I’ve started a new Tumblr blog called Nature Wants to Eat You: a celebration of the animal kingdom’s terrifying mouths, jaws, teeth and tongues.
A truly superb comic on depression
Modern journalism involves long, complex stories that require flexible reporting, says Emily Bell, citing Occupy Wall Street as an example.
A masterful summary of Ben Goldacre’s eight years of writing Bad Science. Much to like, but particularly: “People who don’t understand science can only critique in terms of motive. Let them have that; we’ll do the details.” Also good to know that Goldacre is writing a book on evidence misuse by pharma.
With Vaccines, Bill Gates Changes The World Again – a great feature by Matthew Herper
Two women in a canoe happen upon a flock of starlings. Incredible video ensues.
Unfeasibly, the Toxoplasma story gets more mental with every new paper. And Carl Zimmer is there to chronicle it all.
What does it mean to be a science journalist? A great, thoughtful piece from Marie-Claire Shanahan.
Research into a male birth control pill involves 50 yrs, vitamin A, booze & many bad jokes. Also, the potential compound is called “Win”. By Virginia Hughes.
There is LOTS to love about Nature’s autism special this week.
Fly On Wall Sees Things It Wishes It Hadn’t, by Rob Dunn
From Big Bangs to God Particles – why science depends on good branding, by John Pavlus.
A series of incredible paper sculptures were left anonymously at a Scottish library.
An epic piece of editing: Four Ways Men Stunt Women’s Careers Unintentionally
“Why Is This Cargo Container Emitting So Much Radiation?” A great Wired story.
How walking through a doorway increases forgetting, by Christian Jarrett.
The case of Diederik Stapel – Dutch psychologist who faked much of his data – just gets worse. Thirty-plus papers included fraud. “Many of Stapel’s students graduated without having ever run an experiment. Meanwhile, The Washington Post has the best headline. And the Neuroskeptic asks “Whose job is it to catch scientific fraud?” At the moment it’s up to heroic individuals.
I’ve been waiting for something like this – big blow-by-blow feature on Fukushima’s first 24 hrs, by Eliza Strickland.
The evolution of overconfidence, explained via Jersey Shore and a bottle of Jagermeister, by Scicurious
A great piece on Carl Gustafson, an archeologist whose claim of a pre-Clovis mastodon kill was rejected until now.
“The anthrax vaccine is a truly bad idea”, says Prof who sequenced anthrax in 2001 attacks.
Judith Curry Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot: a superb takedown, regarding BEST and the statistics of recent “lack of global warming”
“Alternative literature“. Wonderful. Don’t miss the alt-text.
Does inequality make us unhappy?
Great Scientific American feature on the genetically sterilized mosquitoes that were secretly released
Gary Stix compares a study on Facebook & brain areas with a new monkey paper on something similar
Which Ancient Megafauna Did We Wipe Out?
A seriously depressing look at why science majors (really quite a lot of science majors) change their minds.
Visa wants to make money from your DNA.
Fake astronauts return to real Earth after fake trip to fake Mars. I would LOVE it if they stepped out of their fake spaceship, looked around, went “Oh screw this” and went back in.
9 equations true geeks should know: a good read even if, like me, equations make you cry
This. Is. F**ked. Up. Antivaxxers trading pathogens in the post. They are essentially bioterrorists.
A brief guide to embodied cognition.
A great explanation of why quakes in east US are felt further afield than in west.
Delta Airlines shows you an anti-vaccine ad while you ride an enclosed vector.
Hey, Alex Wild made a science e-book for kids: Insects!
We’re building a laser powerful enough to tear apart the fabric of space. Oh good.
This vampire bacteria slurps out its prey’s insides. Could it become a living antibiotic?
Good evidence for sperm whale culture
Psychologists talk about how science has helped them
A fascinating crowd-funded project to use ancient DNA to study the Roman Empire’s 99%.
A “treatment of last resort”: fecal transplants to cure C.diff infections
Sabre-toothed “squirrel” is not a squirrel. Well done to Alok Jha at the Guardian for not rising to it.
When Brits frack, the ground moves. Or something. How fracking caused earthquakes in the UK
Here’s a SciFund project we can all get behind: scientist wants to study zombifying fish parasites. Go support her.
Scientists name quartet of gang-banging dolphins “The Beatles”.
A Yawning Divide? Contagious Yawning and Empathy in Animals
Echinoblog answers starfish questions from a 6th grader
“Fewer than 10 people have published studies on jump ropes.” All assumed jumping in a vacuum.
Spiders Seek Balance of Work and (Fore)play
Are atrocities inevitable in war? An RCT showing ethics training for soldiers helps
People are still dying of cholera in Haiti. Vaccines on the way, but they won’t be a panacea.
Gosh, that’s one enormous crack. NYC-sized iceberg about to break off.
An intimate relationships between orchids and bees turns out to be pretty one-sided
HSA: a human blood protein with high demand, low supply. Solution: stick it in rice
The lab rat you’ve never heard of
Eyes reveal true hypnotic state for the first time
This is a great idea: The Google of Negative Results
“There is more than one way to be smart.”
Carl Zimmer tells a very personal story about becoming a science writer & parasite aficionado
Real Life Werewolves? Dog Bites and Full Moons
Chemistry Teacher Shows Students The Exploding Pumpkin Trick
Synthetic blood could arrive before 2015
Brain’s DNA changes over our lifetimes: fascinating, but what does it mean?
The parasite that feeds on tick antifreeze.
Toxic Pufferfish Invade Eastern Mediterranean, Killing People and Irking Fisherman
Company tries to patent the process of scientific discovery itself.
Pregnant women can stop themselves from giving birth on Halloween
Will selling cigarettes in plain packaging make a difference? Yes, and here’s the evidence.
Prehistoric zombie worms. More fossil evidence that worms feasted on whale falls a long, long time ago.
Prince of Wales’ power over public legislation– this would be disturbing enough if it wasn’t Charles. As it is…
fMRI has gone past its troubled teens and is now looking to settle down.
“I reviewed this paper and found significant flaws in statistical methods”: A case of failed peer review
Behind the scenes stories from director Vanessa Berlowitz on how the Frozen Planet aerial shots were done.
Believing a sound is part of music (even nails on a chalkboard!) makes it less bothersome
Could a single Marine unit bring down the Roman Empire?
The more explosions a film contains, the more it takes at the box office
Strong leading contender for Headline of the Month
Oh dear. Fake Onion story requires real press release
Why the Irish elk became extinct
Gecko-tank-robot climbs up walls, comes for your children.
The image that accompanies this piece is inspired.
Could the Enterprise beam a vampire into a house he didn’t have permission to enter?
Ladies and Gentlemen, the best pet Halloween costume of all time.
Angry Bird: seagull takes on eagle
Diane Kelly needs your money “to measure the speed and force of the inflating duck penis“.
Ha! If you type illuminati backwards into your browser and add “.com”, it takes you to the NSA site.
Two whales gulp next to female surfer
Sharp analysis from Emily Bell on Google’s move to link Google News to journalists’ G+ profiles. Meanwhile, Megan Garber aces my feelings: “Transparency, hooray! Still, there’s something just slightly ominous in all this.”
“Why Johnny Can’t Search” – on the need to train students to be critical search-engine users
A truly troubling post about the sheer nastiness directed against female bloggers
The bit in this CJR editorial on “support through criticism” applies to science writing. Science communication isn’t just happy, fluffy, isn’t-science-great pieces. Critical analysis is part of it too.
Twitter Stories: a great idea from Twitter
Findings: a new Twitter-like service for sharing longreads, by Steven Johnson
Infographic: If 7 Billion People Lived in One City, How Big Would It Be?
Everyone knows that ghosts say “boo” but when did they first start using that scary word?
Anatomy of Twitter regional slang
Why the Daily Mail is the UK’s most widely read piece of fiction. More horrific practice.
Untangling the Web: death and the internet