Posts

2014-10-12: Ebola numbers

2014-09-23: More stochastic than?

2014-08-17: Feynman's missing method for third-orders?

2014-07-31: CIA spies even on congress

2014-07-16: Rehm on vaccines

2014-06-21: Kurtosis, 4th order diffusion, and wave speed

2014-06-20: Random dispersal speeds invasions

2014-05-06: Preservation of information asymetry in Academia

2014-04-16: Dual numbers are really just calculus infinitessimals

2014-04-14: More on fairer markets

2014-03-18: It's a mad mad mad mad prisoner's dilemma

2014-03-05: Integration techniques: Fourier--Laplace Commutation

2014-02-25: Fiber-bundles for root-polishing in two dimensions

2014-02-17: Is life a simulation or a dream?

2014-01-30: PSU should be infosocialist

2014-01-12: The dark house of math

2014-01-11: Inconsistencies hinder pylab adoption

2013-12-24: Cuvier and the birth of extinction

2013-12-17: Risk Resonance

2013-12-15: The cult of the Levy flight

2013-12-09: 2013 Flu Shots at PSU

2013-12-02: Amazon sucker-punches 60 minutes

2013-11-26: Zombies are REAL, Dr. Tyson!

2013-11-22: Crying wolf over synthetic biology?

2013-11-21: Tilting Drake's Equation

2013-11-18: Why $1^\infty != 1$

2013-11-15: Adobe leaks of PSU data + NSA success accounting

2013-11-14: 60 Minutes misreport on Benghazi

2013-11-11: Making fairer trading markets

2013-11-10: L'Hopital's Rule for Multidimensional Systems

2013-11-09: Using infinitessimals in vector calculus

2013-11-08: Functional Calculus

2013-11-03: Elementary mathematical theory of the health poverty trap

2013-11-02: Proof of the area of a circle using elementary methods

Zombies are REAL, Dr. Tyson!

Caught a re-run of the Daily Show last night. Dr. Tyson's conversation on zombies was fun, but it feels like he missed many chances to point out the crazy reality of zoology. The concept of zombies as depicted in movies is not totally far-fetched. There are a couple examples that show this.

One, of course, is the spread of rabies in mammals, raccoons in New England and foxes in Europe -- destroys brain and turns animals into stumbling, biting monsters to spread their infection.

Another I had experience with as a kid and learned about formally in Mr. Mildrum's zoology class as a freshman was Sacculina, which infects green crabs, steal's their bodies, sterlized them, and turns them into parasite factories.

Zoologists have found many more disturbing examples in ants, crickets, fish and other unfortunate beings. Just surf the web to find a few. And I heartily agree with Dr. Tyson's sentiment -- if you are bored, just look a little harder at the world. There's a lifetime of fascinating stuff in a back yard or a drop of pond water.