Darwinian tourism

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I hope to visit Darwin's home, Down House, someday, so enjoyed Andrew Hendry's account of his recent visit to Down House, the nearby pub Darwin used to visit, and Darwin's grave in Westminster Abbey. Apparently Down House is only open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, so one needs to plan ahead. Similarly, I almost missed seeing the 500-million-year-old fossils at Mistaken Point because you can only go there on an organized tour and I hadn't made an advance reservation.

I met Andrew Hendry at the 2010 Applied Evolution Summit on Heron Island, in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Maybe we could hold the next Applied Evolution Summit in the Galapagos, although an agricultural area with lots of herbicide-resistant weeds might be more appropriate.

Why do we sleep?

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sleep.png

Image is from the great web comic series, XKCD. My guess is that:

1) the process of storing long-term memories generates hallucinations.
2) if you're hallucinating, it's safer to disconnect your brain from your body, so you don't walk over a cliff chasing that unicorn.

DarwinDaySong.jpeg

Wow! I can't decide whether I'm more impressed by:

* the guy in the pickup truck who saw us carrying the cutout photo of young Darwin and asked "Is that [W.D.] Hamilton?"
* the evolution-themed parody of John Lennon's "Revolution", composed and performed by a dean who, like God, may have "an inordinate fondness for Beatles".
* the wildly popular herpetology petting zoo (I should have taken a photo), or
* the "Hall of Biodiversity" (a wide range of interesting materials from campus natural-history collections, showing butterfly mimicry, comparing mammoth with mastodon teeth, using C4 photosynthesis as an example of parallel evolution, etc.) set up in the student center next to the auditorium where I gave my talk on "Darwinian Agriculture: Evolutionary Tradeoffs as Opportunities" and the lobby area (shown) where they sold Darwin-Day tee shirts and served cake.

But the cake I made for Darwin's 200th birthday was better.

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