Archive for May 11th, 2007
The cats, they still amuse me. I do wish I knew how cheeseburgers became part of the meme, however.
Like Bigwig said -
Treasure, treasure everywhere and not a drop to….. I am quite concerned about the turtles eating the foam, though. “If birds or turtles ingest that stuff, it clogs up their guts, and that’s bad,” Cahoon said.
Can you imagine having your guts clogged up?
Doritos, foam, what next??
Sweet! I am heading to the beach right now.
Like any human process, peer review is……somewhat flawed.
Peer review, on which lay people place great weight, varies from important, where the editors and the referees are competent and responsible, to a complete farce, where they are not. As a rule, not surprisingly, the process operates somewhere in the middle, being more than a joke but less than the nearly flawless system of Olympian scrutiny that outsiders imagine it to be. Any journal editor who desires, for whatever reason, to knock down a submission can easily do so by choosing referees he knows full well will knock it down; likewise, he can easily obtain favorable referee reports
When your research implies a “need” for drastic government action to avert a looming disaster or to allay some dire existing problem, government bureaucrats and legislators (can you say “earmarks”?) are more likely to approve it. If the managers at the NSF, NIH, and other government funding agencies gave great amounts of money to scientists whose research implies that no disaster looms or no dire problem now exists or even that although a problem exists, no currently feasible government policy can do anything to solve it without creating even greater problems in the process, members of Congress would be much less inclined to throw money at the agency, with all the consequences that an appropriations cutback implies for bureaucratic thriving.
A new suspect in the Colony Collapse Disorder Mystery: Killer Bee…tles.
Sitting with him in his room at Asbury Gardens retirement center in North Aurora, it would be easy to dismiss the 101-year-old man’s theory as the rantings of a senile centenarian. Until you realize that Cummings, despite his impressive age, is still as sharp as, well, the stinger on a bee. And having worked with the little honeys for 85 years certainly helps give his theory some credence.
Besides, “he’s a thinker,” says his granddaughter, Karen Ginn of Montgomery. “He looks at things from every angle and usually comes up with the right answer.”
And that answer is? A type of black beetle that has come to the United States from the jungles of South America by jumping on the backs of imported bees — and quite literally eating the queen and her workers out of house and home.
One problem with the beetle hypothesis is Cummings’ description of the post-collapse hives, which differs somewhat from this WaPo description of the same behavior.
A beekeeper will crack open the lid of a hive and peer into honeycombed frames full of stored pollen and honey and with cells brimming with ghostly white bee larvae, abandoned and doomed, and see none of the quivering mass of honeybees needed for the queen and her offspring to survive. It is the equivalent of encountering that 19th-century ghost ship, the Mary Celeste, except we are talking whole armadas of empty hives.
But that article goes to claim that “One notion with currency in the blogosphere is that the bees are making their rapturous ascent into heaven in advance of Judgment Day.”. Given Adrian Higgins’–the WaPo gardening editor, for god’s sake-apparently straight faced promulgation of that ludicrous claim, who knows whether or not one can trust the rest of the article.
Postscript: The closest thing I can find to is a Boing Boing link to a Harper’s weekly news review which says “Grapes, which self-pollinate, and olives, which are pollinated by the wind, will not be affected by the bees’ disappearance; Christians pointed out that the Book of Revelation predicts that a famine sparing grapes and olives will precede the apocalypse.”
If this is what passes for intellectual “currency,” these days, then we’re all living in a sort of Zimbabwe of the mind.