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Darwin 150 years later

My friend Tom Hayden has a great new piece in Smithsonian magazine on how Charles Darwin’s work remains relevant 150 years after the publication of The Origin. It includes a nice brief history of Darwin’s early years, the development of his thinking on common descent and natural selection, and most interestingly how new […]

Blogging in the college classroom.

I’ve been reading a number of reports from the recent ScienceOnline 09 science blogging conference in Raleigh, NC. The Southern Fried Scientist and Anne-Marie from pondering pikaia have some nice write-ups from the sessions they attended. What caught my attention most was a session titled Teaching College Science: Blogs and Beyond. I am […]

Great student science videos

The Southern Fried Scientist is having his Marine Invertebrate Zoology students produce 2 minute videos on scientific journal articles. They are really fantastic, especially one on the effects of reduced predation risk on mollusk evolution. What a great way to engage students in the literature and get them thinking about how to communicate […]

Eat fish and acidify the oceans

When teaching marine biology I warn my students that if they are there to just learn about sharks and dolphins they will be sorely disappointed, because only microscopic plankton have the biomass to really affect the oceans. Being an ichthyologist this always hurt a bit. A recent paper in Science has restored my faith […]

Sea kittens . . . really?

Next time you’re reeling in that fish, picture Whiskers or Fluffy hooked through the mouth on the end of your line. At least that is what PETA would like you to do. In a new PR campaign the animal rights group is attempting to rebrand “fish” as “sea kitten”. The rationale:

When your name can […]

Creepy Friday videos

That is if you find spiders creepy. And if you do, maybe your fears are well founded.

This shark video is only creepy if you were in the submarine, and the sharks actually posed a threat. Which they probably didn’t. But it is still worth checking out.

Limpets prepare for a hotter climate

Changing climates have the potential to wreck havoc on living things, which are often adapted to very specific local temperatures. These changes can alter the structure and, therefore, the function of the tens of thousands of proteins that keep cells and their owners alive. Yet, the presence of living things in extreme […]

Sociology accepts genetics

The long history of sociologists ignoring the role of genetics in human behavior is being challenged. The Chronicle asks:

If sociologists ignore genes, will other academics — and the wider world — ignore sociology?

Some in the discipline are telling their peers just that. With study after study finding that all sorts of personal characteristics […]

DIY coursecasting

With many of us going back to teaching in the next week or so I wanted to post about an application I have been using for the past three years to podcast some of my courses. Coursecasting, as this type of podcasting is called, is a great way to provide lecture material to […]

Holiday debauchery ain’t so bad

If the holidays and New Years has left you feeling that you took some years off your life, you’ll feel better reading this.

And if last night’s party got a bit out of hand and today you can’t smell the difference between lemons and vanilla, this may help you find out […]