April Fools all around

My favorite April Fools in the science blogosphere was in 2007, when The Panda’s Thumb pretended that an idiotic creationist named Michael Egnor was an elaborate hoax played on science bloggers by the intelligent design “think” tank – the Discovery Institute. Using a site designed to look like their media complaints division news blog, the Thumb announced that we were all SUCKERED. It had me going for a bit.

This year had a few good pranks. In a blatant attempt to out-do myself from last year, I decided to have the new Biofortified Blog be taken over by Greenpeace. Go here for the details.

Jonathan Eisen passed around a dubious story about the LHC operating in secret – I know from past experience not to trust him on April 1st. Maybe it was the fact that the NY Times was hosted on his server? What is Jon is the NY Times? Anyway, I gave it a little plug.

On the Thumb, the creationist organization AIG merged with the insurance giant AIG. And PZ Myers laments on how hard it is to tell the difference between extremely insane stuff and hoaxes on this one day of the year. Poe’s Law is indeed alive and well. Living in Jersey, I should think.

A good time was had by all.

PZ Myers gets in an accident!

Greg Laden worried us all with his post this morning about PZ Myers getting into an accident on the road. PZ has recently reported back on his blog that he is OK and will be giving his talk in Michigan as scheduled. Here’s what happened:

It wasn’t bad; little traffic, the roads were icy, but I was taking my time and coping like a real Minnesotan. Then, as I was leaving lovely Glenwood, I saw a truck stopped to make a left turn way ahead — like 4 or 5 blocks ahead. So I touched the brakes to slow down a little more. So I tried to slow down a little more. So I tried very hard to slow down some more. Why isn’t this car slowing down at all? I still had plenty of room, so I started easing over to the right to miss the truck on the shoulder. I tried to ease over. Why isn’t the car turning? I was pumping the brakes and trying to shift over just a little bit, right up until the moment I crunched into the right rear corner of the truck.

Well, I have have it on the word of a very unreliable source that PZ left a few details out. Someone uploaded a video to YouTube:

Continue reading PZ Myers gets in an accident!

No more pipetting late at night!

I can’t believe I haven’t embedded this video in my blog yet. This goes out to all you lab rats out there up all night making PCR plates until your thumbs ache.

Okay, so it’s an ad for a pipetting machine made by Eppendorf… but with this production quality I can’t help but be a part of their viral marketing campaign.

I should make a music video about plant breeding…


This weekend, I participated in my first Pumpkin Regatta! Organized by Jim Nienhuis and Irwin Goldman of the UW-Madison Horticulture department, it pits students, kids, and sailors alike against each other in a rowing race of giant proportions. Specifically, giant pumpkins. Which you sit inside. And paddle.

Let me see: Boating, Squash, Competition, Horticulture, and Glory. This has just about everything I need to make a Saturday worthwhile. So I hopped down there to volunteer as the first challenger against the Hoofer Sailing Club’s racer, Bridget. Little did my professors (Jim and Irwin) know that I had won a dinghy race against all the other Sea Explorer ships back in high school, so I surprised them with a victory for Horticulture!* Continue reading Victorious!*

Monday Madness – Liquid Gold Edition

Holy Gilded Irony, Batman!

Maybe you found some humor in my previous Monday Madness post about the Pope criticizing the “pagan” sin of opulence, well, now he’s at it again, declaring that the current economic problems in the U.S. and elsewhere are proof positive that the pursuit of wealth is pointless.

The global financial crisis is proof that the pursuit of money and success is pointless, Pope Benedict XVI has told a meeting of bishops in Rome.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church said that the disappearance of money as banks collapsed showed that wealth meant “nothing”.

The Pope said that people should instead base their lives on God’s word.

Those who think that “concrete things we can touch are the surest reality” are deceiving themselves, he said.

Yes, someone is deceiving themselves. Methinks it is the dude in the gold-plated hat. Continue reading Monday Madness – Liquid Gold Edition

Monday Madness: Paupal Papal Opines on Opulent Pagans

I don’t often have the time to continue my Monday Madness posts as of late. but today I heard something so jaw-droppingly Maddening I just had to put it online. (via Pharyngula) The head of one of the largest organizations of people in the world, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) non-governmental land-owning organizations on the planet, that governs its organization from within heavily gilded halls, has just spoken out about the evils of Opulence. It’s time for some Monday Madness.


Continue reading Monday Madness: Paupal Papal Opines on Opulent Pagans