Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Next One

Just how long is this interview?? Apparently in tomorrow's installment, Palin's not able to provide an example of a Supreme Court decision other than Rowe v Wade. Gotcha journalism, obviously. How many people would know about Dred Scott, Brown v Board of Education, Bush v Gore....

But that's tomorrow, here's today's. She doesn't really flub up in this one (by comparison), just comes out with some disturbing views - no abortions for any reason, Creationism as a valid theory that should be taught in the classroom, etc. Oh yeah, and she mocks Joe Biden's age...Joe Biden, the guy who is 6 years younger than her running mate. Plus there's the newspapers/magazine question that she couldn't answer - again another tough one.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Palin's Foreign Policy Interview

(that's my skull exploding to the right, in case the image isn't clear)

Did your parent's get you your passport?? Do you have to be rich and spoiled to be curious about the world beyond our borders?? Does not her answer to the question about why she's only had a passport for one year not a CLEAR example of elitism??

For all her stumbles in this interview (to the point of being painful to watch), I found her willingness to speak for the desire of all people around the world to live in a democracy the most worrisome. Who needs anthropologists, our work here is done. And her non-answer about the democratic process in Palestine resulting in the election of Hamas?? Did she really talk about foreign policy in terms of good guys and bad guys?? Are we in kindergarten?? Oiy!!

Watch CBS Videos Online

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hummus-eating Terrorists

I heard about this story today on NPR and thought surely, SURELY it was a joke. Nope. I just missed it last year apparently.

Here's the logic -- increased purchases of hummus will highlight the presence of a terrorist sleeper cell. Yep. Who needs torture??

Ya can't make this stuff up.

Feds Hunt Hummus and Pita Eaters
Wall Street Journal.com, November 12, 2007

Republicans Come Forward Against Palin

Because I want to be able to sleep at night regardless of the outcome in November, I recently volunteered for the Obama campaign, and plan to be rather vocal about Palin's lack of qualification. So, on that note here are some recent opinions from notable Republicans on said issue -- the first is an op-ed by a female conservative writer for The Nation (Kathleen Parker), the second an editorial by conservative author (David Brooks), third is a former Bush speech writer (David Frum), and the final by George Will.

Although they have been dismissed mockingly as "intellectuals" (ironically, by William Bennett - former Secretary of Education under Reagan, a Willams College and Harvard Law School grad, with a Ph.D. in Philosophy), methinks it shows a widening realization in the Republican party by thinking people.

Palin Problem: She’s out of her league
By Kathleen Parker
The Nation.com, Sept. 26, 2008

Why Experience Matters
September 16, 2008

David Frum: Palin the irresponsible choice?
by David Frum,
National Post, August 29, 2008

George Will: What has McCain found in Sarah Palin?
UnionLeader.com, Sep. 4, 2008

Creationist Silliness

Pardon me for 'beating up' on Sarah Palin....but it is so very easy to do. And necessary, because this is a scary woman.

Since the McCain campaign has claimed the press is sexist, it seems all the more important for women who disagree with her to stand up to say "thanks, but no thanks."

So today's Palin (not-so) fun-fact -- apparently she claims dinosaurs and humans coexisted 6,000 yrs ago...with footprints to 'prove' it. I wonder if she's actually seen them.

Palin treads carefully between fundamentalist beliefs and public policy
By Stephen Braun
Los Angeles Times.com,
September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008


This week's take on Sarah Palin, making fun of the Couric interview:

The actual interview:

Women Against Palin

Another somewhat late posting on my part, but one that didn't get a lot of attention at the time, so worth bringing up again.

On Sept. 13, 2008 the Alaska Women Reject Palin group held a rally that turned out to be the biggest in Anchorage history. It gained some attention because a conservative radio host referred to the women as "baby-killing maggots" and gave out the names and phone numbers of the organizers over the air. The first video below shows the rally, the second clip is the news coverage in Anchorage of the controversy related to the threats received by the organizers.

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

I meant to post this last week....better late than never.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lookin' Good

They looked pretty good today, I think we have us a quarterback! If they keep playing like this, with so many First Year and Sophomores on the team, there could be significant joy in Mudville for some time to come! Yay team.

Random Bytes

My candidate, myself: Even when faced with new facts and insights, most voters don't change their minds about their favorite candidates. A neurologist explains how they might
By Robert Burton;
Salon.com, Sept 22, 2008
...or as I read it, how some can still support Bush and/or Palin ;-)

Paul Newman: He used his fame to give away his fortune
By Dahlia Lithwick
Slate.com, Sept. 27, 2008
This came as a sad surprise this morning

The Mongolia Obsession
by Tim Wu
Slate.com, Sept. 26, 2008
Mongolia is the next place on my "must visit" list, so get ready for more articles ;-)

Team finds Earth's 'oldest rocks'
By James Morgan
BBC.com, Sept 26, 2008
Pretty cool, possibly pushes things back to 4.2 billion...and counting

Spidey and Colbert Team Up, Save Earth
By Scott Thill
September 24, 2008
Colbert is still a Presidential candidate in this world

Obama’s Science Quiz
By John Tierney
NYTimes.com, September 25, 2008
Here is the link to the Nature article: US election: Questioning the candidates

Caffeine Experts Call For Warning Labels For Energy Drinks
Sep. 25, 2008

Once Endangered, Now Recovering
Happy primate news...and cool slideshow

Obama's brain trust: Sixty-one Nobel laureates sign a letter explaining why they support Barack Obama's run for the presidency
By Janet Raloff
ScienceNews.com, September 26th, 2008
And the hits just keep on comin'...

Earth's Magnetic Field Reversals Illuminated By Lava Flows Study
ScienceDaily.com, Sep. 26, 2008
Pretty cool, and a phenomenon that I don't think gets enough attention in discussions of climate change

California bans texting while driving
Sept 26, 2008
Wouldn't ya think ALL states would mandate this??

Stone Age seafood fans
By Bruce Bower
ScienceNews.com, September 22nd, 2008
Neandertals munched on goodies from the Med

The art of journaling as you travel
By Rick Steves
Sept 26, 2008
Wisdom about the importance of travel, from a travel guru

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain Gets Caught

So does Sarah...but at least she's witch-free:

This is the video they are speaking about:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumnal Equinox

It was close to 80° today, so didn't feel very fall-like. But the bright sunshine was nice. And after a 13 hour sleep (went to bed at 5:30 pm last night, got up at 8am this morning) I was awake for all the sunshine. Amazingly, I still yawned much of the day, even after some caffeine. Too much sleep maybe?? Is there such a thing??

Saturday, September 20, 2008


'Twas fun while it lasted. For awhile today, it looked like last year's team was back on the field. They recouped a bit in the 4th quarter, but not enough. Ends the so-called 'home field jinx' for the Spartans.

Last week I scared Maz each time I cheered for ND...he slept well this week.

Random Bytes

Cleric: Church owes Darwin an apology
Sept. 15, 2008
So does Sarah Palin...

McCain Equates Embryos and Fetuses in Stem Cell Statement
By Brandon Keim,
Wired.com, September 19, 2008

World Faces Global Pandemic Of Antibiotic Resistance, Experts Warn
Sep. 18, 2008

Obama Campaign Reveals Science Advisors
By Brandon Keim
Wired.com, September 17, 2008

The presidential candidates on science
By Janet Raloff
September 17th, 2008

Accuracy, Efficacy And Ethics Of Abstinence-only Programs Questioned By Public Health Experts
ScienceDaily.com, Sep. 19, 2008

Is Wine What Flows Through the Fountain of Youth? GlaxoSmithKline bets $720 million that a new class of red wine-inspired drugs will slow aging in humans
by David Ewing Duncan
Discover.com, September 16, 2008

Ice Core Studies Confirm Accuracy Of Climate Models
Sep. 15, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Home Improvements

Well, all the dead light bulbs inside and outside my house now shine, all the clocks read the same/correct time, I have a new shed for the back yard, and my fridge is stocked with plenty o' split pea soup. Mmmm mmmm. Fun (and profitable, for me) visit with my parents ;-) In exchange for their hard work, I made mom some earrings, and bought Dad "the shirt". Pretty generous of me, eh? They head out tomorrow, and while I'll be sad to see them go, I think the cats will be in full fledged mourning.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Parents Arrival

My folks arrived today, without a hitch. The perfect weather probably helped. It was gorgeous here, with a week of comparable weather predicted. Got the house cleaned before they arrived, made some dinner, watched a NetFlix movie.

Quite evening tonight, fun day tomorrow, topped off with dinner at the Carriage House with Michael D.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Clean Water ?

The rain has slowed down considerably, but we're under a boil water warning thru Wednesday (or at least the area right near us is, so I'm playing it safe). The river's quite high, but I didn't see much evidence of flooding on the roads near campus.

Today I turned in my leave packet for next year. Now all I have to do is write all the grants to get it. Details.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Congratulations to Jerremy & Roese!!!!!

Muddy Waters

For those watching or at the game yesterday, remember the rain?? Turns out we got the most rain in a single day - 6.58". And it's still coming down. Supposedly this is Ike making his/its presence known. All kinds of flooding being reported -- the roundabouts near the airport are closed, Granger is starting to drown, and apparently mud from campus excavations is creeping out into intersections like 'the blob.' I'm keeping an eye on the river across the street. The ground is waterlogged, water is just pooling in the yard. Hope the basement is waterproofed...

UPDATE -- 10.77 inches and counting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Holy Crap!!

Today's big plan was to go visit my favorite bead store because it was their anniversary sale and "Psychic Fair." They have a fun bead selection, but are seriously into crystal power 'n such - sometimes it's a bit hard to keep a straight face while shopping there. Figured I could get a good tarot card or palm reading while taking advantage of their sale...no such luck. Damn, now how will I know what to do with myself tomorrow??!

Got home in time to watch the game. I was pretty tired, and clearly fell asleep -- indeed I'm in the middle of dream at the moment, where ND is playing like days of old against Michigan. Hope I don't wake up for quite some time!

UPDATE: Zzzzzzz 35(ND)-17(Michigan) zzzzzzzzZ

Random Bytes

Anthropologists Develop New Approach To Explain Religious Behavior
Sep. 10, 2008

Could Life Evolve on the Internet?
By Brandon Keim, Wired.com, September 09, 2008

Brains Wired Differently in Men vs. Women
By Andrea Thompson
08 September 2008

Invertebrate Astronauts Make Space History
By Brandon Keim, Wired.com, September 08,2008

Fingering What Make Us Human
By Mike Price
4 September 2008

Dogs And Cats Can Live In Perfect Harmony In The Home, If Introduced The Right Way
ScienceDaily.com, Sep. 9, 2008

Why rednecks may rule the world
By Joe Bageant
September 6, 2008

10 Questions for Sarah Palin: What ABC News anchor Charles Gibson should ask the candidate.
By Jack Shafer, Slate.com, Sept. 9, 2008

Africa's Unicorn Caught on Film
By Brandon Keim
September 11, 2008

My, What Big Teeth You Had! Extinct Species Had Huge Teeth On Roof Of Mouth
ScienceDaily.com, Sep. 12, 2008

Brewing A Great Beer: DNA Study Reveals Evolution Of Beer Yeasts
Sep. 11, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I've had it pretty good on the dinner front of late. Went over to Michael and Doug's this evening for a quiet visit because Doug heads out of town for about a week and a half tomorrow. Those men can cook!! Home grown veggies and herbs, GREAT pasta and chicken, tasty fare all around.

Dinner with the Rhodes Scholar folks tomorrow and Monday, my parents come into town from Wednesday thru Saturday...I should be able to milk this trend for at least another week ;-) The only problem is, I'm running out of food-related skeleton action figures!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mmmmm Mmmmm Good (Take 2)

Back from another tasty dinner at Trios. This time I went with a guest speaker - every year the Provost's office sponsors a "Distinguished Woman Speaker" - this year it was African-Americanist Professor Hortense Spillers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. It was great - I met several new faculty, and both the food and the conversation were terrific. 4.5 hours after we began we had to part company because the restaurant was closing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lunchtime Speaking Gig

Just back from giving a talk at Southfield Village, a retirement community on the south side of town. Lots of people, a fun crowd to speak to. And afterwards, they came up in droves to see the bad knees, feet, and vertebra I brought along. Almost all of them had at least one knee replaced, most wanted to see what the vertebra looked like, and the heel spurs - a big hit ;-)

I used my new Garmin GPS to get there. While a bit bossy, I arrived without a hitch. I think 'she'deserves a name, gotta work on that.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Shannon came to the lab today as a surprise (for me anyway, apparently everyone else knew). When she first walked in, I simply said "hi" because it seemed so natural. It took a minute to realize..."no, wait, she graduated."

Hugs all around. She's on the way to New Jersey (by way of Chicago ??) to start her new job.

Since she was there, we put her to work. Mary and Diana got her to help grade a few article summaries, Mark & Danielle needed help finding a bone, and I got her to show Diana how to use the bindng machine. The passing of the torch to yet another generation...thus keeping me from needing to learn how to use it for another 2 years ;-)


Here's our fun "plasticized" lab...till the roof is back on the building. Makes doing lab stations a bit tough, admittedly ;-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yay ??

They won. It's a "W". But the game was much closer than the score would indicate. This may well be another long season. But it's a "W".

Glad I unloaded the Michigan tickets before today's no-show of prowess.

Random Bytes

Open Source Textbooks Challenge a Paradigm
By Chris Snyder
September 01, 2008

Antarctic Research Helps Shed Light On Climate Change On Mars
ScienceDaily.com, Aug. 30, 2008

Researcher Walks Among Dying Baby Chimps
By Taranjit Kaur
August 29, 2008

Unexpected Large Monkey Population Discovered In Cambodia: Tens Of Thousands Of Threatened Primates
ScienceDaily.com, Aug. 29, 2008
(so when did gibbons become monkeys???)

Giant Clams Fed Early Humans
By Charles Q. Choi
August 28, 2008

How to Create the Perfect Fake Identity
by Bruce Schneie
Wired.com, September 4 2008

Gaming Evolves
by Carl Zimmer
Sept. 2, 2008

How to Fall Out of a Plane and Live, and Other Survival Tips
by Karen Rowan
Discover.com, September 5, 2008

Science Proves Exotic Cars Turn Women On
By Keith Barry
September 04, 2008

Oldest Skeleton in Americas Found in Underwater Cave?
by Eliza Barclay
NationalGeographic.com, September 3, 2008

Are Pamela Anderson and Michael Jackson In Love?
By Adam K. Raymond
September 3, 2008

Go Irish ??!

Today's the day. ND has to beat San Diego State, and by a wide margin, to have a chance to come back from last year's we-don't-want-to-talk-about-it season. Apparently hotels around town are feeling the pinch of last year's trouncing, as of yesterday they still had rooms open, which is the first time in years. So....


Friday, September 5, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

I got a call at 6:00 am this morning from the custodian of our lab building, saying there'd been "major damage" to the lab from the rains last night. Fortunately, I don't keep a phone in my room, so was blissfully unaware of the situation until I got up for class at 8:30. Since she has a tendency to "expand" on things, I decided - after a moment of panic, admittedly - to get ready for class and swing by the lab on my way to teach.

Sure enough, the front table had a line of trashcans catching water, and the teaching stations sitting out for Osteology class were full of water. The bones are quite waterlogged....but since most of them were in the ground for a long time, I'm assuming they'll dry out fine. My real concern was for the two big research collections.

Fortunately, they seem to be unscathed. My office however, is a different story. Drenched. On the up side...this is the excuse I needed to clean it I guess.

They've been "fixing" the roof for the past two weeks, and apparently the storms last night were strong enough to blow away the temporary coverings and allow the big leaks. A few days ago I finished cleaning out the Trace Element lab (we're turning it into a DNA lab) so it was empty. And Mark's lab just had a few puddles.

Could've been bad. In the end, just a bit of a pain. Got lucky!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mmmm Mmmmm Good!

Went to dinner tonight with Gene and Sarianna to a new restaurant called Trios Restaurant and Jazz Club. Great food, and even better company! It's been a very long time since we've gotten together, lots to catch up on. Nice end to a longish day.

Spent much of it working on a paper. A seemingly endless paper that I've been hammering away on since February. As a result, I was in a grumpy mood when I got a call from what I assumed was a telemarketer. Turned out it was the local Obama headquarters asking not for money, but for time. And after some thought, I said yes. I've never worked for a political campaign before - if there's going to be a first time, sure seems this is the one. So I said yes and start next week. Thus likely making me a telemarketer soon. Oh the irony ;-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Classic Daily Show

This is really quite funny --

Time for Summer to Be Done

I have to say, I HATE humidity!!! Today I 'swam' to class, and the walking barometer that is my hair proved it was a humid day. Yuck.

I blame Lesley. She was here all last week spending some quality time with the bones, and so I could catch a lift to class. But after 6 days, she hightailed it back to Columbus leaving me high and not-so dry. Meany!