Thursday, 1 December 2011

By on December 1st, 2011 in Barbara, writing

09:22 – I did manage to finish the fungi group yesterday, and got started on plants. Right now, I’m working on a lab session entitled “Ancient Plants: Mosses and Ferns”. I’m thinking about creating a new biological taxonomy, with kingdoms called green stuff, brown stuff, black stuff, white stuff, pink stuff, yellow stuff, blue stuff, and so on. Generations of biology students will sing my praises. Well, perhaps not. I’d still have problems with some paracoloritic phyla and genera like blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).

Barbara’s birthday is tomorrow, but I’m not supposed to say anything. She turns 0x39. She didn’t give me any good gift ideas, so I think I’ll give her some Petri dishes and maybe some Eppie tubes.

19 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 1 December 2011"

  1. Brad says:

    …filled with interesting biological experiments, of course…

  2. Miles_Teg says:

    Friday 1st? Do you mean Thursday 1st? (Yes, I know it’s Friday *here*…)

  3. Dave B. says:

    Barbara and my wife share a birthday. So thanks for reminding me that tomorrow is my wife’s birthday. Although, ironically, I have already bought her presents and had them wrapped for almost a week.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oops. Day fixed. It sure feels like it should be Friday.

  5. Jim Cooley says:

    It DOES feel like a Friday!

    New Algorithm Can Predict When a Driver Will Run a Red Light

    “According MIT News, the team tracked more than 15,000 cars at a busy intersection in Christianburg, Va.”

    BIG mistake here: driving behavior greatly varies by state and location.

    Seattle drivers are passive-aggressive and timorous
    Ohio drivers are herdlike, tail-gating sheep
    Bay Area drivers are all over the map when it comes to behavior
    LA drivers are disciplined, orderly and fast (my favorite place to drive)

    Can’t speak of New York, but in India red-lights are a mere suggestion to stop! :p

  6. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Everyone in Indiana thinks they are driving the Indy 500. They will zoom around you, just to be first in line at the red light ahead, which both of you can see.

  7. Jim Cooley says:

    Everyone in Indiana thinks they are driving the Indy 500. They will zoom around you, just to be first in line at the red light ahead, which both of you can see.

    There you go! My fear is that this one study by “experts from MIT” will result in a slew of applications which won’t work among a general population because the initial sample was too limited.

    Bad science.

    Another example I see of the same error is recruiting for medical studies on Craigslist. Self-selection is an error-prone inclusion mechanism.

  8. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Very important point, that last one. It has already ended up with litigation casting a long shadow over the results obtained. I am not sure how one gets patients to test drugs without paying them, but the drug companies will accept no responsibility whatever, if you end up sick or dead as a result of the test.

  9. OFD says:

    I learned how to drive at 16 in the Boston suburbs and Boston itself.

    Someone mentioned red lights?

    Excuse me while I clean all the splatter of my beverage from the room here and take an aspirin for my aching gut muscles.

    Jeezum, youse guyz have NO mercy.

  10. OFD says:

    In other nooze, this from Mr. J. Cleese:

    “John Cleese writes..ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2011 EUROPE
    The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist
    threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed”
    to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to
    “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.”The English have not been “A Bit
    Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when Tea supplies nearly ran
    out.Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody
    Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance”
    warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
    The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s
    get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the
    reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for
    the last 300 years.
    The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its
    terror alert Level from “Run” to “Hide.”The only two higher levels in
    France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by
    a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively
    paralyzing the country’s Military capability.
    Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly”
    to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain:
    “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
    The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful
    Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also
    have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”
    Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only
    threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
    The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to
    deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new
    Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
    Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries”
    to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain:
    “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and
    “The barbie is cancelled.”So far no situation has ever warranted use
    of the final escalation level.”

  11. OFD says:

    The Repubs are like unto the bunch of bozos all streaming forth from that tiny little cah in the circus. Mittens is a corporate robot who belongs to a very strange cult. Bachmann is one of the Stepford Wives who came out of her trance and is now wired for sound and on a galactic krusade. Cain jest caint git out of his own way and meanwhile keeps getting zinged by professional hit artists on sex stuff. You caint make this stuff up. And Gingrich is a complete disaster with a personal marriage history for the books and whose current spouse would give Plastic-Face Pelosi a run for her money. Here’s Gingrich on his first wife, his former teacher, and older than him:

    “She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.”

    A real sweetheart who would happily execute drug users, apparently, and who just has one swell techno idea after another.

    Would any of these clowns be an improvement over The Incumbent?

    Not really. They will do the same old shit, and be beholden to the same old Wall Street nabobs and perfumed princes at the Pentagon. Hell, The Prophet, Barack Hussein, many blessings be upon his name, went Shrub one better across the board; on unsuccessful foreign clusterfuck wars; on the continued destruction of our personal liberties and freedom; and his clearly mad-dog neo-Marxist-Leninist objectives at every turn. Whoever replaces him, if anyone, will continue the downward spiral of the old American republic, and events overseas and at home may well accelerate the process.

    Gonna be a wild ride soon, gents.

  12. Chuck Waggoner says:

    I think Marx would have a chance on the Repub ticket, if they could find him.

  13. Chuck Waggoner says:

    This article by Joseph Stiglitz

    is about the best thing I have read on the outcomes of the problems in the EU that are actually possible. Complete collapse of the Europe, as frequently mentioned here, is not a real possibility, barring a worldwide recession. Stiglitz points out clearly that the real threat to the EU’s survival is if the member states do not feel they are benefiting from the union. The whole of the austerity measures Germany has demanded is nuts. Greece is suffering badly. If they get whipped, instead of helped, of course there is no reason for them to stay in the EU. Ditto Italy. Spain, Portugal, and Ireland still have positive GDP that exceeds their debt obligations, so they are not in real trouble — except that what Germany has done will likely slow down GDP growth everywhere in Europe even more. You would think with the Austrians right next door, Germany would have learned more from them.

  14. BGrigg says:

    I think Marx would have a chance on the Repub ticket, if they could find him.

    Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo or Zeppo?

  15. Miles_Teg says:

    Dave, I tried running the above through Google Translate, but didn’t know which language to put in the “From” box.

    I’m hoping Gary Johnson gets up. Yeah, I know, fat chance.

  16. brad says:

    @OFD: I also drove in Boston for a few years. I eventually realized that there is really only one traffic rule: The car worth the least has the right-of-way. I bought a new car while I was there – big mistake…

  17. OFD says:

    Sorry you had to find that out the hahd way, Brad. And, actually, there ARE no rules there. Whatevuh.

    Central streets still laid out as the cow and hog paths they were 300 years ago.

    Driving as the real life version of the film sport Rollerball, starring the great Jimmy Cahn.

    One-way signs and other traffic “controls” maliciously designed to funnel your sorry ass into the wrong direction, up a blind alley, or into a notorious drive-by drug dealer shooting boulevard like Blue Hill Ave in Daw-chestuh.

    Where delivery truck drivers will run your pedestrian ass ovuh and where they will argue violently and threateningly with cops armed with guns all the time ovuh nuthin’.

    Where your life ain’t worth a piss-hole in da snow, bruthuh.

  18. Chuck Waggoner says:

    I loved driving in Boston, precisely because there are no rules. Well, actually there are, but they are easy to learn and are based on “keep moving”. The one I loved is just slowing down for stop signs and 4-way stops. THAT makes sense. Even the cops rolled through stop intersections. Here I am back in Hoosierland, where I have to come to a complete stop — even when there is no car anywhere in sight — because some cop could be hiding just around the corner and slap me with a ticket. Turning left in front of oncoming traffic and they will wait for you, pulling out in front of other traffic and they will wait for you too, refusing to use directionals (turn signals for the rest of you) — all part of the wonderful experience that is driving in Boston. No horns, either. If you ever hear a horn in Boston and look to see, it is either a taxi driver who is a foreigner, or somebody with out-of-state plates. The horn on my car was broken for who knows how long. I never even knew it until we drove it to Indiana, where horns are evidence of anybody with a modicum of testosterone.

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