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David Bapst
The Modern Major Paleontologist.
The Modern Major Paleontologist.

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Hi all,

I just wanted to let you know that if you were ever following me for science paper posts, I'm not really going to go back to doing that again - it became non-easy with changes to G+, and then I got really behind on my reading of the literature and started relying heavily on others on Twitter for updates instead.

I still read G+ on occasion (especially for its still vibrant RPG community), but I'm getting increasingly busy with my work, so checking social media is never a good way of getting my attention. If you need to contact me, email me!


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For those of you who want something not-debate-related to distract you with, or who need to brush up on your graptolite info... or those of you who just want to listen to my silky, nasally voice...

...well, you can check out this interview I gave to Laura Soul of Palaeocast about graptolites! I made sure to anotate it with lots of SEM stereograms for you to cross your eyes at.

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Hey, look, a new publication in BL on tip-dating and cal3 with Archaeopteryx! I'd like to thank and congratulate my co-authors and friends +April Wright +Nick Matzke & +Graeme Lloyd on us finally getting this out.

And, yes, I know, it's birds. I'm sure the ghosts of the graptolites are rolling in their black shale graves.

(Feel free to email me for a copy, of course.)

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Anonymized cell-phone meta-data allowed these researchers to draw the following inferences:

"i) Participant A held conversations with a pharmacy specializing in chronic care, a patient service that coordinates management for serious conditions, several local neurology practices, and a pharmaceutical hotline for a prescription drug used solely to manage the symptoms and progression of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

"ii) Participant B received a long phone call from the cardiology group at a regional medical center, talked briefly with a medical laboratory, answered several short calls from a local drugstore, and made brief calls to a self-reporting hotline for a cardiac arrhythmia monitoring device.

"iii) Participant C placed frequent calls to a local firearm dealer that prominently advertises a specialty in the AR semiautomatic rifle platform. He also placed lengthy calls to the customer support hotline for a major firearm manufacturer; the manufacturer produces a popular AR line of rifles.

"iv) Participant D placed calls to a hardware outlet, locksmiths, a hydroponics store, and a head shop in under 3 weeks.

"v) Participant E made a lengthy phone call to her sister early one morning. Then, 2 days later, she called a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic several times. Two weeks later, she placed brief additional calls to Planned Parenthood, and she placed another short call 1 month after.

"Using public sources, we were able to confirm that participant B had a cardiac arrhythmia and participant C owned an AR rifle. As for the remaining inferences, regardless of whether they were accurate, the mere appearance of possessing a highly sensitive trait assuredly constitutes a serious privacy impact."

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I came up with a metric to compare phylogenies, but my bet is someone has invented this before. Has anyone seen anything like this before?

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Just a little exercise from trying to do something in R that I couldn't find much help regarding after searching online. Twitter put me on the right track, but still required some extra work beyond that...

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Who needs a stuffed extinct shelled cephalopod?

Why everyone, of course!

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Hi, I'm David Bapst, and I frequently post links to new scientific papers of interest to me on G+.

But very little of it gets posted publicly. Why? Well, because some people who follow me DON'T want their feed to look like the attached picture, cause that's what it will look like some days. (Not every day. Journal alerts tend to come out in clumps and I only post the papers that interest ME, and sometimes it takes a few weeks for me to check my inbox, etc etc etc...).

So, instead, this only happens if you are in my 'science' circle. The people who want this? Well, they must really like evolutionary biology / phylogenetics / paleontology / plankton ecology. 'Cause that's what I'm into and I post every little bit of it that interests me.

So, time to cover this again: if you want IN on my science circle and get a feed that looks like below, +1 this post or comment below. If you are already in that circle and +1 it anyway, I'll take that as a sign of how much you love having a Dave Bapst science-dominated feed.

If you want OUT, also let me know. Sometimes, people end up in the science circle who don't want to be in it. Just let me know, okay?


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These are my thoughts on what the goal of undergraduate education is.

I think +Ara Kooser and +Graham W have heard some of this before from me, but I'd be interested to hear their thoughts. Maybe +Carlos Castillo-Garsow could offer his thoughts from the Math end of the swimming pool as well?

Also, I'm open to hear opposing views! I might have this all backward after all.
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