Close Encounters of the Fishy Kind

Hello readers. Sorry this post is so late in the day. The semester has started and I TA genetics in the fall, which means I am about 100x more busy than I used to be. Today I thought I would bring you another fun fish post.

Fish come in all sorts of amazing colors and shapes. I think that is why I like them so much. Well, today’s feature fish really looks like it is from out of this world. It’s the Barreleye fish, Macropinna microstoma. This fish has a transparent head!!!! And green lensed tubular eyes that have the ability to look straight up and forward!!! And you see them through its transparent head!! This fish lives in the deep ocean, where light is extremely scarce. Their eyes are super sensitive and help these fish detect prey in the dark. When you watch the video, the two little holes above the mouth are actually its nostrils. So, watch this video to see this crazy, awesome fish and keep reminding yourself that this is a real fish!! More info can be found at the link here: http://www.mbari.org/news/news_releases/2009/barreleye/barreleye.html

Bill Nye the Awesome Guy

Sorry for the dearth of new posts — classes start this week and my wife and I have been too busy to write.  But in case you missed it, here’s a quick interview with Bill Nye (the Science Guy).  In it, Nye discusses his  love of evolutionary biology. He says, “When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.”  So Nye’s in love with evolution and I am, too.

I guess we can share.

From Franklin to . . . Bachmann. Sigh.

Earlier today I wrote about Benjamin Franklin and his practical view of religion and rejection of unreasonable dogma. Reading Franklin gives me hope that it’s possible to elect brave, reasonable people — after all, this is the man that seized lightening from heaven.  But then I open CNN and am reminded of what kind of people we elect instead.  At an event for the Florida Family Policy Council, Bachmann linked weather to religion (again):

“At this moment in time we’re quite literally looking at a hurricane here in Florida. We’re looking at a political hurricane in this country. We are looking at a spiritual hurricane in our land. And it is time for each one of us to show up and suit up and stand up and realize that in this time and in this day we pour it out for Him.”

Someone’s walking in a fog, but it’s certainly not Franklin. Sigh.

The Religion of Benjamin Franklin

Lost month I read Walter Isaacson’s amazing biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.  I enjoyed that book so much that I went out and bought a copy Franklin’s own Autobiography, which is even better.  In addition to reading about Franklin’s life in his own words, the Autobiography provides fascinating insights into Franklin’s religion.  Today, many people would have you believe that the Founders were a group of super-powered politicians-slash-evangelical-Christians, but Franklin’s own words prove that false, like this statement: “My indiscrete disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people as an infidel or atheist.”  Just imagine a modern politician saying that! Continue reading

Caturday: Our fur covered children

If you have read out “About Us”, you now know we have three cats. I thought this Caturday, you could get briefly introduced to them.

First up is our oldest, Frank N. Beans. Frank is our special boy. He is the quintessential neurotic cat. He cries incessantly at the closet where the treats are kept. He runs about the house for no reason. He cries at the front door to get attention. He is a big jerk sometimes, but other times he is as sweet as he can be. I think all of his issues stem from him being declawed. As you can see, he is the king of camouflage.

 

 

 

Our next oldest is Maggie, a.k.a Magpie. I found her as a stray when I was an undergraduate. She was in itty bitty cutie hiding under the stairwell outside my apartment. I heard her meow and made hubby go get her because, I stated, “She came to me.” Maggie has to warm up to you, but when she does she is as sweet as can be, until she decides she is done with you. We think she is part Siamese and her fur has actually gotten darker over the years. She hides a lot and is often found in the hamper during the winters.

Our youngest cat child is Stephen Jay Gould cat, a.k.a Baby Jay. He is the cat my hubby considers to be his kitty soulmate. He is just the sweetest little thing and does nothing mean to no one. Poor buddy is at the bottom of the totem pole in the house, so he gets bullied by his older bubba and sister. Baby Jay constantly helps his daddy with reading and writing, which has earned him the nickname Editor Jay Jay.

 

So, yes we have three cats, and yes we treat them like kids. We have no human children of our own yet, so these guys get spoiled rotten. But they return a lot of love in return. These three knew I was feeling bad on Tuesday when I got my wisdom teeth out and they all took turns snuggling with me. So there you are, the three cats behind darwinbookcats.

 

Quoth the raven, “Nevermore”

Hubby and I went to Baltimore today. I wish it were for a fun outing, but it was to get my wisdom teeth extracted. Anyway, imagine our happy surprise when we found out that Edgar Allan Poe was buried right down the road from the University of Maryland Dental School where I was going to have said procedure. We left to give ourselves to pay our respects to an author before my wisdom teeth were “Nevermore”. Pictures for your viewing pleasure are below. Continue reading

Caturday: Cats are jerks

Have you seen this video? This guy is all like “Look how big of a jerk my cat is.” What’s really funny is that the hubby emailed me saying, “What’s the big deal. Frank (our oldest cat) is a much bigger asshole than this.” And this is true. I guess we should video tape him and put it on the internet.