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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Tiny creatures with hip names

By Chris Gaylord


Gnathia marleyi, a tiny crustacean named this summer after reggae legend Bob Marley



More new species to name means scientists are reaching out to pop culture



JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) If you discovered a new species, what would you call it? Naming your first few animals would be easy, right? But Quentin Wheeler found that it gets a lot harder when you need to name 65 slime-mold beetles in a row.


"We ran out of all the obvious names in a hurry, so we got a good deal more creative," says Mr. Wheeler, a professor at Arizona State University. "I named one species after Darth Vader."


With nearly 2 million species discovered on Earth — each with a unique Latin moniker — scientists have had plenty of chances to sneak pop culture into scholarly annals.


Take Gnathia marleyi, a tiny crustacean named this summer after reggae legend Bob Marley. The ground beetle Agra schwarzeneggeri boasts bulging front legs, which reminded scientists of a certain action film star. There's even Spongiforma squarepantsii, a recently discovered mushroom named after the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.



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The list of famous eponyms includes Michael Jackson, Kate Winslet, Stephen Colbert, Bill Gates, Beyonce, all four members of the Ramones, and many more. The rules for naming a species are pretty lax. Once scientists have confirmed a new specimen, they may publish a paper identifying the critter however they like. Only one person can stonewall a name, says Wheeler. If the editor of a scientific journal disagrees with a title, he or she may refuse to print the paper.


"In fact, the SpongeBob fungus was initially rejected by the editor of that journal because he thought it was too frivolous," says Wheeler. "The authors persevered and ... finally got him to agree to publish it."


Celebrity species began with Carl Linnaeus, who invented modern taxonomy in the 1750s. According to legend, the Swedish botanist named dayflowers Commelinaceae after the Commelyn family. He chose the name because of its two upward-facing petals and one small, pale petal below — a fitting match since, at the time, two of the Commelyn brothers found great success in science, while the third amounted to little.


"Celebrity names are a wonderful way to have a little fun and draw attention to the biodiversity crisis," Wheeler says. "Our best estimate is that there are 10 million species awaiting discovery and naming. There's a good chance that millions of species will go extinct this century before they were ever discovered."

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