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March 24, 2014

Darwinian tourism

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.

March 23, 2014

Why do we sleep?


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.