Dinosaur Colors Found!

Of course, it is out of China and they’ve had some fake stuff, but this looks real.

The BBC says:

Professor Benton explained that differently shaped melanosomes produced different colours, with blacks or greys produced by “sausage-shaped” melanosomes, and reddish or “russet” shades found in spherical ones.
“A ginger-haired person would have more spherical melanosomes, and a black-haired or grey-haired person would have more of the sausage-shaped structures,” said Professor Benton.
The scientists found both types of melanosome in Confuciusornis and decided to turn their attention to Sinosauropteryx, which is the most primitive feathered dinosaur yet found.

Good stuff.

If I ever teach Dinosaurs and Dragons again…

Math in New and Improved Ways

The Math Curmudgeon has a great post on Game-Changing Graphics.

It is well worth looking at.

Want to see how a Russian Winter decimated Napoleon’s army? It’s there.

How cholera was identified as coming from a septic tank? That, too.

Scary view of sex at Jefferson High. (When did that come out and how did I miss it? Answer 2004. I don’t know. That would be a good place to point some of my students. American Journal of Sociology.)

This would definitely be interesting to read about.

Password Joke

from my friend Jill:

During a recent password audit at our company, it was found that a receptionist was using the following password:


When asked why she had such a long password, she said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.

Marry an Educated Woman, Live Longer

Reuter’s says:

In a study, researchers found that a woman’s education was a stronger factor in her husband’s risk of dying over the next decade or so than the man’s own level of education.

And a husband’s social class based on his occupation had a greater influence on a woman’s survival than her own occupational class, Drs. Robert Erikson and Jenny Torssander of the Swedish Institute for Social Research in Stockholm found.

Wife 1.0

Dear Tech Support:
Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0. I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6. I can’t seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I’m thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn’t work on Wife 1.0. Please help!
A Troubled User

REPLY: Dear Troubled User:
This is a very common problem that men complain about.

Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING. It is also impossible to delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 7.0. It is impossible to uninstall, or purge the program files from the system once installed.

You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed to not allow this. Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under Warnings-Alimony-Child Support. I recommend that you keep Wife 1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application “Yes Dear” to alleviate software augmentation.

The best course of action is to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5 and Do Bills 4.2.

However, be very careful how you use these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program Nag Nag 9.5. Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0.

WARNING!!! DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3.3. This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system.
Best of luck,
Tech Support

from Happy Catholic


Someone tried to write a college science paper on the “natural phenomenon” of werewolves, vampires, and zombies.

Despite the fact that the student did not get the topic approved, as per the syllabus, s/he did a lot of work on the paper and developed it well. S/he looked at when those creatures were discussed using scientific language, etc.

It reminded me of my genetics class at SLU and that disease that made people’s bones (and teeth) red and for them to be sensitive to light and very hairy.

Apparently it reminded someone else (Macaroon of the same thing:

“there is a “disease” called Ambras syndrome that causes people to look like werewolves. Perhaps the other prof could suggest he take an incomplete and add a page about Ambras syndrome, thereby “fixing” the problem by actually describing a natural phenomenon. Dunno if I’d take off points here if it were my student.”

Good Advice

Keep a diary: Instead of talking about your problems, write them down. People who spend a few moments a day structuring their thoughts on paper experience a remarkable boost in their physical and psychological wellbeing.

Smile, sit up and act happy: You might not feel like it, but the easiest way to be happy is to start acting as if you are. Smile for a few seconds, sit up straight instead of slouching and act jolly. Your mood will soon follow suit.

Buy experiences, not things: Shopping till you drop might seem like a good way to banish the blues, but research shows that you’ll feel a whole lot better if you spend your money on a holiday, a concert or a meal.

Dresses, shoes and gadgets give you a short-term buzz, but new experiences and spending time with friends will make you happier in the long run.

Make plans: People don’t just find themselves at the top of Everest – you need a plan if you want to achieve your goals. Luckily, researchers have now discovered the six key elements that make a scheme successful.

They are to write it down; tell friends about it; draw up a timetable; break it up into achievable steps; reward yourself after completing each step; and spend time reminding yourself of the benefits of reaching your goal.

Seize the day: If you have a tendency to procrastinate, researchers recommend that you start small, and work on the task you keep putting off for just a few minutes. Starting any activity causes anxiety, which will not be relieved until the work is done.

Even the smallest of starts, therefore, will trick your brain into wanting to see the project through to the end.

Take centre stage: Want to boost your chances of making a good impression at a meeting or social gathering? Simply sit near the middle of the table or group. Researchers believe that when assessing a group, people use a basic rule of thumb: important people sit at the heart of it.

Ask for a favour: As long as the favour is relatively small (e.g. borrowing a book), research shows that asking someone to do a little something for you will actually make them like you more.

Eat fast, then slow down: While dozens of diet books advise you to eat slowly in order to feel fuller, research shows that people who start eating at their normal rate before slowing down to half their normal speed experience an even greater reduction in appetite – and lose weight accordingly.

Throw away the big plates: The larger your fork, spoon or plate, the more you will try to fit on it. Keep them small and your portions – and waistline – will follow.

Read more at DailyMail UK

What news are YOU reading?

LiveScience says “people choose news that fits their views.”

News readers gorge on media messages that fit their pre-existing views, rather than graze on a wider range of perspectives. In other words, they consume what they agree with, researchers say.

The finding comes out of a recent study which tracked how college students spent their time reading media articles on hot-button issues such as abortion or gun ownership.

Unsurprisingly, students gravitated toward articles that supported their views.


I loved Josta. I went to fb today and clicked “5 Favorite Sodas” and put in Josta as my first one. It hasn’t been available for ten years, but it is my favorite soda, still.

Found this site which tells how to make a Josta-like drink.

Loving it.

Gotta go to the store.