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Planet Earth

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The big story this week was obviously the unveiling of Ida (Darwinius maxillae), the fossil that would CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!!11!11!!!!1! Everyone's pitched in with their take on the fossil, but if you had to pick any sources to watch, choose Laelaps and the Loom. Brian produced the first detailedanalysis of the paper, while Carl's kept tabs on the story'stimeline, including the amusing furore over whether Darwinius's name was actually rightly assigned.

Steven Novella at Neurologica gives a great account of the pseudoscience of spontaneous human combustion.

Miriam from the Oyster's Garter reveals the dark side of dolphin life, including violence, rape and infanticide. For old Ecco players, you can do all of those things by pressing Up Down Left A B B A Right.

Carl Zimmer looked at a fascinating study that tackles nothing less than the origin of life. It looked at how one of the constituents of RNA, one of the key molecules of life, could have arisen from the chemical soup of primordial Earth.

Eric Michael Johnson of the Primate Diaries brings us the fourth edition of new carnival Scientia Pro Publica, a collection of blog posts explaining science to the lay public. Quite a few of them are far too technical, but there are some great science writing gems in there.

This year's Illusion of the Year winners have been announced and are ready to screw with your mind.

Some obscure blogger called PZ Myers draws your attention to the flying squid, which can glide over the ocean surface. The minute they learn to wield cutlasses is the minute we're all doomed.

Frank the SciencePunk unveils tiny cities made of crystal.

Vaughan at Mind Hacks has two great posts on the popular myth that dopamine equals pleasure and the newspaper headlines which claimed that emotionally intelligent women have more orgasms.

ScienceBlogs is witnessing an exodus of Johns, as two of our finest - Wilkins and Lynch - have migrated their evolving thoughts and stranger fruits to Wordpress. Go follow them and poke them with sticks.

Those marine perverts at Deep Sea News have been having an entire week devoted to deviant sexual practices of the deep. Pop on some Barry White and learn about how wet things are getting wetter. I'll stop now.

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