Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tangled Bank #16

Tangled Bank Blutton

Welcome to Rhosgobel, home of Radagast. I've been rather busy recently, so haven't had time to clean up properly for your visit. But hey, you're here, so come on into the living room, push those papers off the couch, sit down, and enjoy another edition of the Tangled Bank.

It's hard to believe that we're up to edition number 16 already, and for this magical sixteenth edition we've got a grand total of eight submissions. If I'm remembering correctly, I'm the first blogger to have hosted the Tangled Bank twice, other than our esteemed founder (and hey, 16/2=8). How exciting!

Well, here goes:
  • Leah at Penn submits The theory of it all, in which "the author outlines the difference between a scientific theory and the colloquial use of the word. As well, she briefly walks through the process of taking a hypothesis (the colloquial theory) toward a theory." (Thanks, Leah, for summarizing your post so nicely!)

  • Richard at The Friends of Charles Darwin submits Are you calling my fox terrier stupid?, a post examining the scaling of brain size and body mass with regard to Homo floresiensis.

  • Mike submits a webpage, not a blog, (gasp! I didn't even known people wrote those anymore ...) titled On Evolution and Creation. He discusses the evolution of creation theory from, well, creationism to evolutionary theory as we've gained more scientific knowledge.

  • PZ Myers of Pharyngula submits Rhabdomeric and ciliary eyes, a very detailed post looking at the evolutionary history of photoreception in animals. PZ puts it best himself: "It's a solid story that ties visual system history in protostomes and deuterostomes together, resolving the differences between them into a convincing evolutionary account."

  • Jacob of Eternal Recurrence submits The Mystery of the Five-Inch Bull Balls, in which he introduces bull mating behavior by looking at nothing other than prosthetic testicles.

  • Sya of Syaffolee submits Not Just Another Passive Bacterial Paradise, "a short summary about how extracellular pathogens are detected even though all the sensors are located inside the cell." (Thanks, Sya, for the summary!)

  • Mike of 10,000 Birds submits a Puerto Rico Trip Report, which, as you might guess from the title, is a report of the birds he saw in Puerto Rico. The best line is quite possibly: "Despite the nagging sense that this 'vacation' might be more relaxing if we actually slept a bit, we rose early to embark on a brief rainforest tour."

  • Your host has, unfortunately, been rather distracted with baby mice, election results, and teaching, so doesn't have anything nearly as interesting, or as detailed, as our other submissions. However, I recently did write a brief bit on a field lab I did with my students, and talked about eating insects, so those will have to do for now.
The host of the next Tangled Bank will be Leah Penn Boris (lapenn (at) gmail (dot) com), who writes at Penn. Send your submissions directly to Leah,, or to PZ Myers. As always, the Tangled Bank is looking for hosts for future editions; send an e-mail to PZ if you're willing. Your blog gets traffic, you get e-mails from people you've never met before, and, best of all, you have the ultimate power that comes with compiling the world's preeminent biweekly science blog compendium.

Oh yes, before you leave, I must be a typical host and swamp you with pictures of the new family members. If you haven't done so already, take a look at my recent one-month old baby mouse pictures, their birthday post, and their new cage (and you absolutely have to see them at four days old).

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