Ken Miyata was an ecologist and herpetologist who was my best friend in graduate school. He was a student of Ernest Williams (Greg Mayer was also Willams’s student for much of his time at Harvard), and we spent tons of time together, including a month-long trip to Ecuador where I helped him collect frogs (that’s … Continue reading Remembrances of Ken Miyata
by Greg Mayer I learned of Dick Lewontin’s death only Thursday morning— I had been traveling for several days with little internet access. When I checked my email upon my return, I found a message from a colleague on some other matter, and appended to his message were his condolences and an appreciation of Dick’s … Continue reading More thoughts on Dick Lewontin (post by Greg Mayer)
It’s CSaturday, March 25, 2023, shabbos for Jewish cats, and International Waffle Day. (This corresponds to Vårfrudagen or Våffeldagen, “Waffle Day”, in Sweden, Norway & Denmark). Here’s a traditional Swedish waffle with cream and jam: It’s a big day for holidays today, as it’s also Pecan Day, National Lobster Newburg Day, Tolkien Reading Day (the date … Continue reading Saturday: Hili dialogue
Good morning on Ceiling Cat’s Day, May 17, 2020. Remember the Sabbath—like every other day—was made for cats, not cats for the Sabbath. And so it’s National Cherry Cobbler Day (yum!), as well as Pinot Grigio Day (an overrated wine; try Chenin Blanc instead), National Walnut Day, World Baking Day, and National Mushroom Hunting Day. … Continue reading Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)
Atelopus coynei is an aposematic neotropical frog first captured and described by my late friend Ken Miyata (this was part of a grad-school deal in which I offered to lend him $500 if one day he’d name a species after me). I’ve written about it on this site several times before. As I have no offspring, this … Continue reading Readers’ wildlife photographs: My frog is still alive!
This new clip from the BBC show Super Powered Owls shows a snowy owl, Bubo scandiacus, defending its young against hungry skuas and wolves. Because these owls breed north of the Arctic Circle, they don’t nest in trees: there aren’t any up there. To get a good view of the surroundings, though, they nest on top … Continue reading Snowy owl protects her young
Twelve days ago I described my discovery of some possible plagiarism, and other unsavory journalistic shenanigans, in a Nautilus article by Robert Levine. That article, about the botfly that I acquired in my head as a graduate student visiting Costa Rica, was characterized as an except from his book Stranger in the Mirror: The Scientific Search … Continue reading Possibly plagiarized book disappears from Amazon and the Princeton University Press website
Yesterday I reported a possible case of plagiarism of a story that involved my botfly affliction of many years ago. I’ve reported this case to Princeton University Press and the Nautilus site, which published or will publish the passage in question, as well as to Scribner’s (now part of Simon and Schuster) and to RadioLab, purveyors … Continue reading Plagiarism update
Someone called my attention to a new piece on Nautilus, “Parasites are us: how biological invaders challenge our notion of self and others” by Robert Levine, who’s identified this way: Robert V. Levine is a professor of psychology at California State University, Fresno and former president of the Western Psychological Association. His previous books include … Continue reading Someone recounts my botfly tale: Is this plagiarism?
Mimicry is a recurring subject on this site, mainly because I’m fascinated by the precision with which natural selection can mold animals and plants to look like things they’re not. We’ve also seen examples of plants mimicking animals before, as in the orchids that mimic bees and wasps, fooling randy insect males into trying to copulate … Continue reading A new and bizarre form of mimicry: plant seeds mimic shape and smell of animal feces to facilitate dispersal by dung beetles