Monthly Archives: February 2007

How To Get Your Biology Questions Answered!

Ask a Biologist!

This is a special site aimed at schools and devoted to providing the best scientific information available to school kids around the UK (but don’t be put off, we will accept questions from anyone who asks). I’m sorry to say that we are not here to do your homework for you, but if you want more information on any aspect of biology ( the study of life) or palaeontology (the study of the history of life) then we are here to help. …..
Collectively we are a group of over 50 professional scientists, (museum and ecology workers, PhD students, lecturers, researchers, PostDocs and even the odd professor!) who want to help you out. We think that kids don’t always get the access to real scientific information (or real scientists!) outside of the classroom so we are here to do just that…. These people are giving up their free time to help you, so please use them to learn and enjoy science, between us we work on dinosaurs, sea scorpions, ecology, biogeography, human evolution, spiders, cell biology, evolution, birds, animal behaviour, physiology, forests, insects, conservation, genetics, fish, development, and plenty more besides.
We believe in being honest: if we (or science) as a whole do not know the answer, then we will say so. If there is a debate on the subject we will give you both sides and the reasons why we may favor one or the other. We want you to enjoy science and to be as excited about life as we are.

Go ask a question or find and answer.

Via Pharyngula.

Friday Ark #127

We’ll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and….?

Do link to the Ark every week!

You can find out how to board the Friday Ark at the Arkive page.

Update 19:30 GMT 2/23: On the road…no updates for 2-6 hours.



Other Vertebrates



In Memoriam

Didn’t Make It

  • x

Exceptions (inclusion not guaranteed)

  • x

Extra, Extra: All Ark boarders are invited to shout out at the Friday Ark Frapper Map.

Dog folks: remember to submit your links to the Carnival of the Dogs hosted by Mickey’s Musings. Also, there are more doggies at Weekend Dog Blogging hosted this weekend by Sweetnicks.

Cat folks: remember to submit your links to the Carnival of the Cats which goes up every Sunday and the 152nd edition, 2/18, is up at Pet’s Garden Blog. The 153rd edition will be hosted at Scribblings on 2/25. There are more weekly cats at Weekend Cat Blogging hosted on 2/24-25 by Kate in the Kitchen . Do go shout out at The Catbloggers Frappr Map.

Bird folks: I and the Bird: A Blog Carnival for Bird Lovers is published every 2 weeks. The 43rd edition is up and hosted by Earth, Wind & Water. The 44th edition will be hosted on 3/8 by The Greenbelt.

For the spineless: Circus of the Spineless. A monthly celebration of Insects, Arachnids, Molluscs, Crustaceans, Worms and most anything else that wiggles. The 17th edition is up at The Voltage Gate. The 18th edition will be hosted at the end of February by Pharyngula.

For other current carnivals check out The Conservative Cat’s Carnival Page, The Blog Carnival and The TTLB Uber Carnival

Note for Haloscan Users:

Over the past month or so Haloscan started (the end of July) handling of trackbacks has improved though it is still pretty broken for carnival type posts. Now, instead of rejecting every attempt to ping it accepts single pings for a while and then will start rejecting them. I will keep trying to track back to Haloscan boarders but can make no guarantees for any particular week.

Note for Typepad Users:

Typepad continues to behave similar to Haloscan for trackbacks. I been able to get trackbacks to most, if not all, Typepad based boarders. I have to do it one at a time and wait a while in between pings but Typepad does not go into semi-permanent rejection mode like Haloscan.

Tegan Talks RSS & Reviews Google Reader

Hesitant to jump on the newsreader bandwagon? Huh, what’s a newsreader?
Tegan has some answers!
Here she provides a nice bit of RSS 101:

Ok, an RSS Feed is simply a file that takes all the entries in a blog and puts them into a standard format. When you publish your blog, an RSS feed is published. A group of programs called “readers” note the change in your RSS feed, and update with your new entry. Anyone using a reader to read your blog then sees your new entry. Nifty!

NB: Tegan emphasizes how easy it is to keep up with your blog reading using a newreader. You can, though, get feeds from more than blogs: many newspapers, magazines and other regularly updated sites offer feeds.
Now that you’ve been through RSS 101 read Tegan’s walkthrough of Google Reader:

Ah well, here goes. I poked around the site a bit, constantly being told that there was nothing to see because I wasn’t subscribed to any feeds. I finally figure out to click on “Manage subscriptions” in the hopes I can import my feeds from Bloglines. Under this page, there’s an “Import/Export” tab. Lovely. *click* Hmmm, must export from Bloglines first. Hey, it says I can “Learn more about exporting your subscriptions from another feed reader.” Ok, *click*. Bloglines export instructions. I follow the instructions. Go back to the “Import/Export” tab. Import the file I just exported from Bloglines. WHUMPF! I’ve got a bunch of feeds. Back to the main page!

I do have both a Bloglines and a Google Reader account but have been using FeedDemon for almost a year now. Yes, it has a couple downsides: 1) there is a one time cost and 2) it is currently Windows only. However, it solved some organization and archiving issues that I had with Bloglines and allows me to do quite a bit of reading offline. I do plan to continue experimenting with Google Reader and may use it more in the future.

Darkside Alert: Tegan noted how easy it is to keep up with the 300 or so blogs she currently tracks. Newsreaders also make it easy to subscribe to too many feeds! E.g., FeedDemon just told me that I currently subscribe to 1680 feeds….I often don’t get past my “Regulars” folder.