Sunday, June 25, 2006
Anyone knows car engines around here?
OK, my car won't start. Here is the information that may be relevant:
- It is a 2000 Ford Winstar minivan.
- It never happened before - not even close.
- It is used every day.
- On most days it covers only a couple of miles. Once or twice a week, it may go to Raleigh (28 miles one way) or to my school (16 miles one way).
- It appears to have plenty of electricity, oil and gas.
- When the key is turned, all the lights come on, radio comes on etc.
- Nothing in the engine appears to move when the key is turned - I cannot see any movement or light anywhere.
- When the key is turned it makes a sound like electrical discharge, a sparkle, or even a Christmas sparkler stick. I cannot figure out where in the engine the sound comes from.
- I drove it to the store yesterday (5 miles each way), my wife drove herself to work last night and back home this morning (5 miles each way), with no complaints.
- It's been quite yucky around here today and yesterday - much rain and thunder.
If you have any idea, let me know in the comments. Is there something I can do with basic tools and no spare parts? If I take it to the garage (and that has to wait until Wednesday as we are entirely broke), what should I expect them to tell me, what will they fix, how much should that cost?
Carnival of the Godless
#43 is up on Silly Humans
.Radiology Grand Rounds
Volume-I are up on Sumer's Radiology Site
Friday, June 23, 2006
Edwards, Poverty and 2008
Ezra Klein went to listen to John Edwards
yesterday. Comments on that post are also interesting (except those by Clarkies who are characteristically blindly militant and cannot see anything outside or beyond Iraq/foreign policy/military - are they all ex-Republicans?).
You can read the entire text of the speech here
and some commentary here
You know what I think....
BTW, I have posted more than 100 posts on mynew blog
so far. Perhaps there is something there you'd find interesting. Have you adjusted your bookmarks/blogrolls/newsfeeds yet?
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Tar Heel Tavern and other blogging goodness...
The Tar Heel Tavern (carnival of North Carolina blogging) #69 is up on Poetic Acceptance
, and, as the number implies, the theme is Reciprocity.
In other news, Rivka of 'Respectful of Otters' is back from a long hiatus and is blogging again
Saturday, June 17, 2006
My class is nearing the end
. On Monday, the students are giving presentations on human organ systems, doing student evaluations, and doing the final exam. This means that I have finished lecturing! I have posted last three lectures on my new blog:Introduction to Anatomy and PhysiologyPhysiology: Regulation and ControlPhysiology: Coordinated Response
Friday, June 16, 2006
Teaching Carnival (higher ed) will be on or after June 16th, 2006 on
Raining Cats and Dogma.
Mendel's Garden (genetics) will be on June 18th, 2006 on
The force that through....
Pediatric Grand Rounds will be on June 18th, 2006, on
Carnival of the Green (sustainability, environment, conservation) will be on June 19th, 2006 on
Carnival of Bad History (misuse and abuse of history) will be on June 20, 2006 on
Frog In A Well[thanks to Jonathan Dresner for updating me on this]
Grand Rounds (medicine) will be on June 20th on
Carnival of Homeschooling (homeschooling) will be on June 20th, 2006 on
Tangled Bank (science, nature, medicine, environment and interaction between science and society) will be on 21 Jun 2006 on
Carnival of the Liberals (lefty politics) will be on June 21st, 2006 on
Neural Gourmet (Varkam's blog).
Carnival of Education (teaching, educational policy) will be on June 21th, 2006 on
Skeptic's Circle (pseudocscience, quackery and such) will be on June 22, 2006 on
I And The Bird (birding and birdwatching) will be on June 22, 2006 on
The Hawk Owls' Nest.
Change Of Shift (nursing) will be on June 22nd, 2006 on
Friday Ark (animals) will be on June 23th, 2006 on
Carnival of the Godless (religion from godless perspective) will be on June 25, 2006 on
The Synapse (neurobiology, brain and behavior) will be on June 25th, 2006 on
Radiology Grand Rounds will be on June 25th, 2006 on
Sumer's Radiology Site.
Carnivalesque (alternating between early modern and ancient & medieval history) will be on 20-ish of June at an undisclosed location.
Circus of the Spineless (invertebrates) will be on June 30th, 2006 on
Science And Sensibility.
Festival of the Trees (trees) will be on July 1st, 2006, on
History Carnival (history) will be on July 1st, 2006 at
Chapati Mystery.[thanks to Sharon for updating me on this]
Encephalon (cognitive neuroscience) will be on July 3rd, 2006 on
Philosophy Carnival (philosophy) will be on July 3rd, 2006 on
Adventures in Ethics and Science.
Animalcules (microorganisms) will be on July 13th, 2006 on
Carnival of the Liberals - call for submissions
Message from the proprietors of the Carnival of the Liberals
Dear Liberal Carnivalers,
Did you think we’d disappeared? Don’t worry (or celebrate), you’re not getting rid of us that easily!
Some logistical issues caused a bit of a delay and resulted in The Uncredible Hallq swapping hosting slots with Varkam at Neural Gourmet. Varkam will be hosting Carnival of the Liberals #15 on Wednesday, June 21st and and the deadline is Tuesday, June 20th by 7PM EDT. So, what are you waiting for? Get to sending in those submissions!
Note: Anyone who sent in something prior to this message, there’s no need to resend it. Varkam has a copy of everybody’s submissions thus far.
BTW: We’ve still got hosting slots in August (16th and 30th), so if anyone’s interested, shoot me an e-mail. We’ve had a lot of new people participating in CotL in recent weeks, so why not give a thought to hosting? We’d love to see some new faces taking a turn at their own editions.
See everyone Wednesday at Neural Gourmet!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
DonorsChallenge for Education
A number of science bloggers over at SEED,including myself, have started a fundraising action to help teachers around the country buy supplies they need to teach science and math more effectively. Many of the teachers work in poor schools with a large proportion of poor children and have virtually nothing in terms of neccessary materials.
Thus, several of us are urging our readers to pitch in, a few bucks at a time, to help these teachers. You can read all about it here
. Choose the programs you support, either one chosen by me, or one chosen by another one of my fellow science bloggers. If you do, you will be entered into a pool for for some nifty prizes as well.
Carnival of Education - call for submissions
Henry and Janine Cate of Why Homeschool
will be hosting the next edition of Carnival of Education
. If you write something appropriate for this carnival by by 7:00 PM PST on the Tuesday, the 20th of June, send your entry to them at: cate3 AT panix DOT com
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
A Good Start
The start of my new blog, A Blog Around The Clock
went really well. Even before the Big Launch, some people figured out the URL and came to visit (43 on Wednesday and 31 on Thursday).
On Friday, the new homepage
was released exactly at noon, with no glitches (Tim, the tech guy there is a Grand Master!) and all of the 25 or so new blogs were made public. I made ten posts that afternoon, carefully spaced at 30 minute intervals (ah, the glories of scheduled posting!). Although none of the Big Blogs linked to the SB 2.0 (or to me in particular) on Friday, I made very respectable 564 visits that day (still a little below the total sum of traffic on my three old blogs combined).
The weekend saw a little bit of a slump as usual, bringing in 354 and 401 hits on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
On Monday, I started the day by reposting my most popular post from Circadiana (which used to be here
) - Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)
- on the new blog. You can see it here
. That day, the traffic rose to 752 visits.
But Tuesday was really cool! Someone noticed the sleep post and put it on Digg. An avalanche started! I got 25,986 hits that day! Actually, this was the only day in history that Pharyngula was not the most visited blog on SEED. PZ Myers usually accounts for about half the traffic there, but on Tuesday he came in second! Digg rocks!
I printed out the pie-chart from Google Analytics that shows A Blog Around The Clock taking 34.04% and Pharyngula 18.94% of the Seed scienceblogs.com traffic so I can frame it and put it on the wall - this is a unique and unlikely-to-be-repeated day in history. PZ was quite kind about it behind the scenes and extended a friendly tentacle.... Of course, by today, he is back on top again. Instead of 2000 visits per hour, I am now down to about 200 visits per hour, for a total of 3,331 hits so far today (3pm). Still, it was fun while it lasted.
Anyway, that post is not the only thing up there. I have posted about 30 times so far, so please go over there
and check it out. Also, while there, check out the entire SciBloggiverse
of 44 excellent science blogs. Checking the Last 24 Hours
page is probably the best way to track down what has been posted there recently. And, if you have not done so already, please adjust your bookmarks, blogrolls and newsfeeds to the new URL (either my own feed or the collective feed of the whole SEED blogging stables).
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Tar Heel Tavern - call for submissions
I'll be hosting the Tarheel Tavern at Poetic Acceptance this Sunday - and it's Father's Day to boot. So, go do something sweet for Dad, and then come back and send me a link to your favorite blog post!
My theme is Reciprocation: "What, when, and/or how have you benefitted from giving to others?" in particular.
I have found that being able to do something for someone else is a very satisfying experience, and that when giving, it comes back in some way. In other words, I want to hear about your personal stories with the process of give and take.
Of course, as always, I'll be happy to include any posts that aren't on theme. Just send your permalinks to Erin AT poeticacceptance DOT com by Saturday evening, and I'll have the Tavern up by Sunday morning.
Monday, June 12, 2006
A message from Ron:
I am pleased to announce the initiation of the first International Carnival of Pozitivities, a blog carnival for and by people who are living with HIV/AIDS or their physicians/caregivers. For those not familiar with a blog carnival, it is similar to a roving magazine. People write articles on their own blogs and then submit them to a central location for publication. The host of the carnival changes from month to month and therefore, the location of the "magazine" moves from blog to blog.
The main page for this particular blog carnival is at http://internationalcarnivalofpozitivities.blogspot.com/ and includes a link for submitting any articles you might wish to submit and a sign-up sheet for hosting as well. Since I am initiating this carnival, I will also host the first edition at my own blog, www.ronhudson.blogspot.com/ in July.
Iowa is where it counts
An eeeeaaaaarly poll of potential Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa puts John Edwards
in the lead with 30%, ahead of Clinton (26%), Kerry (22%) and Vilsack (12%). Others are in single digits. There is so much time between now and the primaries, but this is good news. Only the MSM shills
are still trying to give Hillary the nomination.
Dr.Fun has retired
He'll be missed
W and Condi sitting in a tree?
Is it true? Anonymoses has collected some relevant links
Carnival of the Green #31
The latest edition of the Carnival of the Green is up on my new digs at A Blog Around The Clock
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Greensboro concert sold out already?
Is it possible that all tickets for the October 22 Dixie Chicks concert are already sold out
I ordered the CD months ago, got it in the mail on the first day of release and just love it. "I hope" is a real killer!
If you are aware of other ways of getting tickets, please let me know....
New Neuroscience Carnival - The Synapse
is a new neuroscience carnival. The first edition will appear on Pure Pedantry
on June 25th, and the second two week later on A Blog Around The Clock
Anything involving the brain, nervous system, behavior and cognition is fair game for this carnival, from brand new research to historical studies, from pure basic science to applications in medicine or robotics. Please send the links for the first edition, including your name, your blog's name and a short blurb about the post, to jamesjyoung AT gmail DOT com
BTW, it appears there is also a move to start a genetics carnival
, which, should it become reality, should promptly lose the word "carnival" from its title. RPM
(personal communication) has a great suggestion - "Mendel's Garden"Update:
it has changed the name to Mendel's Garden
and it has a nifty logo - follow the link to see the details.
Tar Heel Tavern
The 68th edition of the Tar Heel Tavern is up on 2sides2ron
Friday, June 09, 2006
This blog has (finally) gone to SEED
So, the day has finally arrived - the Big Move to SEED scienceblogs
. Go check out the brand new front page and all the old and new bloggers there (you'll have to do it right after noon - I am posting this now because there is a planned Blogger outage coming in a few minutes).
My new blog, a fusion of all three of my blogs, will be a new brand, with a new name - A Blog Around The Clock
, reflecting my age and musical taste, my usual blogging frequency and the area of my scientific expertise, all in one title.
The Banner was designed by Carel Pieter Brest Van Kempen
who also runs a delightful science/art blog Rigor Vitae
The new URL is http://scienceblogs.com/clock/
, the new Atom feed is http://scienceblogs.com/clock/atom.xml
and the new RSS feed is http://scienceblogs.com/clock/index.xml
.Please change your bookmarks, blogrolls and newsfeeds to reflect this move.
As I said before, Circadiana
and The Magic School Bus
will be closed (but not deleted
), while Science And Politics
will slow down and will re-focus on local North Carolina topics, including local politics (which includes following the career of John Edwards), and perhaps an occasional post for my readers from the Balkans. If you are still interested in those topics, you are welcome to retain the bookmarks, blogrolls and newsfeeds for Science And Politics as well, but I will not be insulted if you do not, as my main blogging effort will be over there, on my new SB blog.
I encourage you to go and check all 24 newbies over on SEED - all wonderful bloggers you should read if you are interested in science. Let me introduce my new fraternity-mates to you:
Carl Zimmer, the NYTimes science/evolution reporter, is moving The Loom
Matt Nisbett, an expert on political communication and writer of a monthly column for the Skeptical Inquirer Online is moving his blog Framing-Science
My fellow North Carolinian, medblogger Abel PharmBoy, is moving Terra Sigillata
James Hrynyshyn, another fellow North Carolinian, is moving Island Of Doubt
My favourite cognitive psychology blogger Chris is moving Mixing Memory
Philosopher of biology John Wilkins is moving Evolving Thoughts
.Mike The Mad Biologist
is moving from here
I thought that one of my favourite science bloggers George Wilkinson has quit blogging, but no, he is also moving Keat's Telescope
Reveres, experts on Avian Flu, are moving Effect Measure
Karmen is moving her beautiful Chaotic Utopia
Sandra Porter is moving Discovering Biology In A Digital World
Nick Anthis is moving The Scientific Activist
Joseph is moving Corpus Callosum
Jake Young, another one of several neuroscientists joining the team, is moving Pure Pedantry
Shelley Batts, another neuroscientist, is moving Retrospectacle
Evil Monkey is moving Neurotopia
Mike Dunford is moving The Questionable Authority
Mark Chu-Carroll is moving Good Math, Bad Math
David Ng and Benjamin Cohen are moving from Science Creative Quarterly
and Annals of Science
to World's Fair
.The Cheerful Oncologist
is moving from here
is moving the eponimous Examining Room
Dr. X is moving Chemblog
The rowdy bonobos from Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge
are moving from here
Steinn, an astrophysicist, is moving Dynamics Of Cats
Finally, Jonah Lerer is a SEED staffer, starting his own blog called The Frontal Cortex
There were very few surprises for me on this list. Two good blogfriends of mine (Revere and Mike the Mad Biologist) managed to keep me in the dark about their move until two days ago. On the other hand, two bloggers who I thought were going to accept the invitation are not on the list (yet?). Almost all of the others I knew about beforehand.
The SEED overlords intend to add more bloggers before the end of the year so keep an eye on SEED - that is where the SciBlogging action is now and is going to be in the near future.
* Fish may avoid 'sexual harassment', researchers say
Female guppies seem to risk their lives to flee a barrage of male advances, scientists have found.
* 'Miniature' dinosaurs surprise researchers
The biggest land animals that ever lived had some miniature cousins, a study has found.
* Mega-crater linked to mass extinction before dinosaurs
Scientists say they have found the Earth's biggest known crater, and have linked it to the planet's worst die-off.
* First cancer vaccine approved
U.S. regulators have approved a vaccine designed to cripple the virus responsible for cervical cancer.
* Cosmic blasts could point to strange state of matter
Some mysterious explosions in space may signal the birth of bizarre objects known as quark stars, researchers claim.
* Professor unmasks '666' superstition
Prophesies of evil abound for dates or places where the number 666 occurs, including Tuesday, June 6: "6/6/06."
Radiology Grand Rounds on Sumerdoc
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Just came back from the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Blogger MeetUp
in the back room of Open Eye Cafe
. It was small but fun, as always.
Who was there? Anton
, Will R
Lots of banter about various topics, from Brian & Ruby's wedding
, the BarCampRDU
, Chapel Hill Wireless Directory
, my impending move to SEED Scienceblogs
, about security when online in Wi-Fi hotspot around town, NSA wiretapping, etc.
It has been noted what a strong contingent of North Carolina bloggers are going to be over at SEED. While Dave and Great Munger of Cognitive Daily
have been there since the beginning, three more bloggers from the area are joining the scienceblogs.com tomorrow at noon: Terra Sigillata
, Island Of Doubt
and me. Perhaps we can all gang up on the others, or at least host an occasional Tar Heel Tavern
and aggregate our new blogs on NCblogs.com
Skeptical Birds all Tangled up
Why should I write anything when there are three fantastic carnivals in town!? Enjoy the rest of the day with them:
Skeptic's Circle #36 is up on The Examining Room of Dr. Charles
I And The Bird #25 is up on Rob's Idaho Perspective
Tangled Bank #54 is up on Get Busy Livin', or Get Busy Bloggin'
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
New York City trip - Part IV: Ceres
Thursday, May 25th.Evening
OK, it's been a few busy days...where did I leave off
? Ah, with the bookstores we went to after the visit to the SEED offices. We went to two bookstores: one specializing on childrens' books, the other a Barnes & Noble. Of course, unlike a B&N in a mall around here, the NYC version is a maze of rooms interconnected with strange halls and tunnels. Shell Silverstein's poetry has always been a favourite with both of my kids, so my brother bought them one of his books that we did not already have. A new fancy "Where is Waldo" also made it to the shopping cart - my son is a wizard in finding those tiny little details there. I think they were amazed at the kids' reading level. Coturnietta picked a thick novel about cats. We also got a new biography of Benjamin Franklin called A Dangerous Engine: Benjamin Franklin, from Scientist to Diplomat
, written by Joan Dash and illustrated by Dusan Petricic a famous Yugoslav illustrator (he did all of Dusan Radovic books as well as the famous Belgrade poster) who now lives in Toronto. My brother picked up a book that high-schoolers use to boost their vocabulary for the SATs and started quizzing Coturnix Jr. and - he knew definitions of everything, including 'abiogenesis'!
After a brief rest at the hotel, we went to Ceres Gallery
for the art show - that is the primary reason why we went to NYC in the first place. The artwork was judged and chosen by people from the Museum of Modern Art and I have to say I was impressed by almost everything I saw there. The piece my brother and his wife had there is a wooden box mounted on the wall with a lightbulb inside of it. The front of the box is made of translucent, white, thick paper on which she wrote, in longhand in Cyrillic script, all Serbian male names in alphabetical order.
Of the other art there, I remember a large collage. It was made of several rectangular segments. Each segment had several pictures of clean-shaven, smiling, uniformed soldiers PLUS one picture of something bad related to war: hunger, thirst, dirt, exhaustion, committing atrocities, getting wounded, getting killed... In the middle of the collage was an old-style poster depicting a happy young couple lifting a newborn baby boy - the title said something like: "Will he grow up to go to war?".
Then, there was a pair of dogs made of grey plaster and paper. One dog was attached to the wall and the plaster and paper were in a chessboard pattern. Each piece of paper was multiply folded page from the NYC phone book. The other dog was standing on the floor below. It was made of rings/segments alternating plaster and paper. Each strip of paper was a page from the Bible. And there was much, much more....
Unfortunately, after waking up at 3:30 in the morning in order to catch the flight, then gallivanting across NYC all day in the first summer heat, the kids were exhausted. They fell asleep sitting on the bench there, so we could not go to the big dinner with the artists afterwards, but instead took a cab straight to the hotel and were all four fast asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.
Carnival of the Liberals #14
Carnival of the Liberals #14 is up on Expert Opinion
Make your own conspiracy theory...
So, why would someone from Halliburton be interested in the Bosnian Pyramid? What's the financial gain?
Carnival of Education #70 is up on The Education Wonks
Carnival of Homeschooling #23 (the marine life edition) is up on PalmTree Pundit
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
My best friend (self-portrait above) from childhood was born in 6/6/66, though we rarely called him Damien.
He used to be a devil, but now is happily settled down and is a successful art photographer
Last time I saw him was in 1990 when I went to Stockholm to visit him (and to smuggle myself into every single event at the World Equestrian Games).
I cannot get his e-mail address to work, but perhaps he'll google his name sometime - Dejan Antonijevic
- and find this post.
Carnival of the Green #30
The latest edition of the Carnival of the Green
is up on Dee's 'Dotes
Next week, June 12th, the carnival will be hosted by me, most likely on my new blog over at SEED (you'll get the URL once it is completely set up). You can send your entries to: carnivalofgreen AT gmail DOT com, or directly to me at: Coturnix1 AT aol DOT com.
Grand Rounds 2.37
New edition of Grand Rounds is up on Medical Blog Network
Tar Heel Tavern - call for submissions
Next edition of the Tar Heel Tavern will appear next weekend on 2 sides 2 ron
. The theme is Belonging.
Do you want to host a future edition? Let me know...
Monday, June 05, 2006
You may remember that two weeks ago
I taught about diversity. The lecture notes are finally online, in three parts:Origin of Biological DiversityEvolution of Biological DiversityCurrent Biological Diversity
Please leave comments over there. Nobody can know every detail of every area of biology, so please let me know if I am telling my students any lies.
Then last week I taught a brief intro to Anatomy and Physiology (lecture notes still to come). I also gave them the first exam. It looked big, hard and imposing, but once they started reading carefully, they realized that the questions were taken straight out of my lectures.
I spent many hours designing that exam, making sure that the questions are as clear as possible. Only once I had to give partial credit - answers were either completely correct or completely incorrect, which tells me that my questions were unambigious enough.
Since I have not taught the lecture portion of the course for a couple of years, I was a little nervous about the way I designed the exam - was it going to be too easy or too difficult. It turns out it was just right. The grades were evenly distributed between 61% and 101% (yes, there was a bonus question worth up to 5%).
Last Saturday I also wrapped up the Lab for this term. It went pretty much the same as the last time
I taught it, except that this group is so good - no mixing up of evolution and development!
Interestingly, in the lab I have students who are currently taking the lecture with me and others who are taking the lecture with the other guy. Obviously, the other guy is making it easier (what is that- middle-school lavel? How can it possibly be any easier?!), but my students appear much more excited about biology - they feel like they are actually learning something relevant.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Change of Shift - A Nursing Blog Carnival
Kim of Emergiblog is starting a new blog carnival
, about nursing. The first edition
will appear on Emergiblog on June 22. So, if you have a nursing story, send it over to Kim.
The idea is not new. There were a couple of editions of "Nursing Moments" about a year ago, but it died out. A carnival needs a strong, dedicated person to push it for the first 20 or so editions until it assumes a life of its own. Kim is one such person. Also, the medical blogging, including nursing blogging, is much bigger and better organized now than it was a year ago. There are several places where many medbloggers are now listed or subscribe to mailing lists, thus it is easy for nurse bloggers to find each other and organize a carnival.
This is also not going to take anything away from the Grand Rounds. After all, JAMA did not suffer when specialized medical journals got started. In a way, Tangled Bank got stronger, not weaker, when it started spawning off its carnivalish progeny, e.g., I And The Bird, Skeptic's Circle, Circus of the Spineless, Animalcules, Carnival of the Green, etc. More there are specialized journals, more prestigious 'Science' and 'Nature' get.
Thus, starting Change Of Shift, just like starting of Pediatric Grand Rounds, Animalcules and the Health Wonk Review, can only make Grand Rounds stronger and more important than before. It is the JAMA of medical blogging.
Snake on the Plane
Again, real life imitates art
. This is not about the movie. Though one should be made.
Obligatory Reading of the Day
'The War Tapes'. Now I really want to see it when it finally comes down to our little provincial town...
From Science Daily
Ecosystems With Many Plant Species Produce More And Survive Threats Better
Ecosystems containing many different plant species are not only more productive, they are better able to withstand and recover from climate extremes, pests and disease over long periods, according to a new study. It is the first experiment to gather enough data--over a sufficient time and in a controlled environment--to confirm a 50-year scientific debate about whether biodiversity stabilizes ecosystems.Researchers Discover How Bacteria Sense Their Environments
When humans taste or smell, receptors unique to each nerve cell detect the chemical and send signals to the brain, where many cells process the message to understand what we are smelling or tasting. But a bacterium is just a single cell, and it must use many different receptors to sense and interpret everything around it.Female Genital Mutilation Affects Births: Study
New Cornell research, highlighted on the cover of the May issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, reveals that receptors assemble into a kind of cooperative lattice on a bacterium's surface to amplify infinitesimal changes in the environment and kick off processes that lead to specific responses within the cell.
The researchers suggest that when one receptor detects, for example, a sugar in its environment, communication of some sort triggers an array of linked receptors to rearrange itself, much like when water freezes, all the water molecules assort themselves into a new structure. Through this reorganization, the bacterium's receptor array amplifies the signal that a specific molecule has been sensed outside the cell. This structural shift then activates kinases, or enzymes, within the cell, starting a chain reaction that leads to a response, such as changing how the flagella (or tails) spin. This allows the bacterium to move toward or away from what it has sensed.
The first comprehensive study of the effects of female genital mutilation on women and babies during childbirth has been published by leading medical journal, The Lancet.
The study, which provides the first reliable evidence that female genital mutilation can adversely affect birth outcomes, was undertaken by African and international researchers, including Associate Professor Emily Banks from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University.
Tar Heel Tavern #67
Tarheel Tavern: Anniversaries, Marriage and Acts of Love
, a beautifully crafted and written edition of our weekly roundup of best North Carolina blogging, is now up on Anonymoses
And, before I start twisting arms one-on-one, please volunteer to host a future edition of Tar Heel Tavern
by e-mailing me at: Coturnix1 AT aol DOT com
Friday, June 02, 2006
I even look like it...
You scored 70% Organization, 66% abstract, and 81% extroverted!
This test measured 3 variables.
First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.
Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.
Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.
You are very organized, more abstract, and more extroverted.
Here is why are you Big Bird.
You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Big Bird is never sloppy and always under control... pretty good for a 6 year old bird living without a family.
You both are abstract thinkers. Big Bird is a dreamer who always wonders what the world is like. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by.
You are both extroverts. Big Bird gets along with everyone. He makes friends easily and always has a positive attitude. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.
The other possible characters are
Oscar the Grouch
Kermit the Frog
If you enjoyed this test, I would love the feedback! Also if you want to tell me your favorite Sesame Street character, I can total them up and post them here. Perhaps your choice will win!
My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
|You scored higher than 80% on Organization|
|You scored higher than 88% on concrete-abstra|
|You scored higher than 94% on intro-extrovert|
Tar Heel Tavern - call for submissions
Next edition of Tar Heel Tavern
will be hosted by Anonymoses
so send the entries his way tonight or tomorrow.
Again, we need hosts for the future. If oyu want to volunteer, let me know at: Coturnix1 AT aol DOT com
Healthcare policy and politics carnival
Health Wonk Review #8 is up on The Medical Blog Network
- the new (and somewhat controversial) submitting form apparently worked great and will be used already for the next issue of Grand Rounds. Go check it out.
A Blogger In Distress
The Count and Countess
are in trouble
, as Count was laid off and the Countess' money is still far in the future. This is the time for the friendly blogosphere to extend a helping hand. Go there and hit the PayPal button if you can.
Bosnian Pyramid - Update n+1
Not much time to follow the Bosnian pyramid story these days, though you can check out the stuff I have written before
In the meantime, Skephick wrote a couple of good posts: Pyramidiocy
and More Pyramidiocy
On Research on Intelligent Design: The Intelligent Design... Of Mound Mountains With Pyramids Inside
From Northstate Science: Noah's Ark or Bosnian Pyramids?
On Gog's Blog: Of Bosnia and Comets
Over on History News Network, Alun Salt wrote an excellent overview of the whole thing: Bosnian Pyramids: Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Atlantis
, and back on his own blog, he wrote a post with a key question: Is reality the second best option?
which is a Must Read post on the topic (and provides even more links).
Of course, if you speak Bosnian and related languages, you can follow the story in far greater detail, and I mean FAR GREATER DETAIL, on the blogs that are members of the Anti-pyramid Web-ring
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Lorax: I speak for the trees!
A new carnival! Festival of the Trees
, along the lines of I And The Bird, Animalcules and Circus of the Spineless, and inspired by the Carnival of Anthropomorphic Trees
. This is what they say on Via Negativa:
Pablo of Roundrock Journal and I have decided to launch a blog carnival devoted to trees – a Festival of the Trees. This will be a monthly gathering of blog links, similar to the Circus of the Spineless for invertebrates. The first installment will be here at Via Negativa on July 1. Please submit links to me at bontasaurus (at) yahoo (dot) com, with “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line, no later than June 30. All posts should have appeared during the month of June. We’ll inaugurate a coordinating blog in late June or early July to archive links to blog hosts, announce upcoming hosts, and blogroll participants.
For the purposes of the Festival, we’re defining trees as any woody plant that regularly exceeds three meters in height, though exceptions might be made to accommodate things like banana “trees” or bonsai. We are interested in trees in the concrete rather than in the abstract, so while stories about a particular forest would be welcome, newsy pieces about forest issues probably wouldn’t be. Our emphasis should be on original content; we don’t want to link to pieces that are 90% or more recycled from other authors or artists.
The Festival of the Trees seeks:
* original photos or artwork featuring trees
* original essays, stories or poems about trees
* audio and video of trees
* news items about trees (especially the interesting and the off-beat)
* philosophical and religious perspectives on trees and forests
* scientific and conservation-minded perspectives on trees and forests
* kids’ drawings of trees
* dreams about trees
* trees’ dreams about us
* people who hug trees
* people who make things out of trees
* big trees
* small trees
* weird or unusual trees
* sexy trees
* tree houses
* animals that live in, pollinate, or otherwise depend on trees
* lichens, fungi or bacteria that parasitize or live in mutualistic relationships with trees
You can prove anything and everything with pretty statistics
Just watch Sean Carrol in action, showing conclusively that global warming is caused by feminists: Feminism: Destroying the Planet
But Sean is trying to be nice, not naming any names. I am not afraid to name names. I blame global warming directly on Amanda
and, though he protesteth ("I am not a feminist" yeah right!) too much, Chris Clarke
Due to technical difficulties, the move to SEED scienceblogs has been postponed, i.e., instead of tomorrow, the new blogs (including mine) will have a debut some time later, hopefully on Monday, which is good as traffic drops precipitously between Friday noon and Monday morning - thus Friday is not a good time to make an impressive start of a new blog.
The Bird Meme continues...
Darren Naish also took the "10 most beautiful birds" meme seriously, and, like I did, he turned it into "10 scientifically most interesting birds". Since he wrote a lot of scientific detail about each bird, he decided to split the meme into three posts. You can read them here:Part IPart IIPart III
New York City trip - Part III: SEED
Thursday, May 25th.Afternoon
After enjoying Bryant Park
for a while, taking pictures, and exchanging presents (actually, receiving presents, including chocolate bananas) it was time to move on. We hailed a cab again and went to the headquarters of the SEED Media group, my new employer-of-sorts. There we met Katherine Sharpe, Christopher Mims and the rest of the Seed (hardcopy) and Scienceblogs (online) gang. Katherine showed us around, completely unfettered by six of us, including kids, running around the joint while they were trying to get some work done. I got a sneak peak at the new front-page design - I swore to keep mum about it, but you'll all get to see it on Friday.
I was actually quite impressed with the SEED offices. I really expected to see a shoestring operation, with half a dozen youngsters crowded in a little room filled with empty pizza boxes. It is actually a much bigger and more polished venture with more room and more employees than I expected. Looks very respectable. Gave me more confidence before my move to SB.
My brother attended a recent conference on art and the biology of the mind
and perhaps he can get SEED to publish an article of his on the way the modern neuroscience, particulalrly brain imaging, is still incapable of telling anything of importance to the artists.
I think it was a great idea to go and visit the SEED office, for a number of reasons. First, I could say that the trip was part business, part pleasure. Second, and much more importantly, it is really nice to put names and faces together. Now I know that those people are not robots but real human beings. If, in the future, there is a technical problem, instead of firing off an e-mail like "Tim, goddammit! Fix it ASAP!", I will be much more likely to write "Tim, could you fix this glitch when you have time, please". It will make me more disposed to be understanding when they have a problem instead of viewing them as a faceless "corporation".
Likewise, I hope it works the other direction, too. If I e-mail a suggestion or a criticism, I hope they do not think of me as some troll, but a nice guy who they have met and whose opinion they will take seriously. I hope that works for every blogger there. After all, they will now have about 40 of the best and most experienced science bloggers in the Universe at their disposal (and more to come in the future). That is huge experience and brain power, all in one place. I hope they tap into this collective wisdom and trust our opinions. Being bloggers we are, almost by definition, the early adopters of new communication methods. We are also the "influentials" and have experience with what may or may not work in the online world. We are all in this together and bloggers have as much interest in seeing SEED succeed as the staff actually working in the office every day, so I hope they use us a lot - we do this practically for free. If they think of us as Consultants, they'll realize how much money they are saving by not needing Real World consultants, and at the same time we will help them avoid some of the likely beginners' mistakes in this blogging business.
Moving on, we went to a couple of cool bookstores and bought a bunch of books for kids, then just wandered around for a while enjoying each other's company, before parting briefly - they had to do some clothes shopping and we had to go and check into our hotel. It is at this point that I realized that I have lost a piece of paper with Grrrlscientist's
phone number - darn! I so wanted to meet her. I guess it was not meant to be this time around.