Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Badass From Beyond The Grave!

Gloria sent me an article today with the title Nabokov Butterfly Theory Is Vindicated, and since Evgeni Nabakov (a goalie) is currently involved with a free agent dispute involving the New York Islanders, and since the butterfly is a major component of modern goalie technique, I thought it was a hockey article.

I don't think I'm turning Japanese. I'm turning Canadian, apparently.

The actual story, though, is considerably more fascinating. Vladimir Nabokov (author of "Lolita", among others) was also a self-taught expert on butterflies.

Hell, that alone is incredible.

What's even more incredible is this:
And in a speculative moment in 1945, he came up with a sweeping hypothesis for the evolution of the butterflies he studied, a group known as the Polyommatus blues. He envisioned them coming to the New World from Asia over millions of years in a series of waves.

Few professional lepidopterists took these ideas seriously during Nabokov’s lifetime. But in the years since his death in 1977, his scientific reputation has grown. And over the past 10 years, a team of scientists has been applying gene-sequencing technology to his hypothesis about how Polyommatus blues evolved. On Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, they reported that Nabokov was absolutely right.

I think that's one of the most amazing things I've ever read.

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