senoritafish: (Angus HP Harry costume)
Heh, I maybe I should have a little more faith in my county...*

Sarah Palin Movie Debuts to Empty Theater in Orange County

excerpt... )

Cripes, wasn't the reality show enough?

*Actually, no. Harry Potter is probably just more of a distraction.
senoritafish: (Toki kitty)
After a lot of bad news about amphibians, a little good news! She's really pretty too!

Rainbow toad: Found after 87 years, first photo ever

senoritafish: (Default)
And something I should probably spend some time doing in the front yard before the city comes after us. Again. The grass gets mowed but the planters are sorry.

A philosophical approach to weeds...
senoritafish: (Nathan with reading glasses)
Paragraphs vs. Bullet Points: We Speak Now In A Hail Of Bullets

Good stuff to know. Yes, I use them completely wrong here; I quite often combine bullets and paragraphs. Or I'm just so long-winded I find it impossible to cut myself off at a statement per bullet.

One thing to remember for a Powerpoint presentation, though. Even if your talk is about them, DO NOT use little tiny squid as your bullets. From the back of the room, they look like something completely different.
senoritafish: (fisheries observer by ray troll)

Of course, most scientists are in term of their projects, which take on life as their children.

But some biologists especially, share a commonality with parents of very young children. Pre-potty-training children. In that you develop a fascination with poop. My boss forwarded me and my coworkers the following article:

Whale Shark Poops on Camera - Scientists Rejoice!!!!

If you're not anywhere near mealtime, my coworker found the actual video:

Shark-cam captures ocean motion

I suppose if McCain/Palin had found any similar experiments funded with government money, you can imagine the brouhaha they would have raised. However, studies like this are quite legitimate in terms of fisheries management and looking at the health of entire ecosystems. As the scientist in the second articles says, "One way to work out what is going in one end is to look at what is coming out of the other."

I work on a project that studies what are called Coastal Pelagic Species, that is, species of small fish that form large schools near the coast and are thus a target of fairly large fisheries by humans. The major species in my area are Pacific mackerel, Pacific sardine, northern anchovy, and market squid. Another term for the these species is "Forage Fish," meaning that numerous other animals - larger fish, birds, and mammals - use them for food as well. My agency once did a study of sea lion poo, maybe not as extensive as the articles linked to, but looking through for the undigestible hard parts - squid beaks, otoliths (fish ear bones), scales - that could then be identified to species and the proportion of that species in their diet. This became one variable in a large mathematical model called a biomass assessment, that predicts how much of a particular species is out there swimming around this year, and how it should be divided up to a) keep enough adults out there to spawn for next year, 2) allow enough fish to be eaten by all the other animals that prey on them, 3) provide a percentage of the total to allocate to the people who fish for them for a living. Throw climate change into the mix - the reproduction of many of these species is heavily tied to water temperatures - and it begins to make things pretty complicated.

Something to think about the next time you enjoy a tin of sardines. Or not...* ;)


*Enjoying the sardines that definitely should be thought about...
senoritafish: (60s lovechild)
Star Trek in actual science?

Star Trek's Deflector Shield Envisioned for Mars Mission

Apparently, the idea's been around since Trek was running, but some people think now it could actually work...for radioactive particles at least. I like how the demonstration graphic actually uses the Enterprise as the theoretical spaceship.
senoritafish: (Shiny!)
For some reason, most of the magazines that wind up in the bathroom are my spouse's, and while I'm not into sports and I don't do woodworking, occasionally I find really interesting articles. Popular Woodworking this month (a gift subscription from my father) has an article on Greene & Greene, brothers who developed their own particular style of the Art & Crafts movement in California. They designed homes and also the furniture that went with them. One of their homes, Gamble House in Pasadena, is open to the public. I've been on one of the tours many years ago, and it really is amazing. It all looks like it could be a giant-sized puzzle and every piece fits together perfectly. As it says in the article, the wood just begs to be stroked.

Article: Greene & Greene: Awakening of a Style

Online Slide show: Greene & Greene Masterworks (actually a pdf file)

The Gamble House website

There are a few of these Arts & Crafts style bungalows a few blocks away from me in downtown Huntinton Beach, but smaller and I don't think the interiors are as period, since people still live in them.
senoritafish: (fisheries observer by ray troll)
The Monitor has been running an interesting series on fisheries management:

Empty Oceans

Which I think is a bit of a misnomer because fisheries managers are trying to do their best to keep the ocean from being completely emptied. The most recent article, Alaska fishing: the merits and costs of a tamed frontier, could be echoed off almost every coast in this country, and in most of the meetings I attend for my job.
senoritafish: (Currently reading)
Since I have rather a lot of visible (and sometimes palpable) veins, I found this interesting:

Why Are Veins Blue?

Now I'm prepared for when Avalon asks me about all the marks on my legs next time I'm wearing shorts-not that I do often. Something akin to why the ocean is blue, and red fish look black when deeper than about 40 ft. (<-- is that the right depth? It's been a long time since I've been diving...)
senoritafish: (Default)
Hmmm, my daemon is a spider named Albus... )The first time I did this I got a moth, but the characteristics were about the same (feel free to check and see if you think this matches me. Or don't. It's hard to tell from written words, I know).

I've been looking forward to this movie, because I loved the books; however, from some reviews, it sounds like it may be suffering from the same problem Dune did - in trying to jam as much from the book into a two-hour movie as possible, it gets confused. Ah well, I will reserve judgement until I see it. I liked Dune better than I expected to.

The Monitor has an interesting Opinion piece, although really more on the books than the movie.

"In short, Pullman doesn't tell his readers what to think, but how to think. And to think, period. This, I suspect, is what Pullman's critics really find unnerving."

Is 'The Golden Compass' really anti-Christian? )
senoritafish: (Al runs)
Parallel Play - A lifetime of restless isolation explained

Great article on living with Asperger's in The New Yorker.

I especially like these quotes:
In the years since the phrase became a cliché, I have received any number of compliments for my supposed ability to “think outside the box.” Actually, it has been a struggle for me to perceive just what these “boxes” were—why they were there, why other people regarded them as important, where their borderlines might be, how to live safely within and without them.


Caring for inanimate objects came easily. Learning to make genuine connections with people—much as I desperately wanted them—was a bewildering process. I felt like an alien, always about to be exposed. Or, to adapt another hoary but useful analogy, not only did I not see the forest for the trees; I was so intensely distracted that I missed the trees for the species of lichen on their bark.


The class work, hardly less humiliating, was at least more private. If I wasn’t deeply interested in a subject, I couldn’t concentrate on it at all—those dreadful algebra classes, those Bunsen burners, the mystifying and now deservedly extinct slide rule! Late in each semester, when it became obvious to me that I had no idea what I was supposed to have learned, I’d attend some makeup classes and try desperately to pay attention. As the teacher rattled on, I would grind my teeth, twirl the tops of my socks around my index finger—once I poked myself repeatedly through my pocket with a pin—anything to keep my mind engaged. But it was impossible: a leaf would fall outside the open window, or I’d notice the pattern of the veins on a girl’s hand,or a shout from the playground would trigger a set of irresistible associations that carried me back to another day.

And then the dream was ruptured by the sound of a bell; the class was irrevocably over, and I knew no more about quadratic equations or beryllium than I did an hour before. Failure was now assured, and the count down began to the Dies Irae, when my report card would land me in trouble again, for my father was incredulous that a boy who blithely recited the names and dates of the United States’ Presidents and their wives couldn’t manage to pass elementary math and science.


Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:46 am
senoritafish: (Shiny!)
Silly squiddy quizzes... )

And the biggest squid ever caught....
(this is a colossal squid, which is different than a giant squid)

Another story on it:
senoritafish: (pensive)
More info on that boat sinking... )
senoritafish: (Default)
Two related studies found that two-thirds of male fish near the Orange County pipeline had egg-producing qualities.

Holy crap. Two-thirds?! That's pretty scary.

article )
senoritafish: ( you too buddy...)
Hmmm, this appears to give some confirmation to what you said, Onna. Although it is an Op-Ed piece by the head of another relief agency and not investigative reporting. Forgive me, but I always like to dig around for myself and I had been trying to find out a bit more. I'd like to find the articles mentioned in this one. I asked a few other people what they'd heard - John's grandmother said the Red Cross had gotten thrown out of Port Huron MI, although I missed exactly what for.

The Red Cross Money Pit... )

However, Snopes has this to say:
senoritafish: (Default)
John sent me this:

Glaxo's Advair and Serevent, known as salmeterol, carry a "black box" warning on their packaging about one study which showed people taking Serevent had a higher, albeit small, risk of life-threatening asthma attacks and deaths.

Not the main gist of the article, but John uses Advair. Every once in a while we run into a situation where his medication simply does not work, and he winds up in the emergency room. Nice when the drug you're taking to prevent something simply makes it worse. Would a once a day drug mean less risk?

Also a little disturbing to me is the mention in the article of how much money the drug companies stand to make from it when it's approved. I know they're not charities, and are in this to make a profit; however, it just makes me wonder how much vested interest they have in people staying sick and more people getting sick. Of course, I have no idea what proportion of their income this is, and I suppose it's there to attract investors for more research, but still, it's a niggling thought.

article... )
senoritafish: ( you too buddy...)
Arrgh! The dinosaurs in Cabezon have converted. And did you know there were baby dinosaurs on the ark?

This article was mentioned at lunch yesterday and VT brought it in for me today.

I've driven by here countless times but have never stopped there. It's on Highway 10, between Beaumont, where Beth used to live, and Palm Springs. Doubtful I ever will stop there, now. Makes me feel a little ill. You know, I don't follow a religion now, but even in the one I was raised in, it was the spiritual world that mattered. Not the material one. Evolution was not an issue because it was part of the material world. It also did not advocate forcing your views on everyone surrounding you, because they stopped for a coke and a potty break in the middle of the desert.

Faith is not science. They don't follow the same rules. Science does not work by just believing in something. It requires proof.

"And it's not like they're crying, 'Oh, mommy, take me out, I'm scared.' They're drawn to (dinosaurs)" Chiles said. "There's something in their DNA that knows man walked with these creatures on Earth."

*retch* DNA doesn't know anything. It's a molecule that's found a very good way to replicate itself. Sometimes it accidentally gets changed along the way. If the change doesn't kill the cell containing it, it replicates and forms more cells. I'm not sure why a creationist even acknowledges DNA actually exists, when it's the very vehicle evolution runs on. I suppose he thinks it makes him sound more credible - to people who are impressed by throwing scientific acronyms around. Think he even knows what the letters stand for?


article )

Grrr. The cafe there was featured on the Road Food section of NPR's the Splendid Table a few years and rated very highly on their pie. I'll bet it sucks now.
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
Santa Cruz is prettier and has more character, granted, but hey, HB is my hometown!

article... )
senoritafish: (Default)
This was forwarded to me with the subject "Yay for biologists!" However, I should point out the disclaimer within:

"I know a marine biologist who drives a taxi to help make ends meet."

article )


senoritafish: (Default)

August 2011

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