Sunday Fun Stuff

One of the aspects of my job during field season is to educate people, in particular stressing why it’s not a good thing to feed wild animals.   You’re not really doing them a favor, and it’s sometimes harmful.

I really should set a better example.

Here’s a job I wouldn’t want:  Being “mean” to be nice.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — A Northern California animal rescue group is trying to help an orphaned bobcat kitten with a problem: She’s too nice.

The friendly baby bobcat was only a few weeks old and had burned paws and infected eyes when fire crews found her in August while battling a 75,000-acre fire in the Plumas National Forest. They named her Chips, after the wildfire.

Volunteers at the Sierra Wildlife Rescue in Placerville now are trying to toughen the kitten up, with plans to release her back into the wild next spring,
One look at the picture accompanying the article, and you’ll understand why it’s a tough job.


A movie I am really looking forward to this summer is Star Trek:  Into Darkness.  The trailers are out, and someone made a mash-up from the first trailer.


Every now and then, a genius comes along who is so far ahead of their time, it takes a century for anyone to catch up:

While on his death bed, the brilliant Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan cryptically wrote down functions he said came to him in dreams, with a hunch about how they behaved. Now 100 years later, researchers say they’ve proved he was right.

“We’ve solved the problems from his last mysterious letters. For people who work in this area of math, the problem has been open for 90 years,” Emory University mathematician Ken Ono said.

The Onion already has a lead on the top contender for the Republican ticket in 2016:




Gangnam Style is the most viewed video in YouTube’s history, with over a billion views to date.   It’s also spawned it’s share of spoofs and this one is truly great:  NASA Johnson Style





In the “new technology,” but not ready (yet) for market category, Stanford University has developed “peel and stick” solar cells.

For all their promise, solar cells have frustrated scientists in one crucial regard — most are rigid. They must be deployed in stiff, often heavy, fixed panels, limiting their applications. So researchers have been trying to get photovoltaics to loosen up. The ideal: flexible, decal-like solar panels that can be peeled off like band-aids and stuck to virtually any surface, from papers to window panes. Now the ideal is real. Stanford researchers have succeeded in developing the world’s first peel-and-stick thin-film solar cells. The breakthrough is described in a paper in the December 20th issue of Scientific Reports


Want to feel old?  Or even if you don’t?  Try the Museum of Endangered Sounds.  See how many of them you remember.


Ultimate nerd:  This is how you propose to your girlfriend when you’re a molecular biologist.
This particular fellow and his lady friend both happen to be biologists, so he decided to let his polymerase chain reaction products do the talking, giving his girlfriend a big surprise when she imaged his electrophoresis gel.
She said yes, by the way.

5 Comments

Filed under Humor, Science

5 responses to “Sunday Fun Stuff

  1. aquagranny911

    Hola, Norbrook!

    I love your “fun stuff” especially the baby bobcat & pic of that sweetie. I wonder if the aversive conditioning will be successful so that little one can return to the wild? I knew about that rescue because my nephew is a seasonal firefighter who was on that fire in the Plumas. I appreciate the follow up to that story. This isn’t the first time our guys have rescued critters from forest fires.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I did! First of all, I was “politics free” for 10 days & just soaked up being with my familia in Colorado. Very cold but we had a great time. Second, we traveled there in my brother’s new RV which I have now decided is the only way to travel. I want one! In my dreams because we would have to sell all we own & maybe a grandchild or two to afford one, lol! It is nice to have one rico relative, no!

    I hope all is well with you & yours, Chico.

    • Well, if the conditioning doesn’t work, then she’ll probably end up in a zoo or other similar facility. One of the reasons I do a lot of “don’t feed the animals” education is that once they’re used to being around people, it usually means bad things for them in the long-term. This year, some idiot woman thought she was “being nice” by feeding a bear, and when the bear started hanging out near the local school looking for food, and threatening people, was really upset when the ECO’s came in and shot it.

      I’m glad you had a good Christmas. :-D Mine was quiet – I was snowed in, and as it turns out our usual “big get-together” didn’t happen this year, due to illness, other obligations, or bad weather.

      • aquagranny911

        Dang! People really are very estupido about bears & also other wild creatures. I do admit that we have provided water for coyotes & other animals in drought. Maybe that is wrong also but I have figured that with some water in the desert, wild creatures will have the strength to hunt out their food. A lot of the natural water sources here have been usurped by humans. It is just not in my heart to let any critter go thirsty but I NEVER put out food.

  2. Thank you for calling mock modular forms to my attention.

  3. Dude, that Mash-up needs to come with a ‘no fluids’ warning label. Wonderful stuff.