Category Archives: Uncategorized

Most viewed and commented-on posts

Ah, the albatross is weighing heavily on my neck, so you must live for the moment with persiflage. Out of curiosity, I found the posts that have been viewed most often since this website began in January of 2009. Here’s the list, limited to those posts that got more than 50,000 views. (Naturally, the site itself […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Bruce Lyon, whose photos from China appeared not long ago, has sent us some more: Here are few more bird photos from my June trip to China. I visited Kuankuoshui (KKS) Nature Reserve, where two Chinese colleagues study interspecific brood parasitism in cuckoos. The cuckoos are obligate brood parasites that never have their own […]

Cat with head-mounted laser

by Matthew Cobb We’ve debated the ethics of playing with cats (and other animals) using laser pointers a number of times (e.g. here). This cat’s staff has fitted it up with a head-mounted laser. So at least kitty won’t get his eyes fried. Still not sure it’s the Right Thing to do though. However, I […]

A Jehovah’s Witness criticizes me for criticizing their policy on blood transfusions

In my talk on the incompatibility of science and religion, I gave a “worst-case” scenarios of the harm inflicted by choosing religion over science. I’ve written about this before, so won’t belabor it here, but it involves the denial of medical care to sick or injured children on religious grounds.  In most (48/50) U.S., states, parents […]

A tw**t

Well, I’m in a hotel with cable t.v., and I have a choice of watching one of elebenty gazillion channels or reading Carol Tavris and Eliot Aronson’s book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), about people’s failure to recognize their biases and the ways they resolve cognitive dissonance. I’m halfway through it and it’s very good: a PCC […]

Pittsburgh: #3

All I have time for this morning, before the meetings begin, is to post photos, which itself is a time-consuming exercise. But read this all, as awesome noms are at the bottom. I met my friend, the reader known as “Hempenstein,” who is a retired biochemist living in Pittsburgh. He just bought a large and […]

Chopra wants me to officially endorse his new paradigm of consciousness

I got an email from one of the Deepakity’s assistants two nights ago, which said this: Deepak wanted me to share this letter with you and wondered if you would consider signing it along with 1,000 others [sic] scientists. Of course I knew, based on experience, that this was something I would probably refuse; but I […]

The cell or the pew? Courts give prostitutes choice of religion or jail

On the face of it, this sounds like a blatant violation of the First Amendment. In Arizona, prostitutes arrested by police in big sting operations are now given the choice of going to jail or participating in a  “rehabilitation program” run by Catholic Charities, which includes 36 hours of classroom instruction in a church. Although […]

Why do people buy water?

While waiting in line at the airport this morning to buy coffee, I noticed that many people were buying plastic bottles of water—at $3-4 per pop (my coffee was $2.50). And this wasn’t fizzy water, but regular still water, like Dasani, that has been filtered and may have had a bit of minerals added. Other people were walking around with bottles […]

Hacker cat!

Have a roaming moggie? If you know how to hack, your cat can be your best friend. See how in this video:   h/t: redlivingblue

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