April 25, 2012

Happy DNA Day

To think I almost let an opportunity to anthropomorphize DNA get past me. That was a close one.

On the Likability of Bugs

I have a confession to make about my attitude toward bugs. (I say bugs instead of perhaps insects, because if I say bugs I can lump spiders and roly polies in there too and not worry about making any egregious classification errors.) Okay, here goes: I have a completely irrational, terribly unscientific system for determining which bugs I like.

It goes something like this:

It's not fair, cockroach, and I'm sorry about that. I'll work on it.

April 11, 2012

Lesser Known Cave People

Have you ever noticed that almost all artist renderings of ancient hominids are dudes? There were other non-man cave people, you know. I am here today to correct this imbalance.

Let's first even out the gender ratio here.

That's better. She is woman. She is cave. She has a great zebra print top. And I'm not done yet. There are other subgroups that need representation. 

Cave-people-equal-representation problem solved. You're welcome.

April 04, 2012

Apathetic Dolphin

I read this gem from the marvelous tumblr that is Out of Context Science:
"The big stumbling block is motivation. Dolphins don’t seem to care.”
This observation is from a piece about communicating with our dolphin buddies by Ed Yong, Will We Ever Talk with Dolphins? Researchers equipped with dolphin-friendly underwater keyboards found that dolphins were less than enthusiastic about using them to engage in conversation.

doesn't care to speak with you

But perhaps it's not really apathy; maybe it's just that dolphins so enjoy their underwater goings-on that pausing to converse with the likes of us may not seem like a good time investment. My goodness, they're even smarter than we thought: they've already learned how to entirely avoid awkward smalltalk. That took me years to master.

April 03, 2012

Dolphins Can't Read (yet), But You Can

Last year I did a post about the dark side of dolphins. Part of the research for that post involved emailing Maddalena Bearzi and asking her if there is any record of dolphins sexually assaulting humans, as google search results might lead one to believe. She allowed me to debunk this rumor in the post, Dolphin Sexual Harassment.

She has a new book out called Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist. Since you are reading this, I can only assume you are awesome and therefore also like dolphins, so I can think of no reason that you shouldn't read this book.

If for no other dolphin-loving reason, you should buy this book simply because I emailed this woman and asked her questions about dolphins raping people, and she responded.

That kind of bravery deserves book sales.