I’m in California

And this SUV greeted me in the airport parking lot. Check the upper right.

photo

It’ll be in the 80s (F) this week (call it 26+ Celsius) and sunny. A great respite from Chicago. If you’re in the area, I’m giving two talks, one on the incompatibility of science and religion (Wed) and a talk on fly research (Thursday), both at UC Davis. Details below:

storer-lectureship-dr-jerry-coyne

53 Comments

  1. moarscienceplz
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    The central valley isn’t really California, it’s more like central Texas – flat, open land and flat, closed minds.

    • Gasper Sciacca
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      In other words: redneck.

    • Achrachno
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      They’re not all like that, and politically it’s changing.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      As a former resident of Central Texas I say …. HEY!!!!! Austin & San Marcos are rather cool compared to the rest of the state.

    • Ross
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Given our lack of free will and general mental inflexibility, I’m afraid we’re all pretty flat and closed, mindwise.

      I was feeling defensive about having my current home area dissed, but f-it, you’re mostly right.

  2. Marella
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I would love to attend both but I’m not in California until May. Dammit.

    • Achrachno
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      I would love to attend both but I’m in So. California, hundreds of miles away. Dammit.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Ditto. California is a big place.

        But, I’m happy to see that Jerry ran into a person who is in favor of a well-regulated militia! You see so few of them, and so many gun nuts…

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          That was the line I was going to take. “Great minds”, or “fools rarely”?

      • BillyJoe
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        Someone on another blog was visiting Australia recently and wanted to meet for a drink. He was in Queensland and I was in Victoria just over 2000km away.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          LOL. The best is when my relatives in NZ ask me if I know someone in Vancouver (I’m in Ontario). My auntie also thought that I (in Ontario, Canada) & my aunt in California must see each other all the time.

  3. moarscienceplz
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could attend. If the lectures were at, say 8pm, I could sneak out of work early and drive there, but to get there by 4pm from the Bay Area I’d have to take the whole day off.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      We won’t tell anyone. :)

      • moarscienceplz
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Hehe!

    • Ken Elliott
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Would it not be worth the day off?

  4. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    ‘Dream to Praise’ makes no sense. I must be missing something.

    • noncarborundum
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      “Drum to Prize”. The owner is a competitive percussionist.

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm… I got “Dream to Prez” and “Dormtroopers”.
      And that rig never goes off road.

    • Andrew B.
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      “DRM” is “Digital Rights Management” and “PRZ” is “Prez” or “President.” So he wants the president to be aware of this particular technology. Very helpful of him.

      • Shwell Thanksh
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        I think you got the 1st half right.

        The PRZ file type is primarily associated with ‘Freelance Graphics’ by IBM. This was a Lotus product. Lotus was bought out by IBM.

        http://filext.com/file-extension/PRZ

        • darrelle
          Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:24 am | Permalink

          Yep. And what a coincidence. I just had the pleasure of figuring out how to install Lotus Smartsuite on a Windows 8.1 64 bit machine. Not too bad really, but I was lucky that there are still Lotus 9.8 DVDs for sale. 9.5 just will not work on 8.1.

          Tried Virtualbox (a problem in itself on 8.1) and all kinds of stuff. Finally found some claims that 9.8 would run. Searched for it and found some new copies on Amazon, for $30! Was $300 + back in the day. Doesn’t auto start, but easy enough to run the setup exe directly as admin then, loads right up, no problems.

          But, the writing is on the wall. Won’t be able to use Lotus much longer. A real shame. 123 (spreadsheet) and Approach (relational DB) beat the ever living snot out of the MS stuff. Not to mention I compiled an entire integrated, fully custom businees software package using Lotus many years ago, constantly modified of course, that includes purchasing, estimating, project management, job cost reporting and more. I shudder to think of trying to translate all that code into something else. Some of it is so old I can’t remember what the hell it does. I’d have to study it for who knows how long to figure out what the hell I did 20 years ago.

          Oh, and, damn(!) 8.1 is ate up with security. Looks to me like the first priority was security, and functionality took second seat. Everything is warped, sometimes broken, for security. One of numerous examples, the fucked up way it deals (or doesn’t) with mapped network drives. Something so simple made hard by the good folks at MS. 8.1 is advertising for Apple.

          • Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            What about the LibreOffice suite Calc? It’s designed for Linux, but I think it works on Windows and it’s open source.

            — full disclosure: I’ve used LibreOffice for four or five years and never missed Microsoft at all.

            • darrelle
              Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

              I’ve never tried LibreOffice, I’ll have to check it out.

              I haven’t used it much, but I think I like Open Office. A few years ago during a consulting job I used it, the spreadsheet in particular, to automate some time dependent tasking for a client. I had never seen it before but was quicky able to figure out everything from macro writing conventions to formating.

              • Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

                Darrelle,
                As you may know, the current OpenOffice and LibreOffice are “forks” of the original OpenOffice, so they are similar in many ways. Currently LibreOffice has a slightly more modern design and may convert Microsoft files back and forth a little better than OpenOffice, but they’re both excellent alternatives to Microsoft’s suite. The Datamation web site has a good review of both, posted in December 2013.

              • darrelle
                Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

                Did not know that. Thanks for the heads up.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            You should take your code and make an phone app. Yeah, that would be brutal. At home, I mostly use Google’s stuff so I don’t have to buy the Microsoft stuff for my Macs. At work it’s all Microsoft. The thing is, I think their Office stuff has actually gotten good. In typical Microsoft fashion, they basically just kept releasing stuff for 20 years until it was good.

            • darrelle
              Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

              “The thing is, I think their Office stuff has actually gotten good.”

              Interesting. I have to admit that I have no experience with the recent MS Office stuff. In the past it just didn’t have anything to recommend it. Except that just about all business uses it, and people send you MS files as if they are the standard. Hmm. I guess they are.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

                I have to say though most of those files are bloated. I sent an 8 page PPT that ended up being 16mb! That’s crazy!

        • JohnnieCanuck
          Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          It is near Silicon Valley, I’ll grant, but ‘Digital Rights Management 2 a graphics file type’? Seems unlikely.

          I’m going with nobody knows.

  5. codemonkeysteve
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    “I Support The 2nd Amendment”

    What, no truck nutz?

  6. rose
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to Ca.yes it is nice to be in the 80degree weather.

  7. NAY
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Any chance of a video being posted?

    • Achrachno
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      That would be nice! I’m sure we’d all enjoy, if such is possible. Some of these UC talks get put on the web by the campus.

    • Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Yep, I believe there are plans to take video of the talk and post it.

  8. ladyatheist
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    When you pose with a felid you’re guaranteed to draw a big audience!

  9. elsburymk14
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, when I find out someone supports the 2nd amendment, I also immediately stereotype her as a closed minded, ‘gun nut’, redneck.

    I figure it’s the open minded thing to do.

    • Shwell Thanksh
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Or perhaps, if you were to follow the link printed just below the slogan on that sticker, you’d be justified in the conclusion that it’s intended purpose (as the sticker immediately below it reads) is to “Annoy a Liberal”.
      I figure it’s the (closed-minded redneck) intention that counts.

    • JoeyM
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      Sadly, yes, many people do stereotype all gun owners as closed minded.

      • darrelle
        Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        What a minute. Are you stereotyping people who criticize gun ownership?

  10. Steve Gerrard
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    If you are driving a Hummer, aren’t you pretty much exercising your 2nd Amendment right?

  11. cremnomaniac
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Dang, wish I could get over to Davis. It’s about a 2 hour drive for me. The good and the bad of it is I can’t make it because I’m almost finished with my thesis. It’s consuming a lot of time at the moment.
    Such is life.

  12. gillt
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    My wife was in Davis last week interviewing for a faculty position in genomics. Too bad we just missed you.

  13. Dominic
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    SUVs should be banned in urban areas!

  14. Barry
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    At least the vehicle owner is smart enough to drive with a real spare tire. I bet most of the others in the lot don’t have one (and that’s by design).

  15. gbjames
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Say “hi” to my friend Sandy!

  16. Posted April 8, 2014 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    “Faith is not a virtue…”

    That reminds me of something from the most recent episode of COSMOS with Neil deGrasse Tyson. He mentioned this old Chinese philosopher, Mo Tzu (var.), who developed a rudimentary scientific method.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozi

    excerpt:
    ” Mozi believed that people were capable of changing their circumstances and directing their own lives. They could do this by applying their senses to observing the world, judging objects and events by their causes, their functions, and their historical bases. (“Against Fate, Part 3″) This was the “three-prong method” Mozi recommended for testing the truth or falsehood of statements. ”

    One could rename that “Against Faith”.

    This man (ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC) understood this 2000 years ago! So what’s taking so long for the religiously deluded to get a grip on reality?

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Their delusions have been carefully crafted to keep them in a warm and fuzzy cocoon. They actively avoid leaving it, though some escape as witnessed by perhaps the majority of people here.

  17. Chris Slaby
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Great title for the public lecture!

  18. Robert Seidel
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    They failed to mention your “Censor of the Year” award.

  19. joelrdx
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    While you are in Cali, maybe you want to take a look at this place:

    http://www.vice.com/read/i-went-to-the-california-creationist-museum-and-it-was-really

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      The blogger at your link strongly advises against going, did you notice?

    • Posted April 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      This is a link to a Creation Museum. What we’ve learned is that Joel a. is a troll, b. is a creationist, and c. doesn’t even read the posts he links to.

  20. Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Hi folks, note that the venue for tomorrow’s talk has CHANGED!
    The talk will be in ARC Ballroom A, not Conference Center Ballrooms A and B.

    Here’s an updated flyer:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6613147/Jerry%20Coyne%20flyer.pdf

    And here’s a map showing where the ARC complex is:


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