The Sciences

I've got your missing links right here (25 June 2011)

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongJun 25, 2011 9:00 PM


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Top picks I have only just discovered the Paleofuture blog. It chronicles past visions of the future like jetpack mailmen. “Was this my destiny? Writing words in order to make gullible people be auto-forced to watch ads?” An AOL content slave speaks out. And this comment nearly killed me. "Wait, AOL still exist?" Beautiful Proteins are beautiful proteins. The animal that's a sheet: a fantastic look at placozoans “Do you worry that the research you do might be exploited in a way that harms people?” A great post on an important topic by two students embedded in a lab that tests how the human body crumples and explodes. The names of 30 elements are an anagram for the names of 30 other elements & THE SUM OF THEIR ATOMIC NUMBERS IS THE SAME. Mind-blowing. "A giraffe had to be trained to urinate in a cup, & Ferrero had [an] encounter with an uncooperative jaguar" The smell of a meat-eater. A brain implant restores memories in rats by recording and playing them back. That. Is. Incredible. Incredible! A camera that enables you to focus long after the picture is taken I Resistant snakes eat poisonous newts; resistant caddisflies eat poisonous newt eggs. "What was the most valuable compound they could make w/... synthetic biology?" Cancer drugs? Nope. LSD. Awesome feature by Ian Sample. A wonderful piece by Ferris Jabr on rabies, why it’s so difficult to beat, and why we don’t know if the Milwaukee protocol really works; it's never been clinically tested – a massive treasure trove for narrative non-fiction. DROOL. "We're going to take... "we don't know" & eliminate it." Cause of mystery genetic disorder quickly found. An awesome piece by Brendan Maher The invisible gorilla experiment except instead of the gorilla, there's a guy getting seven shades of **** kicked out of himScience/news/writing Scientist estimates that the planet has three times as much water as in the oceans. By Robert Krulwich, and thus wonderful "Increasing the number of women on a team raises group intelligence." And thus the corollary... "The most scientifically literate/numerate subjects were less likely to see climate change as a serious threat" Blind Runner Starts Off On 100-Mile UltramarathonCFS activists scoring own goal by threatening scientists, stifling research (paywall) Two unusual traits converged to make German E. coli a killer: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency... ‘‘We now face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation" Marine biology as big science – the results of massive tagging study of sharks, turtles, albratrosses etc Read what Darwin read, and see his margin scribbles! 330 books from Darwin's library have been digitised Three months later, an update on what the Fukushima situation is really like, by Michio Kaku A vigorous attack on culturomics, and an equally vigorous defence by one of its co-founders Jean-Baptiste Michel Fight diabetes by buying 800 calories of sugar from KFC Headline win. 'Cluster Flocking' Is No Energy Saver This city-living paper... with n=32, how could they possibly adjust for all the confounders between city/country living? Maybe Richard Dawkins should've *read* Mara Hvistendahl's superb book before criticising it based on a Guardian write-up? Lightbulb display pulses in tune to poetry reading. Coooool. Love this very earnest discussion of how Magneto could control blood flow The grasshopper that turns turquoise to show that it’s tough. Each half of monkey brain (& prob human too) has its own working memory store. Time-lapse fungi. What's a noise that's halfway between eeewwwww and oooooooo? A random collection of psychological concepts you've never heard of Technical but fascinating Razib Khan piece on culture, imitation and evolution Should we give drug companies incentives to make antibiotics? And if yes, which? More Dangerous Than Nuclear Power: The Floods Caused by Aging DamsStunning superyacht inspired by the maths of a dragonfly's wing. Biologist going on wild goose cull to stop bird/plane collisions I would expect a Taxonomy Coordination Committee to be well-structured, but only after vigorous arguments Entertaining animated explainer on the science of hangovers How to turn any old stick into a sabre MIT researchers study how to motivate big breakthrough ideas - allowing failure plays a key role. Living and hunting in the Arctic sea, resting on ice floes. Gyrfalcons: the polar bears of the bird world? The Almost Extinct calendar: a great concept Tim Carmody analyses Robert Krulwich's legendary commencement speech using Batman & the Green Lantern Corps Advice from someone who now believes that man-made global warming is real: I, Global Warming Skeptic Mating with Neanderthals "good for human health." Any old excuse Big dinosaurs were cool - teeth tell temperature tale One of the great evolutionary leaps in the history of life on Earth has been achieved in the lab... possibly. Nice piece on the cult of personality in scienceHeh/wow/huh Completely unpredictable. The 100 longest Wikipedia entries The story of how Carl Sagan sued Apple for calling him a butt-head. XKCD on connoisseursEvery foul from a game of football frozen into 1 compressed frame. Presumably doesn’t include the *imagined* fouls... I’ve always thought this about rock-paper-scissors. Paper beating rock is like a duvet beating a missile or a tent beating Jackie Chan. Fish on the brink of surrender This remains the best "paleontologist at work" photo of all time Sounds like dodgy equation story, actually brilliant. A mathematical formula for saying hiA career photographing icebergs The only possible follow-up to this headline is "It's an alternative spelling for 'cock'." Head-screwing picture Heh. Marine iguana facepalm! Powers of ten, cubed. Journalism/blogging/internet/societyI happen to have that research right here, Mr Keller. The NYT’s executive editor challenges a critic and gets smacked down with a deluge of citations. Wonderful. Washington Post reporter reveals that he’s an illegal immigrant. The Post responds. Seven UK universities (inc. UCL) are thinking about moving away from honours degree classes and adopt US-style GPA Brilliant. A blogger calls out journalists for misreporting a story about bloggers vs. journalists A stupid story about the web being “dead”, based on a piece of PR that the world’s news outlets lapped up. The web is growing. That’s sort of the opposite of dying. If only newspapers could die so well... And look, here’s Chris Mims actually doing some journalism rather than just parroting PR: Despite the Hype, Native Apps Aren't Beating The Web Wow, there are a lot of science festivals around the world. "I want to show the best and worst face of humankind" Tales of war photographers A working list of data repositories worldwidePottermore: Harry Potter finally comes to e-book format, but in an unexpected way. Bringing news to diverse communities, to make journalism more meaningful Lulzsec gets hacked (oh, theirony) and turns out to be disorganised group of 6-8 media-obsessed people

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