Science


Justice Scalia and the Genetic Panopticon

I haven't always been that kind to Justice Scalia (or to Justice Scalia's hats), but I do think he's a very good writer, and so I'm glad to be able to quote him saying something I agree with. If you…


Oregon, Hawaii May Name Official State Microbes

If House Concurrent Resolution 12 passes, Oregon could become the first state in the Union to declare an official state microbe. Specifically, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as "brewer's yeast" or "baker's yeast," for reasons you can probably guess. "It is perhaps…


Seismologists Convicted of Not Predicting Earthquake

Well, I was just wondering the other day what if anything had ever happened with that ridiculous case in Italy where seismologists were charged with manslaughter—manslaughter!— for telling people not to worry too much about an earthquake (which then happened). See…


Please Do Not Ride the Manatees

Unfortunately, this woman is not being eaten by the Loch Ness Monster, she is riding on a manatee. This is comical in the abstract, but terrible in reality, because manatees are an endangered species and have enough trouble without some tourist…




Fire in the Hole! Again!

Some of you may remember a couple of posts from last year (here and here, with a follow-up here) about a woman who sued her ear-candler for allegedly injuring her during an ear-candling, ear-candling being a procedure where somebody sticks…


Does Congress Need to Be Held Back a Grade?

There are various software tools available that will let you determine the "grade level" and/or complexity of a particular piece of text. The Sunlight Foundation ran a couple of decades' worth of the Congressional Record through one of them, and the…


Alleged Wallaby Harborer Gets Probation

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a Pennsylvania man accused of harboring a wallaby has pleaded no contest to that charge, and was sentenced last week to one year of probation. Now comes the part where I go learn something about…