Thursday, August 13, 2015

Should we let people be assholes on university campuses?

Oh wow, what, two blog posts in one week? That's right - in addition to visiting new national monuments, we also recently got super rage-y over a new article published in the Atlantic called "Coddling of the American Mind" and instead of writing an epic comment on the paper's page, we're writing it here.

The article was written by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt: the first is a lawyer who represents a classic case of "outsider knows better," and the second is a professor who's worried he's going to get fired because he doesn't understand what offends students. Both of them are white doods with hurt fee-fees, and both seem to completely miss the difference between "making people feel like shit" and "babying people."

Alt. titles: "Unwanted Advice from Privileged White Dudes"

Monday, August 10, 2015

Waco Mammoth National Monument

Once in a great while something amazing happens: a stork flies through the sky carrying a little green and gray bundle of joy and lands upon some public land and BAM! A new national monument is born.

Of course the real process is a lot less cute and has massively more paperwork (a statement which is also true for human infants). In actuality, the Antiquities Act of 1906 made it so that to bring a new national monument into being, you must have a proclamation of the President of the United States. National parks, on the other hand, are created by an act of Congress (which these days is about as simple to elicit as an act of God). On July 10th 2015 President Obama designated the Waco Mammoth Site as our newest national monument - much to the delight of Amy, who lives only an hour and a half from the newest monument.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Story of Jim and Lola

We've been in a bit of a posting lull lately, so instead of giving you an informative post, we thought we'd tell you a fantastical story of science and adventure.

Once upon a time, a girl named Meaghan was employed by a company to do lichen, bryophyte, and vascular plant surveys up near Mt. Rainier, Washington. This job required long hours, a high tolerance for solitude, an appreciation for one's own body odor, and also the ability to look at plants and planty bits and plant-like-but-not-plant things all day without completely losing one's mind. It was remote, but this particular contract was not so remote that there weren't people around, scouting out campgrounds, drinking excessively, and shooting off guns of all types at all hours. And, as one might imagine, some of those people had accidents.

This is the story of one such accident.

First, let's paint the setting.
Microscopes powered by headlamps; "Lab" space; and of course, specimens. This is the face of science.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Awesome Dead Shit of the Whatever Time Period We Damn Well Please: Chalicotheres

Hey! We live. We do, despite the dramatic slow-down in posting (sorry!). And you know what else lived once? Chalicotheres, which are essentially what happens when a horse-rhino gets jealous of a gorilla's cool locomotion skills, and becomes the most awkward animal that ever lived.

Chalicotheres: Evolution's Version of the 80's.
From AMNH Library Special Collections Neg No. 36900

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Meaghan and the Molds of Doom

In 2014 I made a terrible Christmas mistake.

For gifts, I like to give people nerdy homemade things, and I find that Christmas is a particularly convenient excuse to procrastinate on important tasks that I don't want to do (like study). For Christmas of 2014 I made chocolate molds of cool extinct animals, including a giant ground sloth and a 2D Dunkelosteus face. The molds were cute, the chocolates were tasty, the bacon-flavored lollipops I made in these molds were hilarious and kind of greasy, it was fun all around. Yet somehow this sparked a series of events that led to a replica of Cophecetus bleeding unset resin like a mysterious holy relic, hives from my fingers to my biceps, and a floor so splattered in epoxy we may need to pour more plastic on it just to even the whole place out.

Same same, and yet SO DIFFERENT.