Love Island: Flamboyant males get the girls on Madagascar

In two new species of rare giant stick insects, males turn livid blue or multicolored at sexual maturity — but why? Frontiers Biodiversity hotspot Madagascar is one of the world’s biggest islands, and home to some of its biggest insects. Now German scientists have discovered two new species of giant stick insect, living only in…

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What Caused Madagascar’s Megafauna Extinction?

Guest post by David Middleton What rapidly wiped out Madagascar’s megafauna between 700 and 1000 AD? Climate change? Meteors? Over-hunting? President Donald J. Trump? Nope. It appears that agriculture may have killed the beasts… Last of the giants: What killed off Madagascar’s megafauna a thousand years ago? March 29, 2019 Giant 10-foot-tall elephant birds, with…

Why I don’t ‘believe’ in ‘science’

Reposted from Climate Etc. by Judith Curry ” ‘I believe in science’ is an homage given to science by people who generally don’t understand much about it. Science is used here not to describe specific methods or theories, but to provide a badge of tribal identity.  Which serves, ironically, to demonstrate a lack of interest…

Heat “waves” detected moving through pencil lead

At relatively balmy temperatures, heat behaves like sound when moving through graphite, study reports From MIT: Exotic ‘second sound’ phenomenon observed in pencil lead The next time you set a kettle to boil, consider this scenario: After turning the burner off, instead of staying hot and slowly warming the surrounding kitchen and stove, the kettle…

Old stone walls record history of Earth’s magnetic wanderings

From AGU 27 February 2019  Posted by llester By Liza Lester https://youtu.be/G3OTG3_ih3c Under the forests of New York and New England, a hidden tracery of tumbledown stone walls marks the boundaries of early American farms, long abandoned for city jobs and less stony pastures in the West. These monuments of an agrarian past also mark…

The Scientific Baloney Detection Kit

By Jim Steele published in What’s Natural? column of Pacifica Tribune February 20, 2019 Politicians from all sides manufacture “crises” and “demons” to promote their agendas superficially designed to fight those crises.  In his book “The Demon Haunted World”, Carl Sagan famously published his Scientific Baloney Detection Kit; a “do and don’t” list to guide…

The replication crisis may also be a theory crisis

From Ars Technica Theory protects from “personal intuitions and culturally biased folk theories.” Cathleen O’Grady – 2/16/2019, 11:00 AM A jumbled jigsaw puzzle, AKA the state of theory in the behavioral sciences. A replication crisis has called into question results from behavioral (and other) sciences. Complaints have focused on poor statistical methods, the burying of…