Stop eating your pet's food

Apparently people are eating their pet's food, and they're getting salmonella poisoning in return...

A scientific reference manual for US judges

Science and our legal system intersect frequently and everywhere - climate, health care, intellectual...

Rainbow connection

On the way to work this morning, I noticed people pointing out the train window and smiling. From...

Neutrinos on espresso

Maybe they stopped by Starbucks for a little faster-than-the-speed-of-light pick me up....

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Becky JungbauerRSS Feed of this column.

A scientist and journalist by training, I enjoy all things science, especially science-related humor. My column title is a throwback to Jane Austen's famous first line in Pride and Prejudice

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If you had $3,000, free money given to you with no strings attached, to bid on value you want to have most, how would you spend the money?

If the first thing that popped into your mind as you read that sentence was, "Wow, this is an interesting component of sex ed in high school these days," then you've already read the Star Tribune story1.
The jokes write themselves, really:

"Ozzy Osbourne's Genome Reveals Some Neandertal Lineage"

The idea itself is fascinating, though, and I am interested to see what more they can mine from the PoD (Prince of Darkness, to the uninitiated). I nominate the full contingent of Mötley Crüe as the next genetic guinea pigs, testing for why people who should by all accounts be dead are still alive and shouting at the devil.
Anyone in their late 20s who lived in Minnesota in 1991 remembers the record-setting Great Halloween Blizzard, which dropped several feet of snow across the state and bestowed upon children a few rare snow days.1

For folks living in the upper Midwest today (particularly the Great Lakes region), we're experiencing what one of my colleagues called a "land hurricane" and Mother Nature is setting more records. It is already becoming one of the strongest storms on record, and it's just getting going.

When the skies of October turn gloomy2
Papua New Guinea is a treasure trove of new species - 24 new species of frogs, 2 new mammals, and nearly a hundred new insects, just from expeditions to PNG's Nakanai and Muller mountain ranges.

I really liked the tube-nosed fruit bat (Genus Nyctimene), which has yet to be formally documented as a new species, or even named. May I suggest Nyctimene falkoris?
A Census of Marine Life expedition discovered a new character for the Mr. Men and Little Miss series - "Mr. Blobby," the fathead sculpin fish, lives in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans at depths of between about 330 feet (100 meters) and 9,200 feet (2,800 meters), according to National Geographic.

National Geographic's Space Photos This Week is akin to dangling a shiny object in front of a kitten - the kitten may not knowledgeably be able to discuss the refractive index of said object, but it can think "oooh, pretty"1 and play with it contentedly.

I am not any kind of expert on space, but I can look at the photos of jellyfish-lookalike planetary nebula and think "oooh, pretty" and share them with you.