Want to waste time? Procatinate!!

Happy Caturday!!! Now that it’s the weekend, you can waste all the time you want. Check out the Procatinator website. It pairs videos of kitties with some pretty awesome music. You can just keep clicking and clicking for kitty after kitty. You are welcome!!!

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Getting serious about science

There is a great opinion article from Sunday’s Washington Post by Congressman Jim Cooper and the chief executive of AAAS, Alan Leshner. It basically says the United States needs to get serious about science. We are investing a smaller share of our economy in our research efforts than seven other countries, including Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.  We also have several Congressman who are ready to mock research projects that have an odd name. However, several important discoveries have resulted from research projects with funny names. Also, many people do not realize that by increasing funding to research agencies such as the NSF and NIH, not only are you the taxpayer funding good research that goes through a scrutinizing round of reviews, but you are also helping give post-docs and grad students jobs. You are also helping Primary Investigators buy equipment for their lab, which more often than not comes from U.S. companies, thus in turn helping the U.S. economy. So, tell your congress person that you think funding research is important!!!

Read the full Washington Post article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/its-time-to-get-serious-about-science/2012/09/09/5b5c1472-f129-11e1-892d-bc92fee603a7_story.html

Fun Fish Fact Friday: The Anglerfish and sexy time

Anglerfish are pretty gruesome looking deep sea fish. They get their name from the filament growing out of their head that looks like a fishing lure. This lure is from a modified dorsal fin spine and often contains a fleshy bit at the end that has bioluminescent bacteria.

Anyway, we are here to talk about anglerfish sexy time. In one group of angler fish, the Ceratioids, the males and females have an unusual way of going about sexy time. You see, male ceratioids are small little guys with a powerful sense of smell. His only purpose in life is the find a female. So, using  his powerful sense of smell, he searches a female out. When he finds her, he doesn’t want to loose her, so he bites onto her. And then he releases an enzyme that dissolves his lips and the skin of the female. They end up fusing together down to the level of blood vessels. Then the male literally begins to waste away. He loses his digestive organs, eyes, heart, brain, everything until he basically becomes just  a pair of gonads sticking out the side of the female. These male gonads will release sperm in response to female hormonal changes which indicate the release of eggs. Females are often found with multiple “males” hanging off of them. Crazy, right!!! Look at the pics below.

Female anglerfish with male hanging off of her back. Photo found here: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/rss/podcasts/weirdfins/anglerfish.htm

Up close photo of male on female’s back.

The Oatmeal has a hilarious take on this in comic form. You can check it out here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/angler

 

Democrats remove specific reference to ‘God’ from official platform but retain numerous references to “faith,” “religion,” and “church.”

CNN Political Ticker

(CNN) – Democrats omitted the word “God” from their 2012 platform, a change from the party’s 2008 document and a noticeable split from Republicans, who mention God ten times in their official party stance.

In 2008, Democrats wrote, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

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Book Review: The Facts, by Philip Roth

The Facts is the autobiography of novelist Philip Roth.  If you’ve never read Roth, you should.  He’s famous for writing semi-autobiographical novels that are outrageously candid and extremely funny.  He has an ease and confidence about writing that allows him to create people and places that are simply aliveso alive, in fact,  that readers are often left wondering where fiction ends and reality begins. In The Facts, Roth attempts to lay out the real facts of his life as he seems them. But, as the book’s last chapter underscores, autobiography can never reveal the truth as candidly or interestingly as fiction can. Continue reading