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Archive for the ‘Pseudosciences’ Category

Wildlife photography

Subadult
Subadult nymph of an Amazonian cricket living currently (a few days ago) near the Lago do Jacunda, Tapajos, Brasil. Me dunno the species of course. *

Even in the wilds of the deepest Amazonian jungle, photographers still make decisions about when to trigger the shutter and what to include in or exclude from the frame. These decisions are as much a lens into the imagination of the photographer as they are a recording device for the subject, and the difference in artificiality between farmed animal photos and wild photos are more in degree than in kind.

Kindly said. But maybe this is somewhat truer when it coes to what people think when they think about wildlife. Slightly biased… This is an animal (not a plant), with a spine (not an exosqueletton, we are the 99% –Oops, needs an upadte!), furry or featherous, etc. Admittedly, many pictures of tropical insects are fake somewhat. I know what it is: cheaper to breed your pet than look for it in the jungle (though that works too, but not as well as rearing these critters yourself). But for plants!

Anyway, the post is actually very interesting and unfortunately true.

*Of course, the setting is natural. And indeed, the same picture could have been taken in a greenhouse with palms that nobody would notice. Huh ho!

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They’ll help us fight global warming. Or would they?

Pierre-Henri GOUYON tells us:  ‘What really frightens me are people who think that technical progress will solve all the problems caused by technical progress‘.

(Words from my PhD advisor mentor).

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Here are the posts that got the most reads this year:

  • Male meiosis in onion (just meiosis is so popular, who would have guessed! Should we infer that internet is not porn, internet is populated by biologists?)

Okay, this was for the top 10. I also add the very bottom down of Seeds Aside. Only one, let’s try to have this one not be the bottomest of next year… :-)

Aren’t people interested in biases?

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Link drift caused me yesterday to read a blog post (unfortunately, not a blog I knew, and I can’t remember anything allowing to get the link back now) investigating the publication rate for that blog over time.

I did the same for Seeds Aside (# of post / months spent since creation), and got this:

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A few days after the pope’s condoms issue, a French bishop (from Orleans) is doubling concerns pricelessness. According to him,

There’s “danger” printed on cigarette packs.

We should print on condom boxes: incomplete reliability.

Well, first a careful reading of notices in condom boxes will reveal that this information is indeed provided to all (users and non-users alike, I guess Mr Bishop is allowed reading condom notices, wouldn’t he?). But read carefully what comes next (translation mine):

You all know too well, and every scientist would tell you so, that the size of the HIV virus is much less than that of a sperm. This is evidence that condoms aren’t 100% reliable.

OMG. Can’t believe it.

Well, I’m totally Okay that “complete protection from MST is unwarranted” be printed directly on condom boxes. I would also like to have churches and cults laid down with signs like: “There’s no freaking proof that God exists” or “Catholic church promotes worldwide AIDS prevalence” or “Beware of delusions”.

BTW, I’ll even go if it’s printed in tiny letters at the end of the notice.

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Errant ranting granted.

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Have noticed the new addition to the blogroll? It’s Darwin Central, and its “corrupting the youth since 1859” means it all. It’s actually not a recent blog (archives dig back into 2006), and I don’t know how is it I never crossed it before, but there it is. I especially like the recent “Explanatory filter: Rip” post. Go mind!

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Huh?! Indeed. Can you imagine how the world would look like if seeds had no way knowing what to grow into? That’s even risky to try: you may grow as a tropical vine where you need to accomodate for a temperate climate!

Seriously. Have you, dear requester, ever heard of DNA? Yep, plants have DNA too.

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It’s above Expelled  being exposed for what it is, a shameful piece of typical fraudulent creationist propaganda. Greg Laden’s has an excellent piece about the case bringing the (cell) gap into a general public discussion. Maybe he’s right, and American people may eventually end up with a better understanding and knowledge than any other people worldwide as to what cells are made of and as to how they function. Finally creationism has found its use: serve as an anchor to educate lay people into the true nature wonders… Or would the compulsive commitment to a fair treatment occuring there (actually completely unfair since it’s giving equal weight to a handful of lies) become the major cultural obstacle to a better understanding of the world?

Ah, fair treatment. Let’s revive the stork theory… (more…)

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