52 Weeks of Photography: Week 3 (Insect Graveyards)

Last week I mentioned being inspired by this fascination post from Dragonfly Woman, who looked at the diversity of insects that had passed-on in various light fittings around her home.  I thought I would try the same thing, as it gives an opportunity to get close to the wee beasties without them running away.  Here’s the result: […]

Why does breast cancer research receive more research funding than prostate cancer?

Carcinoma of the prostate

“Men’s Rights Activism” (MRA) is a dirty phrase in many circles.  The MRA movement is a fairly diverse beast ranging from claims of inequality in child custody cases to accusations of full-blown, societal-scale misandry typified by higher death rates in men and lower levels of social investment.  One claim in particular that the MRAs make is that breast cancer (a cancer that predominantly, though not entirely, affects women) receives substantially more money in terms of research funding than prostate cancer, despite similar numbers of people dying from each.  First I’ll review some of the specific claims made, I’ll look at the data on funding, then we can delve into a few stats on the impacts of these two cancer types (bear with me!).  I’ve also included some more detail on whether younger men are more at risk from prostate cancer as an appendix for those who are interested.Read More »

Dragonfly intestines: nature’s Swiss Army knife

“We should be extremely cautious in concluding that an organ could not have been formed by transitional gradations of some kind.  Numerous cases could be given amongst the lower animals of the same organ performing at the same time wholly distinct functions; thus in the larva of the dragonfly… the alimentary canal respires, digests and excretes.”

– Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, Chapter 6Read More »

How cryptozoology could actually do some good

I have posted a few times about “cryptids” and mentioned that the study of cryptids is called “cryptozoology”.  This has been very much a fringe science ever since its inception in the 1940s.  The disparagement has resulted from an over-reliance on anecdotal evidence and what some would call an “overabundance of credulity”.  What I am going to discuss here is not so much pure cryptozoology as the concepts that underpin it.
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