Friday, March 27, 2009

Interesting!

What do you get when you cross Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, and Joe Satriani? Why, Chickenfoot, of course!

There isn't one thing that these guys have in common (other than the fact that they're rock stars), but this should be interesting!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Martin Brodeur: A Living Legend


987 games + 58,304:41 minutes + 24,782 saves + 552 wins + 2.20 goals against + .914 save percentage + 3 Stanley Cups + 4 Vezina Trophies + 4 Jennings Trophies + 1 Calder Trophy + 100 shutouts + 2 goals + 11 records = 30

Congratulations, Martie!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another face-palm moment

Recently, the California Academy of Sciences released this report card on American adults and their comprehension of basic science knowledge. It's absolutely abysmal.

This image pretty much sums it all up.


1 more reason to hate plastic bags.

I hate plastic bags. They're everywhere; gutters, trees, bushes, reservoirs, drainage basins, landfills, rivers, ponds, oceans. Anywhere you look, at any given time, chances are you'll see a plastic bag. If you live in the State College area, I encourage you to become active with local organizations like the ClearWater Conservancy, and help clean the area of plastic bags, bottles, and other products.

In today's issue of Science Daily, biologist Dr. Mike James of the University of Dalhousie, released a study that confirms leatherback turtles are consuming plastic. It is believed that the turtles are mistaking plastic bags as jellyfish, which makes up the primary portion of their diet.

In related news, Americans are once again behind the rest of the civilized world regarding conservation.

Disclaimer: this blog is in no way associated with the ClearWater Conservancy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Uhh, Ray? You might want to read this.

Science has once again trounced Ray's myopic worldview. From the New Scientist, March 10, 2009:
"For the first time, these scientists were able to demonstrate that the coevolutionary process is dependent on ecological conditions. Indeed, under certain conditions, the prey becomes resistant to the predator, which itself evolves so that it can attack this new prey. In addition, the scientists issued a warning against the previously envisaged use of this predator (Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus) as a "living antibiotic" because, like other antibiotics, this could lead to the selection of resistant pathogenic bacteria."
"Scientists in the Laboratoire √Čcologie et √Čvolution have used this type of experiment to understand how the environment influences the evolution of a pair of bacteria. One was the predator, Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, and the other the prey, Pseudomonas fluorescens. The predator penetrated the prey and killed it by consuming it from the inside. This predator is a relatively common bacterium, one which British researchers have suggested could be used as a 'living antibiotic'."
In other words, not only has evolution been observed in a lab (again), but the predator/prey relationship is now even more fully understood, and that evolution is beneficial to humans.

Don't cry, Ray.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let's talk about chimps, man

Chimps are brutal. And today we learn they're cunning. Whether it's the closest relative we have or not, why anyone would want to own one as a pet is beyond me.

Last month's chimp attack that left a Connecticut woman severely disfigured is nothing new. Although the brutality of the attack even makes me cringe. The woman, Carla Nash, lost both eyes, most of her face, her jaw, and both of her hands after the chimp attacked her. The chimp's owner, Sandy Herold, says she gave the animal Xanax shortly before the attack. I'm not so sure that the drug would have had anything to do with the attack, but it wouldn't surprise me. Still, though not as frequent as dog attacks, chimp attacks do occur.

In 2005, a California man was attacked by two chimps. They chewed off his nose, testicles, one foot, and parts of his buttocks. In 2006, 27 chimps escaped from an animal preserve in Sierra Leone, killing a cab driver and injuring 4 others. That same year, an Ohio State student was bitten by an 80 pound female chimp. Even in 2003, chimps in Tanzania were observed stealing and consuming human babies.

And just today, Science Daily released an article that reveals the results of a 10 year study of chimpanzees. Chimps held at zoos are displaying more intelligence than we give them credit for, calmly hoarding stones to throw at zoo visitors. Scary.

Seriously, chimps will jack you up.

Update: Not only are chimps cold, ruthless, calculating killers, they're also rather good at geometry and navigation!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I want to hurt this website.

Just when I think creationist fatheads like Kent Hovind and Ray Comfort are at the bottom of the intellectual food chain, I came across this website. I don't know whether to laugh myself sick or be completely terrified.

I was looking for Teach the Controversy, a website dedicated to exposing creationist lunacy. It's a rather humorous website. Click on this link to give them a visit, and while you're there buy a t-shirt so you can wear it proudly and embarrass your creationist friends.

Anyway, when I came across the other site, I saw the subdued picture of Jesus in the background I rolled my eyes and groaned. I almost clicked out of the site when I read:
"There has long been a scientific controversy about the theory of Heliocentrism. On April 30th 1633 even Galileo reconsidered this foolish notion."
I kept reading, and the longer I read the more dumbfounded and slack-jawed I became. They even have links to Florida Representatives so that flat-earthers, anti-evolution nutjobs, and geocentrists can write to and express their concerns. Such a representative is Alan Hays, a sponsor of the Evolution Academic Freedom Act, another stealth creationism bill. According to an April 29th, 2008 article at NPR, Hays challenged scientists by asking, "What are you afraid of? Are you afraid that our students are going to learn how to critically analyze a theory?"

No, Mr. Hays. Evolution has withstood 150 years of intense scrutiny by the brightest minds of our time. What we're afraid of are charlatans like yourself, who not only want creationism taught in public schools, but a very specific kind of creationism.

Authors of the site encourage its supporters to "feel free to mention that geocentrism should be protected."

Scared yet?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Faith in the US wanes

In January I wrote a post regarding the disparity between religious fervor and quality of life. Realizing that the decline of faith in Europe since the end of World War II played a role in a higher standard of living, my suspicions regarding faith and standard of living in in the US were confirmed. Generally, states with populations of little or no faith have higher standards of living and higher average IQ than states where religion is part of everyday life.

Fast forward to today. MSNBC has released an article that reveals religion, particularly tenants of Christianity and Judaism, have been in decline since 1990, yet Pentacostals and Mormons remain steadfast in their faith.

In related news, New Scientist has released an article that illustrates how faith may be the result of evolutionary biology. Through the use of MRI scanning, scientists at the NIH have released the results of a study that predict religious belief is the product of specific regions of the brain. It's rather ironic that a creationist's idea would be used against his own brand of religion. Even in 2007 the NIH released the results of a study that reveal traits such as altruism have only recently evolved.

In somewhat related news even the Catholic church thinks the disco tute is a joke; 1, 2.

Anti-evolution jackassery

The good people over at the National Center for Science Education released a series of articles that confirm Oklahoma, Florida, and Iowa are trying to push antievolution legislation in their respective states. I can't wait until this academic freedom crap goes the way of the dodo.

Just a heads-up. More to come.