26 February 2010

Yesterday I went to the future and here I am!!

Here is a crazy article about baby universes popping out of old static high-entropy universes, like alpha particles popping out of nuclei. This doesn't seem that far-fetched to me. After all, the whole entropy thing is very interesting. We started out in our universe with very low entropy, everything ordered, and entropy can't help but get higher. So this baby universe idea sort of explains how it got low in the first place, but THEN where did the original static timeless universe come from? So, apparently this Sean Carroll guy is pretty cool. This all jives with my current viewing of the Cosmos series, which is AWESOME.

This sort of reminds me of a drunken conversation I had with a physicist in Vienna. He said anything that goes against entropy is considered to be life. We were arguing about whether viruses are alive. As a biochemist, I sort of see how this is a very convenient argument, but I STILL don't think viruses are alive. They wouldn't be working against entropy if they didn't have any cells full of established life machinery to infect and they would eventually succumb to entropy themselves.

25 February 2010



What a little punk.

Jaguars and Panthers are not different species, its just that Panthers have a different color allele that makes them all black, sort of like an opposite-albino. Panthers still have spots though!

24 February 2010

Marine Reserve Success!

Researchers found that marine reserves around the world are indeed successful in both raising the number and sizes of fishes within the protected boundary. The same data does not seem to extend to macrofauna, however. The success of any given reserve is also dependent on proximity to large human populations and how the local culture regards law enforcement. Remote areas with little poaching are much more successful in repopulating.

This map shows the locations of protected marine environments that encompass corals. Note the size of the dots is not an indication of the size of the reserves. In some cases, they are very small.

I found this map on THIS page which is a review of the global state of coral reefs from NOAA. I havent read it, but it looks good. By good, I mean comprehensive, not feel-good. Right.

19 February 2010

Respect your Elder (Animals)!!

This is a really cool list of animals that live a very long time, including a sponge that can live up to and over 1500 years! One of the other cooler stories is that there are whales with 200-year old ivory spear tips in their skin that are still swimming around!!

Screw Responsibly, Save a Manatee!

I volunteered to distribute condoms for The Center for Biological Diversity's Endangered Species Condoms project. The project aims to raise awareness about the correlation between human overpopulation and the rising extinction rate on our planet. Apparently 50% of births in the United States are unplanned and the Center also is promoting education to women, who ultimately make these decisions about their bodies. I think the project is mostly a cute way to introduce the idea to the nation's social consciousness, that overpopulation is indeed a problem. We are on the way to hit 8 billion people by 2020, after all. And the sixth mass eukaryotic extinction is undeniably caused by humans. Not only do we encroach upon animals environments to live, but also to produce food and items and maintain our excess level of consumption.

The animals featured are the polar bear, snail darter, spotted owl, American burying beetle, jaguar, and the coquí guajón rock frog!!