An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles

April 23, 2009

Adorable Bioluminescent Puppies will Haunt your Dreams

Filed under: funny,media and pop culture — Tags: , — Ethan @ 11:20 am

Researchers in South Korea have cloned a beagle, complete with an added gene that makes the dog glow bright red under UV light.¬† Why? Well, it’s mostly a proof-of-concept; bioluminescence genes are commonly used as markers in genetic research, since they’re fairly easy to work with and can be added without interfering with other cell functions. Head researcher Byeong-Chun Lee (his name may be familiar, as he was caught falsifying results in other cloning studies) says this is the first step toward engineering dogs that are better subjects for human disease studies. Which, frankly, sounds a lot less cute than glow-in-the-dark labrodoodles.

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January 12, 2009

When Science meets Drinking

Filed under: funny,Uncategorized — Tags: — Ethan @ 6:06 pm

Man, this made me happy. Spagghetilogic got bored over the holidays, and fed a bunch of cocktail recipes into PLYLIP to get a genuine phylogenetic tree, treating each ingredient as a gene or marker. What’s interesting is that there are a couple of cases of convergent evolution, mimicry, and so forth.

To wit:

Note that you can make out several different “kingdoms” of drinks after a close look at the tree. I can make out the Gin kingdom, the Orange Juice kingdom, and the Amaretto kingdom, for starters. Then we have the outliers, like a 110 in the Shade, which nobody in his right mind would drink. These are the platypuses and slime molds of the drink world.

Makes me wan to mix up a bunch of these to study their, err, gross morphology.

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December 26, 2008

Bees like drugs too

Filed under: funny,Government and Policy — Tags: , — Ethan @ 4:30 pm

So, apperently, if you give honeybees cocaine, they will go back to their hives and totally bullshit about how great their latest pollen find was, via waggle-dance.

Also, the strongest pot has gotten about 3 times more potent in the last 20 years, but it hasn’t come close to the 30x increase in potency former drug czar John Walters tried to claim in 2002, presumably to scare aging hippies into believing today’s super-weed is a <i>totally different</i> and <i>way more dangerous</i> drug than the ‘reefer’ of which they have fond, blurry memories.

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Snowmen Gone Wild

Filed under: funny — Tags: — Ethan @ 3:32 pm

This is utterly off-topic, but I did really enjoy the Smithsonian’s history of snowmen as pop-cultural icons for smoking, drinking and advertising laxatives. Be sure to check out the accompanying photo gallery for plenty of images of happy children assaulting snow-cops. Consider this my official holiday post.

h/t Boingboing.

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May 29, 2008

Good PR Indeed

After decades of running of being a terrible magazine, perennial Mad Magazine imitator Cracked has metamorphosed¬† into a sometimes funny, sometimes annoying web publication. Check out their 6 Most Badass Stunts Ever Pulled in the Name of Science, or at least the first page. No. 5, “Drs. Warren and Barry Marshall Drink Stomach-Eating Germs,” is one of my favorite semi-apocryphal science stories, second only to the laboratory urban legend about the undergrad who inadvertently overfilled an autoclave with still-frozen severed monkey heads.

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May 28, 2008

Newsflash

Filed under: funny,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Ethan @ 9:53 pm

Making cyborg monkeys that can perform complex tasks via robotic arms wired directly into their brains is NOT OK. Not only are these folks going to have PETA all up on their asses, eventually the monkeys themselves will take their terrible revenge. Consider this your preemptive ‘I told you so.’

Via Boing Boing.

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