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.

Afarensis is in the hospital

This is Afarensis’ youngest daughter.
My dad got sick last week and kept getting worse and worse until finally my mom took him to the ER.
Unfortunately he has Pneumonia and possibly Swine Flu so he won’t be home until Friday.

In Memorium: Claude Levi-Strauss

Via Hawks comes the news that Claude Levi-Strauss has died. MSNBC has more:

The French intellectual was regarded as having reshaped the field of anthropology, introducing structuralism — concepts about common patterns of behavior and thought, especially myths, in a wide range of human societies. Defined as the search for the underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity, structuralism compared the formal relationships among elements in any given system.

Although I don’t spend much time writing about cultural anthropology (mainly because I’m an old school fuddy duddy and don’t like those new fangled post-modernist theoretical orientations) Levi-Strauss was one cultural anthropologist I read quite a bit of (along with Malinowski and Boas). He will be missed…

The Genomics and Phylogenetics of Leprosy

Nature Genetics has an interesting research paper on leprosy. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but the PhysOrg.Com summary is fascinating:

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Something’s Missing From Comfort’s Version of On the Origin of Species

Genie Scott has the story:

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