Kentucky Derby: Eight Belles destroyed on race track

Eight Belles, a filly that was a strong contender in the Kentucky Derby, finished second, then collapsed with two broken front ankles and was put down on the track. Race horses are bred to be so light-boned, run so close to their design limits and when not fully mature, so it’s not surprising. that injuries occur. I know that women have more delicate ankles than men and therefore bear almost twice the stress on them.

race horse Eight Belles, galloping

Maybe there should be some limitations, like the engine volume for race cars. Perhaps they should have a minimum bone density or cross-section of ankle.

Jeff Fecke at Shakesville has some thoughts about Eight Belles and her last race.

I searched Scienceblogs before writing this and it found no articles about Eight Belles. But when I looked again, here was an article on Living the Scientific Life about horse races cruelty, and artificial turf.

Some commenters imply that if you made this up, you’d be accused of stretching coincidence too far. Do I smell an Intelligent Designer?

Squid dissection online: tentacles!

The dissection of a colossal squid in New Zealand is proceeding, and by popular request the museum personnel are showing some details of the tentacles, suckers, and hooks. The colossal squid is Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni.

Palaeos: recent updates

I just scorfed this off the front page of Palaeos to remind you all to visit for the latest about “the trace of life on earth.” Recent updates to Palaeos:

Jerks in Toronto

I only found out about this yesterday: yet another instance of what could be religious punks beating up non-believers. On the other hand, maybe it was just testosterone poisoning. drunkenness, or someone having a bad day. Be that as it may, assault and battery was committed on someone putting up posters in downtown Toronto.

Justin Trottier, coordinator for the skeptical Centre For Inquiry in Toronto, was putting up posters for a lecture in March, 2007, when he was attacked by two people. Mark R. says:

I would like to make you all aware of an attack on the Justin Trottier who is the coordinator for the centre For Inquiry and also head of the Secular Free Thought center in Toronto Canada as well. He was postering for an event at the University of Toronto for a lecture for the new book “God: The Failed Hypothesis” by Author Victor Stenger with a colleague when the attack took place. Below is a description given to police of the attackers.

The perpetrators were last seen on the north side of Gerrard St., midway between Church St. and Yonge St., walking northward through a pathway. The first perpetrator (the head butter) was about 6′, black, with short black hair. He was slim build and clean shaven. He was wearing dark jeans and a blue and white hat. He had on prescription glasses. The second perpetrator was shorter, about 5’4″ – 5′ 6″ , of Arabic/Middle Eastern descent, with short

, curly, black hair. He was also clean shaven (possible five o clock shadow) with a stalky, muscular build. He was wearing a grey golf shirt, with beige pants. He had prescription glasses and was not wearing a hat. They both appeared to be well groomed and given what time of night it was, were likely Ryerson University students. He was Head butted and punched and suffered a cut which may have been a slice from the hat brim which the attacker was wearing when he head butted Justin.

This confrontation started after the 2 attackers were handed a poster and threw it on the ground and were to at least put it in the recycling bin. This then lead to the confrontation.

Migrating from Blogger to WordPress

The disappearance of ERV’s blog got me thinking about moving my old personal blog away from Blogger. You can quickly suck your site over to WordPress, but it’s good to do some preparation first. You can create a WordPress account in seconds. The only hitch I found is that when I imported, all external links in article titles were replaced by permalinks for the articles.

So go to the Blogger version of your blog and check the old posts. Wherever there’s an external link in an article title, make sure that the same link is somewhere in the body of the text. If it’s there, fine; otherwise edit the article and create the link. Go through all your old posts.

You probably should look at your blogger article tags, too. You must edit articles individually in WordPress to change their tags or categories. However, you can convert tags into categories. So if you tag the articles (which you can do en masse in Blogger) with your proposed category names, when the articles are in WordPress you can convert the tags to categories and skip that editing chore. You’ll end up deleting some categories and re-applying them as tags, but that’s better than having everything “Uncategorized.”

Then go back to WordPress, find the Import command, and specify your blogger URL & password. Your articles will be imported. The pictures are still hosted at Blogger. Your cross-links between articles are still pointing to the blogger articles, too.

funny pictures

moar funny pictures

Next, go through all the old articles in your new WordPress version and re-save the pics one by one to your computer (if you don’t already have them in a blog images directory). As you save each one, re-upload it to WordPress and replace the blogger-hosted pic with the wordpress-hosted one. Here’s how: Edit post, delete the blogger pic. Click “Add Media” (first little box that looks like a TV screen), the “Choose Files to upload” button, select file, Open. [Wordpress is crunching your file.] You get three choices of sizes: thumbnail, medium, and full size. (It’s probably easiest to go for medium and re-size it with the cursor. Holding down SHIFT sometimes makes it keep the proper proportions.) Click on Insert…

That should work. If your dialog box goes blank, you’ve lost this round. Try again later. Usually the image is uploaded but it might not be inserted. Instead of clicking “Files to Upload” click on “Media”, select the image (latest is at the top), click on Show, and then on the command to Insert. Don’t bother to select Left or Right here, that just hard-codes the alignment. Do it after your image is in the article.

If it fails, I often have two instances of the WordPress open. Close any extras. Re-start browser if that doesn’t work.

Move the newly imported pic to where you want it (drag in Visual tab or cut and paste in HTML tab). Click on the inserted image and select left or right to tuck it into the text or centered to give it its own vertical space. You can edit the HTML view add margin to keep the text from touching the image. I can supply the codes for decent left and right margins (two separate sets).

Finally, fix intra-blog links so they point at WordPress.

I have 1900 articles in Science Notes and my old pictures are still mostly on Blogger. I’m currently going through all my 900 personal blog entries to make sure the external links are in the articles. Then I’m going to suck it over into my personal WordPress blog.

Apparently you can use a 303 Redirect to keep your old blog’s market share or rating.

In WordPress, you publish once; after that you just save and the article stays published. You can also give articles a future date and time and publish them. They will appear at the specified hour.

Immune to reason

A propos of the U.S. National Day of Prayer yesterday, here’s a believer’s guide to appropriate responses to natural disasters:

* A tornado warning was called but no torndoes occurred: God loves us.
* Tornadoes occurred but they missed us: God protected us.
* A tornado destroyed our house but didn’t kill anybody: God has spared us.
* A tornado destroyed our house and injured somebody: God is testing us.
* A tornado destroyed our house and killed somebody: Daddy is walking with Jesus.

This is why religion is not science: it’s all about rationalization.
The map shows the tornado-prone states in the U.S., known as “Tornado Alley.”

U.S. Tornado Alley from Wikimedia Commons

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