I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (3 April 2016)

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Top picks

From me at the Atlantic:

In the 1910s, in the early days of film, women dominated action movies. What happened? Great pieces on The Hazards of Helen, The Perils of Pauline, and other forgotten shows, by Adrienne LaFrance

Chimpanzees have been observed performing the same rituals over and over. Is that spirituality? Barbara King discusses.

The Nameless Mouse Behind the Largest-Ever Neural Network. By Katie Palmer

This is a wonderful story by Chris Baraniuk about Jennifer Null and other people whose names break databases

“I’ve seen the greatest AI minds of my generation destroyed by Twitter.” By Anthony Lydgate

Wonderful piece by Maggie Koerth-Baker on the (il)legitimacy of dinosaur names

Andy Goldsworthy arranges leaves, sticks, and stones to create magical land art

Is Ebola hiding in the eyes of survivors? Fascinating story by Emily Baumgaertner

A team of rival scientists came together to fight Zika. A great story of scientific collaboration by Amy Harmon.

“This has been the saddest research trip of my life,” says coral scientist Terry Gross on the biggest Great Barrier Reef bleaching event ever.

That time when Amazon sent Ian Bogost some lumber as a prank

A video game company is trying to deal with toxic behaviour in the world’s most popular online game. By Brendan Maher.


The amazing fossil discoveries made possible by CT-scanning

Of 960 studies on anti-dengue mosquito control, only 41 stand up to scientific scrutiny

How stress affects the pace of evolution

Zika highlights role of controversial fetal-tissue research

Largest ever study of transgender teenagers set to kick off

Homo floresiensis vanished around 40,000 years earlier than we thought. Were humans to blame?

Mysterious space thing punches Jupiter

Proto spiders could produce silk but not weave it.

The birds reacted very aggressively… including kicking intruders in the head. They ignored the neutral humans.”

“One advantage that this show has over some reality shows: it’s hard to find a boring blade smith.”

Scientist leaves EPA after they shut down his fracking study, then FOIs the data, and finishes the study.

How dancing animals help explain the evolutionary origins of rhythm, by Ferris Jabr

Gut bacteria and stroke recovery

What one snarky facial expression could teach us about the evolution of language

A look at Google’s troubled attempt to transform medicine

Spring, via satellite.

Physicists at the gate: on collaboration and tribalism in science

The view across the ocean is not what you think.

The Designer Who Peered Into Microscopes and Saw High Art



The exotic animal traffickers of Ancient Rome

Why do so many digital assistants have feminine names? (The dek on this is perfect.)

Sick burn from ancient Pompeii: “Oh Epaphras, thou art no tennis-player.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates on writing; can’t recommend it enough. Touches on the major issues: perseverance, failure, practice

10-yr-old makes five-barrelled, arm-mounted, prosthetic glitter cannon called Project Unicorn.

Hikaru Dorodango’ is the Japanese Art of Turning Dirt into Perfect Spheres

Great review of Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

The world owes an enormous debt to this quiet Russian naval officer, who likely saved your life.