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September 2007
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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity



Me So Not Imelda

September 25th, 2007 by Madeleine Robins

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I have dinosaur feet. The same bony muscularity that gives me (in my humble opinion) very nice hands makes my feet look like something out of a nature studies text. So maybe that’s why I don’t get the shoe thing. I mean, I find the don’t-get-broken-glass-in-your-foot, God-it’s-snowy-outside, oops! dog-poop, no-shoes-no-service reasons, quite reasonable. And I like nice shoes. I don’t like shopping for shoes because I’m hard to fit, and I’m a bear about comfort for the same reasons.

On the other hand, I have friends who love shoe shopping. I get emails with links to Cool Shoe Sites. Some of the cool shoes are Vintage cool (the same site also advertises a “Vegan shoe option!). Some of them partake of a different shoe-wearing sensibility. Some are just, um, unbearably arty.

I particularly love the copywriting on that last site. “The applications on the inside and the outside remind of the wings of a jet aircraft and thereby visualise the theme of velocity.” That’s a lot of meaning for footwear to have to carry. And, alas for my fashion-forward ambitions, those shoes would make me look like I was holding up a bridge (curiously, that’s not one of my ambitions in life).

If I’m going out on an orgy of shopping, I’d just as soon it were an orgy of book buying and music purchasing and movie-going. So, in addition to not being Caroline (or Morgan or Steve or Rory or Brad or Maureen) it appears that I am not Imelda Marcos. Which, given that things haven’t turned out so well for her, is okay by me.

Posted in Daily Life | 5 Comments »

Project Steve

September 25th, 2007 by Morgan J. Locke

In honor of our very own Skeptical Steve, I simply must share this (via Panda’s Thumb):steve-steve-a-descendant.jpg

The abundance of Steves in turn-of-the-century science has led to the most formidable weapon in the fight against neo-creationism today: Project Steve. A brainchild of the National Center for Science Education, the initiative is a parody of the creationist tradition of publishing lists of several dozen “scientists who dissent from Darwinism.” The NCSE replies: “Oh, yeah? Well, we have a list of several hundred scientists who affirm evolution—just named Steve!” (And Stephanie, Steffi, Stefan, and Esteban.) Part satire, part memorial to Stephen Jay Gould, the project maintains a Steve-O-Meter (now pointing past 800) and has spun off a T-shirt, a song, a mascot (Professor Steve Steve, a panda puppet), and a paper in the respected scientific journal Annals of Improbable Research called “The Morphology of Steve” (based on the T-shirt sizes ordered by the signatories).

(Steven Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, New York: Viking, 2007, p. 280)

Unfortunately, only PhDs in the life sciences can apply for a position, but in our hearts, you’ll always be a Project Steve Steve, Steve.

Posted in Fun, Morgan, Science, Steve | 6 Comments »

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