Posts from 28th October 2003

Oct 03

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Proven By SciencePost a comment • 313 views

The Human Fecal Genome Project

See if you can read this recent highlight from Nature Science Update — it’s a surefire icebreaker for your next awkward social interaction. It details the efforts of microbiologists at San Diego State University to gather genetic information about microbes which live in our guts by sorting through the DNA in our poop.

As disgusting a job as this may be, it’s pretty interesting for a number of reasons. Who hasn’t wondered about the vast, steamy ecosystem we all carry around inside us? And in the highlighted article, it turns out that our guts harbor a previously unappreciated vast diversity of viruses (called bacteriophages or phages) which prey on the vast diversity of bacteria living there. Many such microbes are hard to grow outside their natural habitat, so genetic analysis is a convenient way to catalog the suckers without having to grow them. Finally, as a Ukrainian colleague of mine informed me, bacteriophages were long used by the Soviets to treat bacterial infection, and as antibiotic resistance grows around the world, Western medicine is very interested in them.


Proven By Science1 comment • 223 views

Sociobiologist Dr. Gene Selfish answers your relationship questions. What’s ‘bugging’ you?

Hey Gene –
What I got goin’ on with my SO is perfect – almost. I’m a pretty tolerant guy, but her kid is driving me nuts. Do I even have to say why, it’s somebody else’s kid! The brat’s dad is pretty shifty as well, he’s never said what he does for a living but he’s always giving the kid expensive shit, which I can’t do, plus I think he’s a refugee or something. Whenever I try to lock him in the closet or whup his ass he just puts on this really punchable smirky face and says “See these eyes? Different color than yours, and I don’t wear contacts neither.” The girlfriend won’t hear a word against him, what do I do? I don’t want to break up with her but this can’t continue, help! – Ain’t the Daddy, Bratislava

Dear Ain’t –
The langlang monkeys of the southern Seychelles might offer a solution. A bit of patience is required here. Try to win the kid’s trust, really slowly, as if you have a choice anyway. However, for reasons that will become clear you can’t wait until he’s too old – patience AND time are both of essence, here. Buy him stuff whenever possible, take his side whenever he fights with Mom, stuff like that. Get him on your side. When you can get close enough, find the soft part of his skull and sink your incisor into it as hard as you can – GS

Hey Gene –
About 15 years ago I used to get loads of pussy but now I don’t get any. Like, I mean at ALL. I used to have this great line which always worked, which was “I’m sterile”. (Side benefit = not having to use fuckin’ condoms either!) These days chicks react like I’m handing out copies of the Watchtower, what happened? I should also mention that I have symptoms of irreversible drug-induced brain damage, is that the big turn-off? – DQ, London

Umm, DQ –
Unless you are R Kelly, I imagine that your circle of potential mates is roughly contemporaneous in age with yourself. If you cannot figure out why your strategy is less effective with 34-yr-olds than with 19-yr-olds then frankly you are too stupid to breed, and also, I for one think you’re full of shit regarding your past activities as well. As for your ‘brain damage’ theory – sorry, lesbians get mail-order sperm from David Crosby, not yourself, so there goes that idea. If I were you and I wanted to make a positive contribution to society, I’d channel my energies researching how many drugs one must take to render social interaction impossible. Get started now. Go on.

Hey Gene –
Not really a relationship question, more general science – are Brian Wilson and E.O. Wilson related? I need to know for a research project I’m doing – C Manson, San Quentin, CA

Hey Charlie –
Don’t worry, it’s a common mistake everyone makes, as people think all scientists look alike, except for Stephen Hawking who’s really Bez from the Happy Mondays. Brian Wilson’s dad ‘Murray Wilson’ was really BF Skinner, who proved beyond doubt that you could raise a family of musical geniuses by removing your glass eye in front of them and making them stare into the socket, and also clouting them repeatedly on the ear to heighten their aural acuity. But keep trying, you got Axl Rose to cover one of your tunes. They laughed at Lysenko too!

Last week introduced the new ADA on

Do You SeePost a comment • 369 views

Last week introduced the new ADA on Law and Order: SVU (IMDB is no help on character name, and I am not motivated to research any more extensively. The only thing I learned is the actress is less than a month older than I am? NOOOOOO.) I can’t say I really care for Magic Hairstyle ADA Barbie Midge, though I doubt she will reach Rohmian levels of incompetence. Check out the lesbo tension between her and Detective Benson though (yeah, I know, Benson and a lady lawyer and UST WHAT a surprise), especially during the “yeah I have no social/sex life, none of us detectives do” scene. LEZ UP, BENSON, LEZ UP!!!

Also: Why are the regular cast characters looking suddenly ten years older? Especially Ms Hargitay who is sportin’ the matching hair and skin look, which is never good.

As for the plot, what is going on??? Martin Donovan, you are obviously guilty following the Jessica Fletcher Rules of Stunt Casting but fake veins WHAT? At least they have returned to to plot twists that are actual twists i.e. not completely predictable. (The manner of Cabot’s demise, I actually DIDN’T see it coming. Sure, we all knew she was goin’, but WHOA check out all those fake outs!)