Vintage chart shows the evolution in design of everyday objects

By Raymond Loewy, this chart from 1934 shows the shifts in design of the car, telephone, and clock, among other things. I assume someone is already working on updating this one to the present. [via @michaelbierut]

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Mark Twain and The Big Stump: Can We Save Nature From Ourselves?

  As you enter Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park from highway 180 there is a small little parking lot to the side with a couple of bathrooms and a non-descript, standard-issue, brown, wooden park

PLOS Biology in the media – March

0000-0002-8715-2896 PLOS Biology in the media – March   post-info March has been a bumper month at PLOS Biology with lots of research hitting the press. A selection of our top picks this month include

New paper: Severe infections emerge from commensal bacteria by adaptive evolution

Published this month in eLife, our new paper on the evolution and adaptation of Staphylococcus aureus during infection.

This study shows that the emergence of life-threatening infections of the major pathogen Staphylococcus aureus from bacteria colonizing the nose is associated with repeatable adaptive evolution inside the human body.

First author Bernadette Young has summarized the paper's findings on the Modernising Medical Microbiology blog.

Retroblogging 1993 SSE/SSN/SSB Meeting in Snowbird, Utah #evolution #ecology #systematics

So I am continuing on with Retroblogging past seminars and meetings and other events.  Today I am posting about the 1993 Joint meeting of SSE/SSB/ASN (Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Biologists, American Society of Naturalists)

I drove to this meeting from Stanford with David Pollock and we went camping along the way at a relatively new National Park - Great Basin.  I brought my bike and overall had a nice time.

And then we arrived in Snowbird and, amazingly, at the reception I discovered that a friend of mine from high school Jeff Wager was working at the Snowbird resort.  Anyway - enough about me - here are my notes from the meeting.

UPDATE - And here is are scans of the program

50 words for snow 4; species

All classificatory terms are impossible of exact definition. Their use always has and always will depend upon the consensus of opinion of those best qualified by wisdom, experience and natural good sense. They will never become stable; we shall never cease to amend, to change, to repudiate old and propose new, because we shall never Read More...

Species: The evolution of the idea

My revised book is now titled Species: The evolution of the idea, and now contains a philosophy section as well as a complete list of species concept[ion]s and an appendix of all taxonomic levels I could locate. It is due out in February 2018 from CRC Press. I have done a complete revision of all sections Read More...

50 words for snow: addendum 3a, or what counts as sociocultural?

Jim Harrison made the following comment on the last post: … I have trouble understanding how you distinguish the s and the c in your pseudo equation. You mention folk taxonomic as an example of sociological distinctions, but if such taxonomies aren’t part of culture, what’s left to put under c Maybe distinguishing s and Read More...

50 words for snow 3: what are phenomena?

If experienced observers are trained to observe natural phenomena in their environment, pace the “interference” of cultural accidents, what is it they observe? As I mentioned before, we are not born into a world of ready made phenomena. William James referred to the sensory world of a newborn baby as a “blooming, buzzing confusion”: Experience, from Read More...

50 words for snow 2: or, the economics of cultural categories

Humans evolved in a world where knowing whether an animal was an antelope or a lion was essential for their survival: they could eat the antelope, and they could be eaten by the lion. Accordingly, the human mind seems to have evolved to organize its knowledge of the natural world into sets of related categories Read More...