Sunday, May 27, 2007

Odds and ends

As of last Thursday, I've finished the two classes I was taking this semester, so, in theory, I'll have more time and brainpower available for blogging. In actuality, my blogging habits are the result of complex calculation involving highly-volatile variables ([time + urge + current mental faculties]/laziness = probability of blogging), so whether or not you'll see a substantial increase in my blogging output is anybody's guess.

I should note that my sister, in an act of rank nepotism, has presented a "Thinking Blogger" award to me. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that I can't shake the feeling that the whole thinking award meme--though well-intended--might just be more than a bit ridiculous, I'm going to have to be a contrarian jerk and say that I don't feel like I'm much of a deserving recipient. Hell, I barely even blog, much less blog with thoughtful consideration. Nevertheless, thank you, Cath.

The standard response to receiving the "Thinking Blogger" award would be for me to nominate five people who I think are also deserving; I'm not going to do that. Most of the blogs I read regularly are written by professionals or semi-professionals writing--at least some of the time--on topics related to their areas of expertise. I think it would be misappropriately pretentious of me to nominate any of these blogs. Instead, I'm going to link to a few relatively recent posts that I've found especially enjoyable:

PZ Myers argues against the pervasive notion that the history of life--from "simple" single-celled organisms to the obvious pinnacle of evolution, walking and talking apes--reflects a pattern of ladder-like increases in complexity.

In his typically lucent and well-written fashion, Carl Zimmer has a great article on the findings and implications related to the sequencing of the opossum genome.

Kambiz writes an interesting and informative post about the new Digital Morphology Database, a great tool for people interested in skeletal anatomy.

Sean Carroll explains his reasons for believing that the rumours of string theory's demise have been greatly exaggerated. While my ability to consistently comprehend complex arguments related to theoretical physics is rather limited, the folks at at Cosmic Variance do an outstanding job of keeping things both informative and readable for both experts and novices.

That's it for now. Barring a case of uncontrollable lethargy, I hope to have more new content--if it can be justifiably called that--up within the next few days.

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