I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (1 December 2012)

Top picks

This slow-motion video of a cheetah running is the most incredible thing I’ve seen all…. Well, it’s incredible. Note how freakishly steady the head is! And focus on one foot – watch how much distance the animal covers between the foot lifting off and coming down again! And do NOT miss the end, where you see how it looks in real-time.

The closest planet to the sun has loads of ice! Amazing news about Mercury!

Human Evolution [Is Going Through] an Exciting New Phase – excellent piece by Brandon Keim

Stunningly good read about a man’s journey from earache to brain tumour to coma, and the ensuing end-of-life court battle.

The Lying Disease: Why do some people fake cancer online? An incredible piece on “Munchausen’s by Internet”.

Every single sentence in Time’s description of the Higgs boson is wrong.

The man whose brain ignores one half of his world

Top photo: the one on the right is a sponge; the one on the left is a frogfish. Just astounding

Great interview at TheAtlantic with Uri Simonsohn “the data vigilante” who has exposed fraud in psychology

This is how Pompeii died, and it’s not quite how most people think. Great piece by Dana Hunter.

Beautiful photo series of the sublime slime mould Dictyostelium, by Alex Wild

How do porcupines mate? The standard punchline is correct, but doesn’t even begin to cover it

Bugs! Antarctica! Lake! Life abounds in really very extreme conditions.

Two years with cancer – XKCD

A Tale of Two Scales: Big Rhinos and Giant Rhinos; a lovely evocative post from John Hutchinson

Experiments that run longer than the life of the researcher! (With Richard Lenski, who is still alive and still awesome)


Jack Gilbert will take ALL of your sh*t. Just send it to him in the post. Interesting project to crowdsource 10k gut microbiomes from around the US

Every wondered what the time is in Antarctica? It’s more complicated than you might think

Crocodile head scales result from cracking

An RCT of (false)-balanced reporting on the autism-vaccine story on beliefs about vaccines

Is everything we eat associated with cancer – study uses cookbooks to review the gigantic mess that is nutritional epidemiology.

Fantastic critique of the NYT’s oversold “immortal jellyfish” story, by Paul Raeburn.

This is not a Rubik’s cube

Solid response from SciCurious to bizarre, ill-advised idea of getting a PhD to BECOME a science writer

The Integrative Palaeontologist – what promises to be a great new blog about dinosaurs

Journal retracts fraudster’s papers, then publishes NEW paper from same guy that cites retracted papers & hides

Lovely bit of unfolding natural history: a tale of whelks and unfortunate clams

Italian team take picture of DNA with electron microscope

Siamese fighting fish gulp air to keep on fighting

Can we predict what proportion of scientific studies will replicate? One project’s gonna try

Ignore the lamentable Susan Greenfield & watch Daphne Bavelier on video games improving cognition

NASA backpedals on misreported claim about Mars findings.

Report on Diederik Stapel – psychology fraudster – blames the absence of a critical scientific culture at academic institutions. Meanwhile, Stapel is so sorry and ashamed that he’s writing a book about it

Does the world seem steadier if you’re a chicken?

New species of skinny, bug-eyed snake discovered in Ecuador

Fear Factor: Spider silk reduces plant damage

Amazon deforestation drops to record low

10,000 Hrs of Practice Won’t Make You An Expert: 10 Facts That Really Aren’t Facts

Barrel roll! A blue whale’s size doesn’t stop it performing underwater acrobatics to attack prey

Some… “scientists” claimed to have sequenced Bigfoot DNA. Next: chupacabra FMRI!

SciCurious is starting a guest-post series, for scientists who want to try their hand at science writing

On the need for robot ethics: “Your driverless car is about to hit a bus; should it veer off a bridge?”

Scientists say they can track early human movements over 7,000 years ago by analysing molecules in ancient poo.

SpaceX founder unveils plan to send 80,000 people to Mars. Which reminds me of this.

New fossil reveals hangingfly that might have hid among Jurassic ginkgo trees

Brain’s ‘reading centres’ are culturally universal

Should scientists, particularly climate scientists, be bolder in public? By Alice Bell

Stressing out really does make severe depression worse

Wonderful, compassionate article by Vaughan Bell on the many varied ways people grieve

Can a scientific fraudster be rehabilitated? Why would we even bother?

From Charles Darwin’s pigeons to moon rock, London’s Natural History Museum celebrates its most prized items.

Great NYT interactive on the extent to which rising seas will submerge U.S. cities

Living cells enclosed in nanopyramids, interacting with others in neighbouring pyramids

Ten Amazon cities doubled in population in last 10yrs, swallowing the rainforest

No, smallpox virus has NOT been detected in 300-year-old Siberian mummy… just gene fragments

Faked research is endemic in China.” Shi-Min Fang [exposed] 1000+ cases of science fraud

“This “scientist as monk” meme is hurtful and deserves to die a flaming death.”

The new coronavirus that emerged in Mideast before the hajj & then seemed to disappear has now sickened an entire family



Jaw meet floor: Gorgeous images from National Geographic Photo Contest. Some days, I feel like this sealion

The first law of thermodynamics is…

One for the editors. Note: irony.

The Philosopher Shaming Tumblr is great. Twitter will give me CONSTANT opportunities to use this one.

NOM Chomsky

The Nile from space

‘I Am A Brand,’ Pathetic Man Says

170-foot trampoline installed in Russian forest. Some bears are gonna be pretty confused…

“With Apple’s new “Letters”, we can write words like “cease” and “desist”.”

Work hard, kids: After his Nobel win, Niels Bohr was given a perpetual beer supply, piped into his house

Incredible Time-Lapse Video Shows Stars and Clouds Over Volcanic Island

Brilliant blue tree tarantula w/ yellow banding



Massive congratulations to Suzi Gage and David Colquhoun for winning the first UK Science Blog Prize.

The big news in journalism this week is the publication of the Leveson report. Here’s a take from Emily Bell arguing why it’s already irrelevant, and another good take from the Economist. And the Daily Mash: “The thing where everyone gets their news has promised to find out what a ‘Leveson’ is.”

Syria cut itself off from the internet, killed cell service-not good.

Pentagon: autonomous robots won’t be allowed to kill you, but they can spy on you and hack you. YAYSES!

Onion’s ‘sexy’ North Korea story fools Chinese media

1st answer is AMAZING: If every US state declared war against each other, which would win?

Amazing economics article from XKCD

How a fake press release on a Google acquisition fooled the media

Astonishing, depressing photo of an ant-like queue of people on the side of Everest. And the perspective of Ralf Dujmovits, who took the photo.

A new blog on science journalism from for great young journalists, in advance of next year’s conference in Helsinki

Well played, humanity. Buying coffee for the next person in line – Pay-it-forward in action!

How Google put work into Spanner—the story of the world’s largest database

“What is needed is the bravery to construct a horrible journalistic sentence which is nonetheless precise”

When everyone is a publisher, everyone can be sued – the Economist on Twitter

Macy’s parade: ‘Shredded police papers in confetti.’ Shredded *horizontally*?!?

Why does Superman wear red underwear over his costume? Actually interesting

These professors who cracked an ancient 250-year-old code and found a secret society

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet