My fellow Pennsylvanians: Why?

Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, to no one’s great surprise. She took most of the state, except for the Philadelphia area (heavily African-American = Obama-friendly), counties associated with Penn State (academics = Obama-friendly), and Lancaster County (Mennonites = Obama-friendly?). Now, it’s up to Indiana and North Carolina to put this campaign out of our misery.

First Joshua tree article online

The first publication from the Pellmyr Lab’s study of Joshua trees and their pollinators, in which we demonstrate significant, potentially coevolved, morphological differences in Joshua trees pollinated by different species of yucca moths, is now online at the American Naturalist’s website. My understanding is that it’ll be in the print edition this June.

Godsoe W, JB Yoder, CI Smith, and O Pellmyr. 2008. Coevolution and Divergence in the Joshua Tree/Yucca Moth Mutualism. The American Naturalist 171.

Another slack weekend

After blowing the last two weekends in an undistinguished collegiate cycling career, I’m now off to the EVO-WIBO biology conference in Port Townsend, Washington. It’s a smallish, regional conference, but the Pacific Northwest includes some great biology departments (UBC, anyone?). And, if I go out a day early, there’s supposed to be good birding in the vicinity.

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April Fool’s Day

I swear, Google must have a whole division dedicated to producing their April fool’s jokes. This year it’s a proposed partnership with Virgin, Inc. called Virgle, which will colonize, then terraform Mars. It’s alarmingly thorough, both in terms of operational details and slyly inserted snark. See, for instance, the description of the colony spacecraft:

On-board supercomputers perform most ship and life maintenance tasks, up to and including games, movies and other forms of trivially simplistic human entertainment. Crew members will communicate with these machines via an auditory Holistic Artificial Language interface visually mediated by a glowing red light.

NPR’s review of an imaginary hyper-minimalist classical album doesn’t even come close.