Category Archives: Uncategorized

Excellent open access articles on the evolution of life on Earth – UPDATE 2

by Matthew Cobb Current Biology is a fortnightly scientific journal published by Elsevier, one of the main publishing companies that people have got very cross about because of their financial model, and the fact that its most recent research articles are kept behind an expensive paywall. However, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the magazine, Current […]

I retire today

Before people who like this site worry that I’m retiring from writing here, let me clarify. That is not what I mean by “retiring.”  Posting here will continue as usual, though there will be only two posts today. As of 4:30 p.m. Chicago time, I’m retiring in the conventional sense—from my job at the University of […]

Warwick students rescind ban on Maryam Namazie

by Matthew Cobb .@WarwickSU now approved @warwickatheists request for me to speak so I will see students soon. Thanks. — Maryam Namazie (@MaryamNamazie) September 27, 2015 The statement by the Warwick University Students’ Union – it was they that had refused her permission to speak, not the University – includes the promise that: “Warwick SU […]

Two pieces on the necessity of free speech

It’s hard to get two people more different in background than my Chicago colleague and law professor Geoff Stone and former basketball great (and subsequently actor, filmmaker, author, and cultural ambassador) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yet they agree on one thing: college students need free speech and the opportunity to have their ideas challenged in courses. And both have just written pieces […]

Here’s the Nilgiri Marten!

by Matthew Cobb Many of you got it, but some of you were looking at something else entirely… The Nilgiri Marten has a golden chest, which you can just make out on the far right… They are cute-looking things, almost second Honorary Cats (though I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with one), as […]

Spot the Nilgiri Marten!

by Matthew Cobb Aditya Gangadharan (aka @AdityaGangadh) posted this pic on Twitter. To give you a hint, a Marten is a mustelid (methinks it is like a weasel), about 50 cm long, with a tail that is slightly shorter. So we ain’t talking nightjars! Click twice to embiggen sans book adverts, comme d’hab’. Wikipedia claims: Very little […]

Tw**t of the week

I’ve showed videos of raptors flying through small spaces before, but this one is pretty remarkable.  Do not underestimate the abilities of any animal! h/t: Grania

The Airtalk debate from yesterday

My interview about faith versus fact on KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, has now been archived here (click on “Listen to this story” below the picture). It’s 18 minutes long and, as usual, I can’t bear to listen to it. But I do know that both the interviewer, Larry Mantle, as well as all of the […]

IgNobel Prizes awarded (and livestreamed) this evening

“It’s like the weirdest f-ing thing that you’ll ever go to… it’s a collection of, like, actual Nobel Prize winners giving away prizes to real scientists for doing f’d-up things… it’s awesome.”— Amanda Palmer Reader Diane G. informs me that the annual IgNobel Prizes will be awarded at Harvard this evening, with the awards handed […]

Wednesday: Hili dialogue (and lagniappe)

It’s Hump Day, I have a podcast interview, and otherwise there is nothing of distinction to report. Nor do I have any Big Ideas about what to write about today—try facing a blank page with no ideas when the readers are waiting! Well, at least there is some interesting cat lagniappe this morning (see below). And, in […]


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