I’ve got your missing links right here (14 May 2011)

Top thirteen picks

This almost made me cry. Calvin and Hobbes, 26 years later.

David Dobbs’s incredible post on how a family quest exposed barriers to open-access science

The Fracking Song. This is just marvellous. A musical explainer from Jay Rosen’s students. More on fracking from Nature News (Battlestar Galactica fans: try to read this without laughing)

An intrepid New Scientist reporter masturbates in an fMRI scanner to learn about the consciousness of orgasms

From Marietta diChristina, The 1000 Scientists in 1000 Days project – a Scientific American project that aims to create more scientific Americans.

Scientist looks in local pond, discovers entire new branch of fungi kingdom

I’m dying here. It’s “Inception,” summarized in 1 min. with OS X folder management.

Ent seeks entwife. The Loneliest Plant In The World by Robert Krulwich.

XKCD on female scientists, role models, and “being the next X.” Spot on, on so many levels.

Great piece on the science of being buried at sea, w/ flesh-eating shrimps & biodegradable shrouds

Life is beautiful, as is this post by Patrick Clarkin

A test that can distinguish between vegetative and minimally conscious states

Guarding your reputation online and why “Dr Anil Potti Likes Spending Quality Time With His Wife & Three Daughters


America’s first full face transplant recipient regains his sense of smell. Incredible.

Why the Mississippi floods were expected: “The simple answer is because it rained. A lot.” But wait, there’s more

Reprogrammed stem cells trigger immune rejection in mice. Peculiar but important results, ably covered by Erika Check Hayden and Benedict Carey.

Right, the Vatican brings moral authority to your climate change report. Not, say, the “potentially irreversible impacts”

Good NYT coverage on new paper about interactive teaching methods in science. Apparently, it’s bolstered by fewer lectures and group working, but the comments here are sharp.

A wonderful biography of Alfred Russell Wallace by David Quammen. 3 yrs old but new to me

Oh sure, it starts with “just defensively”… Teaching a Robot to Sword Fight

WHO to decide fate of smallpox stocks

Heh. Central dogma of psychiatry: DNA -> DSM diagnoses

Felisa Wolfe-Simon wouldn’t discuss her arsenic-life findings with the press, but she’s happy to share keys to success with Glamour. Wikipedia has this to say on glamour: “Glamour originally was a magical-occult spell… Today, glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality.” Mm-hmm.

Did inaccuracies in IQ tests lead to wrong executions?

Could the giant squid be a marine equivalent of the giant panda.

What are the risk factors for getting bitten on the face by a venomous snake? 1) Alcohol 2) Y chromosome

Reactor at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant has a hole, leading to leakage of radioactive water

Rise of the Superweeds: Profligate use of Roundup yielded crop of weeds that are impervious to it

A Danish university’s approach to eliminating cheating? Online access even during exams

Homeopaths suggest fabricating a racial discrimination complaint to avoid ASA homeopathy investigation

The ecology of pants by Robert Krulwich.

Scattershot Science from John Rennie: Blood, Neandertals, Robot Arms and More.

Oh that’s a nice headline: Draculin, Stroke Drug From Vampire Bats, Moves Closer to Circulation

20% of papers supporting climate skepticism come from same 10 “scientists”, 9 with ties to ExxonMobil

Who do you fantasise about killing?

The Guardian’s demand-driven, crowdsourced climate change FAQ for the win.

It’s been an agony of biology to find boundaries…” The intellectual inertia of dividing nature and nurture.

Plans for Scotland to have whisky-powered homes, to store its whisky-powered people http://bit.ly/kjGsI7

Colour meaning in different cultures – an interactive guide

Parasite of the Day made only of reproductive organs

Schizophrenic “symptoms” in a computer programmed to learn too fast, forget too

How do you say “So long & thanks for all the fish“? Talk with a dolphin via underwater translation machine

7 Myths About Physical Activity

How particle physics can help fight cancer by Jennifer Ouellette

It’s me again, can we spawn?” Simple Toadfish Grunts May Contain Complex Information

Brandon Keim covers the Coal Cares hoax site

Well at least those bedbugs aren’t carrying anyth… OH NUTS.

Elsewhere from me: seen headlines that coffee prevents breast cancer? That study pretty much invalidates itself

Fascinating piece on ‘dark tourism’ on BoingBoing

‘Overgeneral memory ‘ and its role in mental illness

Great interview with Carl Zimmer as he explores The Weird Lives Of Viruses

More Bad News for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Mouse Virus Thesis.The last quote from Mikovits is telling.

Kate Wong’s Storify on the Leakey/Johanson event http://sfy.co/7tp (& why it’s v.important

Man quits job, travels 60k miles to shoot 37k images of the night sky, stitches them together to create this

A criminal knock-out drug may help us understand the neuroscience of free will

Fascinating piece on fashions and flim flam in understanding men’s and women’s communication styles

An awesome outreach thread by PsiWavefunction as she explains what she does on Reddit.

Quake pulled Japan “out and down into the sea” so coastal towns now flood during high tide

Analagous to a complicated game of noughts and crosses played on a 4×4 cube in five dimensions” =


Did the economic downturn reduce the number of coins swallowed by children? THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW

Yoda’s booby cam

Ants! Ants ants ants ants ants ants ants ants. Also, ants.

Sentences you will probably never read in a published paper

Yes, a blog for EVERYTHING! Dinosaur Toy Blog reviews

Heh. Taxonomy.

Best illusion of the year.

And it’s the return of my favourite headline memes

Centaur skeleton constructed from real human and zebra bones

The most important question about Osama bin Laden’s death has now been answered.

There are going to be a lot of unemployable people on May 22nd

Your hammer will look more impressive polished.” Scene from old Thor comic that never made the film


“In that one weasely “critics said,” the NYT gives aid & comfort to the worst & least competent among us.” Tom Levenson on false objectivity in journalism.

A storify of reactions to the ASNE Social Media Best Practices. Still driven by fear, rather than opportunity

The many lies of Christopher Booker. No realm of knowledge untouched.

The Future of Book Reviews: Critics vs. Amazon Reviewers.

Cool. The Domesday Book is online. The Winklevoss twins will probably claim it’s their idea and sue William the Conqueror

Media shrinks: a breed for whom [a] new circle of hell is currently under construction” – Marina Hyde

Here’s the man who created the Microsoft Word paperclip

One good journo slaps two awful former ones to reveal Facebook’s smear campaign against Google

The Taliban is on Twitter. Hopefully, they’ll turn on location tracking.

When your research goes rogue

UnbeMFlievable. Bidding war: last week’s health care PR offer to reporters was $100… $250 this week!

“I’m always amazed men aren’t more furious at the way the rape problem is framed.” I absolutely am.

You’ve got to wonder if Brian Deer has a list of people he’s cross at, that he’s systematically working his way through. Here he targets Nature, making legitimate points about contracts, with a slight hint of toys and prams.

20 things that should rarely if ever appear in your copy

Longreads, one of the web’s best-curated sites, launches Community Picks

Swedish newspaper boosted its print circulation by concentrating on features and investigative pieces

The  WSJ says uploaders to its Wikileaks-esque whistleblowing site must own copyright to docs. Er…

Navigating news online — online news audience mainly “casual” users.

One NYT correction to rule them all

“Don’t assume “short attention spans for generation that will read Harry Potter books.”

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