A Hearing for Vavilov
is an essay by Stephen Jay Gould
excerpted from his 1983 book Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes
, in which he describes the disastrous consequences of allowing ideology rather than evidence to dictate policy. The story concerns Russian geneticist Nikolai Vavilov (previously)
and his nemesis, the pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko
whose work served as the foundation for Lysenkoism
, a body of research and policy which set back biology in Russia by decades and caused agricultural disaster in the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century.
posted by Scientist
on Sep 19, 2012 -
The Lap of Luxury
was a Big Brother
-style reality tv show filmed for Spike TV in 2003. The format is familiar: 9 contestants living in a house together, all trying to win immunity, prevent themselves from being voted out and vying to win a $100,000 prize while facing down a smarmy host. Except... only one of them, a guy named Matt Kennedy Gould, was really a contestant. The rest were actors, playing stereotypical reality show roles. The series was scripted, heavily improvised and entirely created around Matt -- his very own Truman Show
. Welcome to Joe Schmo
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 24, 2012 -
What came next was 8 minutes of comic brilliance.
On Kevin Pollack's Chat Show guests are invited to do a bad impression of Larry King reveling something embarrassing about himself. Many are very funny, but Gould's amazing comic riff should go down in comedy history. Keep an eye on Kevin as he nearly faints from hilarity.
posted by judson
on Sep 27, 2011 -
Monsieur, you vill not speak disrespectfully of a member of ze family! It is a boon travelling companion, without which I do not function, I cannot operate. It has been with me for 21 years, zis thing, this chair!
Glenn Gould performed for 21 years seated in a folding card chair modified by his father to be height adjustable. That one chair
accompanied him around the world in support of each of his recordings and performances, and now resides on a pedestal at the National Library of Canada. Luckily, exact replicas of the skeletal, cushion-less chair are available for only €990
. [more inside]
posted by carsonb
on Apr 16, 2008 -
"[E]ven though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on earth, or it happened on another planet -- with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again."
A new study models all
forms of locomotion -- swimming, walking, flying by muscle or flying by 747 -- in one physics theory, and stultifies Stephen Jay Gould's conjectures about the "contingency" of evolution. [mi]
posted by orthogonality
on Dec 30, 2005 -