February 1st, 2012


You're not helping. Why is that, Leon?

For science.

Lateralized righting behavior in the tortoise (Testudo hermanni)

We investigated the presence of motor asymmetries in the tortoise Testudo hermanni, using the righting response (i.e. the animal is positioned upside-down and the left/right side to which it uprights is observed), a procedure already employed to assess behavioural lateralization in amphibians. The ability of righting has a particularly high adaptive value in tortoises, as in case of overturning, and consequent exposure to sunrays, changes in body temperature and difficulties in respiration could occur leading to serious conditions. Thirty-four tortoises underwent a series of righting tests in a standardized apparatus, 15 tortoises were also retested 10 months later. A bias at the individual as well as at the population level was found for preferentially turning on the right side.

We wish you love, peace and soul

Saw the sad news of Don Cornelius' probable suicide.
Back in the day, Soul Train used to come on right after some cartoons on Saturday morning, so I sometimes kept myself glued to the tube to see the Jackson Five or whoever else was on the show, giving me a glimpse into that parallel musical universe that was generally much better than the disco-infused one that surrounded me (but not as cool as the acid rock & metal & (dare I confess it?) KISS that I really dug as a kid).
Now for story time. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but my hypothetical reconstruction goes like this. Mom is at a loss for what to buy me for my birthday. She sees me watching Soul Train grooving to the live performance. She asks me or assumes I really dig it, and buys me the album. This is how I came to own the Ohio Players' Fire, with a cover that it would be many years before I could fully appreciate. It was the Seventies.

Wikipedia has a somewhat awkward list of non-black performers that appeared on Soul Train. Whereas Bowie would be welcome anywhere in the musical universe as its rightful lord and master, it is hard to understand the reasoning of having Michael Bolton on Soul Train.