I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (19 April 2015)

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Top picks

Egg freezing is not fertility insurance: It’s the perfect regret machine.” Superb piece by Abby Rabinowitz on the social effects that the mere existence of a new technology can have.

“The fight has astronomers asking whether a pristine view of the stars trumps the beliefs of people on the ground.” Azeen Ghorayshi on the emotional fight between astronomers and native Hawaiians over the construction of a giant telescope.

In which the wonderful Nancy Kanwisher shaves her head to explain brain anatomy. Trepanning, next?

It’s a good story: the world’s loneliest whale, singing a song that none of its peers can hear. It may, however, not be true. By Chris Baraniuk.

As the climate changes and ice disappears, scientists who study ice face an increasingly difficult job, as the subject of their research literally melts away. By Neil Savage.

Centuries of Italian History Are Unearthed in Quest to Fix Toilet”. An amazing story of DIY archaeology by Jim Yardley

Yes, especially in the context of digital communications, has come to mean something more like no.” Megan Garber on the linguistics of yes.

Redeeming the Sea Lamprey: How a Much-Hated Animal Brings Streams to Life. By Brandon Keim.

Could a post-apocalyptic world reboot civilisation without fossil fuels? Lewis Dartnell explores.

Paige Williams on the incredible journey of an Alaskan totem pole that was stolen by a Hollywood star.

Will the dams of the Mekong River damn the people who live along it? Michelle Nijhuis investigates.

Huge sperm whale surprises the crew of a deep-sea submersible. Their joy is infectious.


Update on the project to resurrect the gastric brooding frog

David Dobbs reviews Alice Dreger’s new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger

“As far as Irvine knows, he’s the first student anywhere to conduct an underwater thesis defence

Thought extinct for decades, a rare monkey is captured on film for the first time

A new study claims that women are twice as likely to be hired into scientific jobs as men with the same qualifications. Here are two good analyses of the problems with the study.

Here’s Michael Specter on glyphosphate, cancer, and risk assessments, making a lot of sense.

Famed Mountain Lion Seeks Comfort Under An LA Home. Excellent last paragraph.

Serotonin and the science of sex – SciCurious on a complicated update to a 2011 Nature paper

Congrats to Siri Carpenter & Jeanne Erdmann for securing a grant to keep the Open Notebook running.

The monkeys, they destroy all the wires and eat all the wires.” This is how civilisation will end.

“The world’s last surviving male northern white rhino is under 24-hour armed guard”

Before whales, zombie worms ate plesiosaur bones.

“With the aid of high-speed cameras, scientists have revealed how octopuses co-ordinate their arms to crawl.”

“They are the only [non-human] apes that regularly hunt w/ tools — and females do the majority of that hunting”

Cancer mutations often misidentified in the clinic

A Gray Whale Breaks The Record For Longest Mammal Migration

Here’s how much of our galaxy we’ve begun to explore for other worlds.

On getting good coffee on the ISS: “the only thing it took was hosting more Italians from orbit”

When looking up at skyscrapers, ever imagine what could live between them?

Watch these bacteria shed their cell walls to defend themselves against immune cells.

If You Want Healthy Cows, Feed Them Magnets

Calling all penguins: One man’s quest to photograph every species

Stephen Hawking singing Monty Python

The key to telling dinosaur sexes apart may be in the tail bones

It’s time to get rid of the “headclutcher” photo that accompanies mental health stories

“In bright sunlight they are the most exquisitely beautiful birds.” Redeeming magpies.

Cuddly lemurs fight off huge marauding snake

A leader in the polio eradication effort looks back and forward on the 60th anniversary of the vaccine.



The world’s first 3-D printed band has instruments that look like sci-fi weapons

Chimp bats drone out of sky

Want to have a freakish accident that will give you superpowers? Here are 7 great toxic spots.



You can make things 76% artier by slapping a golden ratio onto them. Sadly, it’s all nonsense.

Spot-on review of Jon Ronson’s new book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Inspired by happiness research, CEO raises base salary at 120-person company to $70,000.

The causes of musicians’ deaths, by genre.

Robot vacuum cleaner attacks woman as she sleeps. It begins.

Megan Garber with a hot take on hot takes.

“This Public Shaming Is Not Like The Other”.

Historical neckbeards and Wikipedia: an investigation