Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

Monday: HuffPo stupidity

I can’t refrain from looking at PuffHo. I no longer derive anything useful from that dreadful aggregator site, but I look anyway:  the same way rubberneckers look at a traffic accident as they drive by. I’m fascinated by their obsession with hijabis, and complete abandonment of objective political reporting. And so this week I’ll feature […]

First pop songs composed (semi)-entirely by a computer

From Fact Magazine comes the first pop songs composed entirely by computer using artificial intelligence (AI) programs. Now of course the machine had to be programmed; otherwise it would just emit random combinations of sounds and noises. And, as Turing predicted, it couldn’t write comprehensible lyrics, either; those came from a human. As the site notes: […]

Here’s the hummingbird!

Did you spot it in the picture posted three hours ago? Here’s the location, and then a close-up (note that the bird has moved its head in the second photo):

Second most popular TED talk of all time, on “power posing”, disavowed by senior author

The second most popular TED talk of all time, with over 32 million views on TED, is by Harvard Business School associate professor Amy Cuddy, called “Your body language shapes who you are”. (You can also see the talk on YouTube, where it has over 10 million views. Cuddy appears to be on “leave of absence.”) […]

Presidential campaigns, then and now

Kennedy, 1960: Clinton, 2016:   Get off my damn lawn!

Spot the hummingbird!

Reader Andrei Volkov, who lives in Maryland, sent some hummingbird photos, two of which comprise a “spot the hummingbird” set. I’ll put up the first one now; given that it was taken in Maryland, this must surely be the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), the only hummer that breeds in the state. Can you spot it in […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We’re nearing the end of the photos that Benjamin Taylor sent from his trip to southern Africa last year, but they remain wonderful. Here are a few more (his captions are indented): Red-billed oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) resting on the neck of a Namibian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis): John Harshman recently sent oxpecker photos as well […]

Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s Monday again: the first Monday of Autumn in the Northern hemisphere and of Spring in the Southern. It’s National Key Lime Pie Day, a truly worthy American foodstuff named after the Florida Keys. But beware: most of the stuff you get in restaurants is made not with Key Limes—a very small lime 1-2 inches across, […]

Spot the lappet moth larva!

Well, the answer is here, so I just wanted you to see this. The caterpillar is, of course, a larva, and the lappet moth is Phyllodesma americana. Well concealed caterpillar. Lappet moth, using lappets to blend in pic.twitter.com/ApszpzKMou — Richard Lewington (@rlewington2) September 21, 2016 The adult, when resting on bark, is also cryptic. Note […]

Scientific fame—Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin: the Wikipedia page hit data

JAC:  Last week my friend Andrew Berry, a lecturer at Harvard and expert on Darwin and, especially, Alfred Russel Wallace, was telling me about some interesting data he’d gleaned from Wikipedia about the two Fathers of Evolution. I suggested he write it up as a post for this site, and he kindly obliged: Scientific Fame […]