Science

Skepchick Quickies 7.29

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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27 Comments

  1. I think it’s a bit misleading to say that it survives on beer. Sure, it makes a great headline. But it survives on fermented nectar with roughly the same alcohol content as beer. And if you were to replace its food supply with actual beer, I don’ t think it would fare as well.

  2. I was waiting with baited breath and pre-emptively crossed legs to find out just what a D&C is. But the demystification of things like this is no doubt important, not least for the reasons that Zuska describes herself in the final paragraph, and might stop some people of my own level of immaturity from cracking quite so many inappropriate jokes as a defense mechanism against having to think too hard about anything slightly squicky.

    I shouldn’t have felt the need to look up ‘curette’ on Google images once I knew what it was used for, though. Thank Xenu I at least had the moderation filter on.

  3. Peregrine, would “Shrew lives on mead” make you feel better? Honey’s just processed nectar, so fermented nectar must be vaguely like mead, right? :)

    THEREFORE, they’re Viking shrews. With awesome tails.

  4. Sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon from the 1980’s. Something that would have been on after the Smurfs and before He-Man and the Masters of the Univers. “Coming up next on Vicking Shrews with Awseome Tails, Can Ordenegar complete his quest to free the shrew queen from the naughty Loki? Stay tuned and find out.” Then we would get a short from school house rock.

  5. I have so many angry reactions to that autism article that they all got tangled up in one big spiky mess in the middle of my brain, so I am reduced to spluttering harmlessly. *splutter splutter*

    17% of the growth in autism was due to television? I … I just can’t even begin to respond to this. They said right in their own study that they aren’t trying to explain how it does it, just make a correlation, but there is a BIG f’ing difference between establishing a correlation and coming right out and saying that a certain percentage of the autism rates is due to a cause that is only theoretically linked to the effect!

    *profane spluttering*

    OK, fine. Do more research. But keep in mind that there are other studies showing that MANY autistic children are showing very definite indications of different brain functions (as my son did) by their first birthday, so unless people have their infants propped up in their bouncy seats in front of the TV, don’t start on me with a new guilt trip until you’ve done the research.

    *deep breath*

    Maybe I should go read about the Viking Shrews now … the comments indicate it might have been a somewhat less provocative article. ;)

  6. Bee,
    I don’t read any of the articles about autism causes anymore. My son as aspergers. So I count myself lucky but I can’t standing reading the popular press take on work that is being done by scientists in this field. I stopped reading this crap after the spat of articles where nutjobs claim that vacination causes autism.

  7. I suspect the shrew must be feeding on something more than just nectar. From the article:

    For the last 55 million years, the pen-tailed shrew has survived…

    You need ambrosia for that too.

  8. The Slate article on TV and autism has me really confused. It says it was published way back on Oct. 16, 2006. It’s made it to the top of their “most emailed” list, but it doesn’t seem to have been re-published in their science column. Why is this all of a sudden getting so much attention?

  9. Nectar and ambrosia were typically associated with Greco-Roman gods. Vikings tended more towards the Norse gods. Are we getting into potential mythological confusion here? Or should we just have at it, and allow insanity to ensue?

    Or is that a silly question?

  10. I’m wondering if this is how Petruchio manages to subdue Kate – either mead or ambrosia would keep me happy for a while.

    I feel the need to rewrite the whole of the play and make sure there is a singing Divine Viking Shrew. Yes? No?

    I was a little irked by the article on autism. Yes, there ARE other possibilities for the causes of autism, but I don’t think that SOMEHOW lots of people with children that JUST HAPPENED to have autism would show up in Washington, California, and Pennsylvania. There is always a scientific possibility, but that just seems a little ridiculous to me.

  11. I actually feel kinda sorry for the shrew, all that drinking and not getting drunk.

    I bet the other rodents only let it hang out with them so they’ll always have a sober driver

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