Note to self:
Attending conventions in 4 inch heel boots is not always the best idea.
(I wasn’t even in cosplay this time. Egg did I think this would be appropriate for a day of walking?)

Lunch in DC with sneakygoomba for AwesomeCon.
Unfortunately the restaurant wasn’t expecting this many people and the soda machine is busted. I don’t think they’ve ever seen this many nerds craving caffeine.


You need to calm down. You seem a tadorna-ry.



Sorry I’m just a bit shelshocked by all these duck puns

I don’t know what eider of you guys are talking about, but you coots need to stop.

quit your grebeing you know you love it

Question Saturday?

Since a number of you responded with lovely answers to the bird call post, here’s another one for you:

Name at least two ways to tell a black vulture from a turkey vulture when they are flying and you do NOT have binoculars. 
(Like road trip field spotting so the colour of their head is not what I’m talking about here) 

It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.

Ann Landers (via psych-facts)


Dr. Mary Edwards Walker’s pocket surgical kit

Dr. Walker was the first female surgeon in the U.S. Army, serving during the Civil War.

She was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1865 by President Johnson, and remains the only woman to have ever won it, to this date. Interestingly, this high honor was awarded to her (and even had a bill passed in order to make her eligible) in order to recognize her service to the country…while making sure that she didn’t receive an army commission in retirement.

Indeed, she made less as a pensioner than the widows of most officers did, but she saw the greater honor of her Medal, wearing it every day until her death in 1917.

Walker also campaigned as an abolitionist (prior to the war), prohibitionist, and an advocate for dress reform, citing women’s clothing as “immodest and unwieldy”. She was arrested several times in the late 1800s for “impersonating a man”, because of her trousers and top hat.

Bird Call Bonus Points

hyaenabee reblogged your post and added:

#Quick three beers #Drink your teaaaa #Peter peter peter peter #(bonus points to anyone who can ID those last three calls)

Not only do I birdwatch and drive, but I also tend to yell out species names of roadkill. Mephitis mephitis comes up a lot. So does almost crashing.  

As for the bird calls: The first is some kind of flycatcher, I can’t remember which; the second is the Eastern Towhee, and the third is, as hyacynthus already said, Tufted Titmouse! 

"Quick Three Beers" is an Olive-Sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi)
"Drink Your Teaaaaa" is a male Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
and of course “Peter Peter Peter Peter” is the Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

Bird call bonus points all around to hyaenabeehyacynthus, biologizeable, leftismisthebestism, and anyone else who joined in! 


Adrianne Haslet-Davis dances again for the first time since the Boston terrorist attack last year. 

When the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line, Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost the lower half of her left leg in the explosion. She’s a ballroom dance teacher, and she assumed she would never dance again. With most prosthetics, she wouldn’t.

But Hugh Herr, of the MIT Media Lab, wanted to find a way to help her. He created a bionic limb specifically for dancers, studying the way they move and adapting the limb to fit their motion. (He explains how he did it here.)

At TED2014, Adrianne danced for the first time since the attack, wearing the bionic limb that Hugh created for her.  

Hugh says, “It was 3.5 seconds between the bomb blasts in the Boston terrorist attack. In 3.5 seconds, the criminals and cowards took Adrianne off the dance floor. In 200 days, we put her back. We will not be intimidated, brought down, diminished, conquered or stopped by acts of violence.”

Amen to that, Hugh. 

Watch the full talk and performance here »

"Humans aren’t broken. They’re never broken. The technology we provide for rehabilitation is broken."

Lemurs match scent of a friend to the sound of voice

Researchers at Princeton and Duke report that ring-tailed lemurs respond more strongly to the scents and sounds of female lemurs when the scent they smell and the voice they hear belong to the same female — even when she’s nowhere in sight.

The researchers say that lemurs are able to learn a particular female’s call along with her unique aroma and link them together into a single picture of that individual.

The study appears online April 16 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B

In a series of experiments, researchers presented pairwise combinations of calls and scents from familiar females to 15 ring-tailed lemurs in outdoor enclosures at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina.

When a lemur entered the enclosure, the researchers played a call from a familiar female over a hidden loudspeaker, and then presented the animal with scent secretions from either the same female, or a different female from the same social group.

The hidden speaker was positioned between two wooden rods — one swabbed with a female’s scent and the other ‘unscented’ — so that the sounds and the scents came from the same location.

In general, the lemurs paid more attention to the sounds and smells in the matched trials in which the call they heard and the scent they smelled came from the same female, than in the mismatched trials when they heard one female and smelled another.

Both males and females spent more time sniffing and/or marking the scented rods in the matched trials than in the mismatched trials. Males also spent more time looking in the direction of a female’s call when her scent was present instead of another female’s scent.

The results held up whether the sounds and odors came from a dominant female or a subordinate one.

The ability to tell if the voice they hear corresponds to the scent they smell may help a lemur figure out if the animal producing the scent is still nearby, said Princeton graduate student and coauthor Ipek Kulahci. (full article)

Journal Reference:
Kulahci, I.G., et al. Individual recognition through olfactory - auditory matching in lemursProceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 2014 (x)

Doctors wanted me super hydrated for my physical and full work up today… But everyone is running behind so who knows when I’ll be seen.
Pretty sure all the nurses are laughing at my weak attempt to NOT do the potty dance right now.