Carl Zimmer summarizes a recently published study in The American Naturalist. It seems that some frogs are dishonest croakers: Some small males lower their voices to make themselves sound bigger and so (sometimes) intimidate frogs that would beat them in a fair fight. Although honesty generally rules, there is plenty of room for the Machiavellians (even among shrikes and crustaceans). And I note in passing (and without comment) the emphasis on the males of the species doing the lying. Honest, the article is worth reading. Also note that it ends with one of the scientists exploring human deception with his mathematical model. This includes an examination of how terrorist organizations communicate to their sleeper cells. In the same issue of The New York Times, Elaine Sciolino considers the political scene in France, with focus on the candidacy of Socialist Segolene Royal for the presidency. Some think that this mother of fours thinks she is perfect, some say she is seducing the country, some even say she is a siren. And the NYT says that she is more "gamine" than Margaret Thatcher and this has added to her allure, and there is "potency" in her approach. And then there are those who say she should be more modest, and shouldnt use her sex as both a weapon and a shield. And note how she characterizes her expected opponent, Nicolas Sarkozy (the current interior minister): "a survival-of-the-fittest Darwinian male who admires the American model of competition and social mobility." The article does mention that not all mothers like her. And Sarkozy is not quoted in the story.