Archive for February, 2009
If you are reading this chances are you find it worthwhile to surf and participate on the ever expanding information cloud known as the blogosphere. And I thought I’ll share a little nifty web-service called Gravatar that is fun to have for such purpose.
A paper published in today’s Science Magazine1 shows that citation of scientific papers increases as journals switch to allow free and unrestrictive access of their content online. This seemingly intuitive result becomes interesting when paired with the observation that open access has a great positive impact in developing world participation in global science.
My brother had the courtesy of regressing me to a time in our childhood that may be partially responsible for our choice to become professional scientists. You see, our parents had bought us a Batman comic book that came with an audio cassette. Playing the audio cassette, one could hear the story in voice acting and special effects while following the artwork. A bell ring would indicate when to turn the page.
In the story, “Trumping the Joker”, Batman and sidekick Robin chase after the Joker that had just escaped from Arkham Asylum and stolen a famous Picasso from the Gotham City Museum of Fine Arts. Great story. After apprehending the Joker and saving the Picasso the story ends with a short dialog between our superheroes that includes a profound, final reflection by Batman.
The propodeum is the subversive segment of the apocritan abdomen. As explained in a previous post, at some point during the evolution of Hymenoptera this first abdominal segment decided to part ways with its serial homologues and fuse with the thorax, forming a secondary tagma we call mesosoma. It is the Texas of the body’s segments so to speak.
Ever wonder how Charles Darwin gets celebrated the Mexican way? Well, with a piñata of course!
Meet the H.M.S. Beagle piñata.
If you are not familiar with Mexican culture I will just say that beating something with a wooden stick until it bursts into pieces is actually a sign of appreciation. I wasn’t there unfortunately, but I am sure the piñata was filled with exotic fruits and candy.
[Images courtesy of Rodolfo Salas]
Charles Robert Darwin was born 200 years ago today.
As celebrations start around the globe, I just want to recommend a wonderfully written essay on Darwin by Aussie philosopher of science John S. Wilkins:
Not Saint Darwin [pdf]
It is a piece on why do we celebrate Darwin today that provides food for thought for the rest of Darwin’s year.
Many insects produce chirping sounds by rubbing body parts against each other in a behavior know as stridulation. The structures involved have modifications specialized for this purpose thus forming a stridulatory organ.
Everybody likes popular science stories with clear and simple eureka moments. In the case of Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution his voyage on board the H.M.S. Beagle and exploration of the Galapagos archipelago usually serves for such narrative purpose.
If you are into rock music and wine, your dreams are about to come true this year. From the cellar of bass virtuoso and showman extraordinaire Les Claypool comes Purple Pachyderm, 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
When a group of successive segments along the arthropod body form a distinct section (by fusion, for example), the division is called a tagma (pl. tagmata). In the case of hexapods (= insects plus their primitively wingless cousins) the body segments are arranged into the three familiar tagmata: head, thorax and abdomen. › Continue reading
- Tom Waits