I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (05 April 2014)

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Top picks

This is a heartbreaking piece on the sheer scale of pangolin trafficking, following a long undercover investigation. By John Sutter.

“Not every mystery involves a dead body, but every dead body is a mystery.” Kathryn Schulz’s piece on death certificates is suffused with beautiful poetry.

“We’re going to build a bio-dome with a future ocean inside it.” Jo Chandler on an epic experiment.

Alexis Madrigal defends Google Flu Trends, and provides a primer on how to think constructively about big data

Beluga whales can actively deploy love handles for stability! By Rebecca Helm.

Hummingbirds have diversified like crazy in a short amount of time. And they’re still going strong. By me.

6 people will spend 4 awful months on a Hawaiian volcano to see if Mars would drive them mad. By Megan Garber.

Henry Nicholls meets Jane Goodall, in advance of her 80th birthday.

No, Rats Are Not Exonerated From The Black Death. By Brooke Borel.

Allan Adams explains the recent big physics discovery about the early universe, with XKCD drawings. He basically improvised this & it’s glorious

Why is the ruling to stop Japanese whaling so important? David Shiffman explains.

An incredible look at the “slow life” of corals, sponges and the other animals that build coral reefs

The wonderful Leigh Cowart on the brain damage suffered by professional boxers.


Scientists file patent for octopus robot.

Publicly questioned papers are more likely to be retracted.

Virginia Hughes interviews Nathalia Holt about becoming a science writer & CURED—her book on HIV (which looks amazing)

Black holes tend to be either huge or runty. Nadia Drake on where the Goldilocks ones are

Reconstructing a view of the world’s most famous dinosaur tracks with video.

We really might get plain packs for cigarettes in the UK. Superb.

Characters on cereals marketed at kids stare down at a 10 degree angle. Those on adult cereals look straight ahead

Stem-cell scientist found guilty of misconduct

An ancient cave was basically a killzone for prehistoric leopards.

Eyeless fish navigates because it sucks.

Scientists lack brains; they want yours.

Laurie Garrett on the widening Ebola epidemic in Africa.

Did farting microbes almost kill off all life that one time?

PlantVillage–a site for crowdsourcing the world’s botanical knowledge.

Hadn’t even heard of trilobite beetles before but, damn, they’re stunning.

A full computer can now be worn as a temporary tattoo.

No, British scientists didn’t clone a dinosaur. That’s a kangaroo.

“The artificial leaf is here. Again.”

With minimal govt funding for chronic fatigue research, Ian Lipkin is turning to crowdfunding

You can’t dismiss brain imaging as just an academic gimmick

7-yr-olds as dumb as crows. To the pits with them!

Nuclear power, GMOs, Ebola, and our bizarre relationship with risk perception.

3D printers are giving palaeontology its Gutenberg moment

Scientists created 3500 strains of fruit flies to find one that can moonwalk.

A wonderful long story about the wasp that takes zombie cockroaches for walks

Self-destructing trees could be the key to producing cheaper biofuels



I totally endorse NPR’s incredible April Fools’ prank.

Every Shakespeare play rendered in three panels each

This fabulous upholstery is the skin of a really weird mite.

If the media reported the events of “Game Of Thrones

Maximize Your Brainpower By Firing Every Neuron At Once!



Language police: check your privilege and priorities. Cracking post from Stan Carey

Playground removes “safety” rules; fun, development and injuries ensue (& parents are happy)

“I am an introvert who plays at being an extrovert, and that’s why I f**king write books.” Chuck Wendig on piracy.

A Compilation of the Best Sentences — Opening, Closing, and Otherwise — in English-Language Novels

Why Google Maps gets Africa wrong. A history of cartographic bias.

The Daily Routines of Famous Artists and Scholars