Yesterday, I wrote a post about what I do here at Unequally Yoked to minimize trolling and facilitate productive debate between believers and atheists. But, as much as I’d like to give sole credit for defusing tensions to frequent math geekery, I’m really grateful to the commenters for almost always good behavior. So the theme for this week’s Takes is just Things that are Objectively Awesome.
And I’m leading off with one of the most awesome things I’ve seen in some time. Mary Queen of Scots once stitched a hammerhead shark into her embroidery. I may be in love.
Last weekend, I went up to NYC with my family and saw a totally delightful show called Peter and the Starcatcher which is set before the events of Peter Pan. (I read the book it was based on, and I don’t recommend it in that form). In the sneak peek below, you can get a sense of the spare, inventive set and the zany humor:
Black Stache (Captain Hook before he had a hook) had all the best lines. Amongst them:
“You need to connect, Peter. No man is an archipelago”
“You’ve single-handedly rendered me single handed. Well, you may think my ship has sailed, but I have an armada of options at my former fingertips”
Black Stache is my second-favorite villainous singing pirate. First prize belongs to Tim Curry’s Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island.
Meanwhile, in the not villainous but still musical and definitely awesome genre, Bill Nye the Science Guy singing and dancing to his own theme song (as played by a band named Bill Nye and the Science Guys).
And speaking of science awesomeness, I was really delighted by Rep Jim Cooper’s new push to highlight how national funding for basic science saves lives. Via Ezra Klein:
On Wednesday afternoon, Cooper rose to the defense of taxpayer-funded research into dog urine, guinea pig eardrums and, yes, the reproductive habits of the parasitic flies known as screwworms–all federally supported studies that have inspired major scientific breakthroughs. Together with two House Republicans and a coalition of major science associations, Cooper has created the first annual Golden Goose Awards to honor federally funded research “whose work may once have been viewed as unusual, odd, or obscure, but has produced important discoveries benefiting society in significant ways.”
Federally-funded research of dog urine ultimately gave scientists and understanding of the effect of hormones on the human kidney, which in turn has been helpful for diabetes patients. A study called “Acoustic Trauma in the Guinea Pig” resulted in treatment of early hearing loss in infants. And that randy screwworm study? It helped researchers control the population of a deadly parasite that targets cattle–costing the government $250,000 but ultimately saving the cattle industry more than $20 billion, according to Cooper’s office.
So thanks again for being productively aggressive everyone! And stay on good behavior so I don’t have to summon up one of these.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!