Monday, October 31, 2011

fall brawl

i want to go.

python eats doe




A 16-foot-long Burmese python was found to have a whole adult deer in its stomach after it was captured and killed in a U.S. national park.
The reptile - one of the biggest ever found in South Florida - had recently swallowed a doe the size of a small child.
Skip Snow, a python specialist who conducted the autopsy at Everglades National Park, said the animal had a girth of 44ins with the 5st 6lb deer inside its stomach.

The population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades has grown over the past several years, after being bought by people in the area as exotic pets. 
State and federal wildlife officials say the dangerous snakes have been set loose by owners after growing too big, or escaped from enclosures destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The pythons primarily eat smaller mammals and birds, but larger specimens are happy to munch on alligators, deer and hogs.
The snake was discovered by workers from South Florida Water Management District, who were removing non-native plants from a tree island.
The world's largest captive snake is a 25ft, 22st python called Medusa, who lives in Kansas City and is capable of killing and consuming animals that weigh as much as a healthy adult.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054968/16-foot-python-Everglades-eaten-deer.html#ixzz1chZDa56N

beatdown





http://sidekick.theb9.com/pages-topic/840022/1?PHPSESSID=309d682b85659e6b542dedd425b34a37

Friday, October 28, 2011

halloween in boston


These are my plans for Saturday and Monday night :)
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

'Cthulhu Toad', 24" x 24"

http://skeletonhug.blogspot.com/

dramamine

never ending math equations

predatory tunicates

Predatory tunicates live anchored along the deep sea canyon walls and seafloor, waiting for tiny animals to drift or swim into their cavernous hoods.
If you’ve ever seen a Venus flytrap capture an insect, you have a clue as to how a predatory tunicate eats. Its mouthlike hood is quick to close when a small animal drifts inside. Once the tunicate catches a meal, it keeps its trap shut until it’s ready to eat again.
Predatory tunicates are simultaneous hermaphrodites—each animal produces both eggs and sperm. If conditions are poor or there are no other tunicates nearby, each tunicate can reproduce by itself.
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/AnimalDetails.aspx?enc=Z5SIVkZ+n+UdoJa0ZZ4GYA==

freckles revenge

kill him

heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss

researcher to take polygraph

A government researcher who wrote a controversial report on dead polar bears was asked to take a polygraph test by a federal agent investigating allegations of scientific misconduct.
That's according to Jeffrey Gleason's lawyer, Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is providing legal representation to Gleason and Charles Monnett, two researchers with agencies of the Department of the Interior.
In 2006, Monnett and Gleason published a report describing their sightings of apparently drowned polar bears in the Arctic. The report drew public attention to the plight of the bears as the climate changes and ice melts.
Last year, someone at the Department of the Interior alleged that acts of scientific misconduct may have been committed in relation to that report. The department's Office of Inspector General has spent months investigating, and does not typically comment on ongoing investigations.
Some critics of the investigation charge that the scientists were targeted for special attention because of their work's political implications; they say this investigation will have a chilling effect on other researchers.
During a second interview with Gleason on Oct. 26, according to Ruch, a federal agent asked the scientist about an internal routing slip — a slip of paper that various government officials initial after they review a manuscript — that had been attached to a different scientific report. That report was also related to long-term changes in polar bear habitats. It noted that in recent years, bear sightings associated with ice have decreased while sightings associated with land and open water have increased.
Gleason was asked whether he deliberately tried to hide that routing slip from investigators and if he would take a polygraph test, says Ruch, who adds the routing slip was just a third of a page; it was misplaced as Gleason photocopied a variety of documents to provide to investigators, Ruch says.
The routing slip, which Ruch emailed to NPR and posted on his organization's website, shows that officials signed off on this scientific report. One handwritten comment asked: "Are there enough data to make these statements? Was survey protocol the same thru the 26 years? (esp. as regards pol. bears.)"
Ruch says these questions were answered in subsequent correspondence. He says the discussion of that routing slip took up nearly a half-hour of the two-hour interview with Gleason.
"There appears to be kind of a desperate, almost fierce nature to pursue this until they find something," Ruch says, "which is why we think they have seized on this idiotic routing slip issue." He says Gleason wouldn't take a polygraph unless the agent would as well.
He says investigators also charged that just days before Gleason and Monnett made their sightings of apparently drowned polar bears, other researchers also saw dead polar bears floating in the water. But, according to Ruch, scientists said those sightings were neither recorded nor reported.
If that is true, says Ruch, the scientists were unaware of it when they wrote their famous report describing what they called "the first observations of polar bears floating dead offshore."
Investigators also spent considerable time asking why the role of weather was not more emphasized in the scientists' report as a possible contributor to the bears' deaths, Ruch says. "And so you have these criminal investigators asking questions as if they were the journal editors, as to why it was given greater prominence in a certain section in an earlier draft," he says.
Ruch accuses the investigators of taking issues raised during the normal scientific peer-review process and acting as though they constitute evidence of wrongdoing. He has filed a complaint with the department under its new scientific integrity policy, saying these issues should be investigated not by the Office of Inspector General, but by a review performed by other scientists.
The acting inspector general for the Department of the Interior, Mary Kendall, recently said in a letter to a senator that though her office would like to be able to respond to allegations by PEER and other outside entities, it cannot comment until its investigation is complete, because to do so would be unfair to all parties involved.
http://www.npr.org/2011/10/26/141739129/feds-asked-polar-bear-researcher-to-take-polygraph

red octo

ink blot mugs

survivor

jack and jill

Jack and Jill
By Abigail Larson for October Shadows, an annual exhibit celebrating Halloween in art. Showcasing artists from the worlds of fine art, comics, film, TV and animation.

copepod

Not to fear—this evil-looking marine copepod is a tiny crustacean and among the most common types of multicelled creatures in the oceans.
Jan Michels, of the University of Kiel in Germany, snapped this belly-up view at ten-times magnification. (See more award-winning pictures of microscopic life.)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/pictures/111006-nikon-small-world-microphotography-competition-science/?source=hp_dl2_news_micro20111008#/best-micro-photographs-copepod_41524_600x450.jpg

granulite

Bold strokes of color enliven a picture of graphite-bearing granulite, a metamorphic rock consisting mainly of feldspar and quartz. Bernardo Cesare of Padova, Italy, magnified the rock—collected in Kerala, India—2.5 times and earned eighth place in the Small World photo competition.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/pictures/111006-nikon-small-world-microphotography-competition-science/?source=hp_dl2_news_micro20111008#/best-micro-photographs-copepod_41524_600x450.jpg

average climate record

liverwort

They may look like lizard feet, but these colorful, branching patterns festoon liverwort, a type of plant. The University of British Columbia's Robin Young magnified liverwort 20 times to capture the award-winning picture.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/pictures/111006-nikon-small-world-microphotography-competition-science/?source=hp_dl2_news_micro20111008#/best-micro-photographs-copepod_41524_600x450.jpg

cephalopod eye evolution


Eyes evolved independently multiple times: the cephalopod eye evolved about 480 million years ago, and the vertebrate eye is even older (490 to 600 million years), but both evolved long after the last common ancestor of molluscs and chordates, which lived about 750 million years ago. The LCA probably did not have an image-forming eye at all.
And that's the key point: a true eye is a structure that has an image forming element, a retina, and some kind of morphological organization that allows a distant object to form a pattern of light on that retina. That organization can be something as simple as a cup-shaped depression or pinhole lens, or as elaborate as our camera eye, or an insect's compound eye, or the mirror eyes of a scallop. An eye is photoreceptors + structure. Eyes have evolved multiple times; they've even evolved multiple times within the phylum Mollusca, and different lineages have adopted different strategies for forming images.
The LCA probably didn't have an eye, but it did have photoreceptors, and the light sensitive cells were localized to patches on the side of the head. It even had two different classes of photoreceptors, ciliary and rhabdomeric. That's how I can say that eyes demonstrate a pattern of common descent: animals share the same building block for an eye, these photoreceptor cells, but different lineages have assembled those building blocks into different kinds of eyes.
Photoreceptors are fundamental and relatively easy to understand; we've worked out the full pathways in photoreceptors that take an incoming photon of light and convert it into a change in the cell's membrane properties, producing an electrical signal. Making an eye, though, is a whole different matter, involving many kinds of cells organized in very specific ways. The big question is how you evolve an eye from a photoreceptor patch, and that's going to involve a whole lot of genes. How many?
This is where I turn to the paper by Yoshida and Ogura, ... The approach is to take advantage of molluscan phylogeny.
As shown in the diagram above, molluscs are diverse: it's just the coleoid cephalopods, squid and octopus, that have evolved a camera eye, while other molluscs have mirror, pinhole, or compound eyes. So one immediate way to narrow the range of relevant genes is a homology search: what genes are found in molluscs with camera eyes that are not present in molluscs without such eyes. That narrows the field, stripping out housekeeping genes and generic genes involved in basic cellular processes, even photoreception. Unfortunately, it doesn't narrow the field very much: they identified 5,707 candidate genes that might be evolved in camera eye evolution.
To filter it further, the authors then looked at just those genes among the 5,707 that were expressed in embryos. Eye formation is a developmental process, after all, so the interesting genes will be expressed in embryos, not adults (a sentiment with which I always concur). Unfortunately, development is a damnably complicated and interesting process, so this doesn't narrow the field much, either: we're down to 3,075 candidate genes.
Their final filter does have a dramatic effect, though. They looked at the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide changes in the candidate genes, a common technique for identifying genes that have been the target of selection, and found a grand total of 156 genes that showed a strong signal for selection. That's 156 total genes that are different between coleoids and other molluscs, are expressed in the embryonic eye, and that show signs of adaptive evolution. That's manageable and interesting.
They also looked for homologs between cephalopod camera eyes and vertebrate camera eyes, and found 1,571 of them; this analysis would have been more useful if it were also cross-checked against other non-camera-eye molluscs. As it is, that number just tells us some genes are shared, but they could have been genes involved in photoreceptor signalling (among others), which we already expect to be similar. I'd like to know if certain genes have been convergently adopted in both lineages to build a camera eye, and it's not possible to tell from this preliminary examination.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/10/how_many_genes_does_it_take_to.php

bang! how we came to be