Thursday, June 17, 2021
Tuesday, April 06, 2021
Washington, man... where cattle rustling is white-collar crime.
Cody Easterday, has admitted to a scheme in which Defendant [Easterday] has falsified records and submitted fictitious invoices in order to defraud Plaintiff [Tyson] out of more than $225 million. Among other things, Defendant has manufactured documents in order to hide the fact that it was reporting to Plaintiff approximately 200,000 cattle that simply did not exist
A newly filed federal lawsuit alleges WSU researchers stole blood samples and trade secrets used in a proprietary genetic test to rate the beef tenderness of cows prior to slaughter.
Re. the latter I will note that the term "Callipyge Gene" is really wasted in being applied to tenderness of beef.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Sunday, February 21, 2021
All empires should be judged by their drink. Thus:
Mongols: arkhi (though I can't find a good source for the history of this one)
America: moonshine, Heaven preserve us
Zulus; Egyptians; Incans; Sumerians: lite beer
Mexica: hot chocolate
Monday, February 08, 2021
Fun toy: Scroll around the globe and eavesdrop on local streaming radio. Language lovers will have a great time. Music lovers will be intensely frustrated by the realization that most of the world now listens to the same crap we do, albeit sometimes in their native languages. But there may be rewards for the persistent.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Criticizing bad science from an abstract, 10000-foot view is pleasant: you hear about some stuff that doesn't replicate, some methodologies that seem a bit silly. "They should improve their methods", "p-hacking is bad", "we must change the incentives", you declare Zeuslike from your throne in the clouds, and then go on with your day.
But actually diving into the sea of trash that is social science gives you a more tangible perspective, a more visceral revulsion, and perhaps even a sense of Lovecraftian awe at the sheer magnitude of it all: a vast landfill—a great agglomeration of garbage extending as far as the eye can see, effluvious waves crashing and throwing up a foul foam of p=0.049 papers. As you walk up to the diving platform, the deformed attendant hands you a pair of flippers. Noticing your reticence, he gives a subtle nod as if to say: "come on then, jump in".
...it isn’t surprising that this [necrophagous] habit in armadillos has led to various concerns and superstitions: the idea that armadillos might excavate graves and consume the recently deceased is present in several areas, most famously in the Paraguayan Chaco. There are also all kinds of rumours about armadillos being especially abundant, or especially plump and healthy, in or near cemeteries.
An odd tidbit lifted from this longer piece from Tetrapod Zoology on predatory armadillos.
Sunday, September 06, 2020
Now a portion of this lost genetic diversity may be recovered by cloning historic Przewalski’s horse from frozen cells. Successful breeding can increase genetic diversity by reintroducing lost variants to the surviving population. This is the hope for the new foal, Kurt, who was cloned from cells that had been cryopreserved at the SDZG Frozen Zoo in 1980. These were cells from a stallion that was born in 1975 in the UK, was transferred to the US in 1978, and lived until 1998. He was recorded as Stud Book number 615 (SB615) and known as “Kuporovic” by his zookeepers.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
IF the knowing well how to expose any Infirmity or Vice were a sufficient Security for the Virtue which is contrary, how excellent an Age might we be presum’d to live in! Never was there in our Nation a time known, when Folly and Extravagance of every kind were more sharply inspected, or more wittily ridicul’d. And one might hope at least from this good Symptom, that our Age was in no declining state; since whatever our Distempers are, we stand so well affected to our Remedys.
--Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times
Monday, June 08, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Friday, May 22, 2020
Scientists have created a mouse embryo that's part human -- 4% to be exact.
The hybrid is what scientists call a human-animal chimera, a single organism that's made up of two different sets of cells -- in this case, a mouse embryo that has both mouse cells and human cells.
Now we wait for D'Joan.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Wednesday, April 08, 2020
[Exodus] says: “and the frog arose and covered the land of Egypt.” The word “frog” is written in the singular (“tzefardei’a” in the original Hebrew). What could the Torah be telling us? Rashi finds a Midrash that sees into the unusual wording of our verse: “There was one frog, and when they would hit it, it would spew out bands and bands of little frogs” (based on Midrash Tanchuma, Va’eira 14). Apparently, G-d caused one giant frog to emerge from the Nile. When the terrified Egyptians hit it, it spewed out smaller frogs. The more they struck it, the more frogs would come out. The more frogs came out, the more they would strike it.There's a moral too. Happy Passover/Holy Week/Amphibian Appreciation!
Monday, March 30, 2020
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Contemporary urban operations play themselves out within a constructed, real or imaginary, architecture, and through the destruction, construction, reorganization and subversion of space. As such the urban environment must be understood not simply as the backdrop to conﬂict, nor as its mere consequence, but as trapped in a complex and dynamic feedbackbased relation with the forces operating within it – be they a diverse local population, soldiers, guerrilla, media or humanitarian agents. Indicative of the emergent relationship between conﬂict and space are urban warfare tactics that redeﬁne a relation to the physical/architectural element of the wall.It's worth considering that warfare may not simply require the destruction of the social and legal boundaries made manifest in our public and private spaces, but consist as such.
Sunday, March 01, 2020
On the Discourse of SCIENTIA and POTENTIA; their ill Relations and darksome Querulousness, at last overcome by the welcome Light of REASON, holding high her Lantern and joining their Hands; the Conquest and Remotion of MENDACITY and all that sundry foul Brood that pour forth from her spumy Loins; with frivolous and witty Asides by the AUTHOR
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020
Scythians were known to be great drinkers, and Ossetian ceremonies typically involve the generous consumption of alcohol through repeated toasts. Indeed, the Ossetian word kwyvd (куывд) means both “toast” and “prayer”A sample of the many interesting things to be found on A Canadian in Ossetia.
Via Languagehat (who offers some gentle linguistic correction).
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Thursday, February 06, 2020
Saturday, February 01, 2020
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Friday, January 24, 2020
Not that anyone should take the Drake equation seriously in any case. Our "I Love Lucy" reruns are not going to summon the fungi from Yugoth.
If anything is listening though: hi! We're ballistic cursorial hunters! Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Thursday, January 09, 2020
Wednesday, January 08, 2020
“Not only did the [team] provide compelling evidence that cuttlefish employ stereopsis, but they demonstrated that cuttlefish can be trained to wear equipment and respond to virtual stimuli.”
Monday, December 23, 2019
When President Idi Amin came to power in a 1971 coup (at the Space Race climax of the Apollo lunar landings), he shortly thereafter announced an impossibly optimistic human spaceflight program, that never progressed beyond an attempt at astronaut training on an obstacle course made up of used automobile tires.
Friday, December 20, 2019
"Super-Puffs" may sound like a new breakfast cereal. But it's actually the nickname for a unique and rare class of young exoplanets that have the density of cotton candy. Nothing like them exists in our solar system.
I personally favor "Hot Neptunes" for extraterrestrial life, on the theory that they are the likeliest breeding ground for dragons.