I’ve got your missing links right here (23 June 2012)

Top picks

The EU released a teaser video of its campaign to get young girls into science. It did not go down well. The Knight Tracker has a copy of the video (now taken down) and collated all the reactions.

Really fascinating piece about how complicated “informed consent” is becoming in the era of big data. By Erika Check Hayden.

Vivid, well-told feature on the climate wars, by Tom Clynes.

How flight beat float: Megan Garber on the death of the dirigible.

The only good abortion is my abortion. This piece by Maggie Koerth-Baker is amazing not just because it’s brave but that it allows others to be brave. Salute

In 1935, a radio program sponsored by the FDA wrote a ditty praising arsenic. Great post by Deborah Blum.

Most people who bang on about science literacy are talking crap. This brilliant piece shows why.

I was sad as a kid when I learned that tractor beams weren’t real. But they might be!

Astonishing. Your brain looks different depending on whether the data analysis is done on a Mac or PC

These are wonderful: famous landmarks, seen through the eyes of hundreds at once

Women with super-vision live among us, and one scientist is trying to track them down. Cool piece by Veronique Greenwood.

XKCD: All 786 known planets drawn to scale

“If you were a mantis shrimp, your rainbow would be unimaginably rich” – two great posts on the nature of colour

“Caution about over-interpretation. Over-interpretation.” – Vaughan Bell’s template for all neuroscience stories

Typically excellent piece by Carl Zimmer on how the microbes within us are turning doctors into wildlife managers.


World’s slowest shark even slower than previously thought.

Teach With Portals. Great idea from Valve.

Hermaphroditic banana slugs chewing off each others penises after sex. As you do.

Skip straight to step 5! Discover wants you to send an experiment to space and they’ll give you $1500 to do it.

Henrietta’s revenge: HeLa cells continue to wreak havoc on other cell cultures

Abandoned Russian neuroscience lab in haunting photos

“We need to stop trying to teach every child as either a future scientist or a future failed scientist,” argues Deb Blum.

How microbes build mountains.

From Deep Sea news: I thought I was a plant, but now I think I’m a killer!

600 years later, engineers are realizing the dreams of da Vinci and making human-powered helicopters

Do cephalopods dream of aquatic sheep? With mandatory Cthulhu reference

NEOShield: Europe leading the way on asteroid deflection

Are drug company R&D depts reading blogs? Antidepressant paper corrected after NeuroSkeptic post

Excellent BBC problem on the cult of TED. And TED’s problem us summed up by the fan who says “the difference between TED [&] church is all the talks are verifiable by science.” LMFAO

Can you smell what the rock is preservin’? Brian Switek on Archaeopteryx, turtle porn & shark… something

Why do spammers say they’re from Nigeria? So only most gullible respond [pdf]

The gigapixel camera: allowing you to spy on people with as little skill or planning as possible

Scientists trace wiring plan for entire mouse brain

Nobel laureate directing African HIV centre? Good news? Oh wait… it’s Luc Montagnier

Good news: you have a beautiful baby. Bad news: two tapeworms

What makes us laugh?

Teenager survives harpoon through the brain. In at the front, out at the back. Amazing x-ray.

This awesome view of the Arctic sea ice atop the Blue Marble could soon be the stuff of history:

Korean scientists are fighting back against proposed anti-evolution textbook changes

Making The Connection: The Oceans In Contemporary American Culture

Extinct toad is not actually extinct!

AbyssBox – a high-pressure aquarium tank for deep-sea life. But how to stock it, sez I

This post about the world’s fastest supercomputer has a truly inspired headline

Is this vanishing fat-tailed lemur a ninja, or is it just hibernating?

Wired’s tribute to Alan Turing’s many achievements

I think this may be the best photo ever: jumping dolphin with octopus on its genitals

“Matthew Power is the kind of writer everyone dreams of becoming.” Here, he journeys to the island of the tree kangaroos.

One woman and her giant tortoises – Virginia Huhes recounts her visit to the Galapagos

Be the opposite of Prometheus! BFI & Wellcome Trust launch screenwriting prize to encourage films inspired by science

FOIA reveals safety problems at CDC pathogens lab – violations for which CDC would poss shut down any other lab

The ultimate bouncer: an absolutely great post on the P-glycoprotein efflux multi-drug transporter.

Simon Baron-Cohen on what the McLean brain bank breakdown means for autism research

Later Terminator: We’re Nowhere Near Artificial Brains

The Legend of Mike ‘The Durable’ Malloy, History’s Most Stubborn Murder Victim

If any man could save the northern white rhinos, it was him. But Congolese Government inanities smothered his plans

This is what a honeybee looks like as it loses its stinger

Sinners and winners in the race to protect the oceans revealed



Paper mistakenly says earth orbits the moon

You Chose Wrong. All the various ways of dying in choose-your-own-adventure books

21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

I love that the winner of the Wellcome Image Awards was undoctored, and actually used in a scientific context.

This whale spouts rainbows

Glaminals. Love the starfish.

An awesome display of counter-trolling


Journalism /internet/society

Fellow science writer Jonah Lehrer was caught recycling material from old columns for his new New Yorker blog. (Disclosure: Jonah and I used to be on ScienceBlogs together; I’ve recommended his writing on this blog; we haven’t met but are mutually supportive acquaintances.) But yes, even though they’re all his words, this is a problem. Paul Raeburn says the “journalism issues are simple and clear” and he’s absolutely right. The Daily Beast sums up what happened. Robert Wright muses on the bigger picture. Slate has some thoughts on the Big Ideas culture. Felix Salmon has some advice on blogging. And at some point, the bloody Huffington Post retweeted Jonah’s apology for recycling content! And then I died of irony poisoning.

Twitter going down is funny … also kind of scary in the age of uber-connection

Brill. Pick up your dog’s poo, and get free wi-fi. I love this idea, but fundamentally, it rewards owners of dogs that produce heavier poo.

Blogger Asserts Copyright, Newspaper Editor Gets Irate

Facebook has the governance structure for you” Another brilliant piece by Alexis Madrigal

Taliban to US: “If you don’t stop killing our kids w/ drones, we’ll kill them with polio.” World to Taliban: “Erm…”

The lawyer for FunkyJunk is now suing The Oatmeal and the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation

Gatwick’s Border Agency shocking conduct towards ethnic minority women, gays and those w/ HIV

When Science Media Becomes a Parody of Itself

Using stats to spot sockpuppetry and dodgy reviews on TripAdvisor

How a D-list superhero taught Adam Rogers that w/ great parenting comes great responsibility (oldie but goodie)

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