A blog about science and religion from the viewpoint of a biology student in a state that's pretty much not on the map.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just checking in...

Hey...I know I said I was going to be gone for awhile, but I just wanted to log in and make sure everything's posting OK. Looks like it is, so I'll just be on my way after a quck update.

My tests went OK. I don't think either went spectacular, but that's to be expected for the first tests. I have two more next (not this coming) Tuesday.

I also have a paper about the biocontrol of the Uji fly (Exorista bombycis -it's a tachinid parasitoid that attacks silkworms) with hyperparasitic hymenopteran parasitoids (hyperparasitic = noms parasitoids). Unfortunately, I can't find any info on host searching or specificity (although they use M. domestica pupae to rear them in the laboratory) in two of the species currently being investigated. I still haven't exhausted all avenues of approach, though. Still need to search the databases for more recent information than I might be able to find on google scholar.

It's really at times like this that I really wish ID were a legitimate science. I can't find any information on how these specific hymenopterans find their hosts and it would be totally awesome if I could just write a paper on that using the standard ID argument from ignorance.

I mean, really. If we don't know how they identify, locate and determine if that host is of suitable size or has already been parasitized...can't we just assume that they're guided there by lesbian faeries? I mean...really. Think about the implications for biological control. ID would totally revolutionize the field.

There are, however other things I could write about so it's not like the assignment is in danger. I just happen to love hyperparasitoids so I just wanted to do a paper on them as a challenge to myself. Expect me to post it when it's done...sometime around the 30th.

Anyways...a few things I thought were kind of interesting happened in the past few days. Every year, we have these guys who come and hand out bibles in areas of the ISU campus where the areas of highest traffic are. They don't preach fire and brimstone and don't disturb anything because they really don't talk to anyone. They just kind of take up space. They're not anything like Tom Short so I don't have a quarrel with them...other than taking up space.

However despite their misguided attempts to convert the heathen masses, they did actually have an idea that I can get behind 100%. Surprising, I know. But true, nonetheless.

I saw this right outside the building where they hold the lecture for the evolution course:


You know...atheists and christians disagree on quite a bit. Apparently, we both agree that religious texts should be recycled. Global warming and all.

I gave religion up about the same time I stopped believing in Santa. Many of the people I went to high school with stopped believing in their respective deities when they stepped outside their families and started learning about the world. Who knows...when I become a professor, I might even keep one of these babies in my office for shits and giggles.

Anyways, after those guys had allowed people to fill our trashcans with bright green bibles the political fundies came about. Election season is right around the corner and they want you to vote, damnit.

Unfortunately, they're a bit smarter than the bible thumpers. Come about noon, there comes out a bevy of beautiful women holding clipboards. They sidle up to you, flash their killer smile, talk politics and ask you if you've registered to vote.

Needless to say, I've registered to vote five times this week. Once as a republican, twice as a democrat and twice more as an independent. And I don't even live in Ames.

Bible thumpers, take note.

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