Joe Queenan in the LA Times tries to justify his hatred of sharks, hyenas and anacondas:
Like most people in this country, I have long hated sharks, largely because of what they did to Robert Shaw in “Jaws.” For years, I thought of sharks as mindless, demonic eating machines, an attitude reinforced by [...]
…one of the chief values of print library research is poor indexing. Poor indexing—indexing by titles and authors, primarily within core journals—likely had unintended consequences that assisted the integration of science and scholarship. By drawing researchers through unrelated articles, print browsing and perusal may have facilitated broader comparisons and led researchers into the past. Modern [...]
….and the award for the stupidest science story I’ve seen in months goes to LiveScience.com for “Cave Men Loved to Sing“, in which we’re told that our cave-dwelling ancestors used echo-location:
With only dull light available from a torch, which couldn’t be carried into very narrow passages, the ancient hunters had to use their [...]
An analysis of the top 8,000 girls’ and boys’ names registered on birth certificates last year shows that parents are increasingly eschewing spellings that their parents would have recognised in favour of making up their own phonetic versions.
For hundreds of children born in 2007, Samuel became Samiul; Laura, Lora; Connor, Conna; and Anne, An.
The reviews of Roland Emmerich’s new movie, 10,000 B.C. (“A prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter’s journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe”) are starting to come through, and it sounds like a bigger crapfest than Apocalypto:
In 10,000 BC, you’ve got Egyptian pyramids being built [...]
..at this rate, there won’t be any left!
Although the Human Genome Project was completed 4 years ago, the catalog of human protein-coding genes remains a matter of controversy. Current catalogs list a total of 24,500 putative protein-coding genes. It is broadly suspected that a large fraction of these entries are functionally meaningless ORFs [...]
The journal Nature has digitised their entire publication archive – dating all the way back to November 4th, 1869. Nature has been one of the most influential journals in science (the wikipedia has a good history), so this is a good chance to poke around their archives. Unfortunately, all the good stuff [...]
The inventive language created by doctors the world over to insult their patients – or each other – is in danger of becoming extinct.
So says a doctor who has spent four years charting more than 200 colourful examples. (…). The increasing rate of litigation means that there is a far higher chance that doctors [...]
According to new research presented at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C., 33 percent of the most popular songs of 2005 portrayed substance use. The study, in which researchers analyzed 279 of the year’s most popular songs according to Billboard magazine, also found that allusions to substance use varied [...]
They’re after our children now: Socialization between toddlers and robots at an early childhood education center:
A state-of-the-art social robot was immersed in a classroom of toddlers for >5 months. The quality of the interaction between children and robots improved steadily for 27 sessions, quickly deteriorated for 15 sessions when the robot was reprogrammed [...]