I’ve got your missing links right here (06 August 2011)

Top picks

Watch the entertaining sexual displays that cause flamboyant male Houbara bustards to age faster. I especially liked Wired’s coverage

Inside Nature’s Giants dissects a sperm whale. This is the best nature programme on modern TV bar none.

John Rennie has a great post about 3D Printing and the era of Downloadable Objects.

Too detailed to be true? Serious concerns have been raised about the accuracy of the New Yorker’s piece on the bin Laden raid. Where was their fabled fact-checking?

WOW! Neuroscience of a ragtime pianist who can follow 4 symphonies simultaneously

What Home Looked Like For Seven Million Years – Carl Zimmer on where humans evolved

What happens when journo students have to make a newspaper with no computers? Brilliance ensues. Don’t miss the rest of the experiment as students struggle to type 2011 on a typewriter

From Catch-22 to Wikipedia. A cool list of 10 great moments in editing

The delightfully beautiful world of lichens, by Jennifer Frazer. White Worms and Pixie Cups in Colorado

“Toxic goo” from Apollo-era rockets will cost NASA about $1 billion to clean up. The dark side to all that hype and optimism.

God’s blog. Oh the comments.

Adam Rutherford tells Alex Witze the story behind his video “love letter” to the space shuttle.

Man becomes first person in UK to get artificial heart

A great Nature feature on the debate over the 4th domain of life

“Every cable news show should be forced to display a disclaimer, streaming in a loop at the bottom of the screen: “These talking heads have been scientifically proven to not know what they are talking about. Their blather is for entertainment purposes only.” Jonah Lehrer on political experts.


What Rise of the Planet of the Apes has to say about scientific ethics. It’s not about whether you should do science but how you do it.

When you diet, your neurons cannibalise themselves. Pass me that cheesecake.

Vibrating glove heightens sense of touch. Progress to Daredevil: 25%.

Apparently, it is not illegal to distribute Salmonella in food

Scicurious covers that study about the asymmetric buttocks of tennis players (but not footballers)

From Caligula to Hugo Weaving, a Wikipedia page on well-known people with epilepsy

If you want to get into sci-comms, read Alice Bell’s tips. Basically, (i) are you sure? and (ii) get on with it then

Sooo… what if you take Viagra and you’re lactose-intolerant?

Really cool experiment that supports the idea that complex life originated when one cell swallowed another.

Okay, reality has officially turned into The Day Today. Indonesians risk lives in ‘track therapy’ craze.

“Do it for the dinosaurs“. Brian Switek pleads with Spielberg to have feathered raptors and Allosaurus vs bison

Dorothy Bishop can contain herself no longer. An open letter to Susan Greenfield.

“Commercial logos unconsciously encourage brand-compliant behaviour but slogans… trigger automatic resistance”

That’s no moon, it’s a space stat… actually it’s two moons mushed together

Birds avoid scrambled eggs by being more cooperative in the heat

China’s “driverless car” is an important step in replacing Clarkson with the absence of Clarkson

Dogs domesticated for at least 33.000 years. That’s like 33 gajillion in dog years. HT @dbiello http://bbc.in/qlZ5H8

Slide show of wasp turning ladybugs into zombies (My piece on this)

Retraction Watch is a year old. Happy bloggiversary to Ivan Oranksy and Adam Marcus for a great achievement.

A drawing of a thylacine reaches 3,000+ years into the future to say to us: Stop Fucking Things Up

BBC runs hoax PR story about Internet Explorers having lower IQ; readers fact-check. Yeah.

Carl Zimmer chronicles Rosie Redfield’s attempts to refute arseniclife, playing out in realtime on her blog

The nuclear waste containers that can stand up to airplane crashes http://is.gd/ziqaMI

Russia classifies beer as alcoholic

Are There Drugs That Kill Love? Another great Too Hard for Science column.

Was the Suspension of Drowned Polar Bear Discoverer Politically Motivated? You Be the Judge

How childish drawings saved a diplomat who parachuted in amongst reputed cannibals during WWII

Are Smart People Getting Smarter? Jonah Lehrer on the Flynn effect in the brightest folks

One molecule to bind them: Hannah Waters on DMS(P) the chemical that keeps the ocean’s food webs connected

Problem: lots of workers committing suicide. Solution: replace them with robots

1000-pound, 30-foot-long mushroom biggest ever found.

Sigh. The BBC news runs a story about the subtle messages that put women off science, topped with a picture of Holly Goodhead.

New Sonar Technology Reveals City-size Schools of Fish. The bit about unintended consequences is fascinating

The large-scale differences in genome structure that make you you

Go console Carl Zimmer, who has just learned about the decidedly average bacterial diversity of his bellybutton

How 9/11 was a slap in the face for psychology. People turn out to be more resilient than expected

11 deaths & 73 “serious adverse events” for a Pfizer marketing scheme disguised as a drug trial

Sperm whales have dialects, complex relationships & traditions: ‘multicultural civilization’

A good analysis of that paper on brain shrinkage in humans vs chimps (& dogs too).

EEG helmet allows people to brake with their brains. But takes 30 mins to put on and you have to keep head still.


That’s not a croc. THIS IS A CROC. Massive saltwater crocodile eats smaller saltwater crocodile

Rotate your owl.

Fear Zippy, the tiny stun-gunning, pirate-hunting robo-chopper from hell.

Heh. How to deal with Internet arguments: a flowchart.

Snail catches crabs

Which microbe are you?

Martin Robbins spoofs Susan Greenfield’s latest warnings about Twitter melting your brain

Copernicus the nightmare monkey.

I want this T-shirt

Best headline ever: “Doctors: Colon cleansing has no benefit but many side effects including vomiting and death”

Incredible photo of a jumping spider leaping with a safety line


7% of Arab bloggers have been arrested. So much for Gladwell’s argument…

Google enslaves meatsacks to curate part of its news section

How much of Twitter is spam? I liked that 13% may be humans that failed the Turing test

Internet Searches for a Specific Suicide Method Follow Its High-Profile Media Coverage

BetterBio: a science journalism site aimed at “Black/Latino parents and teen residents of inner-city neighborhoods”

Alexis Madrigal explains the ethos behind Longshot – his wonderful experimental magazine put together in 48 hours.

The secret history of the high five:

Ginsberg’s Failure: Steve SIlbermans piece in Longshot on the deepest lesson the poet taught him.

More context on context from Alice Bell on the BBC Science report.

If anyone doubted that Eurekalert was a PR operation and not a news organisation

Icelanders turn in first draft of crowdsourced constitution. Constitution trolling would be new…

Why the New Yorker’s iPad app outsells Wired’s

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