Mammoths: The Misunderstood Giants

As someone who works on Silurian age fossils, I can't help but be jealous every time a new mammoth...

Let's hope we don't have another Archaeoraptor on our hands

I mentioned at the end of last week's post about the new "earliest bird" that there were murmurs...

The Earliest Bird: How A Toe Bone Can Change History

Do you know, my original title for this was "The Early Bird Gets the PR". I hastily changed it...

New fossil arthropod named after Johnny Depp

There a lot of rules governing how you name new species. But that doesn't mean that fun things...

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Oliver KnevittRSS Feed of this column.

In a nutshell: I like fossils. But even more than than that, I like arguments about fossils. Which is why my current occupation as a PhD researcher in paleontology suits me well. My research is... Read More »

I watched a bit of the superbowl last night.

Not for the football game, you'll have to understand. I struggle with rugby at the best of times. American football to me just looks like an all out war, only the soldiers for some reason are not allowed weapons, or to punch or kick, so their only way of attacking seems to be to slam into one another head first. Oh, and like rugby there's a perversely shaped ball being chucked around the place.

So, yeah; I was in it for everything other than the game itself. I watched it as an intrigued outsider. And, I really enjoyed it! I gather that it's almost like the cultural equivalent of the royal wedding over here. Only more popular, and a little bit more traditional.
Many publishers attract a significant amount of bile from scientists.

However, most bile is reserved for that titan of publishers, Elsevier. Now, many academics are signing on online pledge called The Cost of Knowledge, where you can pledge to boycott Elsevier journals. This can either involve refusing to submit papers, or refusing to provide refereeing or editorial work.
...this turns up.

This thing is Siphusauctum gregarium, and is known from over 1000 specimens. It probably looked something like this,



Jan 27 2012 | comment(s)

This is pretty funny; this is based on (supposedly genuine) letter sent to a well respected US museum. Obviously the names of institutions and individuals have been changed.

Dear Mr. Smith:
I think most people - certainly myself - get that grim "what, another one?" feeling when you first hear news that there has been a big earthquake.

But is it justified? In other words, have we recently been experiencing an increased rate of earthquakes? This from Beroza (2012),

[Their] monopolistic practices make Walmart look like a corner shop and Rupert Murdoch a socialist - George Monbiot

Want to know where a huge amount of taxpayers' money invested into science goes?

Straight into the pockets of publishing companies' shareholders.