Osprey and dinner
Crows arrive on the scene.

"Wait, how much will you give me if I ride him?
The approach.
Lining it up.
Look closely—you can see the crow's talons breaking through the wing feathers of the osprey!
"No, you promised four peanuts and a rat liver. Pay up."
Same spot, two hours later. Left: Bald eagle. Center: Osprey. Right: osprey's fish, returning to the ocean.

Terrible shot after sunset with my short lens, but kind of fun to see the action.

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More from @CT_Bergstrom

27 Apr
1. Today’s antivax propaganda comes from a….vaccine manufacturer?

Unfortunately, yes. The manufacturer of the Sputnik V vaccine is tweeting absolutely nonsense statistics in an effort to question the safety record of its competitors. Image
2. Their unfounded claim is that we are observing higher death rates among Pfizer recipients.

This is rubbish. In our book, we address the way in which people will try to bamboozle you with the unwarranted authority of numbers by throwing lots of stats at you.
3. But statistics (1) are only as good as the methods used to derive them, and (2) are only useful when they allow you to make fair and meaningful comparisons.

The Sputnik V numbers fail spectacularly on both accounts.
Read 14 tweets
24 Apr
Genomics and the poetry of racist injustice:

Let's start with the poetry, because if you read that, it doesn't matter one iota whether you make the connection to genomics.

Please, please take a moment and read this. Slowly, aloud, and more than once.

newyorker.com/magazine/2020/…
What does this have to do with genomics?

To pack a huge amount of information into very small genomes, viruses make use of overlapping reading frames. From Bergstrom and Dugatkin (2016), the HBV genome:
We present an extremely stupid example of what this would look like using three-letter English words instead of codon triplets.
Read 5 tweets
23 Apr
In the '20s, without consent of the parents, an Ivy League school actually used the remains of African American children murdered by the state as a teaching tool.

No, NOT the 1920s. This very year.

theguardian.com/us-news/2021/a…
TW: Disturbing disregard for the deceased.
“`Nobody said you can do that, holding up their bones for the camera. That’s not how we process our dead. This is beyond words. The anthropology professor is holding the bones of a 14-year-old girl whose mother is still alive and grieving,' Michael Africa Jr said."
Read 6 tweets
19 Apr
This is a very nice thread about a different way to teach and use Bayes’s rule. I’ve always found this odds ratio framing much more intuitive.
Since people are still on about that headline: my problem with it is that it suggests the lazy "arcana" narrative about a piece of obscure math that turned out to be useful, whereas the article does a nice job of explaining Bayes's rule as a foundational piece of probability.
The real key to me is to whom the word "obscure" is intended to refer. No one would refer to the mRNA in an mRNA vaccine as "an obscure alternative form of genetic material", even though most readers (pre-2021) would not know the term.
Read 4 tweets
18 Apr
Yes, because it's common knowledge that a multiple murderer fleeing the cops and likely facing the death penalty in Texas will take every possible precaution to avoid injuring members of the general public.
Citizens in Wisconsin this afternoon should feel similarly secure in the knowledge that their mass shooter on the loose is not a threat either.
Thirteen year old boy: threat.

Handcuffed detainee: threat.

Unarmed 90 pound grandmother: threat.

Former police marksman accused of child sex abuse, on the lam after murdering three: no risk to the general community.
Read 4 tweets
11 Apr
1. The more I think about it, the more astonished I become that @wileyinresearch removed a lengthy section of a published paper without any formal notice.

2. For 20 years now, commercial publishers have been aggressively attacking preprint culture as risky and unreliable, while claiming that only formal publication can provide a trusted, authenticated version of record (VOR).
3. Industry mouthpiece @scholarlykitchn has been banging away at this theme since its inception. Just this week, we read that:

scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2021/04/05/pub…
Read 5 tweets

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