Happy Birthday Mark Twain

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. – Mark Twain

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.
– Mark Twain

Yup, today is Mark Twain’s 174th birthday (if I have done my math right) Twain was born on 11/30/1835

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
– Mark Twain

Update: As Duane points out it is actually Samuel Langhorne Clemens’ birthday. Being an ardent fan, I am of course, embarrassed at my faux pas. Continue reading

Congratulations to the Ladens!

The are the proud parents of Huxley D. Laden. Go congratulate them!

150th Anniversary of The Origin of Species

And what should arrive in my mailbox for review? A copy of Darwin in Galapagos: Footsteps to a New World. Cool! I’ll be reviewing it when time permits. At any rate, here is a bit from The Origin of Species: Continue reading

Luskin on National Geographics Website? Why?

National Geographic has an Intelligent Design vs. Evolution feature that gives some time to Casey Luskin. One has to wonder why. To their credit National Geographic counters Luskin with Don Prothero. An example, in talking about the evolution of whales we get this nonsensical argument from Luskin:

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In Memorium: Dell Hymes

The New York Times is reporting that Dell Hymes has passed away – apparently of complications due to Alzheimer’s. Although Hymes was primarily interested in linguistics, I am most familiar with him through Reinventing Anthropology a book he edited that was quite radical and groundbreaking for it’s time. It still holds up well.

Weird Crocodilyforms of the Sahara

National Geographic has an interesting story about some interesting crocodilyforms that have been found in the Sahara.
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Damn! Comfort Is Passing Out Copies of The Origin Early

Apparently Ray’s plans have changed. Anybody out there snag an extra copy that they would be willing to donate to a 3.5-2.8 million year old hominin?

Gompotherium and Clovis

Why I Hate Theropods has an interesting story on two juvenile gomphotheres found in association with Clovis tools. The find dates to ~13,000 years ago. Previous gomphothere finds date to over 100,000 years ago, so the late survival in Mexico is rather unique.

Update 1: Found a better link

So, What Did I Miss?

As you all know, I have been away from the internet for a while. Any interesting science stories pop up while I was away?

I’m Home Now, Thank You For All Your Kind Wishes

They let go a little bit a go. I’d like to thank all the people who responded so kindly to my daughter’s post.

First thing I did when I got home was take a loooong hot shower.

So here is the story. Along about Wednesday of last week I started coming down with what I thought was a cold. I wasn’t surprised because I had just started a new attempt to quite smoking and something like that always happens when I try to quite. Anyway, by Friday I was feeling bad enough that I called in sick. Saturday I was actually starting to feel better and I thought I’d be okay by Monday. Wrong. About 10 minutes after I woke up on Sunday I started having some pretty bad breathing difficulties so Mrs. afarensis and I made a trip to the ER (Mrs. afarensis was coming down with something as well). At the ER they examined both of us and decided Mrs afarensis just had an upper respiratory infection so they let her go. Me, on the other hand, after some chest x-rays and a chest CT scan they admitted. They were pretty sure I had pneumonia, they thought I might have swine flu as wee. And then there is the effects of 30 years of smoking thrown into the mix.

Several IV antibiotics were started, IV steriods as well (side effects I experienced the steriod: Tachycardia, massive flushing, blood sugar shot up to 250 – nasty things steroids), breathing treatments, insulin for the high blood sugar, tamiflu, other drugs I can’t remember. At any rate they ruled out swine flu and decided that I just had pneumonia made worse by all the smoking. I have a pulmonary function test on Monday and future treatment plans will be made then. Until then they have me on several inhalers and are continuing with one antibiotic.

Five days confined to a bed really robs you of your stamina and has made all my muscles sore and stiff so I have some gentle stretching I need to do, and maybe a short walk later.

I’ll update on this as needed in the future and again, thank you for your kind wishes.