Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

Sirocco the kakapo is missing

The big news in New Zealand is that Sirocco, the most famous kakapo (Strigops habroptilus, the world’s only flightless parrot, a bird endemic to this country) has gone missing; or rather, his radio band slipped off his leg. But no worries—this has happened before. It’s his 20th birthday, though, and if they don’t find him he’ll miss his […]

Dan Dennett profiled in The New Yorker

It’s early in the morning in Queenstown, and I have a 7.5-hour bus ride to Fox Glacier ahead of me. All I can do this morning is direct your attention to a (free) New Yorker profile on Dan Dennett and his views on the mind, “Dan Dennett’s Science of the Soul.” I haven’t read it, […]

Monday: Hili dialogue

by Grania Good morning, welcome to another week! Today is World Sparrow Day and the Great American Meatout (tofu for you today!) and ahem, Extraterrestrial Abduction Day although even the Believers are skeptical as to whether it is celebration-worthy or not. It is also the Spring Equinox in the Northern hemisphere. Oh, and if you are […]

Feathers aren’t scary, Mr Spielberg?

by Matthew Cobb That's a velociraptor pic.twitter.com/23RVfEZJXg — Aokiji (@DukeOfZamunda) March 19, 2017 In fact, it’s a Brahma Chicken, but it’s still pretty scary!

Early spring hawks

by Greg Mayer A correspondent in Racine, Wisconsin, shares the following photos of a pair of hawks that have been perching on his fence. I say ‘pair’ with some hesitation, because although both have been in his yard, I cannot sex them, and their co-occurrence could be a coincidence. I suspect it is a pair, […]

A bad squirrel; and Gus lagniappe

Reader Chris sent us this amusing anecdote of domestic food thieving. The dominant squirrel got impatient and gnawed his way into the feeder: So I got out the tinsnips and an old tin can: I see I’m not much of a tinsmith as yet, but I guess I am an example of an animal learning […]

Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning! Today in 1962 Bob Dylan released his eponymous first album. In 1982 the Falklands was invaded by Argentina precipitating the Falklands War. Today is also the birthday of actress Glenn Close, Güyük Khan, third Khan of Mongol (in the 1200s) and in 2000 this day marked the death of Joanne Weaver, right-fielder in the All-American […]

Chuck Berry died

I was surprised he made it to this age, but Chuck Berry died today in Missouri—at 90. I haven’t time to write a long obituary, but of course he was one of the pioneers of rock and roll, one of the earliest black rock stars, and this was one of the songs that made him […]

Alert for Kiwis: latest travel schedule

Professor Ceiling Cat is headed to Milford Sound on Monday, then to Fox Glacier on Tuesday for an overnight, then to Greymouth on Wednesday for about two days to see the keas at Arthur’s Pass. From Greymouth I’ll find my way up to Nelson, probably arriving there on the 24th or 25th of March. I’ll probably […]

Can I use Venus Fly Traps to get rid of garden pests?

by Matthew Cobb pic.twitter.com/Q0naKEkK92 — Science (@scienmag) March 18, 2017 Betteridge’s law of headlines strikes again.