely important, a balance should exist. A greater number of fun and educational science shows should appear.
Even if children enjoy math and science when they are young, they may lose or ignore that interest in junior high because of the enormous peer pressure to be "cool." If educators could find a method to make science "cool" and socially acceptable, I believe that many more students would pursue the subject.
Teenagers tend to believe that scientists are social pariahs who are concerned only with their work. Adults should strive to dissuade them from this perception by demonstrating that scientists and engineers are indeed normal human beings.
In addition, illustrating the application of classroom learning to real-life situations would more fully engage a young teenager. Instead of simply learning formulas and doing simple labs, science teachers should demonstrate the widespread effects and applications of their subject. Some teachers are already adept at this, but some are not. Students need applications to which they can relate.
Recently, the government has focused on improving standardized test scores. While that is certainly a worthy pursuit, better test scores will not increase interest in math and science. Politicians and government officials should instead attempt to develop a true interest and involvement in science and math among young people.
Careers in science and math are certainly not ideal for everyone. We shouldn't attempt to force young people into such careers. However, students may miss out on something they truly enjoy if their science education comes solely from a textbook, which I'm sure many would consider quite dull. In order to increase the number of math, science and engineering majors in the United States, we first have to infuse students with an enthusiasm for the subject.
Yes, yes, yes...
I have to brag about my famous brother and at the same time provide you with some quality reading about Milosevic and Serbia. Feel free to tranfer the ideas to the USA, the victimhood of the fundamentalist Christians etc.
First, here is an article about a talk my brother gave in Alberta the other day:Lecturer examines 'poisonous zombie swamp' of Serb politics
and here is a little bit older paper, but excellent and still relevant paper (PDF):KOSOVO IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE SERBIAN WORD: POLITICAL ENCHANTMENT AND MILOSEVIC’S RISE TO POWERUpdate:
As usual...no, as always, journalists get some things wrong. So, in the first article above, there are a couple of mistakes (you may also have noticed a typo on one of the copies of his last name).
First, he has no mixed feelings about Milosevic - his feelings are entirely negative. He said:
"I don't recall my exact words, it could be that I said something like "I haven't yet sorted out my emotions," but I definitely did not mean that my feelings were "mixed" - for "mixed feelings" could be interpreted as if I could also entertain some positive feelings towards Milosevic, or sadness over his death - and in that respect my feelings are not mixed at all - all my "feelings" toward Milosevic are decidedly, and quite unmixedly negative! "
Second, it says there that "....conspiracy theories make up a founding characteristic of the Serbian people...". He never said that. Conspiracy theories are universal - Serbs did not buy any exclusive rights to them. Also, no self-respecting anthropologist will ever utter the phrase "founding characteristic of X" as the anthropological police would immediately come to take him away (insert a winking smiley-face). Something like thet would belong in the genre of "national character", something he writes about only from a distance, mostly ironically, and he is in no way involved in studying "national characteristics of the Serbian people".
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Political Neurobiology Redux
So, have you read yet Chris' two-part dissection of the study purpotedly showing that political partisans act irrationally? If not, run over there and read both Part I
and Part II
all the way to the end!
* Space rock risk underreported, researchers say
Growing numbers of astronomers are questioning traditional estimates of how often comets or asteroids hit Earth.
* In new state of matter, echoes of an old symbol
A medieval emblem of three interlocking circles is finding new life as a description of some special atomic interactions.
* Was 'extinct' woodpecker sighting real?
Scientists debate whether a long-lost bird was really caught on videotape.
* Astronomers peer into the 'first trillionth of a second'
New data help confirm that the newborn cosmos underwent a stupendous growth spurt, scientists say.
This appears to be an interesting book
Modernism in Serbia -The Elusive Margins of Belgrade Architecture, 1919-1941
by Ljiljana Blagojevic
Modernism in Serbia is the first comprehensive account of an almost forgotten body of work that once defined regional modernism at its best. The book reconstructs the story of Serbian modernism as a local history within a major movement and views the buildings designed in Belgrade in the 1920s and 1930s as part of a larger cultural phenomenon. Because so many of the buildings discussed are disintegrating or have been destroyed or altered beyond recognition, the book serves not only as a documentary and critical study but also as a preservation resource. Most of the photographs and plans have never been published outside of Serbia, if at all.
In restoring this work to its rightful place in the history of modern architecture, the book also sheds new light on a number of other stories. These include the influence of Le Corbusier and of the Yugoslav avant-garde movement Zenitism and the impact of international modern movements on the theoretical underpinnings of Serbian modernism. One of the subplots follows the story of the Group of Architects of the Modern Movement in Belgrade and its four founding members, Milan Zlokovic, Branislav Kojic, Jan Dubovy, and Dusan Babic. Through anexamination of their work and that of other modern architects, most notably Dragisa Brasovan and Nikola Dobrovic, the book discusses the identity of Serbian modernism as it was established in the period from 1925 to 1940. The book also identifies those buildings that represent the purest examples of Serbian modernism and analyzes the qualities that make them quintessentially local forms while part of the larger modernist movement.
Modernism in Serbia is a copublication of the Harvard Design School and MIT Press.
Ljiljana Blagojevic is a practicing architect and an architectural historian and theoretician. She is Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, and teaches at the School for History and Theory of Images in Belgrade.
"Ljiljana Blagojevic's book is a welcome addition to the pioneering series of books on Central and Eastern European architecture that the MIT Press initiated some years ago. Not only does the author bring to light surprising discoveries that have escaped the notice of previous historians of architectural modernism, but she succeeds in describing the specific situation of Serbian architecture in a way that connects it to European developments of the past as well as to theoretical debates of the present. This book restores Belgrade to its rightful place on the map of modernism."
--Ákos Moravánszky, Professor of Architectural Theory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and author of Competing Visions: Aesthetic Vision and Social Imagination in Central European Architecture
"This engaging book applies the international perspectives of Benjaminian critical theory and Lacanian post-structuralism to Serbian modern architecture. A wonderful 'transparency' ensues, of unbiased historical writing and lucid architectural analysis supported by revealing plans, photographs, and documents. This is a model scholarly monograph for the twenty-first century."
--Peter Kaufman, Boston Architectural Center
"Serbia has always been a hinge of Slavic resistance to domination from both the West and the East. Its troubled history emerges in the unique brand of modernism that this book so ably documents and discusses. Ljiljana Blagojevic proves that the strength of this seminal movement of the twentieth century lay not in its universality, but in an adaptiveness its doctrinaire founders never imagined. An important, original study."
--Lebbeus Woods, Professor of Architecture, The Cooper Union
Teaching Biology Lab - Week 2
I have just posted my experiences from last week's lab
Tar Heel Tavern - call for submissions
Next weekend, the Tar Heel Tavern
will be hosted by Anton Zuiker on StoryBlogging Our History. He has posted a detailed call for submissions
, explaining what kind of posts he is looking for, most importantly:
StoryBlogging is a grassroots initiative to bring together oral history, memoir writing and blogging. So, the theme for the Tavern this week is memoir blogging. Please submit a post, recent or ancient, in which you tell a story about a moment in your life. Or, submit a post in which you share the history of one of your family members. Podcasts will be accepted, too.
Please submit your Tavern entries (your name, post title, post permalink) to mistersugar AT gmail DOT com by Saturday, March 25th at 7 p.m.
Carnival of Homeschooling
Carnival of Homeschooling is up on PHAT Mommy
Animalcules - last call for submissions
Volume 1, Issue 4. of Animalcules
will see the light of day on March 23, 2006 right here on Science and Politics.
This carnival collects posts about microorganisms - unicellular creatures visible only under the microscope.o
OK, I'll accept a post about a yeast, or a mold, or a protist that just happens to be colonial or multicellular.
Some microorganisms cause diseases in humans and other animals and it is tempting to focus on symptoms and treatments, but if you want your post to be included in the carnival, a substantial part of the post has to be about the microorganism itself - its genetics, physiology, behavior, ecology or evolution, its mechanism of transmition or its epidemiology, i.e., place the microorganism center-stage and treat the human patient as its habitat.
You may also send in posts that look at microbes from a different angle: historical, literary or artistic. Perhaps you can just show us which microorganism you have on your necktie
or which one of the Giant Microbes
you have bought.
Send your entries to me by March 22nd at 8pm EST at: Coturnix1 AT aol DOT com
For the science geeks
You can buy earrings, bracelets and necklaces in shapes of neurotransmitters at MadeWithMolecules
. Next birthday, Christmas, Valentines? Please, do not buy me testosterone boxers....
[I tried to post a picture of a serotonin earring, but, even after clearing the cache, Blogger is still not letting me post images on this blog - it does on the others]
Anti-Choice is Anti-Woman and Anti-Sex, not Anti-Murder
Ampersand, on Alas, A Blog
has posted a table of anti-choice arguments/policies
that everyone should copy, save, print out and send to friends. If you denied before, or were not sure, that all anti-choice policies are inconsistent with "abortion is murder" notion, but are consistent with anti-choice being anti-woman and anti-sex, this will persuade you.
(Hat-tip: Dave Munger
, now happily aggregated on NCblogs.com)
Grand Rounds 2:26 is up on HealthyConcerns
If Presidential Elections were more like NCAA
Inagine the voter turnout (and the level of knowledge and understanding of issues!) if the elections were held along the lines of the March Madness!What politics could learn from basketball
The people who run elections could learn from the NCAA.
First, the tournament's 64 games are played in three weeks. No dragging them out endlessly until people are sick of the whole thing.
Second, there's suspense and unpredictability. You can count on upsets.
And third, you're bound to see some great, classy performances. Skill on the court means something. In basketball, nobody wins by badmouthing the other guy. Actions really do mean more than words.
Choosing a president could be more like that.
Read the rest...
Koufax Awards - Voting is open
All the finalists in all the categories are now up and the voting is open for the Koufax Awards, so go over to Wampum and VOTE
Choosing my single vote in the semi-finals was an excrutiating exercise - so many good blogs and so many friends to choose from. Voting in the finals was, to a great extent, much easier. Here are my votes:Best Blog, Non-sponsored
: Pharyngula (a coin-toss - literally - with Pandagon)Best Blog Community
: Panda's ThumbBest Blog, Sponsored/Professional
: OrcinusBest Series
: Firedoglake for coverage of the Plame matterBest Group Blog
: Shakespeare's SisterBest Writing
: Creek Running North by Chris ClarkeBest New Blog
: Unclaimed Territory by Glenn GreenwaldBest Blog Commenter
: Chris ClarkeMost Humorous Post
: Michael Berube: And now a word from our sponsorBest Single Issue Blog
: PharyngulaBest Expert Blog
: PharyngulaBest Post
: Creek Running North: Life and Death by Chris ClarkeMost Humorous Blog
: Jesus' GeneralMost Deserving of Wider Recognition
: Echidne of the Snakes
Except for the best non-professional blog, it was relatively easy to choose. Oh, almost forgot to mention - as expected, I did not make it into any of the finals. It is not an election year, my political writing is at a low, and most voters are Lefty political bloggers/readers, so I did not expect anything this year. No big deal.
Another note: Not a single one of North Carolina blogs made it to the finals in the Best Local/State blog!!!!! How is that possible. Orange Politics and NCBlue should have been there, at least. Why? Because none of the NC blogs asked their readers to go and vote! In awards like these, you have to self-promote. You cannot just assume that all the readers will be aware that such a thing as Koufax even exists. A little post with a link to Wampum could have made all the difference. A lesson for next year, I guess....
Monday, March 20, 2006
Creationism - not viewed in isolation
Some months ago I wrote a post titled something like 'creationism is just one symptom of conservative psychopathology'. If you thought Kent Hovind is "just" a Creationist, you need to read what David Neiwert
uncovered about the guy.
Why North Carolina is not a battleground of culture wars?
Chaucer has a blog
And it is written in middle-English
. Very funny!
Carnival of the Green
Carnival of the Green #19
is up on Baloghblog.
Ontogeny of political ideology
How come all the studies, no matter what they look at and what methodology they use, always find the conservatives fearful and rigid (adapted to 16th century social organization) and liberals flexible and courageous (adapted to 21st century world)? Can someone send me a PDF of the actual study described here, plese?How to spot a baby conservative
The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.
Whether anyone's feelings are hurt or not, the work suggests that personality and emotions play a bigger role in our political leanings than we think. All of us, liberal or conservative, feel as though we've reached our political opinions by carefully weighing the evidence and exercising our best judgment. But it could be that all of that careful reasoning is just after-the-fact self-justification. What if personality forms our political outlook, with reason coming along behind, rationalizing after the fact?It could be that whom we vote for has less to do with our judgments about tax policy or free trade or health care, and more with the personalities we've been stuck with since we were kids.
And, all Lakoff suggests is - look at the influence of parenting styles (not genes - that is silly!)
Go read the rest...
(Hat-tip: No, You Can't Have A Pony!
On Religion in the public square
, Chris of Mixing Memory
, Amanda again
, Dave Munger
and Chad Orzel
have interesting thoughts about religion and its mythological, ethical and social components, as well as how the atheists/agnostics should approach the religious people on the Left and the Right. Chad suggests that there are two approaches: the intellectual and the strategic. I keep trying to find a way to fuse these two approaches together - how to make a good strategy without hiding any of the truth and without sacrificing any of the intellectual honesty.
Darwin on Marriage
3 Quarks Daily has a great write-up
inspired by Darwin's list of pros and cons of marriage: A Wife is Better than a Dog Anyhow!
(Hat-tip: Reality Conditions
The Man made of straw (remember - that is the one without a brain) destroys the straw-man over and over again: Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches
When the president starts a sentence with "some say" or offers up what "some in Washington" believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.
The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.
He typically then says he "strongly disagrees" — conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.
Read the rest...
(Hat-tip: Rob Helpy-Chalk
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Malaria Action Day
Today is Malaria Action Day
, so I have compiled a sample of the blogosphere's response. On top are posts about malaria, and on the bottom are links to bloggers who urged their readers to take part in Dunk Malaria day and to contribute to The Global Fund for the fight against malaria.
From Tara at Aetiology
: Mechanism of malaria "hide and seek" coming into view
From Historymike's musings
, a historical perspective: A Pocket Of Pestilence: Northwest Ohio’s Nineteenth-Century Reputation As An Unhealthy Region
Over on Circadiana
, I wrote: Some hypotheses about a possible connection between malaria and jet-lag
(if you have missed them before, you can also read my two older posts on the topic: Dr.Love-of-Strange, or How I Learned To Love The Malaria...
and Malaria and Melatonin: Co-evolution Around The Circadian Clock
Craig Conard on Mali, Malaria, and Craiger
: My fellowship begins, finally
Now, those who linked to Dunk Malaria and/or The Global Fund:
Tim Lambert at Deltoid
started all this with Dunk Malaria
and followed up with Malaria Action Day
Tara Smith on Aetiology
: Raising malaria awarenessJohn Quiggin
: Malaria AppealBasketball in Africa
: KENYA: Dunk Malaria 2006Malaria
: Malaria - DunkMalaria.org - Home
Carnival of the Godless
Carnival of the Godless #36
is up on Get Busy Livin', or Get Busy Bloggin'.
Blogger Image Publishing!@#$%^&*
Does anyone know what is wring with Blogger?
I have not been able to post an image for about 24 hours now. I have written a nice long post for the Malaria Action Day and have not posted it yet because I cannot put the figures up (and they are important and refered to in the text). You still have to click on the link to see the Beetle Bailey cartoon here, or to see the graph of the diurnal patters of human sexual activity. What is going on!!!!!??????
Tar Heel Tavern
The latest edition of the Tar Heel Tavern in up on Technodad
At what time of day do people have sex?
The answer is here
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Why people read blogs?
Hedwig asks that question
(as well as other 'standards', e.g., where people get most of their information, etc.) and there are some excellent responses in the comments section.
Beetle Bailey has a keen grasp of the obvious
Blogger obstinately refuses to post images tonight. I will add it when I can, but in the meantime you can see today's Beetle Bailey cartoon here
. He 'gets it'.
(Hat-tip: Sahotra Sarkar
The beginning of the post-post-Milosevic era
Thanks to Victor for fantastic coverage of the whole Milosevic saga - the death, the autopsy and the funeral. Check out his last ten million posts! He took some pictures of the viewing here: The End of a dictator
and recapped the whole sordid affair (wow - the power of instant messaging!) in Spring comes to Belgrade three days too early
What Advanced Degree Should You Get?
|You Should Get a PhD in Science (like chemistry, math, or engineering)|
You're both smart and innovative when it comes to ideas.
Maybe you'll find a cure for cancer - or develop the latest underground drug.
What American City Are You?
|You Are Austin|
A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.
Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick
Friday, March 17, 2006
Malaria Action Day
Malaria Action Day is this Sunday, on March 19th. Read Tara
for more information.
What should you do?
1) You should play basketball on Sunday, as part of the Dunk Malaria
2) You should donate to The Global Fund
for the fight against malaria
(and send Tim the confirmation e-mail you get, so he can match it up to $300).
3) Post this information on your blog (or e-mail to friends) between now and Sunday.
4) Write a post about malaria or something related and I will put together a linkfest on Sunday, linking to all bloggers who send me permalinks of their posts on the topic. If you have not written anything recently, but have a good post from the past, send it anyway. The post need not focus on biology or medicine of malaria - writings on history, geography, economics and politics of this disease are equally welcome.
Tar Heel Tavern - call for submissions
This week's Tar Heel Tavern
will be hosted at Technodad
The theme will be Parenting and Children, so send in anything you've got that's in any way related to that, whether it's your children or your childhood. The carnival will be posted on Sunday, March 19th.
You can send your entries to: email@example.com
We need hosts!!!! Please e-mail me to volunteer!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Aftre some technical difficulties, the new Teaching Carnival is finally up on The Salt-Box.
Local Organizing and Blog Carnivals
While national politics are sexy and exciting, the real battleground is at the local level
. If bloggers are to have an impact, it is important for progressive bloggers living in the same geographical area to be able to find each other, meet, and spur each other into action. How do you find local bloggers? Some places have local blog aggregators, but that is still rare. The best way is to follow blog carnivals
and look for like-minded bloggers in your geographical area as well as those who share your interests.
There are more than 230 blog carnivals
in existence. Many are organized by Right Wingers and may be useful for opposition research - what is their strawman of the week? However, some carnivals are better than others for finding progressive bloggers and the members of the reality-based community. Here is a small sample of some of the most appropriate ones.General Liberal TopicsCarnival of the Liberals
is competitive. Each time a new host serves as an Editor, picking the best ten entries. The eighth issue is up on Brainshrub
and the ninth will show up on Atheism.About
in about two weeks.Carnival of Feminists
looks at gender from all angles. The tenth edition is up on IndianWriting
and the eleventh will be on Angry for a ReasonThe Carnival of Bent Attractions
is devoted to GLBTQ Blogging. Fourth edition is up on Transcending Gender
and the fifth will be on Jay Sennett
.Radical Women of Color Carnival
- well, the name says it all. The latest issue is supposed to be up on Mamita Mala
(perhaps it will show up there shortly!?). In April, see the new issue at Woman of Color Blog
.The Big Fat Carnival
covers fat pride and fat acceptance. The first edition is up on Alas, A Blog
and the next one will be on This ain't livin'Radical Progressive Carnival
is new. The first issue will be on Julius Speaks
on March 20th.Science, Medicine and EnvironmentTangled Bank
is the Big Mama of science blogging, covering a broad range of topics related to science, nature, medicine, environment and the interaction between science and society. Living the Scientific Life
. In two weeks, check out the next edition on Island Of Doubt
. Tangled Bank has spawned quite a lot of other science-related carnivals with more narrow focus:Grand Rounds
is a carnival of medicine and healthcare. The latest issue is up on Geek Nurse
and the next one will be next Tuesday on Health Concerns
.Carnival of the Green
covers environmental issues. The last edition was posted on Dirty Greek
and the next one will be on Baloghblog
collects posts that debunk pseudoscience, medical quackery and political misuses of science. Edition #30 is up on Paige's Paige
and the next will appear on Terra Sigillata
.I And The Bird
covers everything about birds: science, natural history, birdwatching and conservation. The edition #19 is on Science and Politics
and #20 will be on Bootstrap Analysis
in two weeks.Circus of the Spineless
gathers blog posts about Invertebrates. It is a monthly carnival. The last issue was on Science And Politics
and the next one will be on Research at a snail's pace
gathers blog posts on all things microbial. The third edition is up on Aetiology
and the fourth will appear in two weeks on Science And PoliticsFriday Ark
collects posts and pictures of all sorts of animals every week. Issue #77 is up on the Modulator
(it is always there).Carnival of Biotechnology
is the newest addition to science-related carnivals. The second edition is up on About Biotech
and the third will appear on Biotech Blog
.ReligionCarnival of the Godless
looks at religion from a godless perspective. The 35th edition was posted on JodyWheeler
and the next one will be on Daniel MorganGod Or Not
is a civil debate between theists and atheists on an assigned topic. Last time, the topic was Truth and it appeared on Kingdom of Heathen
. Next time, the topic is the Problem of Evil and it wil be hosted by Buridan's Ass
.Freethinking Women Jamboree
is just starting. The inaugural edition will be on The Atheist Mama
tomorrow.Social Science and AcademiaHistory Carnival
is mostly populated by professional historians (although lay bloggers contribute every now and then, too). The 27th edition is up on History:Other
and the 28th will appear on Patahistory
on April 1.Carnival of Bad History
looks at misuse and misinterpretations of history (in politics, journalism, media, science and art). The latest issue is up on Ahistoricality
is a monthly carnival, quite academic, and it alternates between Ancient and Early Modern history. Edition #13 is a mixed (Ancient + Early Modern) edition, it has Women's History as a topic and is up on Archaeoastronomy
. Next month, it is a turn for an Early Modern edition on the Earmarks in Early Modern Culture
The latest issue of the Philosophy Carnival
was hosted by Heaven Tree
.EducationCarnival of Education
covers all aspects of education, including policy. Issue #58 is up on Education Wonks
(and the next one will be at the same place).Teaching Carnival
focuses on Higher Ed. The last edition was on Science And Politics
and the next is about to be posted on The Salt Box
.Carnival of Unschooling
is new. The third edition is up on Atypical Homeschool.net
. The next one is due Monday also on Atypical Homeschool.net
The latest edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling
is currently on Common Room
and the next will be on PHAT Mommy
You can see a complete list of currently active carnivals (there are more than 230 of them right now!), get the news, automatically enter your blog-posts, and check all of the archives on BlogCarnival.com
. If you are interested in history of carnivals and want to check out some dead-and-gone carnivals of the past, look at the six issues of Meta-Carnival
Blogs on Milosevic
For the best coverage of the Milosevic saga - his death, autopsy and funeral - check out the Belgrade Blog
I And The Bird #19
Welcome to the Nineteenth edition of the I And The Bird
The number (and, yes, the quality) of the entries that arrived in my mailbox over the past two weeks is just amazing. I soon decided to abandon any attempts to be too funny or creative and I kicked out the pretty pictures I had found. The carnival is already huge and I cannot make it too large and make the readers (and the Blogger software) overwhelmed.
Instead, I snuck in a couple of "Editor's Choice" posts, introducing some new people to the birding blogosphere, and I organized the entries into four loosely-defined categories. The quality of the submissions is just amazing, so let's not waste any more time on my blabberings - enjoy the carnival!Science and Conservation
Hedwig The Owl of Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)
looks at the new study of the role of poultry farms vs. wild migrating birds in the spread of bird flu in Avian Influenza: A Story About Industrial Fowl Play?
Bethany Lindsay, on one of the coolest science blogs - The Science Creative Quarterly
, explains the current state of research on The Compasses of Birds
Darren Naish of Tetrapod Zoology
introduces the Biggest Eagle
Sylvia Tognetti of Post-Normal Times
writes about the need for a new way of thinking about the relationship between humans and nature, in Ode to a swamp
reports of an interesting way to use the natural behavior of birds to track the spread of bird flu: Migratory Tracking in the UAE
.The annotated budak
is a blog written by a duck. On feathered fiends
announces an interesting seminar on the human relationship with wild birds.Natural History
Sahotra Sarkar of the Sarkar Lab
is a philosopher of science, but his blog has more posts about the beautiful nature of Texas than philosophy (and both kinds of posts are well worth reading!). Prepare to learn a lot from A Year in Texas: Whooping Cranes at Aransas
Nuthatch of Bootstrap Analysis
introduces us to Cuba's endemic birds
, you'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Hermit Trush: A Solitary Thrush
Mata of Time's Fool
is having fun while Watching the Wilson's Pharalope
Tom and Sheri are Birders On The Border
. In Arizona, roadrunners are noy just cartoon characters skillfully evading applications of ACME kits. They are real Dinosaurs in the desert
Rick Wright of Aimophila Adventures
saw the devil-bird: Phainopeplas on the Move
Carel Brest van Kempen is a nature artist and he blogs on Rigor Vitae: Life Unyielding
. You can learn about Kakapo and Condors
accompanied with his original art.
Speaking of art, one can learn about birds through poetry, too. Headmistress, the zookeeper of the The Common Room
does so in Springtime Poems for the Nature Journals
.The art of birding and birdwatching
Pamela Martin of Thomasburg Walks
went for a walk and heard a lot of birds singing: The Cardinal Sings
Tai Haku of Earth, Wind & Water
went on a Snipe Hunt
, taking a picture of "a non-existent magical creature".
Laura, who is Somewhere in NJ
, reminds us to be always prepared, in Marsh hunting
Mary Ann of Five Wells
is an old blog-friend of mine. Mostly politics. But sometimes, one needs to do something more fun, for instance identify the species of Woodpeckers
.Ben Cruachan Blog
- sometimes Hot birding
is just too hot!
On the other hand, sometimes it is too cold! Home Bird Notes
braved the weather and was rewarded by Scoters at the jetty
Wayne Hughes of Niches
looks at the behavior of purple finches in his backyard in Tuesday Miscellany
David Ringer of Search And Serendipity
is doing what we all would like to have the opportunity to do - birding in Papua New Guinea! Wouldn't you want to spend Two hours hunting mystery birds
Pete McGregor of Pohanginapete
also enjoys nature in a part of the world I'd love to visit - New Zealand. See what you're missing from a Life on the rocks
When a dedicated birder like Mike of 10,000 Birds
sets foot in a new territory, he wastes not a second! There is never too many new species to see: Straight to Arrowhead
Sometimes when you go birding, you bump into people stranger than the birds - some nice, some not so. Just ask Ocellated
about his hillarious encounters with Rednecks
Dave runs a blog from the Bird Treatment and Learning Center
, where they take care of injured and sick raptors: 9 and counting
Trix of WhipPoorWill
has a cool neighbor: Just A Moment....
John from A DC Birding Blog
suffered an embarassment of riches while birding the other day: Early Migrants at the National Arboretum
finds a novel use for birdseed (as well as the more standard use - to take pictures of cool birds) in Behold, the power of millet
T. Beth of the Firefly Forest Blog
posted some great pictures of a Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris)
Russ Williams is the Director of the NC Zoo in Asheboro and blogs, several times a day, on Russlings
. Here is a cool picture of a Gier
Henry of Henry's Webiocosm Blog
finds beauty close to home: Friday Backyard Bird Blogging: Tufted Titmouse - Baeolophus bicolor
Deb blogs on the Sand Creek Almanac
. Recently she did some More grousing
and you can see the result.
Lindsay of Majikthise
found a picture of The angriest hummingbird in the world
Pam Shack of Tortoise Trail
teaches by example in Photography 101 - Mockingbird exercise
Gwyn Calvetti of Bird brained stories!
finally got to photograph her jinx-bird: The Conquering Birder!Linkmeister
lives in Hawaii and recently took a picture of a Winter visitor
Rob Fergus is the Birdchaser
. He was lucky one day and took a photo of the Swan Lake
.I And The Bird
#20 will be hosted by Nuthatch of Bootstrap Analysis
on March 30th, 2006, so send your entries on time!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Skeptic's Circle is up on Paige's Page
* Hormone inspires animal 'babysitting'
Researchers have long turned to animals to study how cooperation evolved. New findings highlight the role of hormones, they say.
* Scientists to probe ethical complaint over 'hand-
A Turkish scientists' group announced plans to look into ethical complaints against three U.K. researchers, who meanwhile broke a long silence on the case.
* Study examines how humans are still evolving
Scientists report finding more than 700 genetic variants that evolution may have favored in the past 10,000 years.
* Saturn moon may have liquid water
Researchers say evidence of water reservoirs erupting in geysers on the moon Enceladus may expand the search for alien life.
* Researchers develop method to view Sun's far side
A new technique is said to make the Sun's hidden face fully visible for the first time.