Posts Tagged ‘Scopes Trial’
We tend to think of ants, and other social insects such as bees and termites, as busy little workers, but it turns out some of them may actually be quite lazy.
A study (paywall) conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona observed five colonies of Temnothorax rugatulus—a common ant species found across western Canada and the United States—and tracked their movements for three random days over a three weeks. Before they began their observations, they painted certain ants so they could track their individual activities. The team recorded five-minute videos of the colonies at four-hour intervals, and categorized the type of work they were doing at a given time.
They were surprised to find that almost half of the ants were actually fairly inactive throughout the day. While their counterparts busied themselves with nest-building or foraging, these ants were “effectively ‘specializing’ on inactivity,” according to the paper…
More at “Scientists say many worker ants are actually super lazy.” See also, “News: Ants Don’t Actually Work that Hard.”
[Image above, from here]
* Gustave Flaubert, Dictionary of Accepted Ideas
As we learn by example, we might recall that it was on this date in 4004 BCE that the Universe was created… as per calculations by Archbishop James Ussher in the mid-17th century.
When Clarence Darrow prepared his famous examination of William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes trial [see here], he chose to focus primarily on a chronology of Biblical events prepared by a seventeenth-century Irish bishop, James Ussher. American fundamentalists in 1925 found—and generally accepted as accurate—Ussher’s careful calculation of dates, going all the way back to Creation, in the margins of their family Bibles. (In fact, until the 1970s, the Bibles placed in nearly every hotel room by the Gideon Society carried his chronology.) The King James Version of the Bible introduced into evidence by the prosecution in Dayton contained Ussher’s famous chronology, and Bryan more than once would be forced to resort to the bishop’s dates as he tried to respond to Darrow’s questions.
On the heels of North Korea’s unsuccessful “satellite launch,” a look at “the land of the morning calm” (AKA The Hermit Kingdom) from the altitude their rocket failed to achieve…
The bright dot halfway up the Western coast is the capital, Pyongyang… one of the (very) few spots in North Korea with access to appreciable amounts of electricity.
As we spend a day in fear of trembling, we might send locquatious birthday greetings to lawyer and civil libertarian Clarence Darrow; he was born on this date in 1857. Darrow’s most famous court appearances were probably his defenses of Leopold and Loeb (the “thrill killers” who murdered Bobby Franks in 1924) and of John T. Scopes (where Darrow argued Scopes’ right to teach evolution against William Jennings Bryant in what came to be known as “the Monkey Trial”); he was an early leader of the ACLU.
You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free. (source)
click here for larger, interactive version
In commemoration of Chrome’s birthday, Google enlisted Hyperakt and Vizzuality to create a celebratory chart of the evolution of the internet… The interactive timeline has bunch of nifty features– your correspondent’s fave: clicking a browser icon allows users to see how the browser’s window has changed in each release… a stroll down “memory lay-out,” if not memory lane– and a concrete reminder of the importance of design.
[TotH to the ever-remarkable Flowing Data]
As we resolve yet again to clean out our bookmark cache, we might wish an acerbic Happy Birthday to journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and critic Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken; he was born on this date in 1880. Mencken is the auuthor of the philological work The American Language, and is remembered for his journalism (e.g., his coverage of the Scopes Trial) and for his cultural criticism (and editorship of American Mercury— published by Alfred Knopf, also born on this date, but 12 years after Mencken ) in which he championed such writers as D.H. Lawrence, Ford Madox Ford, and Sherwood Anderson. But “H.L.” is probably most famous for the profusion of pointed one-liners and adages that leavened his work…
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.
Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say. I am against any man and any organization which seeks to limit or deny that freedom. . . [and] the superior man can be sure of freedom only if it is given to all men.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
Truth would quickly cease to be stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.
H.L. Mencken, photograph by Carl Van Vechten (source)
From DetentionSlip.com (“your daily cheat sheet for education news”), a sobering infographic on the state of education in the U.S., “Creationism vs. Darwinism in the U.S.”; an excerpt:
Click here to see the infographic in full (and then again on the image there, to enlarge).
* Inherit the Wind, the play (then movies) that fictionalized the Scopes trial, took it’s title from Proverbs 11:29, which (in the King James version) reads:
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
As we own up to ontology, we might might recall that it was on this date in 1950 that T.S. Eliot, then 62, observed that “the years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet are not decrepit enough to turn them down.” Among those nagging tasks: picking up his Nobel Prize for literature two years earlier.
Signs are taken for wonders. “We would see a sign!”
The word within a word, unable to speak a word,
Swaddled with darkness.