What do squids want?

Ah, February 14th. Couples stroll arm in arm, leaning on one another, exchanging roses and kisses, eating sumptuous dinners, and losing themselves in the moment. What moment is that, you ask? Well, it’s Squid Orgy Day!

No, really. Now is the time for squid reproduction, and in this wonderful piece on Slate by Miriam of The Oyster’s Garter (yay! congrats on your national debut!) she lays out six secrets for those squids out there interested in making the “beast with two beaks”.

So take note!

Darwin Day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARWIN! On the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Lord, Master, and all around Deity of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (right?), I can only offer up my humble prayers. What better place than a strange shrine to Darwin in Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos.

(Yes, that is me. You have no idea how happy it made some adorable little old ladies to be asked to take this photo.)

Baby Got Stats!

I was completely tickled last year with the oh so amusing Statz Rappers. It kept me and my nerdy stats friends laughing for days. Rapping. Stats. The Internet.

Good times.

But little did I know that rapping about statistics was really just hitting its stride on youtube. This is Why We Plot began my trip down the rabbit hole. Quite a nice effort. I followed this with that Stats Rap – not bad, and oh so mellow. Also I love the equations.

But the pièce de résistance is Baby Got Stats from Dorry Serev in the biostats department at JHU. Oh. Dear. Lord. I laughed. I wept. I even put some of the lyrics into my .sig file. Enjoy.

(note, mildly nsfw? maybe?)

There are a ton more – just follow the related links. It’s kind of amazing. And if anyone gets a yen to start doing some multivariate SEM or Bayesian raps, I want to know!

Rum, Sea Squirts, and the Lash!

“But assuming that the would-be scientist managed to avoid, or survive, the potentially dire consequences of scurvy, dysentery and malaria, that his ship was not sunk in bad weather or driven onto an uncharted rock or reef, and that his journals and specimens were not destroyed by shipboard fungus, insects, rodents or cow or sheep urine, he still had several major problems to overcome in order to undertake remotely adequate deep sea research.”

Wow. There really is no more fun left in marine science. That’s the conclusion one must reach after reading Anthony Rice’s Marine science in the age of sail, part of a wonderful special issue of Zoologica Scripta entitled In Linnaeus’ Wake: 300 Years of Marine Discovery.

Worth checking out. And it makes me pose the question, if you wanted to get into marine science then, would you rather spend 5 hours manually bringing in your sounding lines using a capstan and a crew of surly sailors, or study the intertidal? Followup: why then did it take until the 20th century for the study of the intertidal to take off?

Possible answer: Chanties and Rum. That’s my hypothesis, and I’m stickin’ to it.

(although, for 5 hours?)

Anthony L. Rice (2009). Marine science in the age of sail Zoologica Scripta, 38, 25-31 DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2007.00305.x