Matt in the Weeds

I work for a large public University in the American South. It’s easy to learn which, considering I’ve been there ten years, serving most of them as a Web administrator. It’s too hard to hide on the Internet… I’ll have a new job on campus, effective early next month. It’s in large part a press …

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Ataika’s Career

Steve, why didn’t you tell us that Ataika was moonlighting as a supermodel? Did you have to pay to get headshots for her portfolio? I certainly hope she’s working for more than just kibble!

Minor miracle

Lest we forget why animals are more amazing than you and me, in general, and why we love to have them around: Witness Kato, my cat since 1986, killer of squirrels, rabbits and birds a plenty; the world’s only (known to me) hawking cat, who followed the hawk and me on numerous hunts in my …

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I saw this small “chimney” of uneroded soil in the middle of a small arroyo east of the house yesterday. Closer examination showed that a matt of prickly pear had anchored the soil in place while everything else around it eroded away. Looking at the size of the arroyo and the stability of the vegetation …

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Last Saturday’s predicted high of 52 with a chance of thundershowers turned into a high of 35 and a Spring snow storm. Native Southern Californians Sadie and Maggie ask: What is this stuff?

Squirrels Gone Wild

This item is a little old, but it happened while I was busy moving and couldn’t get to it. The LA Times reported that the city of Santa Monica has been faced with a problem where one of its parks has been overrun by a population explosion of ground squirrels. And what did the city …

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This NY Times piece on an auction of fossils and antiquities has it right – it is painful for paleontologists and archaeologists to watch these things. Artifacts and fossils taken from the context of their deposition lose much of their ability to contribute to scientific analysis.

Mullahs Dis 300

The mad mullahs aren’t very coherent about it, but they sure don’t like the new movie “300”. A couple of reactions: “The government spokesman referred to the movie as part of the extensive cultural aggression aiming to degenerate cultures of world states.” And: “The Iranian embassy in Paris has termed the film an insult to …

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A real find for evo- wonks: a likely case of sympatric speciation in finches. “Examples of sympatric speciation in nature are rare and hotly debated. We describe the parallel speciation of finches on two small islands in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean.” For a fascinating book on the subject– by …

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