Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The adults have arrived!

Last I wrote (way back in October), my Manduca sexta caterpillars had all pupated, and I wasn't sure if they were going to diapause or not. Well, it turns out the moths must like our Southern California winters, because over the past few weeks they've been eclosing (coming out of their pupal cases). For those keeping track of time, the first eclosing I observed was approximately November 5, and the moth pictured below eclosed on November 16. See my posts on 1st instars, 3rd instars, 5th instars, wanderers, and pupation, for more information on moth development.

Manduca sexta adult
Classic view of a M. sexta adult.

One of the things you'll most likely notice is that the animal no longer looks like a caterpillar (well, ok, it looks a bit like a caterpillar with wings from the top, but it's a stretch). No longer do we find the soft, hairless body, prolegs, and very hardened, obvious head capsule of the larva. The caterpillar has lost its hardened mandibles that are adapted for consuming leaves, and has instead grown a long proboscis that it uses to drink nectar, which you can see in the image below.

Blue Manduca sexta
A M. sexta adult seen from the bottom/side.

The caterpillars did not have large, noticeable eyes, and realistically don't need large eyes to survive (they live on their food, and do little but eat). However, the adults moths fly, primarily at night, and thus their compound eyes are much larger.

From the top it can look like the moths have only two wings (one pair), but they actually have four wings (two pairs). The picture below shows the two pairs relatively clearly - the larger pair that lies on top are the forewings, while the smaller pair that are held underneath are the hindwings. In the first picture I posted (the top view) the hindwings are visible near the middle two yellow/orange dots on the abdomen.

Bottom view of an adult Manduca sexta
A M. sexta adult from the bottom, showing its two pairs of wings.

After eclosing, the adults would normally find and mate with a member of the opposite sex, and then the female would lay fertilized eggs on suitable host plants. I don't have a setup capable of keeping adult moths happy enough to mate, and thus this post completes my Manduca sexta development series. I hope you've enjoyed it!

Side view of an adult Manduca sexta Closeup of blue Manduca sexta Manduca sexta on a branch Manduca sexta side
More pictures of the M. sexta adult - larger versions are on Flickr.

Note: While I was collecting tomato leaves for my M. sexta caterpillars, I collected some caterpillars from the wild and reared them as well. Thus, it is possible that this moth is a Manduca quinquemaculata, whose range overlaps that of M. sexta in this region; adults of the two species look quite similar.

Monday, November 29, 2004


I just finished riding my bike home, and almost turned into a popsicle since it's a frigid 46F outside. This is Southern California ... it's not supposed to get that cold here! I think I should write a letter of protest to someone.

Making everything better, however, was that my SO had a piping hot cup of cocoa ready for me when I walked through the door, complete with marshmallows. What a wonderful treat!

Tangled Bank #17 announcement

Tangled Bank Blutton
The next edition of the Tangled Bank will be posted this Wednesday by Leah Penn Boris (lapenn (at) gmail (dot) com), who writes at Penn. Send your submissions directly to Leah, to host@tangledbank.net, or to PZ Myers.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Pear pie with a flaky walnut pastry crust

Our Thanksgiving was a ton of fun – it's been a long time since we spent a day focusing on cooking and eating. One of our Thanksgiving Day recipes that seems to have generated the most interest in people I've talked with is our pear pie (a break from the traditional pumpkin or apple pie), and thus I thought I'd make it this week's end-of-the-week recipe blogging post. I used to think homemade peach pies were the ultimate pie, but then this pie came along and now I'm torn between the two.

I've included the recipe for both the crust and the filling below. I never use store-bought pie crusts, so I have no idea how it would taste with one of those; I find the flavor and texture of homemade pie crusts well worth the little bit of extra time needed to make them. We make this pie in a 9-inch pie pan (9-inch diameter at the top, 7-inch diameter at the bottom).

Flaky pastry crust with walnuts:
1/2 cup walnuts, shelled & whole or in pieces
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, frozen, unsalted (reduce the salt added above if using salted butter)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice-cold water (plus a bit extra)

Pear filling:
5 cups peeled, cored, and sliced pears (~2 1/2 pounds whole pears)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Assembly ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cool water (enough to moisten the edge of the crust)
Milk (enough to moisten the top of the crust)
Granulated sugar (~2 teaspoons)

To make the crust:
1) Process the walnuts in a food processor until finely ground (walnut butter will likely start appearing on the side of the processor).
2) Add the flour, sugar, and salt, and process until mixed; you may have to scrape down the sides once.
3) Cut the frozen butter into approximately tablespoon-sized pieces, add to the flour mixture, and process in short spurts until largest pieces of butter are pea-sized.
4) Add the ice water and process in short spurts until the dough starts to come together (but it shouldn't form a ball). If the dough doesn't start coming together, add another tablespoon or two of extra water (I usually end up adding about an extra tablespoon).
5) Remove the dough from the processor (it should still be in many small pieces) and compress it together with your hands.
6) Divide the dough in half. If the dough is relatively warm and sticky, put it in the fridge for a short period (~15 minutes) until it is firmer, though I find the dough is usually cool enough to roll right away.
7) On a well-floured work surface use a floured rolling pin to roll half the dough into a circle approximately 3-4 inches wider than your pie pan. Rolling the dough takes practice to do well, though I've found that even when I have apparently fatal flaws they're rarely apparent in the final pie. If the dough develops holes or cracks, you can usually moisten (with water) another piece of dough and press it on top of the crack, then continue rolling the crust as normal. I'll slip a rimless baking sheet underneath the dough every now and then, adding some flour underneath the crust, to prevent it sticking to the countertop. Joy of Cooking has a tremendously useful section on rolling pie crust if you've never done it before.
8) Transfer the rolled-out pie crust into your pie pan (I use my rimless baking sheet to do this; you can also roll the dough around the rolling pin and then roll the dough out into the pan), cover with plastic wrap, and put into the fridge.
9) Roll out the second half of your pie crust (again to ~3-4 inches wider than your pan), cover with plastic wrap, and place on a cookie sheet or other large, flat surface in the fridge.

Pear pie filling:
1) Mix the pears, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2) That's it.

Assembling and baking the pie:
0) Preheat the oven to 425F.
1) If the pie crust has been in the fridge for a while, I like to take it out a few minutes before assembly to allow the dough to soften a bit.
2) Pour the pie filling into the pie pan that's been lined with pie crust.
3) Cut the 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and sprinkle them over the pie filling.
4) Moisten the edges of the pie crust in the pan with cool water (I use a 1-inch brush to do this), and then slide the top crust onto the pie pan.
5) My pie crusts are usually rolled out far too wide for the pan, so at this point I take a pair of scissors and trim both the top and bottom crusts so they overhang the edge of the pan by approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
6) Seal the pie crust. There are many ways to do this, so use whatever technique you know. Personally, I take the overhanging pie crust, press the top and bottom pieces together, and then fold them under the pie crust that is resting on the edge of the pan. I then use a fork to crimp the edge, and use scissors to trim off any bulging pieces of dough.
7) Cut vent holes in the top of the pie, brush the top of the crust with milk, and then sprinkle with some granulated sugar (~2 teaspoons).
8) Put the pie into the preheated oven. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes, then slide a baking sheet underneath the pie (to catch drips), reduce the heat to 350F, and cook for another 30 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is nicely browned and thick juices are bubbling out of the top. If the crust is getting overly browned before the pie is done, cover it loosely with a piece of foil.
9) Let the pie cool on a cooling rack until it is close to room temperature. This is the most difficult part of the whole process, because the pie will be tempting you with its delicious smell.

While this recipe looks long and complicated typed out, it can be done relatively quickly with practice (having a cooking partner can also help). The dough can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. I regularly make my pie crusts by hand (mixing with either a pastry blender or my fingers), and the steps are exactly the same as described above (except use cold, not frozen, butter).

The ingredient amounts in the pie filling are relatively flexible – increase or decrease them to suit your tastes. The runniness of the filling will, at least partially, depend on the amount of cornstarch you add, so if you want a super-solid filling add more.

Brushing the top of the pie with milk makes the crust brown more. You can use this to create painted effects by brushing only a portion of the top crust with milk; coordinating the milk-brushed patterns and vent holes so they make a single image can be fun.

Rombauer, I. S., M. R. Becker, and E. Becker. 1997. Joy of Cooking. Scribner, NY.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

I donated blood again today

According to a Red Cross donor card, less than 30% of first-time donors ever return to donate blood again. You too could be part of this elite group! The benefits of membership are many: every 56 days you can get free juice, free cookies, a snazzy colored armband, and, if you're really lucky, a free t-shirt.

Red cross image

Friday, November 26, 2004

A mouse Thanksgiving dinner

Our Thanksgiving has been quite enjoyable so far - we slept in until noon and spent most of the day cooking (and talking with parents). We couldn't leave the mice out of the fun, so we prepared them some little plates of food once we'd had our fill. After a bit of cautious sniffing, they dove into their feast:

Mouse Thanksgiving dinner
Rem and Meryl enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner of mashed yams, turkey, and mashed turnips.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving dinner for two

My SO and I will be spending Thanksgiving at home this year, a nice contrast to the past few years when we were living in different states and had to drive to spend the holiday together. We plan on spending much of the day cooking, and the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying our gluttony. We have no family locally, so it's just going to be the two of us (and the seven mice).

Here's what's going to be on our table:

Yes, even though there are only two of us, we're making certain dishes specifically for one of us. My SO loves yams, while I love sweet potatoes (there is a difference), and I can't stand stuffing while my SO adores it (I'm a heretic, I know).

[updated 11/28/04 to link to the pear pie recipe.]

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Lab flexibility

Some instructors I've taught with seem to view uncertainty in a lab setting as a bad thing. They want every student in lab to be able to collect data that clearly support the hypothesis in question, and then talk about the lab as having "failed" if some students didn't collect the "correct" data.

This mindset has always baffled me. <soapbox> How can we expect to train our students to do science if we never let them do science? One of the primary goals of any science lab should be, at least partially, learning how to implement the scientific method, which includes coming up with questions, hypotheses, and tests for those hypotheses, in addition to simply carrying out experiments and interpreting data. By restricting students to following well-known protocols that are guaranteed to produce specific results, we prevent students from practicing critical portions of the scientific method. After all, deciding how to approach a problem is as big a part of science as actually performing experiments. Having a lab where everything fails would clearly be frustrating for all involved, but as long as the general techniques are sound, why not give the students the freedom to try a few things that might not work? </soapbox>

The reason I'm writing about this is that today's lab was, for those with the data-focused lab mindset, a failure. Last week the students transferred three species of bacteria and one eukaryote (yeast) onto agar plates that were subsequently exposed to different environmental variables (e.g. temperature, UV light). Unfortunately, the media had some moisture on it when the students were doing the plating (it had only been mixed up that morning by our lab tech), so the bacteria ended up growing in smears instead of well defined colonies on some plates. I had intended to have a thermophilic bacterial species in lab (one that prefers to grow at higher temperatures than most bacteria), but that culture had been misplaced before lab, so the first lab section wasn't able to grow it. And, finally, something went wrong with our yeast cultures (or the yeast wouldn't grow on our media), because we got all of about five yeast colonies across over a hundred plates.

So, to summarize, the plates the students saw today weren't anything close to how they "should" have looked. However, the students didn't know this, and I never said that anything had gone wrong in my intro to today's lab. Instead I directed them to collect as much quantitative data as they could (without specifically telling them how to collect the data), and they went right to work trying to figure out what effects their manipulations had.

The groups came up with a variety of different methods to collect data. Some groups whose microorganisms had low survival rates (e.g. UV light) counted the total number of colonies growing on their plates. Most groups, however, found that their colonies had grown together into large masses (confluent growth), and thus colony counting was impossible; these groups set out to estimate the surface area the bacterial colonies had covered. A few groups created grids on clear plastic sheets to help them estimate the growth (counting the # of squares or line intersections with bacteria under them), though one group measured how much surface area they had initially covered with bacteria, and then measured how much surface area the bacteria were currently growing in. I could have provided each group with a detailed handout telling them exactly how to quantify bacterial growth on agar plates, but doing so would have done little except prevent the students from having to apply their scientific reasoning skills.

While the students were collecting data, they independently figured out that something went wrong with the yeast, and after a while they all came to conclusions regarding what their data told them about the variables they had tested. Each group presented their data to the class (each group tested only one environmental variable), and we wrapped up the lab with a short discussion of why they saw the effects they did, complete with some comparative data from species we hadn't used in lab. Sure, some groups saw odd peaks or spikes in their data, but everyone seemed to leave with the main ideas the lab was trying to introduce. Nobody complained that their yeast cultures didn't grow, and nobody seemed to mind that some of their bacteria weren't growing in discrete, easily countable colonies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A thankfully short week

I've been getting further and further behind on my grading and lecture/lab planning, so having Thursday and Friday off this week is a much-needed respite. After Thanksgiving I only have four more lectures left to give before finals week, so I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

On one hand I'm relieved to know that my work is almost done, and I can't wait to be able to get a good night's sleep free from worry about planning and grading, but I know I'll also miss my current group of students.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Some links

I've spent most of this weekend both writing my own test questions and evaluating other people's test questions for a side project I'm working on, so I haven't had much spare time. However, I have run across a few topics of interest:
  • Kevin Sites, a reporter and blogger who has been covering the war in Iraq, is the cameraman who recorded the widely discussed footage of a marine shooting an unarmed Iraqi who had surrendered the day before. Yesterday, in a post titled Open Letter to Devil Dogs of the 3.1, he discussed the incident in thoughtful detail on his blog. (via BoingBoing)

  • BoingBoing links to some stunning pictures of the G-Cans project, a massive underground water drainage project in Tokyo. "The underground waterway is the largest in the world and sports five 32m diameter, 65m deep concrete containment silos which are connected by 64 kilometers of tunnel sitting 50 meters beneath the surface. The whole system is powered by 14,000 horsepower turbines which can pump 200 tons of water a second into the large outlying edogawa river."

  • Keith Olbermann is one of the only major journalists who's been regularly discussing the election fraud/error issue. His most recent blog post, "Relax about Ohio, Relax about the guy tailing me," is a well-done piece summarizing many issues. Here's one interesting observation: "The Ohio newspaper coverage suggests that even the mainstream media is beginning to sit up and take notice that, whatever its merits, the investigation into the voting irregularities of November 2nd has moved from the Reynolds Wrap Hat stage into legal and governmental action."

  • Nader's recount of New Hampshire is currently underway (via votenader.org).

  • And, to end on a cheerier note, PZ Myers recently linked to The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, a site that sells, among other things, stuffed dolls of notable thinkers. Of specific interest for me is their adorable doll of Darwin; it would go great with those Giant Plush Microbes that I'm still hoping to get some day.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Cran-raspberry-pineapple gelatin conglomeration

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, so I absolutely have to post something Thanksgiving-related for my end-of-the-week recipe blogging. Thus, this week I present to you one of my family's most prized traditional Thanksgiving foods: Cran-raspberry-pineapple gelatin conglomeration. This dish is more affectionately known as "Cran-raspberry salad" by my mom, though I find a dish entirely lacking in fresh ingredients to be the antithesis of a salad.

This recipe is straight out of the 1950s: it's made from raspberry jello ("ooh, look, it gels!"), canned pineapple, canned cranberry sauce, and sour cream ("it's like cream, but sour"). This dish has started every home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner that I can remember, and every other Thanksgiving dinner I've eaten has seemed incomplete without it. Even my SO, who didn't grow up eating it, finds it delicious and would be disappointed if we didn't have it every Thanksgiving (which is just one of many things that makes my SO the perfect one for me).

This takes a few hours to set properly, so give yourself time to make it.

6 ounces raspberry gelatin powder (sugar-sweetened)
1 3/4 cups water, boiling
20 ounces crushed pineapple, in juice
16 ounces cranberry sauce, whole berry type
1 cup sour cream

1) In a large bowl dissolve the gelatin in boiling water.
2) Add undrained pineapple and cranberry sauce, stirring until the cranberry sauce melts.
3) Pour half of gelatin mixture into a 6 1/2 cup ring mold (we always use this Vintage Tupperware 3-Piece Jell-o Bundt Mold, which wasn't "vintage" when it was bought).
4) Chill gelatin in mold in the fridge until almost firm. Almost-firm gelatin will appear to be set, but should feel sticky to the touch. The mixture should also flow slightly when the mold is tipped to one side. Leave remaining gelatin at room temperature.
5) Stir sour cream until smooth, then spread evenly over the almost-firm gelatin in the mold.
6) Gently scoop the remaining gelatin mixture on top of the sour cream.
7) Chill until firm. Unmold onto serving plate.

The main problem with this dish is layer separation; the top often tries to slide off as it warms up and is sliced. One trick I use is to not spread the sour cream to the edges of the mold, which allows the gelatin to form a solid bond around the entire circumference of the mold, reducing slippage.

If you don't have a ring mold, you could probably make this in a shallow bowl.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Friday night nap blogging

Friday nights used to be filled with gaming, relaxing, or doing something generally fun and non-work-related (like driving out of state to see my SO). This semester, however, I get home on Friday night and, assuming I don't have anything work-related to do, I tend to fall asleep on the couch within an hour.

Yep, that's the exciting life of a full-time faculty member teaching a new class ...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

More election links

More and more keeps getting written relating to errors or fraud in the 2004 election, so here are a few more links for those who are interested.

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, host@tangledbank.net, 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).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Mouse birthday pictures

My SO and I realized that we couldn't let our baby mice's one-month birthday pass without some pictures, so we had a photo shoot the day after their birthday. We've also finished renaming the mice, so I've also included their new names. Click on any of the small images to see a larger version.

Genie - 1 month old
Genie says hi.

Athos - 1 month old Athos - 1 month old Athos - 1 month old
Athos, also known as Ace.

D'Artagnan - 1 month old
D'Artagnan, also known as Deuce.

Genie - 1 month old Genie - 1 month old
Genie, the one mouse whose name hasn't changed. On the left you can see her name-inspiring pattern, and on the right Genie is playing her favorite game of "What's between these two fingers?"

Meryl - 1 month old Meryl - 1 month old
Meryl, formerly known as Narrow Stripey.

Tomoyo - 1 month old
Tomoyo, formerly known as Wide Stripey.

Vash - 1 month old Vash - 1 month old
Vash, formerly known as Runt.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Getting outside

I've spent most of this semester inside, either working at my computer, teaching in a classroom, or blogging. Since the topic of my new course is diversity, I figured there was no better way to demonstrate diversity than to lead a class field expedition to the rocky intertidal zone.

The rocky intertidal zone is the shoreline area that is alternately covered and uncovered by the tides. The bounds of the zone are the portion of land that is covered by only the highest high tides, and the portion of land that is only uncovered by the lowest low tides. An amazing diversity of life can be found in this narrow strip of land: in less than an hour into each trip my students had found examples of all the major types of algae (brown, red, and green), and representatives of at least six phyla of animals (cnidarians, annelids, arthropods, mollusks, echinoderms, and some invertebrate chordates).

Since my class is relatively large I led two separate trips, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The goal of the lab for the students was to quantify the species diversity in the different intertidal zones, as well as testing previously developed hypotheses about a specific species. Each group spent about three hours at the interidal zone, and everyone seemed to have fun, even the ones who got their shoes soaked and got splashed by waves (actually, they seemed to have even more fun).

The day was especially nice for me, however, because I got to spend two afternoons in the intertidal soaking in the sun and fresh air. The students did a great job of finding new and unique specimens for me to ID, which kept me happily engrossed the entire time.

Most of the organismal biologists I know decided to study biology because they love the organisms they study and enjoy spending time outdoors. It's a shame that so many of our labs have to be taught inside, often with non-living materials. Since introductory courses are often large, organizing field labs can be difficult, but watching my students today made it clear that there's no substitute for the real thing when it comes to teaching biology.

Mashed turnips and potatoes

My SO and I have recently discovered the tastiness of the underappreciated turnip. Last night we made some mashed turnips and potatoes based on a recipe from Joy of Cooking (our all-time favorite cookbook). They turned out great, so I thought I'd post them up as my end-of-the-week recipe blogging post.

For those of you who aren't initiated into the cult of the turnip, it's a root vegetable from the cabbage family. Turnips are firmer than potatoes, similar to broccoli stalk or kohlrabi (which makes sense since they're all in genus Brassica). Turnips have a pleasant, mildly peppery taste (with a hint of sweetness) that mellows upon cooking. If you're looking for something new for Thanksgiving dinner, this dish could make a lighter, more vegetable-y alternative to traditional mashed potatoes.

All ingredient amounts are somewhat flexible (note that some ingredients are listed twice).

2 1/4 pounds turnips, peeled (and quartered, if large)
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled (and halved or quartered if large)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
Ingredients to add to the mashed potatoes - we used some butter (~2 tablespoons), cream (~2 tablespoons, or milk), sour cream (~2 tablespoons), and salt (to taste, maybe 1/2 teaspoon?)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1. Add the turnips to a pot of boiling water and boil for 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add the chicken stock to another pan and bring to a boil, then add 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, stirring to mix.
3. Remove the turnips from the boiling water (save the boiling water to cook the potatoes in) and add them to the chicken stock pan (the turnips should be mostly covered). Simmer, covered, until the turnips are nearly tender throughout (~10-20 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, add the potatoes to the pot of boiling water and cook them until tender throughout (~15-30 minutes depending on the size of the pieces).
5. When the turnips are close to done (we just approximated), add the scallions to the turnip mixture and simmer for a few minutes more (until the scallions are cooked and the turnips are completely tender).
6. When the turnips are done, remove them from the cooking liquid. Reduce the cooking liquid until it is reasonably thick (a few minutes of boiling).
7. Puree the turnips with the reduced cooking liquid until smooth; we used our Cuisinart food processor. (We also added a bit more butter here, but it's probably not needed.)
8. Mash the potatoes with their ingredients (butter, cream, sour cream, and salt, or whatever you desire) in a large bowl.
9. Fold the turnips into the mashed potatoes, add parsley, and serve.

Rombauer, I. S., M. R. Becker, and E. Becker. 1997. Joy of Cooking. Scribner, NY.

[Update: A reader named John added the following in the comments: "In Scotland where turnips are known as swedes or neeps this mixture is called Clapshot and is often associated with the Orkney Islands."]

Tangled Bank #16: Call for submissions

Tangled Bank Blutton
EXTRA! EXTRA! Radagast to post on science, not politics!

The 16th Tangled Bank will be hosted right here at Rhosgobel this coming Wednesday, November 17th. If you'd like your recent science-related post to be included (see the Tangled Bank page for all the details), just send the link here to me at rhosgobel2@comcast.net or to PZ Myers. Just think, with only one simple e-mail by Tuesday night, you too could join the exclusive ranks of the Tangled Bank posters!

As always, the Tangled Bank is looking for hosts; if you're interested, drop PZ Myers a line.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

More updates in Florida

The Florida Department of State's Divisions of Elections results page has been updated yet again. Sixty-three counties (out of 67 total) are listed on the County Reporting page as having updated since my last published data collection at 11pm on Nov. 10, 2004. As with all prior days, the "County Reporting" page still has a "Y" in the "Final Report" and "Absentees" columns for all counties. No counties are listed as having updated recently on the "Provisionals" page. My data tables for this most recent update can be found here.

Summing across all counties, voter turnout increased by a net total of 16,716, while 16,781 presidential votes were added (table 1). As in my previous post, no counties are reporting more votes for president than voters voting, though Osceola County still has exactly the same number of votes for president and voters voting (table 2; they last updated 11/13/2004 10:34). Counties that added or removed votes for president again appeared to add them to or remove them from a mix of candidates (table 3).

For my prior posts on Florida county election data, see here, here, and here.

Recounts in NH and OH

Some third party candidates are asking for recounts in both New Hampshire and Ohio (and no, not because they think they should have won).
  • The Nader/Camejo campaign is officially starting a recount in 11 New Hampshire counties (Nader/Camejo press release). According to a recent Washington Post article, it sounds like Nader has met the requirements for a recount, so it may be happening soon (link to an earlier article). Nader is accepting donations to help pay the required fees.

  • Cobb and Badnarik, the Green and Libertarian candidates for president, are both calling for an official recount in Ohio. Both parties are looking for donations to pay the $110,000 fee by Monday ($150,000 including additional expenses; Green donation page, Libertarian donation page). The recount request was announced on the Cobb/LaMarche website (the announcement was at the top on the page without a permalink, and can also be found here). Cobb also released a statement on November 5 explaining more of his reasons.

Other organizations are also popping up to help fund recounts. One linked to on the DemocraticUnderground forums (post) is the Help America Recount Fund, a new 527 group.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Insects as food

Here in the United States we don't consider eating insects, other than as stunts on reality shows or in novelty candies like Chocolate Crickets (sold by Fluker's Farms). However, in many parts of the world, insects have formed a major portion of people's diets for years, and it's only through the westernization of these cultures that they've started to think that insects don't make proper food (DeFoliart 1999).

Thus it's refreshing to see that a recent UN study suggests that insects could be used as food sources to counter food-supply problems in some areas. In fact, the article points out, "Contrary to what many may think, caterpillars are not considered an emergency food, but are an integral part of diet in many regions according to seasonal availability. They are consumed as a delicacy." (via BoingBoing)

If you'd like to learn more about the worldwide consumption of insects, and the negative effects western culture is having on it, I highly recommend DeFoliart's (1999) review article. This article's description of the delightful taste of winged termites (better than a good steak, according to some) has made me want to try them ever since reading it.

DeFoliart, G. R. 1999. Insects as food: why the western attitude is important. Annual Review of Entomology 44: 21-50.

More election links

As anyone who's been reading progressive boards on the net knows, there's been a lot of speculation flying around about whether there were widespread voting errors or fraud in this past election; I thought I'd provide some links for people who want to read more about the topic.

While many of these articles are official media reports, some are from individual bloggers, academics, or independent writers; I've organized them roughly by type (though a few are hard to identify).

Articles from major US media sources:
  • Vote counting errors found in New York - A democratic candidate for state senate from Yonkers initially was reported to have lost by 1,674 votes, but after recounting the margin shurnk to only 128 votes. "Jonathan Rosen, director of the state Democrats' campaign committee, said the recount had revealed "a highly unusual error rate."" (WNBC - article 1, article 2)

  • Sarpy County (Nebraska) found evidence of overvoting in 32 of 80 precincts, for a total of around 10,000 excess votes (first WOWT article). After a recount, 3,000 "phantom votes" were found (second WOWT article).

  • Warren County (Ohio) Defends Lockdown Decision - In Warren County, officials prevented media and other people from overseeing the vote counting (reported here), citing security concerns. A followup article in the Cincinati Enquirer reports that FBI and Homeland Security officials say that they never informed the county of any specific threats.

  • Exit Polls to Protect the Vote - A New York Times article written before the election discussing the use of exit polling in fraud detection.

  • Florida E-Vote Fraud? Unlikely - An article discussing Kathy Dopp's dataset, citing academic sources who say it doesn't prove fraud, by Wired News.

  • Worst Voter Error Is Apathy Toward Irregularities - a column in the Washington Post.

  • See my earlier post for a few additional articles.
Articles from other sources:
  • The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy - a well-written draft academic paper (PDF) by Steven Freeman, discussing the general accuracy of exit polling, as well as detailing and statistically analyzing discrepancies between exit polls and actual results in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This is probably the most thoughtful exit poll analysis I've read.

  • Odds of Bush gaining by 4 percent in all exit polling states 1 in 50,000 - The Blue Lemur

  • BlackBoxVoting.org reports that they have acquired "two Ciber certification reports [for electronic voting machines] indicating that security and tamperability was not tested and that several state elections directors, a secretary of state, and computer consultant Dr. Britain Williams signed off on the report anyway, certifying it." (posted Nov 7th on their homepage; I can't find a permalink)

  • Foreign monitors 'barred' from US polls - an article in the Independent Online

  • An analysis of New Hampshire voting data - Invisible Ida

  • An analysis of New Hampshire results using Benford's Law - lesspress.com

  • Kerry Won - An analysis of data from Ohio - TomPaine.com

  • Twelve ways Bush is now stealing the Ohio vote - written before the election, by The Free Press

  • Problems with Ohio vote tallying early in the election - Oliverwillis.com

  • Errors plague voting process in Ohio, PA. - an article on Vindy.com

  • On The Front Lines in Florida - an essay discussing voting problems in Broward County, FL.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Birthday!

Our baby mice turned one month old today! So, for a change of pace from my recent posts, I thought I'd post up some cute baby mouse pictures. These pictures were all taken last Friday; I haven't had time to get them posted due to all my recent election-related posting (I can't help it if I'm easily distracted).

The first thing you'll notice about the babies is how big they've gotten:

Narrow Stripey looking away
Narrow Stripey (tentatively renamed Meryl)

If you're wondering why the hand in that picture looks all shiny and wet, that's because we've developed a super-secret new method for getting the babies to walk onto our hands: feed them ice cream.

Five baby mice eating ice cream
Five babies around a hand with some melted vanilla ice cream in it.

Of course, the problem with feeding them ice cream to get them into your hands is that sometimes you get, well, a handful:

Five babies in two hands
Five baby mice in two hands. From left to right: Vash (the mouse formerly known as Runt), Narrow Stripey (tentatively renamed Meryl), Wide Stripey, Athos (aka Ace, in front), and D'Artagnan (aka Deuce).

What's especially fun is to compare the above pictures to when they were only six days old (link to picture), when they could easily fit into one hand.

The babies have also developed a keen sense of adventure, and as soon as they crawl onto anyone they try to go everywhere. D'Artagnan recently climbed up my ear to get onto the top of my head, Genie likes to crawl down the backs of people's shirts, and most of them seem to love crawling into shirt sleeves:

A baby mouse poking its nose out

And, as a final picture, here's Rem, the proud mother of six who has done all the work to get these babies up to their one month birthday. I think she deserves a big treat tonight.



I just passed the 10,000 visit mark here at Rhosgobel. Thanks to everyone who has visited, left feedback, and just generally helped to make blogging one of the things I look forward to doing every day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

More Florida vote changes

This past Sunday I reported that there were more votes for president in some counties of Florida than there were voters voting. On Monday a number of the counties updated their data, and I posted about that as well (here).

Four counties updated their data between my Monday and Tuesday checks (Nov. 9, 2004 ~1am to Nov. 9, 2004 ~10pm), but no counties appeared to update their data between my Tuesday and Wednesday checks (Nov. 9 ~10pm to Nov. 10 ~11pm). There were no changes in voter turnout data or presidential votes cast between my Tuesday and Wednesday data collection. All data were, as usual, obtained from the Florida Department of State's Divisions of Elections results page. As with all prior days, the "County Reporting" page still has a "Y" in the "Final Report" and "Absentees" columns for all counties.

See table 1 for a summary of changes made by the four counties which updated on Tuesday. Gadsden County, which is listed as having an update at 11/9/2004 10:34, had no changes for either turnout or presidential votes cast.

Both counties that had excess votes recorded as of 11/9/04 1am (Osceola and Duval) now have no excess votes reported (table 2). Osceola County's voter turnout numbers were increased to precisely match the number of presidential votes cast; it is the only county to have such a matchup. The one county whose total number of presidential votes cast was changed had the votes distributed between a number of candidates (table 3).

In order to keep the data tables relatively short I am only posting data for the counties that have altered totals since 11/9/04 1am. If anyone needs the full dataset I can provide it upon request.

Table 1: Change in voter turnout and presidential votes cast from data obtained ~1am 11/9/04 to data obtained ~10pm 11/9/04. All changes were calculated by subtracting the 1am value from the 10pm value.
County Change in turnout (11/9/04 10pm minus 11/9/04 1am) Change in presidential votes cast (11/9/04 10pm minus 11/9/04 1am)
Duval 1305 0
Gadsden 0 0
Osceola 261 0
St. Lucie 0 114

Table 2: Tabulated data of total voter turnout and total votes cast for president in the Florida counties that updated their data on November 9, 2004 (for the November 2, 2004 election). Data was obtained at ~10pm November 9, 2004 from the Florida state site linked to above. Note that there are no longer any excess votes recorded.
County Turnout Presidential votes T-v (T-v)/T Excess votes
Duval 380562 379614 948 0.25%
Gadsden 21094 20984 110 0.52%
Osceola 82178 82178 0 0.00%
St. Lucie 100374 100027 347 0.35%
Sum 0

Table 3: Comparison of vote totals for each candidate in the one Florida county whose presidential vote totals changed from 11/9/04 1am to 11/9/04 10pm. Numbers listed are the gain in votes the candidate received from 1am to 10pm.
County Bush / Cheney Kerry / Edwards Peroutka / Baldwin Badnarik / Campagna Cobb / LaMarche Harris / Trowe Brown / Herbert Nader / Camejo
St. Lucie

56 56 0 1 0 0 0 1

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Update: Florida election turnout vs. presidential votes

The Florida Department of State's Divisions of Elections results page was updated Monday for a number of counties, with turnout totals altered for 42 counties (63% of all counties) and vote totals altered for 5 counties (7.5% of all counties), compared with the data I summarized in my previous post (table 1).

The changes have largely removed the excess votes from the counties that had them, though two counties still have more votes for president recorded than voters voting in the election (Duval and Osceola Counties, for a total of 618 excess votes; table 2). Duval County's last update is recorded as 11/4/04 13:11, while Osceola County's last update is now listed as 11/8/04 09:45. Orange County, one of the counties with extra votes on 11/7/04, now only has 0.09% more voters than votes for president, a value much lower than that found in all the other counties.

Overall a total of 271,137 net voters were added across all counties, while 4,493 votes were added for president. The five counties that added presidential votes each appeared to add them to a mix of candidates (table 3).

I can't find any explanation on the Florida site for why the turnout and vote totals changed, other than that the counties are listed as having updated their data on the county reporting page. The pages are all still titled "1st set of unofficial returns (pursuant to s. 102.141, F.S.)", the same as they were on Sunday, and all counties still report "Y" in the "Final Report" and "Absentees" column. The provisionals page does not list any updates having occured after 11/5/04.

Data tables:

Table 1: Change in voter turnout and presidential votes cast from data obtained ~6pm 11/7/04 to data obtained ~1:15am 11/9/04. All changes were calculated by subtracting the Nov. 7, 2004 value from the Nov. 9, 2004 value.
County Change in turnout Change in presidential votes County Change in turnout Change in presidential votes
Alachua 284 279 Lee 0 0
Baker -11 0 Leon 344 0
Bay 108 0 Levy 0 0
Bradford 0 0 Liberty 0 0
Brevard 0 0 Madison 0 0
Broward 1436 0 Manatee 71 0
Calhoun 0 0 Marion 0 0
Charlotte 0 0 Martin 0 0
Citrus 5 0 Miami-Dade 56169 0
Clay 86 0 Monroe 0 2
Collier 1490 0 Nassau 8 0
Columbia 0 0 Okaloosa 423 0
DeSoto 2 0 Okeechobee 4 0
Dixie 0 0 Orange 1991 0
Duval 0 0 Osceola 18328 0
Escambia -17624 0 Palm Beach 95279 0
Flagler 20 0 Pasco 5 0
Franklin 0 0 Pinellas 213 0
Gadsden 0 0 Polk 146 0
Gilchrist 5 0 Putnam 4 0
Glades 758 0 Santa Rosa 39 0
Gulf 0 0 Sarasota 349 0
Hamilton 15 0 Seminole 359 0
Hardee -4 0 St. Johns 0 0
Hendry 3 0 St. Lucie 0 0
Hernando 79308 3247 Sumter 2 0
Highlands 7875 0 Suwannee 17 0
Hillsborough 2481 941 Taylor 0 0
Holmes 0 0 Union 0 0
Indian River 292 0 Volusia 20046 24
Jackson 48 0 Wakulla 0 0
Jefferson 0 0 Walton 36 0
Lafayette 0 0 Washington 2 0
Lake 725 0 Sum 271137 4493

Table 2: Tabulated data of total voter turnout and total votes cast for president in all Florida counties for the November 2, 2004 election. Note that a negative number in the "turnout minus votes" column indicates that there were more votes cast for president than voters voting in the county. Data was obtained at ~1:15am November 9, 2004 from the Florida state site linked to above.
County Turnout Presidential votes T-v (T-v)/T Excess Votes
Alachua 111571 111301 270 0.24%
Baker 10048 9955 93 0.93%
Bay 75208 74998 210 0.28%
Bradford 10913 10851 62 0.57%
Brevard 265764 265075 689 0.26%
Broward 707202 704376 2826 0.40%
Calhoun 6006 5961 45 0.75%
Charlotte 80140 79730 410 0.51%
Citrus 69696 69462 234 0.34%
Clay 81473 81230 243 0.30%
Collier 128899 128352 547 0.42%
Columbia 25075 24984 91 0.36%
DeSoto 9534 9495 39 0.41%
Dixie 6472 6440 32 0.49%
Duval 379257 379614 -357 -0.09% 357
Escambia 143559 142990 569 0.40%
Flagler 38552 38475 77 0.20%
Franklin 5973 5930 43 0.72%
Gadsden 21094 20984 110 0.52%
Gilchrist 7047 7012 35 0.50%
Glades 4204 4188 16 0.38%
Gulf 7299 7256 43 0.59%
Hamilton 5131 5079 52 1.01%
Hardee 7281 7246 35 0.48%
Hendry 9813 9774 39 0.40%
Hernando 79308 79079 229 0.29%
Highlands 41871 41491 380 0.91%
Hillsborough 464253 462461 1792 0.39%
Holmes 8349 8298 51 0.61%
Indian River 61613 61321 292 0.47%
Jackson 19898 19797 101 0.51%
Jefferson 7501 7477 24 0.32%
Lafayette 3352 3325 27 0.81%
Lake 124476 123938 538 0.43%
Lee 242434 241433 1001 0.41%
Leon 136573 136314 259 0.19%
Levy 16742 16649 93 0.56%
Liberty 3051 3021 30 0.98%
Madison 8342 8307 35 0.42%
Manatee 143901 143539 362 0.25%
Marion 140321 139644 677 0.48%
Martin 72709 72430 279 0.38%
Miami-Dade 772743 768553 4190 0.54%
Monroe 39629 39527 102 0.26%
Nassau 32748 32664 84 0.26%
Okaloosa 89908 89707 201 0.22%
Okeechobee 12247 12197 50 0.41%
Orange 388095 387752 343 0.09%
Osceola 81917 82178 -261 -0.32% 261
Palm Beach 547340 542835 4505 0.82%
Pasco 191859 190866 993 0.52%
Pinellas 457426 455203 2223 0.49%
Polk 211346 210777 569 0.27%
Putnam 31063 30964 99 0.32%
Santa Rosa 67368 67213 155 0.23%
Sarasota 196291 195530 761 0.39%
Seminole 186537 186115 422 0.23%
St. Johns 86603 86262 341 0.39%
St. Lucie 100374 99913 461 0.46%
Sumter 32000 31837 163 0.51%
Suwannee 15878 15801 77 0.48%
Taylor 8613 8580 33 0.38%
Union 4714 4675 39 0.83%
Volusia 229098 228382 716 0.31%
Wakulla 11820 11763 57 0.48%
Walton 24063 23974 89 0.37%
Washington 10452 10365 87 0.83%
Sum 7622037 7592915 29122 618

Table 3: Comparison of vote totals for each candidate in the five Flordia counties whose presidential vote totals chagned from 11/7/04 to 11/9/04. Numbers listed are the gain in votes the candidate received from 11/7/04 to 11/9/04.
County Bush / Cheney Kerry / Edwards Peroutka / Baldwin Badnarik / Campagna Cobb / LaMarche Harris / Trowe Brown / Herbert Nader / Camejo
Alachua 137 139 0 1 0 0 0 2
Hernando 1710 1515 9 4 0 0 0 9
Hillsborough 544 391 0 3 0 0 0 3
Monroe 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Volusia 8 16 0 0 0 0 0 0

Monday, November 08, 2004

Florida 1996 vs. 2004 presidential election data

My SO and I found Kathy Dopp's analysis of Florida's county election data a few days ago. Ms. Dopp's dataset compares political party registration numbers to vote counts in each Florida county, and finds a difference between counties using optical scan and electronic voting machines. I was thinking of trying to summarize the topic here, but Pharyngula, Preposterous Universe, and CommonDreams have all summarized it nicely, so I'll let them do the talking.

Ms. Dopp has also analyzed data from the 2000 presidential election, but we decided to go back and analyze the 1996 presidential election data to see if the optical scan counties showed the same Republican voting trends back then. We obtained the 2004 election data from Ms. Dopp's page, and obtained the 1996 election results from the Florida Department of State's Division of Elections Election Results page (data obtained ~Nov. 6, 2004). We did not obtain registration data for 1996.

In our analysis we calculated the fraction of total votes cast for the Democratic and Republican candidates in both 1996 and 2004 within every Florida county. We then compared the 2004 to 1996 voting percentages for each party and each county (subtracting the 1996 vote percentages from the 2004 vote percentages) to generate a percent change in votes for each party's candidate. Averaging across all counties, Kerry got a 3.4% smaller fraction of the vote in 2004 than Clinton in 1996, while Bush got a 14.9% larger fraction of the vote in 2004 than Dole in 1996, meaning that there was a total "shift" of 18.3% to the Republican candidate. A possible confounding factor was the presence in 1996 of Perot as a significant third party candidate (receiving 9.1% of the Florida vote).

As Ms. Kopp did, we also grouped the data by the style of voting machines used in 2004. We found that counties that used optical scan balloting in 2004 had an average Republican "shift" of 20.4%, while counties that used electronic voting in 2004 had an average Republican "shift" of 11.3%.

Here are a few selected examples:
  • Dixie County voted 45.6% Democratic and 36.8% Republican in 1996, compared to 30.4% Democratic and 68.8% Republican in 2004, for a total "shift" of 47.2%.
  • Holmes County voted 34.0% Democratic and 47.8% Republican in 1996, compared to 21.8% Democratic and 77.2% Republican in 2004, for a total "shift" of 41.6%.
  • Putnam County voted 47.8% Democratic and 38.9% Republican in 1996, compared to 40.1% Democratic and 59.1% Republican in 2004, for a total "shift" of 27.9%.
Do with the data as you please.


I have included the summary data below, and have posted the full 1996 data table separately here.

Table 1: Percent of total votes cast in the 1996 and 2004 presidential elections for the Democratic candidate (Clinton in 1996, Kerry in 2004) or Republican candidate (Dole in 1996, Bush in 2004). The shift in voting preferences between the two elections is tabulated for each party separately, which is then used to calcluate the overall "shift" towards the Republican candidate from 1996 to 2004. Voting method data are from the 2004 election; "e" is electronic voting, and "op" is optical scan.
County Dem 96 Rep 96 Dem 04 Rep 04 Voting method in 2004 Dem 04 minus Dem 96 Rep 04 minus Rep 96 Republican "shift" from '96 to '04
Broward 63.5% 28.3% 64.3% 34.5% e 0.8% 6.2% 5.4%
Charlotte 43.0% 44.2% 42.9% 55.7% e -0.1% 11.5% 11.6%
Collier 32.0% 58.7% 34.1% 65.0% e 2.1% 6.3% 4.1%
Dade 57.3% 37.9% 53.7% 45.8% e -3.6% 7.9% 11.5%
Hillsborough 46.8% 44.3% 46.3% 53.0% e -0.5% 8.7% 9.2%
Indian River 37.2% 51.7% 39.0% 60.2% e 1.8% 8.5% 6.7%
Lake 40.3% 47.5% 38.9% 60.0% e -1.3% 12.5% 13.9%
Lee 39.6% 48.7% 39.8% 59.0% e 0.2% 10.3% 10.1%
Martin 38.2% 52.2% 41.7% 57.1% e 3.5% 4.9% 1.4%
Nassau 34.4% 57.3% 26.2% 72.7% e -8.2% 15.3% 23.5%
Palm Beach 58.1% 33.7% 60.8% 38.5% e 2.8% 4.9% 2.1%
Pasco 49.8% 36.2% 44.4% 54.1% e -5.4% 17.8% 23.3%
Pinellas 49.1% 40.4% 49.5% 49.6% e 0.4% 9.2% 8.8%
Sarasota 42.7% 46.5% 45.2% 53.5% e 2.5% 7.1% 4.6%
Sumter 45.6% 38.7% 36.4% 62.2% e -9.2% 23.5% 32.6%
Average for electronic voting counties -1.0% 10.3% 11.3%
Alachua 53.9% 34.0% 56.2% 42.9% op 2.3% 8.9% 6.7%
Baker 34.3% 55.5% 21.9% 77.7% op -12.4% 22.2% 34.6%
Bay 33.0% 54.9% 28.1% 71.2% op -4.9% 16.3% 21.2%
Bradford 40.7% 49.0% 29.9% 69.6% op -10.8% 20.6% 31.4%
Brevard 41.2% 45.1% 41.6% 57.7% op 0.3% 12.6% 12.2%
Calhoun 43.1% 41.3% 35.5% 63.4% op -7.6% 22.1% 29.8%
Citrus 44.5% 40.6% 42.1% 56.9% op -2.3% 16.3% 18.6%
Clay 28.2% 64.5% 23.3% 76.2% op -4.9% 11.7% 16.6%
Columbia 41.0% 46.5% 32.1% 67.1% op -8.8% 20.6% 29.4%
Desoto 43.0% 43.7% 41.2% 58.0% op -1.8% 14.3% 16.1%
Dixie 45.6% 36.8% 30.4% 68.8% op -15.2% 32.0% 47.2%
Duval 44.2% 50.0% 41.7% 57.7% op -2.5% 7.8% 10.3%
Escambia 35.1% 56.5% 33.7% 65.3% op -1.3% 8.8% 10.1%
Flagler 47.7% 41.0% 48.3% 51.0% op 0.5% 10.0% 9.5%
Franklin 45.9% 34.2% 40.5% 58.5% op -5.4% 24.3% 29.7%
Gadsden 66.3% 26.9% 69.7% 29.8% op 3.5% 2.9% -0.6%
Gilchrist 41.4% 40.4% 28.8% 70.4% op -12.6% 29.9% 42.6%
Glades 44.6% 39.7% 41.8% 57.7% op -2.8% 18.1% 20.9%
Gulf 41.4% 40.5% 33.0% 66.1% op -8.4% 25.6% 34.0%
Hamilton 47.2% 41.4% 44.5% 55.0% op -2.8% 13.6% 16.4%
Hardee 39.0% 47.2% 29.6% 69.7% op -9.3% 22.5% 31.8%
Hendry 43.6% 43.3% 40.5% 58.9% op -3.1% 15.6% 18.7%
Hernando 49.1% 38.0% 46.2% 52.9% op -3.0% 15.0% 17.9%
Highlands 42.3% 46.3% 38.5% 60.8% op -3.7% 14.5% 18.2%
Holmes 34.0% 47.8% 21.8% 77.2% op -12.2% 29.5% 41.6%
Jackson 43.0% 46.3% 38.1% 61.2% op -4.9% 14.9% 19.7%
Jefferson 52.9% 38.5% 55.3% 44.1% op 2.4% 5.6% 3.2%
Lafayette 35.7% 50.2% 25.4% 74.0% op -10.3% 23.8% 34.1%
Leon 54.6% 37.0% 62.0% 37.3% op 7.4% 0.3% -7.1%
Levy 44.6% 38.9% 36.5% 62.5% op -8.2% 23.7% 31.8%
Liberty 40.1% 42.2% 35.4% 63.8% op -4.7% 21.6% 26.3%
Madison 50.0% 39.3% 48.7% 50.5% op -1.2% 11.2% 12.4%
Manatee 43.2% 45.5% 42.7% 56.6% op -0.6% 11.1% 11.7%
Marion 41.1% 45.9% 41.0% 58.2% op -0.1% 12.3% 12.4%
Monroe 46.9% 37.0% 49.7% 49.2% op 2.8% 12.2% 9.4%
Okaloosa 26.1% 64.5% 21.6% 77.6% op -4.5% 13.1% 17.6%
Okeechobee 48.6% 34.4% 42.3% 57.2% op -6.3% 22.9% 29.2%
Orange 45.7% 45.9% 49.8% 49.6% op 4.1% 3.8% -0.4%
Osceola 47.0% 39.4% 47.8% 51.7% op 0.7% 12.3% 11.6%
Polk 44.4% 45.3% 40.8% 58.6% op -3.7% 13.4% 17.0%
Putnam 47.8% 38.9% 40.1% 59.1% op -7.7% 20.2% 27.9%
Santa Rosa 25.8% 62.0% 21.8% 77.3% op -4.0% 15.3% 19.4%
Seminole 39.2% 52.0% 41.3% 58.1% op 2.1% 6.1% 3.9%
St. Johns 34.4% 56.3% 30.6% 68.6% op -3.8% 12.3% 16.2%
St. Lucie 48.9% 39.1% 52.4% 47.0% op 3.4% 7.9% 4.5%
Suwannee 36.9% 47.3% 28.6% 70.6% op -8.3% 23.3% 31.6%
Taylor 44.8% 39.9% 35.5% 63.7% op -9.3% 23.8% 33.1%
Union 40.1% 47.3% 26.8% 72.6% op -13.3% 25.4% 38.7%
Volusia 49.3% 39.4% 51.3% 48.1% op 2.0% 8.7% 6.7%
Wakulla 42.6% 40.9% 41.6% 57.6% op -1.0% 16.7% 17.7%
Walton 34.4% 49.7% 25.9% 73.2% op -8.5% 23.5% 32.0%
Washington 38.1% 44.8% 28.1% 71.1% op -10.0% 26.3% 36.3%
Average for optical scan counties -4.1% 16.3% 20.4%
Averages for all counties: -3.4% 14.9% 18.3%