1. Hats off to Robert Gates, who is, without a doubt, one of the best Secretaries of Defense we have ever had.
2. Wonderful news, if true.
3. On backgammon, which really ought to be more popular. I should note, however, that I approve of the Iranian practice of never using a doubling cube; it’s more fun to play games until the end, instead of cutting them off with the bluffs and counter-bluffs associated with the cube.
4. Let’s give Richard Owen some love, at long last.
5. Sleep-deprivation leads to poor bee dancing, and colony collapse. Humans ought to draw the appropriate lessons from this story. (Via 3 Quarks Daily.)