June 15, 2009
In honor of Pride Month, I’ll be hosting the LGBT edition of the Diversity in Science Carnival on Tuesday, June 30. (I’m pushing back the deadline due to travel the week before.) Send me anything you like about LGBT issues in science – for example, profiles of historic or modern scientists or issues particular to LGBT people working in science – and I will craft it into something delightful. Personal stories are welcome, but you certainly don’t need to identify as LGBT to participate! If I don’t receive enough submissions the Carnival will consist largely of epic poetry praising the sparkly sequined cowboy hat I got at NYC Pride a couple years ago. You don’t want that, trust me.
The deadline is Sunday, June 28th. Submit via this handy form or just send it directly me via theoystersgarter at gmail dot com. Be sure to include URL, author, and a few sentences of summary.
June 8, 2009
It’s the very first World Oceans Day! Celebrate with the 25th edition of Carnival of the Blue, hosted by the fish-loving Mark Powell. Then sing to to the tune of “Fish Heads”: Fish blogs, fish blogs, smart & fun fish blogs, fish blogs, fish blogs, READ THEM NOW! YUM!
May 5, 2009
Like unto the great Pacific Ocean, the Oyster’s Garter appears peaceful and empty. Yet it filled with treacherous riptides and unexpected stingrays as I slip ever deeper into the twilight midwater of huge piles of work. Does that analogy even make sense? What with 2 hours of sleep, I can’t tell. BEHOLD THE GLAMOUR OF MARINE BIOLOGY!
While I toil and moil, please enjoy two fine carnivals. Frankly, I haven’t read anything in them, but I’m sure many delights await. The Carnival of the Blue is up at Sea Notes, and the Carnival of Evolution is up at Oh, for the Love of Science!
April 1, 2009
Have been wandering darkest depths of internet for days. Took a wrong turn at Wikipedia, stumbled over Twitter, and fell off cliff. Am hopelessly lost. Here be Hoxful Monsters, ready to force me to evolve by activating or deactivating my genes. Wondering if I am cute enough to induce locals into altruism via affect hunger, as Greg Downey at Neuroanthropology thinks that passing myself off as poor relative is likely to fail. Cry myself to sleep in strange electronic forest.
Was shocked to discover that gorgeously colored birds flicking about Grrlscientist’s place are racists that disapprove of mixed-head-color matings and sexists that think boys can handle stressful times better. Equally low moral character in local bonobos on The Primate Diaries – it’s quite egotistical to think that they most closely resemble human ancestors. The Primate Diaries leaves a bad taste in my mouth!
Starving. Searched for newly domesticated rice in Agricultural Biodiversity but alas, no rice until eastern China. Tried fishing for catfish but Grrlscientist scared me away with their complicated evolutionary history and lots of squeaking. Biochemicalsoul sent me frozen fish but since the fish had lost their oxygen-binding proteins they didn’t actually freeze, so they escaped. I wish Greg Laden and his 300 million year old fish with a poor sense of vertical position were around – I bet I could catch one or the other. Sigh.
Everything’s becoming blurry. Maybe it’s sunstroke – Seeds Aside told me to be like ivy and use nectar for sunblock, but I don’t have any nectar. I can’t even tell what is a species anymore. Denim and Tweed says species are a continuum of reproductive isolation and Why Sharks Matter says that species aren’t real anyway! I don’t know what to think. Maybe this group of friendly creationists can help.
Friendly creationists were a bust. First Gravity and Levity refuted creation “science” comprehensively and with citations. Then Adaptive Complexity introduced them to the basic evidence for evolution by reviewing the book Why Evolution Is True. When the no-longer-friendly creationists feebly countered with examples of evolutionary frauds, Tangled Up in Blue Guy beat them lightly about the head and neck with the real facts about Haeckel and Piltdown Man and peppered moths and Archaeopteryx.
The sauciest one muttered about half a wing being useless, but Migration demonstrated that half a wing is useful indeed. The final straw was when the Evolving Mind noted that evolution does not inevitably lead to intelligence. They ran away, leaving me alone once more in the internet wilderness.
Aieee! There’s something horrifying crashing through the shrubbery and it’s coming closer! I remember that Observations of a Nerd told me to keep my stress low if I wanted high testosterone but now the ladies will never like me. To make matters worse, Anna’s Bones says that the human boner has no baculum bone! What if the crashing is make by the dread Zerg, alien bioengineers luring Dreams In Vitro onto a path of doom?
Am wearing a party hat & being stalked by short-faced bear. All that noise was Brian Malow getting DOWN with Lincoln and Darwin for their birthdays. Unfortunately party was so extreme that it ripped a hole in the space-time continuum, dumping us all 150,000 years in the past. Some party guests thought that de-evolution could protect them but instead were immediately eaten by leopards. Am not long for this lifGLAAAAARRRG…
This ancient diary was found by Daniel Brown next to the fossil of a short-nosed bear in a party hat. Oh, For the Love of Science! will continue interpreting it next month.
March 31, 2009
Check out Podcast of the Blue #1, hosted by Rick MacPherson and featuring WhySharksMatter, Kevin Zelnio, Jason Robertshaw, and yours truly. Lurking in the middle is a Very Exciting Announcement about the Oyster’s Garter. I’ll write a post about it eventually, but for now you can only hear it on Podcast of the Blue, along with lots of dolphin and squid and fishy delights. Enjoy the melodious voices of your friendly ocean bloggers!
March 30, 2009
I SEE YOU, LURKERS!!!
The deadline for Carnival of Evolution entries is tomorrow (5 PM PST) and yet, you persist in thwarting my evilutionary plan. Do you think I don’t see you lurking in the corner? No, my internet powers are like unto Sauron, a laser beaming into every corner of the internet where quality unsubmitted evolution-related blog posts lurk. Give me my rightful entries, or suffer the consequences.
You will submit here, puny mortals!
March 26, 2009
Check out Diversity in Science Carnival #2, up at Thus Spake Zuska. The theme is Women Achievers in STEM: Past and Present, and there is all kinds of science-lady-goodness. Check it out!
March 25, 2009
This month’s Diversity in Science Carnival coincides with Women’s History Month, so the theme is Women Achievers in STEM: Past and Present. I’m going to write about a woman who I really, really wish I could have met: Mia J. Tegner.
Mia Tegner received her PhD from Scripps in 1974. Though she came to Scripps as a sea urchin microbiologist, she soon started to wonder about the ecological role of sea urchins in the kelp forest. At the time, overfishing of large coastal fish that prey on urchins had led to massive starving urchins fronts which had eaten the entire kelp forest. Correction: Actually, she was interested in the ecological effects of the urchin and abalone fisheries. Urchin barrens were not an issue at the time.
Alongside her longtime collaborator Paul Dayton, she teased apart the biological and physical factors controlling kelp forest dynamics. Their monograph on kelp forest patch dynamics is a classic in the field. Dr. Tegner also showed that harvesting different urchin species had different ecological effects, and studied the decline of local abalone species due to overfishing and disease.
Later, Dr. Tegner got more involved in marine policy. She found that the outfall of San Diego’s sewage treatment plant had no impact on local ecosystems, and wasn’t afraid to say so. But she also found that overfishing had devastated her beloved Point Loma kelp forest and spoke out against overfishing and shifting baselines syndrome. She said, “People deserve scientists’ time and efforts to provide data on which to base decisions regarding the environment.”
The current mandate to create marine protected areas in southern California in part stems from Dr. Tegner’s work, but she did not live to see them. She died in a diving accident in 2001, when she was 53. My office is two doors down from where hers used to be (though I never met her; she died five years before I came to Scripps). Not only did her premature death deprive the world of her deep understanding of marine ecology and love of the ocean, but I bet she would have been quite a mentor as well.
March 3, 2009
Carnival of the Blue #22 is up at Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets. Rick certainly rose to the challenge of topping my rhymes – he’s announced the birth of the Podcast of the the Blue!
Made possible through the technological acumen of Cephalopodcast’s very own Jason Robertshaw, Podcast of the Blue is an opportunity for ocean bloggers to discuss the blog posts with their peers. And listeners get to hear some of the Carnival authors dive behind their writing to elaborate on the subject.
Sign me up! (And this is the last carnival announcement for the month. We shall soon return to your regularly scheduled wet & salty science.)
March 2, 2009
You know what I said about participating more Carnivals? Here’s another! Check out Circus of the Spineless #36, up at the Invertebrate Diaries, for all your adorable creepy slimy needs.