Sarah Palin Movie Debuts to Empty Theater in Orange Countyhttp://www.theatlantic.com/politics/
( excerpt... )
Cripes, wasn't the reality show enough?
*Actually, no. Harry Potter is probably just more of a distraction.
|You're viewing senoritafish's journal|
Create a Dreamwidth Account Learn More
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...* ;)
"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."
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.
"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."