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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Wings in the Morning: Insect Evolution

From a NY Times article by Carl Zimmer
The oldest living lineages of insects - which include bristletails and silverfish - number only 900 species today. These early insects may not have been able to become very diverse because they didn't have wings. When insects later evolved the ability to fly, they gained the ability to explore more territory and find new kinds of food - giving rise to more species.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Glue; Links; Nursery Rhymes

Say you want to attach leather to ceramic, or glass to wood, what glue do you need? This site will tell you. It also has some interesting trivia. For instance:

When you are sucking in all the toxins from your cigarette, you can rest assured that the glue used to hold it together is completely non-toxic. It is made from a combination of casein (milk) and wax (to increase moisture resistance), and is absolutely harmless.
Sets my mind at ease. Think I'll have another smoke.

I found that site through this page of links, which also led me to some nursery rhymes:

I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why, I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.



Monday, November 21, 2005

The Strange, Sad Case of H.M.

In 1953, at one go, in a procedure radical even for the time (when brain shocks and lobotomies were — pardon the pun — cutting edge treatments for brain disorders), this man had the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices sucked out of his brain as an experimental cure for epilepsy. Strangely, it didn't work. What it did do was greatly affect H.M.'s ability to remember. As horrible and criminal as the operation was, his case has been helping scientists research the mechanisms of memory ever since.

I first came across this story this summer when I was looking for books on memory and found Memory's Ghost: The Nature Of Memory And The Strange Tale Of Mr. M at the local library. Worth a read.


Monday, November 14, 2005

"Quad" Erat Faciendum

Rich Lederer's Baseball Beat over at Baseball Analysts is one of the best baseball columns you will find anywhere. Not only does Lederer have a firm grasp of statistics, he is able to discuss and frame those statistics in cogent and readable prose. Today, in The 2005 Quad Leaders, he looks at the top offensive players of the past season.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chew On This

Gum Blondes, portraits in chewing gum by Jason Kronenwald (site requires Flash). Would you call them masticreations ... mastipieces? I guess you could say they have a certain mastique.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Zapato Productions intradimensional

“Serving The Paranoid Since 1997.” Find out the truth about "Belgium," and about black helicopters. Introduce yourself to Metric Time, and learn how to make an aluminum foil beanie.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Web Economy Bullshit Generator

Would you like to deploy mission-critical experiences, or iterate efficient channels and harness integrated initiatives in order to incubate robust functionalities? Then this is the place for you.

Flashies

A collection of odd little flash animations/applications. You may find some of these disturbing (Smile).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Autumn Leaves

A look at a couple of possibilities as to why leaves might turn particular colours in the fall. Curious. I don't have enough information to lean one way or the other, but I will note that most of the elms around these parts are not all that healthy and that their leaves turn yellow.

More on White Sox Home Runs

Following up a previous post in which I showed that hitting homeruns had a lot to do with the White Sox's postseason success, I'll point to Dan Fox's list of the 2005 regular season team-by-team percentages of runs scored via the homerun. The White Sox check in at 42.4%, good for fourth in the majors. Yep, small ball all the way. Here are the top five.

Team          RS   RS-HR     Pct
TEX 865 413 47.7%
CIN 820 364 44.4%
NYA 886 390 44.0%
CHA 741 314 42.4%
CHN 703 296 42.1%