December 17th, 2014


(Sorry, I can't remember who pointed me towards this a few days ago.)

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Dinosaurs! WTF?

December 7th, 2013

Dinosaurs! WTF? | A blog covering the conservative dinosaur readiness movement might just be the greatest blog of 2013.

Take, for example, this post on the Top 5 Most Awful Tyrannosaurs:

3. Nanotyrannus

Nanotyrannus was only about a third of the size of the biggest tyrannosaurs, which you might think would preclude it from this list. The problem with that line of thinking is that a third of huge is still pretty freaking big. Think of it in terms of sliders. It doesn't matter whether you eat one 12oz burger or three 4oz burgers, you're still over eating. It works the same way with pack hunting tyrannosaurs. Dividing a tyrannosaur into three smaller tyrannosaurs doesn't mean you're going to be alright, it just means that the tyrannosaurs will be able to cover all of your exits.

Hell, a seventeen foot long Nanotyrannus could probably hide in your garage. Are you going to go to your garage, be ambushed by a Nanotyrannus, and be like, "Oh, this is fine. This tyrannosaur is only seventeen feet long."

No. You'll be like, "I am dead now because it turns out that the size of a tyrannosaur is not necessarily a major factor in my ability to survive it eating my head, beyond a certain critical size which is likely somewhere in the twelve to fourteen foot-" DEAD

Also, because that same post ended like this:

The only reason T. Rex didn't evolve wings is because the sky doesn't bleed. Tyrannosaurs Rex only had two fingers on each hand because scissors always wins if you stab hard enough. The biggest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found was named Sue because you could fit both Johnnie Cochran and Mike Geragos in her gaping jaws. T. Rex didn't go extinct, murder got tired.

[Via MetaFilter]

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Do you run with the rest of the group and hope there's someone slower than you, or break off on your own and hope the uninvited guest pursues the bigger group?

May 30th, 2013

Best wedding party picture. Ever! (Courtesy of photographers Quinn Miller.)

Run with your wife!

[Via More Words, Deeper Hole]

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Therapsid therapists

February 16th, 2011

Earlier today, James Nicoll perpetrated the best typo I've seen in a long time.

[Via James Nicoll]

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And I, for one, welcome our diminutive dinosaur overlords.

August 26th, 2009

What could go wrong?

After years spent hunting for the buried remains of prehistoric animals, a Canadian paleontologist now plans to manipulate chicken embryos to show he can create a dinosaur. Hans Larsson, the Canada Research Chair in Macro Evolution at Montreal's McGill University, said he aims to develop dinosaur traits that disappeared millions of years ago in birds. Larsson believes by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo's development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatomy, he told AFP in an interview.

[Via James Nicoll]

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Hydrogen Sulphide

April 16th, 2008

Peter Ward and his colleagues reckon they might have figured out the cause of mass extinctions:

In the deep history of our planet, there have been at least five short intervals in which the majority of living species suddenly went extinct. Biologists are used to thinking about how environmental pressures slowly select the organisms most fit for survival through natural selection, shaping life on Earth like an artist sculpting clay. However, mass extinctions are drastic examples of natural selection at its most ruthless, killing off vast numbers of species at one time in a way that is hardly typical of evolution.

[…] An asteroid probably did kill off the dinosaurs, but the causes of the other four mass extinctions are still obscured beneath the accumulated weight of hundreds of millions of years, and no one has found any other credible evidence of impact craters.

But now, together with Mark Roth of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, I believe we have found a possible biochemical scar, present within living animals, that links Earth's greatest mass extinction to a single substance: hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Hydrogen sulfide is a relatively simple molecule that gives rotten eggs their distinctive foul odor and is quite toxic — in high concentrations a single breath can kill. And it looks like that is what happened: Hundreds of millions of years ago, hydrogen sulfide probably saturated our oceans and atmosphere, poisoning nearly every creature on Earth. […]


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