Sunday, December 17, 2006

In which scientists stereotype "Cat People"

I simply had to point out an article I stumbled across in livescience today. Apparently, toxoplasma gondii is an infection that people can contract from cats. Essentially benign (although contracting it during pregnancy is apparently a Bad ThingTM), it has some interesting effects:
  • Lethargy and slowed reactions
  • Neuroses
  • Self-doubt
The author of the piece believes widespread toxoplasma gondii infection has affected whole cultures.

This would explain so much.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Raincheck on Winter Wonderlands

"If I possessed both Texas and Hell, I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell"
~General Philip Henry Sheridan

I don't know much about Sheridan's time in Texas, but I suspect at least some of his sentiment can be attributed to the fact that his stay predated the invention of central air conditioning. Some ills, however, can't be masked with industrial technology. Certain kinds of warm weather are delightful, but even I find it a little ridiculous that my air conditioning fired up this morning. My thermostat is set to trigger "cooling" at 80° F. Many of the trees in my apartment complex have finally donned their autumn grandeur. These non-native trees actually pause on their hike through the color spectrum at the gold and orange range, rather then jumping straight to brown. It makes for a nice show, and promises some wonderful, rustly ground cover before too long.

The upside to all this, however, is that I'll certainly enjoy the cooler temperatures when I head up to the frozen tundra this week.