Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm on a hiatus with limited computer access in maui.
Too busy snorkeling, kayaking, looking for whales, dancing, shopping beachcombing etc.
I want to thank the 8,000 of you who stopped by this year - mostly hits from google searchers looking for something else.
Meanwhile here's a luau recipe link - I havent found a vegetarian one yet.
This had been a longer post with more links, but the internet connection went down.
And now my 12 year old nephew wants the computer back to watch more utube halo videos, which seems reasonable.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My home isthmus gets a spaceport. Merry isthmus. I probably meant peninsula. Meanwhile I'll be on maui for a couple weeks visiting kinfolks.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Looking at my stat counter for the first time in ages, I find that blog readership is down this year, but not by as much as I expected. Less than 10,000 hits, less than 500 steady readers, but more than zero. I'm getting more blogging done than usual because its that or do actual work.

Real ID act to be amended, maybe killed, says Digg and Akaka. I did not expect the recent Dem victory to have such possible spinoffs for civil liberties. Might only be Akaka's stance.


Peter O'Toole has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Venus. Eek- a review. Looks good - The movie, not his chances. Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland", Wil Smith and Leo are other nominees. One thing all the globe nominations have in common is I haven't seen any of the movies. I saw one movie in a theater this year and liked it but don't remember it. That probably concludes this blog's this year's coverage of Hollywood.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The bill begins: "The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio..." Via Volokh,an Ohio bill passed today not only provides a right to bear arms, it backs it up with attorney's fees. I wonder how such a bill would do in Indiana.

Howard notes that the New York Times now has permalinks to make life easier for bloggers. Here's a random example: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/arts/television/12mana.html?ex=1323579600&en=876ea90d803ef2da&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's the time of year when I start to think maybe it's time to shop soon.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Info on aardvarks, and maybe info on the logo I use for this blog.

I'm not getting much useful done today.
One of the reasons that so little is known about the Aardvark is that this amazing creature is mainly nocturnal and solitary

Aha! http://www.aardvark-world.org.uk/
Penelope, Aardvark-World's very own pet aardvark. Her name was suggested by Suzie Buckley and chosen from hundreds of suggestions sent in during 1998 to our "Name the Aardvark" competition. Congratulations Suzie, your name will be seen by the thousands of people who visit Aardvark-World now and in the future.
Picture of Penelope

Penelope will be making guest appearances on various pages in our website at different times, and will generally have fun, frolicking in the background of our pages, and popping up where she's least expected!

A new species of Orycteropodidae (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) in the Mio-Pliocene of northern Chad

A new species of fossil Tubulidentata has been found by the Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Tchadienne in Northern Chad. It is the first fossil Orycteropodidae (aardvark) from the Mio-Pliocene of Central Africa. The new taxon, Orycteropus abundulafus sp. nov., is considered in the framework of the available Orycteropodidae fossil record. The Chadian specimen is characterized by the highest dental robustness index among all Tubulidentata, the presence of crests on the pterygoid, the triangular-shaped olecranon fossa and the reduction of the deltoid crest. All of these characters are linked to a less fossorial animal that had a tougher diet. This new African species is closer to the Eurasian O. gaudryi than to any other Tubulidentata. Together they form a clade distinct from that which includes O. afer. This is the first evidence of a relationship for aardvarks between Africa and Eurasia. An initial step is made towards revision of the phylogeny of the order. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 143, 109–131.


Arnason, U., A. Gullberg, and A. Janke. 1999. The mitochondrial DNA molecule of the aardvark, Orycteropus afer, and the position of the Tubulidentata in the eutherian tree. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 266: 339-345.

Benirsch, K., D. H. Wurster, R. J. Low, N. B. Atkin. 1970. Chromosome complement of aardvark, Orycteropus afer. Chromosoma 31:68-&.

DeJong, W. W., A. Zweers, and M. Goodman. 1981. Relationship of aardvark to elephants, hyraxes and sea cows from alpha-crystallin sequences. Nature 292:538-540.

Madsen, O., P. M. T. Deen, G. Pesole, C. Saccone, and W. W. deJong. 1997. Molecular evolution of mammalian aquaporin-2: Further evidence that elephant shrew and aardvark join the paenungulate clade. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14:363-371.

McKenna, M. C. and S. K. Bell. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York.

Melton, D. A. 1976. The biology of the aardvark (Tubulidentata, Orycteropodidae). Mammal Review 6:75-88.

Nowak, R. M. 1999. Order Tubulidentata. Pages 1048-1049 in: Walker's Mammals of the World. Sixth Edition. Volume II. (R. M. Nowak). Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Pathak, S., L. Shirley, M. L. Johnson. 1980. The chromosome-banding patterns of the aardvark Orycteropus afer (Tubulidentata, Orycteropidae). Experientia 36:547-548.

Patterson, B. 1978. Pholidota and Tubulidentata. Pages 268-278 in Evolution of African Mammals. V. J. Maglio and H. B. S. Cooke, eds. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Pickford, M. 1996. Tubulidentata (Mammalia) from the middle and upper Miocene of southern Namibia. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences Serie II Fascicule A-Sciences de la Terre et des Planetes 322:805-810.

Shoshani, J., C. A. Goldman, and J. G. M. Thewissen. 1988. Orycteropus afer. American Society of Mammalogists. Mammalian Species Account 300:1-8.

Thewissen, J. G. M. 1985. Cephalic evidence for the affinities of Tubulidentata. Mammalia 49:257-284.

Thewissen, J. G. M. and D. M. Badoux. 1986. The descriptive and functional myology of the fore-limb of the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, Pallas 1766). Anatomischer Anzeiger 162:109-123.
Information on the Internet

* Order Tubulidentata. Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.
* Tubulidentata. The Ultimate Ungulate Page.
* Afrotheria Specialist Group. IUCN - The World Conservation Union. Species Survival Commission.
* Aardvark. African Wildlife Foundation.

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) in Serengeti NP, Tanzania
Scientific Name Orycteropus afer
Location Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Comments Aardvarks are shy, solitary and completely nocturnal. They sleep in burrows by day and emerge to dig for termites after dark. This one was found by spotlighting on open grasslands.
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By David Bygott
Behavior Foraging
Life Cycle Stage Adult
View Lateral
Copyright © 2005 David Bygott
Scientific Name Orycteropus afer
Location captive specimen at Frankfurt Zoo (Germany)
Comments aardvark
Creator Lloyd Glenn Ingles
Acknowledgements courtesy CalPhotos
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Copyright © 2001 California Academy of Sciences
About This Page

Saturday, December 09, 2006

29 free software thingies.
X Judge on Padilla.
Snipe hunting.
Big tent over kazakh capital - finally! a domed city. To be built in a year, itself impressive. It's basicly a big tent, with some spaceage fabric.
Expatriot Act: a resource for expatriots.
Some obscure words.
Make your own root beer, ginger ale or open cola.
unsecret cola formula:
* 3.50 ml orange oil
* 1.00 ml lemon oil
* 1.00 ml nutmeg oil
* 1.25 ml cassia oil
* 0.25 ml coriander oil
* 0.25 ml neroli oil
* 2.75 ml lime oil
* 0.25 ml lavender oil
* 10.0 g gum arabic
* 3.00 ml water


* 2.00 tsp flavoring
* 3.50 tsp 75% phosphoric acid or citric acid
* 2.28 l water
* 2.36 kg granulated white sugar
* 0.50 tsp caffeine (optional)
* 30.0 ml caramel color
Sources marginal revolutions, volokh, drudge, digg, wikihow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sunrise on Mars.
Wheaton about the picture.

FIRE report on censorship on campus, via Digg.

Vote-for-the-crook-it's-important department:
Chelsea Clinton, reports drudge, is dating the son of a jailed crooked former Dem. congresscritter. He's in jail for stealing from clients after being the victim of Nigerian frauds. The son's mother is a also a congresscritter, Margerie Margolis. Blotter.

Words for the day: mafiaa, Psikhushka.
At least 90% of english text held on google consists of the 10,000 most common words.
English speakers tend to know another 30,000 less common words, and word geeks like me know another 15,000 or so obscure words, but these two were new to me. http://mafiaa.org/

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Singularity watch:
New elemental particle discovered.
The axion, has no charge.

Monday, December 04, 2006

File conversion utility site: http://www.zamzar.com/

At crescat [http://crescatsententia.net/] Quaker has some thoughts on the 50's era New Yorker and gender politics. This post is a placeholder to which I may add comments later. I'm a fan of the Thurber/Harold Ross era of the New Yorker. If a lot of the cartoons were about marital discord, one reason is that they did it well, and sold magazines and got positive feedback, so they kept doing it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What I'm reading:
5000 nights at the opera, by Sir Rudolph Bing.
Bing was director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, but I'm not at that part of the book yet. Childhood in Vienna, early career in Germany, 14 years running an opera for an eccentric english gentleman at his county estate, glyndebourne, dramatic escape from Austria as the Nazis invade.
I don't know anything about opera, but this is a fun book, partly because it builds on some earlier reading: Recording the Ring was about a guy who made records of Wagner in the 60s, so this book overlaps a bit with that story, and Memoirs of a Sexologist was by a German doctor, only I left it behind half read in the break room of a job I quit, after I'd been told to do something I considered dishonest, but can't discuss here because of a non-disclosure agreement.
Also because a close late friend of mine was a butler from an eccentric english gentleman at his country estate
I have no idea where I picked up the Bing, but it's the first book I've read in about a month. I've been busy, and had the impression I didn't have any good books handy, and found this on a shelf. Last year I blogged the 50 book challenge, but I've let that go this year - not sure if I've read 50 books this year.
Amazon says they have the Bing for sale for $0.01 - it's worth every penny.
He drops names that even I recognize - Mahler, Eugene Ormandy, Shostakovitz {sp], Bruno Walter, Alec Guinness, Benjamin Britten, etc.

Bing, Sir Rudolf
(born Jan. 9, 1902, Vienna, Austria-Hungary-died Sept. 2, 1997, New York, N.Y., U.S.) Austrian-born British opera impresario. After holding positions in German opera houses, he assumed the position of general manager at the Glyndebourne Opera in England (1935–49). In 1946 he helped found the Edinburgh Festival. From 1950 until 1972 he served as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, where, wielding autocratic power, he raised the institution's performance standards, extended its season, encouraged innovations in design and production, ended the exclusion of black singers, and oversaw the company's move to Lincoln Center in 1966.

Edinburgh Festival
International festival of the arts, with an emphasis on music and drama. Founded in 1947 by Rudolf Bing, it is held for three weeks each summer. Its theatrical offerings include plays by major international theatrical companies; plays premiered at the festival include T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party (1949) and Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker (1954). The adjunct Edinburgh Fringe attracts amateur theatre groups and has launched works such as Beyond the Fringe (1960) and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1966).

Eugene Onegin google video. What's opera doc? Bugs Bunny cartoon 1957 google video.
The ring, Wagner, Bayreuth, 1 hour google video.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Singularity watch department:
Slashdot reports new method of using solar power to split water into hydrogen.
Haven't really checked it out, and not all slashdot posts pan out, but hey.

Bong hits for Jesus.
The case involves student free speech for off-school conduct. Ken Starr represents the principal.
It's a ninth circuit decision, so it'll be reversed.
Issues include whether the principal is personally liable, so that could be important to the kind of litigation I do.

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