October 2010

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The World cup has ended and so too has the annoying drone of the Vuvuzela. Now the question is what to do with all these spittle encrusted instruments? Some ideas can be found here. But really who cares? What’s really important is that the real Vuvuzelas only play one note: B-Flat.  And that makes them special. B-Flat is the MOST special note because male alligators think it sounds like other male alligators, there’s at least ONE star (a pulsar) that vibrates at the same frequency, and there’s a stairwell somewhere near Cape Cod that resonates in B-Flat (no other note is THAT universal). Here’s the piece we did for NPR that celebrates this phantastic phenomenon.

DNA is the answer

Yes, it’s the 199th birthday of Franz Liszt today BUT it was Craig Venter‘s birthday 8 days ago and he’s only 64 (which is 8 squared). Since 8 is good luck in China and to commemorate the birth of a guy who spends all day playing around with DNA we’re revisiting a piece we did for Radiolab’s show on the possibilities and perils of artificially creating life. If messing with DNA really IS the answer to all our problems then bio-engineers deserve as much fanfare as we can give them. So here’s our salute to all of you genetic modifiers out there!

Featured this time around are members of the Friends-of-Higher-Mammals Master Chorale (they are: Kendra May, Kysa Christie, Maura Reilly, Tove Finnestad, Wendy Roderweiss, Nicholas Longobardi, JonPaul Burkhart, Frank Hayn III, Reid Swanson, Kate Ivanjack, D.J. Pick, Jason Major). I’d rather be swapping genes!

To help our friends at Radiolab out with their episode about stochasticity, we put together this catchy song (trust me, you’ll think that’s less funny when you’re humming it later), then went completely nuts and made a video for it. What is stochasticity, you ask? Click away.

When you have some more time check out Radiolab’s archived show for a few head-scratching stories of stochasticity at work.

Launch!

The brand spanking new site is officially up and running, so to celebrate, here’s a brand spanking new higher mammal! Cute, huh? Just think…in just a few brief months he’ll be eating his own vomit. We, on the other hand, have much grander plans.