Remembering Tiananmen Square
It was 20 years ago today, this event changed China forever.
Irreducible Complexity Debunked Again
NCSE has a new video out covering evolution of the mollusk eye which debunks one of the ID/Creationist’s favorite claims: that the eye is just too complex to have evolved, that each step would need to provide a benefit to be selected for. They are right in the second part, but wrong in the first. The eye did evolve naturally over long periods of time through many simple steps – but each provided some benefit. This video traces evolution of the eye in just one phylogenetic tree branch.
This second video is a great recap of some of the challenges overcome by NCSE in the Dover Trial and in Kansas when the board wanted to remove science standards.
Fossil or Naut? Updated
After examining the odd lump of rock mentioned in the previous post with the magnifier from my Compact Oxford Dictionary I found all kinds of fossils.
So it’s not a fossil, it’s fossils. It’s crusted with Echinoids, Crinoids, and what appear to be some flatworm things (were there segmented varieties?) round things, and what appears to be some sort of pre-nautilus critter, with soft parts partially fossilized. The photo to the right has an L-Square next to the fossil for scale, and below is a gallery of the miniature fossilized sea life coating the sandstone or limestone rock. (I’m not an expert, and could use some help here with the labels if you know what these are. Most of the external parts of this appear crusted with crinoid junk as a previous commenter noted, I found attachment points in a couple places, perhaps some plates…)
The rock around here is all carboniferous age, and the echinoids and crinoids put this in the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era, so about 323 to 290 million years old.
Here’s the gallery:
Fossil or Not?
I found this buried in the backyard while mowing, Kasey did the initial excavation. It’s oddly shaped, and has crusty things all over the surface, so I’ve been trying to figure out what it is most of the evening. The question is whether it’s a fossil or not. More to come, in the meantime if you know what you are talking about and have a hypothesis as to what it could be, I’m interested in your opinion. For an idea of scale the grey curved line is the outline of a large burner on a ceramic stovetop, the words say “turbo boil”. I’ll get some more pics tomorrow with a ruler for scale. I’m in the NE Corner of Kansas, surface rock here is Carboniferous for the most part.
North Korean Nuclear Test
North Korea has performed another underground nuclear test, and test launched more missiles. Video from AP
President Obama’s Statement:
Today, North Korea said that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law. It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch. These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations. North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security.
By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community. North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community. We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead.
Memorial Day 2009
The history of taps from Tapsbugler.com.
If you’ve been in the military or a military family you have mixed emotions about this 24 note song – heard at dusk it means end of day, you and yours are still alive. When heard at other times that meaning is changed.
If you look closely at a strand of Kasey’s seemingly gray fur with a magnifying glass it appears to scintillate with blue-green light. That’s the spectrum it reflects in, but in most lighting the blue green patches appear gray with only a dull bluish tint. Every now and then the light is right, as in this flash photo taken with the Sony DSC, and you can see that some of her fur really is blue / green. Why she’s called a “blue Merle”. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, look above her left eye.
Watching This is Torture
I detest lies.