Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tangled Bank 47: This is your final boarding call...

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard this flight TB47. The Air Kete Were crew would like to wish you an enjoyable flight. Before we depart, the crew would like to bring to your attention today's inflight entertainment...

Parasite loving passengers will find a discussion by Coturnix on the modus operandus of Ampulex compressa, the Emerald Cockroach Wasp in the seat pocket in front of them, together with an interview by Complex Medium with the parasitologist Robert Desowitz.

Bird lovers among us are in for a special treat during the flight: an account of the recently rediscovered Lost Birds of Paradise of West Papua, prepared by Scientist, Interrupted, as well as an article on the Eurasian Collared Dove from Mike at 10000 Birds

Archaelogist Martin Rundkvist provides three articles for your reading pleasure: a description of An Old Church located over the site of an old Swedish pagan feasting house, determined using ground radar; a discussion on the real function of ancient barrows, and an account of human life on the bottom of the North Sea - 9000 years ago.

The more medically minded will have noticed a number of enticing options on our inflight menu:

A Concerned Scientist presents an appetiser on Stem Cell research, followed up by a discussion on dropping cancer rates. Alternatively, we will be offering Circadiana's Seasonal Affective Disorder with mineral water. Before choosing your option, however, we would advise you to be aware of Centrerion's link between obesity and portion sizes.

Regular passengers will be aware of the link between flying and deep vein thrombosis, and the need for preventative exercises. We would also like refer you to The Other Bloke's post discussing the link between bilingualism and lower rates of Alzheimer's Disease. Accordingly you will find German, Spanish and Chinese dictionaries under your seats, next to the life jackets.

Lazy Journalists will appreciate this post from Political Calculations, allowing them to calculate any statistics for a given time period, in order to prevent any embarassing, published screw ups.

The Lancelet posts Part Three in a three-part series on the concept of "Species" and its manipulation by creationists. Parts One and Two can be found here and here.

Galactic Interactions muses on the concept of Cosmological Fine Tuning, while Anthonares explains why we shouldn't be running the Terrestrial Planet Finder through NASA in its current form.

Frequent fliers with Kete Were Air will be familiar with the impressive work of Pharyngula, and today's piece on the evolution of a polyphenism continues that tradition.

The more philosophical of our passengers may not be entirely satisfied by any of the entertainment options mentioned. As a result, we offer a wide range of philosophical pieces for you: Reb Chaim offers the provocatively-titled "Sin or Die", Ruminating Dude questions How Ethical are Scientists?, while B and B ponders the conundrum of politically active scientists. If you're a youngest child, you'll enjoy Cognitive Daily's post suggesting what you always suspected: you may actually be the smartest of your siblings.

Evolgen takes issue with those who take issue with 'retarded geneticists', Shallow Thoughts discusses the joy of Radioactive Radon in the home, which, along with The Biotech Weblog's report on Phase 3 of clinical trials of an anti-HIV gel among Africal Women is bound to tickle the interest of those interested in the fascinatingly obscure.

Our own crew member, Xavier, would like to share with you his ramblings on Global Warming. Humour him. Go on, you know you want to...

If you're after just a little harmless fun, the Kete Were crew can suggest The Scientific Activist's humourous and scientific take on Valentines Day. This is a far cry from The SA's previous work, exposing the mouthy 24 year old would be censor of NASA George Deutsch as not actually being a journalist at all. The Skwib takes the mickey out of Thomas Malthus, economist, influencer of Darwin and prude extraordinaire, it would seem.

Lovers of the simple things in life will appreciate A Darwinian Cryptic Crossword brought to you by Richard Carter. Due to inflight safety regulations on pointy things, pencils are available only from your friendly Kete Were crew.

We hope you enjoy your flight today, and look forward to seeing you on Flight TB48 in two week's time, departing from Aetiology International Airport on 1 March. Bookings can be made by emailing