Sharks are Cool

This infographic from the California Academy of Sciences and Kristen Kong highlights some of the spectacular diversity of sharks as part of their #CelebrateSharks programming. “Celebrate Sharks” helps to promote scientific information and cultivate interest in these amazing creatures at a time when interest in sharks is stoked by the generally unscientific, fear mongering, and deceitful “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel.

by Kristen Kong for the California Academy of Sciences (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)
by Kristen Kong for the California Academy of Sciences (All Rights Reserved; Used with Permission)

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: I’ve always thought the goblin shark was the bee’s knees.

Limited Returns on Shark Week

Apparently, Shark Week did not help the stock price of Discovery Channel’s parent company (Discovery Communications, DISCA), according to this article from CNN Money.

Despite that success, investors aren’t biting. Shares of Discovery Communications(DISCA), which owns the Discovery Channel and networks like Animal Planet, have flatlined this week.- Matt Egan at CNN Money

This might sound like good news for those of us who find that Shark Week has increasingly become a week of inaccurate, fear mongering programs. Many shark scientists and conservationists have taken every opportunity available to register their problems with the program contents. Continue reading “Limited Returns on Shark Week”

It’s Just a Joke

Intelligence v Humor by Josh Witten (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Intelligence v Humor by Josh Witten (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief, Ben Smith, seems to be suggesting, in his argument with marine biologists* over a failed parody of shark hysteria, that smart people have bad senses of humor.

Screenshot 2014-06-25 15.44.34

Well, at least we know when to use a scatter plot instead of a Gaussian distribution. Burn.

Based on his opinion of BuzzFeed’s level of humor, it also shows a relatively low opinion of the intelligence of BuzzFeed fans. Granted, he probably knows a lot of details about BuzzFeed fans.

*Identifiable as folks with or working toward a biology PhD who suffer from the delusion that they are pirates.


Adjusted for Accuracy

In the wake of the sensational story about a larger shark potentially killing and eating a smaller shark, shark conservation advocate and researcher David Shiffman has posted a series of overwrought shark headlines paired with versions that have been adjusted for accuracy.

My favorite is “Shark seen swimming in ocean. You know, where sharks live”.

David has invited readers to submit their own suggestions.

*Hat tip to Andrew David Thaler of Southern Fried Science.

Smarter mice are safer than smarter sharks

deep blue seaI don’t know if you’re familiar with the cinematic gem Deep Blue Sea, but as far as ridiculous neuroscience sci-fi horror movies go, it is awesome. Let me summarize the plot for you. A group of researchers is working in an underwater lab trying to cure Alzheimer’s. Their proposal involves genetically engineering three Mako sharks to enlarge the size of their brains. Somehow, the researchers plan to harvest these huge brains and then use the tissue to cure Alzheimer’s…  Lets just say, they didn’t cure Alzheimer’s and spoiler! Samuel L. Jackson gets eaten in one of cinema’s greatest death scences. Continue reading “Smarter mice are safer than smarter sharks”

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