tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (the sound of torchwood)
This is just a drive-by post to share the latest evidence that biology is the most interesting field of study*:

A tiny aquatic insect called the water boatman produces the loudest sound relative to its size of any animal...by rubbing its penis against its abdomen.

My thoughts on this:

-I guess it's really not the size, it's how he uses it. 
-Imagine being Dr. James Windmill (why is a person with this name not studying renewable energy?) and trying to describe your research at a party.  Now imagine trying to describe it to your elderly relative.
-It's only a matter of time before some writer of erotic science fiction incorporates this research into porn about aliens with a similar adaptation.
-Evolution is hilarious.

*that's what she said!
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (tongue & science ten)
Hey, LJ!  I've been a bit quiet lately, but I'm still alive.  I'll try to make a more substantial post later, but for now have a bit of a link and vid spam. (A few of you have seen some of these already on Facebook.)


Whale-poo-sniffing dogs:  ladies and gentlemen, science in action.

Airdropping dead mice stuffed with acetaminophen over Guam to kill invasive snake:  if a cartoon evil overlord took up a second career as a conservation biologist, this sounds like the sort of plan s/he would come up with.  However, the brown tree snake situation in Guam is bad enough that all sorts of crazy stuff is worth trying.

Making bioluminescent plants:  You know the saying about sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? I think glowing trees would qualify.

Victorian Star Trek (via [livejournal.com profile] dameruth ):  photoshop win!

YouTube Stuff

three youtube embeds under the cut to spare your f'list )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (bored sherlock)
I've been doing too much mindless internet and too little in the way of productive activities lately.  However, I do have a few things to share with you, o flist.  Well, four things.  Well....four things and a manta ray.  Some of the things are vids, and some are my thoughts on various matters.

(1) Dance can express many things:  emotion, identity, sheer physical talent...and science.  Yes, science!  , Behold, the winner of chemistry category of the Dance Your PhD Competition, "selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using SELEX."  Both the idea of the competition and this specific video are AWESOME.

video and other the things under cut to spare your flist )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (r.o.u.s. gwen/lancelot)
Behold,  snakes in the MRI machine.

I bloody love science.

Meanwhile, apparently the whales are tired of being the damsels in distress of the ocean, always in need of saving.  One decided to strike out against humans, starting with yacht owners.  We're going to need a bigger boat.  I bet whoever took that photo is SO PLEASED with her/himself.

Finally, this is slightly old news, but I want to be sure everybody heard about the crash of a car full of people dressed as zombies.  Now, the official story is pretty entertaining, but I have to say that this is the most obvious example of a government cover-up EVER.  Clearly the government is using the "zombie costumes" excuse to conceal the beginnings of an undead outbreak that let people who sustained fatal injuries walk away from the car crash.  Yeah, like we're going to fall for that!  Hopefully the zombies have been transported to a containment facility...but failure of containment is inevitable.  Prepare yourselves accordingly. 

Maybe we can convince the whales to go after the zombies.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (Protect the environment!)
Check out this article on a newt that can move its ribs to turn their "spear-sharp" points into defensive spines, which entails STABBING THE RIBS OUT THROUGH ITS SKIN.  That's right, no convenient pore.  The spines cut through the skin every time!  It's okay, though, because the newts heal really fast.  It's Wolverine in newt form!  This is yet more evidence that biology is way more exciting than other sciences.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (forsooth)
Sign #529 that too much of my brain is occupied by Doctor Who:  while reading an issue of National Geographic with an article about Death Valley, I came across the passage below.

I am thinking specially of an area in the northwest section of Death Valley called the Racetrack, where, inexplicably, rocks as big as microwave ovens go zipping across the desiccated mud for distances of more than half a mile (880 m). The evidence is all there: deep tracks in the surface, with a rock at the end. One concludes, reluctantly, that the rocks somehow traveled a couple of hundred yards, leaving a telltale trail behind. There are over 150 of these roving rocks. But no one has ever seen them move.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking, friends?  No one has ever seen them move.  My first thought was "Hey, it's an ancestral form of the weeping angels!  They only move when no one's watching." 

Immediately after that came lots of thoughts about how weird the natural world is, how wonderful it is that we still have such mysteries on our own planet, how much geology rocks (cue pun groan), and whether I ought to add Death Valley to the list of places I want to visit (or stay the hell away since I tend to blink a lot!).  Still, that very first thought showed my particular brand of geekiness by combining evolution and DW.

The article (complete with sadly mundane explanation involving absolutely no wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff) is available here.


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