Category / Animals
“It is actually a very serious matter for finch lovers.”
One more finch tweeting post before I go – thanks for having me, Ed!
Ladies and gentlemen, the storied sport of finch tweeting. (via the avian dialectologists and comparative Belgianists at Language Log)
What will Japan boy do next?
this is what writers email each other about
no, Japan boy, no!
very ugly dog (now deceased):
what is this
I’m not sure what this place is or what I’m doing here. I got an email with a login URL, a username, and a password. I forgot about it for half a day then emailed back asking what I should be doing with this. Then I remembered a few days earlier, someone asked me if I wanted to guest blog somewhere. But I didn’t know when. Now I realize that when is now. The reason Ed didn’t return my email is because he’s away; that’s why he needs guest bloggers.
I’m a stranger here, I think.
Here’s an interview with me that was posted on Michelle Lin’s blog today.
In the interview I talk about my book and about how my dog attacked me when I was five. We put the dog “to sleep.” That’s a phrase I like.
Here’s my book, which is called Fires.
Another novel you might like is The Magus by John Fowles. It’s very good.
I’m tired. I ate many oysters tonight, as well as some mango sorbet.
Here’s the beginning of a new novel, which I may never finish:
Strangelets pass through the planet at 900,000 miles per hour. Space is a great river, the earth is a porous cloth, and in the water are strangelets. (Or you might say they’re a part of it, actually.) Other things in, or of, the water: neutrinos on their way from the sun in the trillions of trillions, muons careening out of deep space, and perhaps even the ghostly and sluggish Weakly Interacting Massive Particle, which no one is sure exists. Those things are all passing through the planet—easily, in numbers beyond comprehension. They are passing through your face now—your eyes and teeth and hair.
Here’s a post on my blog about accidentally going to a gay pool party this weekend.
Three Color Blind Mice: See How They See
Scientific American: “According to Gerald Jacobs, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the research that allowed these mice to see in full color was an attempt ‘to replicate what must have been the first stage in the evolution of primate color vision.’ The ability to see the world as humans do, he says, ‘requires an additional sensor—or photopigment—and the nervous system being able to compare the signals.'”
Of Course, This All Assumes That Humans Aren’t Animals
New York Times: “Dr. de Waal, who is director of the Living Links Center at Emory University, argues that all social animals have had to constrain or alter their behavior in various ways for group living to be worthwhile. These constraints, evident in monkeys and even more so in chimpanzees, are part of human inheritance, too, and in his view form the set of behaviors from which human morality has been shaped. Many philosophers find it hard to think of animals as moral beings, and indeed Dr. de Waal does not contend that even chimpanzees possess morality. But he argues that human morality would be impossible without certain emotional building blocks that are clearly at work in chimp and monkey societies.”
Where Modern Love Meets the NYT Science Beat?
New York Times: “Scientists have found other species in which males encourage their own cannibalism. One remarkable twist on this strategy is seen in a species of orb-weaving spiders. The males suddenly die as they mate. The male’s death may be a strategy for preventing other males from mating with the female. In death, its sexual organ becomes stuck in the female’s receptacle. Even if she feeds on the rest of his body, the organ remains behind, preventing her from receiving more sperm.”
So Long and Thanks for Everything But the Fish?
New York Times: “Far from being slow learners, manatees, it turns out, are as adept at experimental tasks as dolphins, though they are slower-moving and, having no taste for fish, more difficult to motivate. They have a highly developed sense of touch, mediated by thick hairs called vibrissae that adorn not just the face, as in other mammals, but the entire body, according to the researchers’ recent work. And where earlier scientists saw in the manatee’s brain the evidence of deficient intelligence, Dr. Reep sees evolution’s shaping of an animal perfectly adapted to its environment.”
IOL: “The gorilla is threatened with extinction by the mid-21st century if poaching and destruction of its habitat continue at the current rate, the United Nations (UN) has warned. Within a decade, three of the four sub-species of the great ape could be wiped out, it says.” (via Number One Hit Song)