Get the book on taxonomy fail

5 11 2009

But we're all mammals aren't we ... wait ... what ... that's not right

But we’re all mammals aren’t we … wait … what … that’s not right

Credit: 365:14 – Taxonomy Fail by sidesmirk, on Flickr (Creative Commons – Attribution, Share Alike)


Taxonomy bugs (I mean fail)

12 07 2009

When I was trawling through the internet for some taxonomy fails to feature I came across some in the flickr stream of bug girl (from bug girl’s blog) – specifically these cases where an incorrect insect was used to illustrate an article on the insectoid origins of carmine, a common dye  that can be used in foods (the article made mistakes beyond just the wrong picture – read at bug girl).

At the time I decided not to run them on the blog. I mean identifying insects is tough work. They are  the most diverse group of animals on the planet. I got a migraine trying to wrap my head around the 50-70 marsupials of Dasyuridae which fit into the category “oversexed hoppy rat-like thing which may or may not have a pouch” – differentiating 1,000s of species, when your samples are usually smaller than your fingers – that’s hardcore. So, in my ignorance I was willing to forgive a news editor who uses a relatively unknown insect to represent another relatively unknown insect*.

Scientific American is slightly less easier to forgive when they use the same beetle with the incorrect story. It then gets a little bit crazier as editors decide to use their own stock imagery – any old insect will do, even a freaking ladybug.

This is not a once off. Bug girl highlights another capture of “bugs are bugs” in which stinkbugs are used to represent bed bugs (though, while they may only drink plant sap, I still would not want the former in my hotel room).

Or there is this epic taxonomy fail Alex Wild at myrmecos blog spotted on iStock Photo – either that or someone mutated a Drosophila a bit too much.

Oh dear…

And to leave you with a picture to round things off:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

*Before entomologists send me hate mail – after my scale insect mimic identification, I now kow how different a carmine scale insect differs from the beetle pictured, so I can understand your frustation better. But hey, whatever, they’re still just bugs. Hate mail can be directed to zayzayem [at] hotmail [dot] com.

The death of TV news

11 06 2009

Politics and twitter are killing intelligent news on your TV. Perhaps I should add “comedy satire news programs” to that list as well.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "The death of TV news", posted with vodpod

Big fat taxonomy fail

20 01 2009

That label says “Hippopotamus”.

Picture from Flickr.

Uploaded by Isthmene. Creative Commons (some rights reserved).

Worst. Chick Tract. Ever.

29 12 2008

I don’t know how well that claim will hold up. The Chick Publication Library has quite some shockers linking anything it can with the devil. The Usual Suspects include D&D, Evilution, Communism, and those Muslims. with their silly “moon god”.

But Jack appears to have found a new target with the Jolly Man in the Big Red Suit. Yes, Virginia, believing in Santa Claus will get you sent to hell. PZ has good screen caps and some other commentary.

The story centers around a nice young lad who when he is told Santa isn’t real goes all ninja – he flips out and kills people.



He flips out. And kills people. Over Santa Claus.


Read the rest of this entry »

Know your Bible with PZ

6 11 2008

Yes. It seems a surprising person to be running Sunday School. But PZ Myers does it brilliantly.

Hey Christians, you know you aren’t reading your Bible when PZ Myers has to school you on it.


Reviewer fail

6 11 2008

Sometimes it ruins my mind who they get to review stuff.

I’m not even a giant music geek, but I hate those phone-company sponsored music video programs on Saturday mornings where in between the shameless brand advertising, annoying ringtone ads and gyrating booty they have some fit young “actors” who obviously have no idea what they are talking about trying to analyse the latest top 20.

Key to reviewing stuff: Know your stuff.

Advice that could have been followed by David Matthew.

More reasons for Darwin anniversary celebrations over the next 12 months.