Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lady in Red

Sorry babe, but that red dress probably catches your man's eye because he's hungry.

Instead it may have evolved for its benefits in foraging - picking out ripe fruit - and was retained for mate selection, say André Fernandez and Molly Morris of Ohio University, Athens. Most primates have three colour receptors, so see a richer visual spectrum than other mammals, which have only two.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Biodiesel Primer

Courtesy of the Methanol Institute (PDF)

On a related note, I've begun reading Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy, and it looks like a very good read. I'll relate more when I've gotten a bit further into the text.

Don't ...

... flush your unused drugs down the toilet.

I doubt it comes as any surprise that these drugs eventually find their way into a water source, in this case a Florida river. And there is no excuse, short of a doctors instruction, to ever stop an antibiotic regimen.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Ode to the Microbe

The Microbe by Hilaire Belloc

The Microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen--
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so....
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!

A tribute to bugs

Common Cold by Ogden Nash

Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
In not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Führer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

I'm a Geneious!

... user that is.

Geneious - Developed by Biomatters

Possibly one of the best genomic utilities out on the market today. Their staff are excellent about responding to user wishes, and their product is of excellent quality. Things are made even better by the inexpensive price tag (under $200 for a years license). I liked Sequencher (when I had access to it and it's $3000+ price tag), but I love Geneious. If you do research, you need to try this software suite out.