Exit Mundi: Foreseeing the End

Recent article I wrote about the End of the World! Always such a cheery topic. 

Am I the only one who hears the bizarre flutes coming from Lovecraft?

Photo courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

H.P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite writers, despite his repeated egregious cop-out descriptions of the Old Ones: calling something “indescribable” and leaving it at that seems a tad irresponsible to me. Regardless, that guy was great, and so is this article explaining why Lovecraftians should be excited about Mercury.

An article I published earlier this year on the BU News site. THIS INFORMATION COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE ONE DAY:

Watch out!

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons User Radek Vitoul.

It was like a sudden B-horror movie infestation – on January 24th up to 15,000 crocodiles swarmed out of the confines of Rakwena Crocodile Farm and poured out into the South African Limpopo River. The scaly escapees were taking advantage of the swelling floodwaters that had forced their warden, farmer Zane Langman, to open the floodgates, disarming the bloated river’s threat to consume his family’s house. Since then the freed reptiles have been spotted up to 75 miles downriver, one bold enough to take roost on a school’s rugby field. Langman has pledged to recapture his ne’er-do-well crocs. This raises the question, how do you wrangle these crocodilian beasts?
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Happy Halloween!

So, it almost seems appropriate that I disappeared off the face of the Blog after my last very apocalyptic post…but really it was a matter of getting wrapped up in work, school, and daily life that kept me away. But I am back, and intend to stay!

More posts to come…


Excited as I was for the end-of-the-world parties tomorrow, I wrote this article about the psychology behind Apocalypses.


Mmmm...Neck Frills

From: Nate Carroll

My facebook feed alerted me to this timely piece in Nature:

How to Eat a Triceratops

Because who hasn’t wondered?

from Umass Geosciences tribute site

Professor Lynn Margulis

My personal fascination with microbes was sparked by my late Professor Lynn Margulis (3/5/1938 – 11/22/2011). I have idolized her since learning of her work on endosymbiotic cell theory in my high school AP Biology class.

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Fulfilling the Human Microbiome Project (henceforth known as HMP)’s tantalizing potential requires a comprehensive sample of human microbiomes. And when I write comprehensive, I mean comprehensive. Comprehensive as in ideally every population of humans on the planet would participate. The study published this summer only sampled 242 ‘healthy’ Texans and Missourians and is therefore what its title claims it is: a framework for microbiome study. To get to the really juicy bits of this vein of scientific inquiry we need hugely diverse samples. And here is the rub: how do researchers ethically collect HMP data from hesitant (or un-) willing populations – for example, indigenous North American communities?

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Courtesy of Flickr Hivemind

A woman has been missing for ten weeks. Her kidnappers murder her, torch the body until it is unrecognizable, then dump it in the woods, confident that the charred, black chunks of tissue that remain are too scorched for police to identify. No body, no crime.

Such was the situation faced by police recently in Mexico. They had found the charred husk of body and nearby, the high school ring of a woman who had been missing for ten weeks. Unfortunately, the fire had thoroughly consumed any usable tissue from which to extract a DNA sample.

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Why is the sky blue?

It is a well-known (but still fun) fact that the amount of microorganisms in your body outnumbers your own cells 10 to 1. Hundreds of trillions of microbes live within one human body – many crucial to the body’s health and physiological function. Until just recently microbes seemed to get the shafted by biologists, many of who were only interested in the host organism, you or me for example, but largely ignored the influences of our passenger-partners (excepting the virulent or dangerous ones, of course).

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