Specialized Looking: “How Eating Shapes Antarctic Tourists’ Perceptions of Climate Change”

‘Meals as Micro-rituals: How Eating Shapes Antarctic Tourists’ Perceptions of Climate Change’ is the title of a seminar that happened on January 14, 2022, online, organized by The SOAS Food Studies Centre in London, UK. Professor Clare Sammells of Bucknell University led the micro-exploration. This was one of the few scholarly gatherings to address in […]

Nit-Picking Confidence, Algorithmically in Parallel

For people who like to find faults, good  news appeared in 1989, in this study: “Locating Faults in a Constant Number of Parallel Testing Rounds,” Richard Beigel, S. Rao Kosaraju [pictured here], and  Gregory F. Sullivan, Proceedings of the First Annual ACM Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures, March 1989, pp. 189–198. The authors, at […]

Everything: What’s Missing Is What Gets Scientists Most Excited

What makes most scientists most excited is the same thing that—if they’ve heard about it—makes many non-scientists wonder if scientists are nuts: Way more than half of “the stuff the universe is made of” is still a mystery to scientists. Which may strike you as a crazy thing to realize, and a crazy thing to say. […]

Secrets in the Scat

Yes, the wombat-cubical-poo acceptance speech at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony does get a moment in the sun in the NOVA television documentary “Secrets in the Scat.” NOVA describes the episode this way: “Scott Burnett is ‘Scatman’—an Australian ecologist on the trail of the secrets of poop. By identifying and analyzing animal scat for DNA […]

Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats: When, Where, How Many, Why

All the traditional (in some traditions, if not all traditions) basic questions about southern hairy-nosed wombats are addressed in a doctoral thesis: “Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats: When, Where, How Many, and Why,” Michael Swinbourne, Ph.D. thesis, University of Adelaide, School of Biological Sciences, 2019. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.)    

Exchanging Shit for Brains, Postmortem [research study]

Although they perhaps were not allowed to say it plainly in their published study, three scientists have identified a clear case of exchanging shit for brains. Details (with some euphemisms) are in the study: “Coprolites From Calvert Cliffs: Miocene Fecal Pellets and Burrowed Crocodilian Droppings from the Chesapeake Group of Maryland, U.S.A.“, Stephen J. Godfrey, […]