Dulce et Decorum Est.

In high school, I gave a presentation on the poetry of Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) about the First World War. His most famous poem, and one that I still think of often, especially at this time of year, is Dulce et Decorum Est. The poem was published posthumously, as Owen died in combat in France […]


Remembrance Day (re-post).

(This post was first written in 2007, but I don’t think I can do better and thought it appropriate to re-post it today on Remembrance Day 2011).

In Canada, as in many countries around the world, November 11 is a day of remembrance for the sacrifices made during wartime. In Canada, this refers in […]


Do you know who sends me more paper junk mail than anybody else?

The David Suzuki Foundation.  Yep, the environmentalist organization which I’m sure has done many great things sends me regular junk mail asking for money.  Why?  Because a couple of years ago, my evolution class came up with a t-shirt and the students bought it, with the money going to charity.  The students chose the […]


A riddle.

What has two thumbs and tenure?


Isn’t email supposed to save us time?

Me:


Self-quoting.

I usually have a rule that it is best to read one’s own work only when it is unavoidable (because one often finds things that could have been done better, etc.). However, I have been working on finishing up my most recent paper for Evolution: Education and Outreach, and I have had to go […]


Granting agency beaurocracy jumps the shark.

NSERC has done some weird things in the past. Like running a peer review system that costs more than just giving every qualified researcher the amount of an average grant. Like cutting the MSc scholarship to one year. Like offering other scholarships that are much higher than the average lab’s operating grant. Like being […]


Agaporomorphus colberti.

Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller have named a beetle after faux-blowhard Stephen Colbert. Agaporomorphus colberti

This might be pretty cool, if not for the following issues:

1) This was done explicitly to get publicity.2) It has already been done. (A spider was named after Colbert last year).3) Apparently without intending to be ironic, Wheeler […]


Earth (Disney).

Yeah, it’s all charismatic megafauna, but I’ll still see it (in theatres for Earth Day, Apr 22).


Do crabs feel pain?

I posted some time ago about a study suggesting that crustaceans may feel “pain”. It is obviously very difficult to assess what this means outside of humans, but there is a new follow-up study being discussed in the science news that adds a little more insight. Here are some links:Crabs Not Only Suffer Pain, […]