Heterosexual Necrophilia in the Frog

What with homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck monopolizing attention, heterosexual necrophilia in frogs — especially functional necrophilia — has gotten scant mention. That imbalance is changing, largely due to this study: “Functional necrophilia: a profitable anuran reproductive strategy?” J.T. Izzo, D.J. Rodrigues, M. Menin, A.P. Lima and W.E. Magnusson, Journal of Natural History, vol. 46, […]

A knighthood for Geim—he of frogs, magnets & pencils

The man [pictured here] who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for using magnets to levitate a frog (a feat he accomplished together with a man who already had a knighthood) and then ten years later was awarded a Nobel Prize for having used scotch tape to tease graphene layers from a pencil, has now been […]

“No one had tried such a silly thing before” — Geim

With this idea in mind and, allegedly, on a Friday night, I poured water inside the lab’s electromagnet when it was at its maximum power. Pouring water in one’s equipment is certainly not a standard scientific approach, and I cannot recall why I behaved so ‘unprofessionally’. Apparently, no one had tried such a silly thing […]

What the frog’s eye tells the frog’s brain

The memorial for Jerry Lettvin — a full day of stories, scientific talks, and maybe even some performances — happens this Sunday (September 25), at MIT, in [building/room] 32-123, starting at 9:00 am. The photo here shows Maggie and Jerry, way back when. Maggie will be at the memorial. In case you’ve never seen it, here’s […]

Brandishing a handgun — for science!

Eric Weddle reports, in jconline: When Herbert C. Brown, Purdue University’s first Nobel Prize winner, walked into a hall at Harvard University circa 1960 and laid a handgun on the table, his audience got the point.”There was a joke going around that he should come armed because there was a lot of controversy at the […]

The Medical Danger of Kissing Toads

A 1999 medical report [see below] warned about children kissing frogs or toads. The Star newspaper says says of the new movie “The Princess and the Frog” that “More than 50 children have been taken to hospital in the US suffering from salmonella poisoning after the fairytale hit screens there in December.” The medical report […]