Nerds and Words: Week 27

By Kyle Hill | July 7, 2013 11:00 am

I have dug through the Internet this week and uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Write, and Watch

Posted this last July 4th weekend and will again because duh: Fireworks in reverse are better than actual fireworks

Really weird to see something un-launch itself: This SpaceX rocket test video is ridiculously impressive

PSA: Most of your “spider bites” are not

What Really Happens When Lightning Strikes Sand: The Science Behind a Viral Photo

The Truth About Video Games and Gun Violence. What do we really know about how games affect us?

Physics so cool you’ll want to slap someone: Bass strings viewed through a high shutter speed

So far so good for a new set of sweeping US classroom science standards

I love how the Girl Scouts sciencified “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Being a Sandpiper: A story of animal consciousness. (You ever read writing so good you are jealous of it?)

Homeopathy smacked down for misleading claims about what its placebo can treat. Decision here

When magic and empiricism meet in Uganda children get their teeth removed with a sharpened bicycle spoke

How “ancient aliens” are the gods of the archaeological gaps

Are “immortal” jellies really immortal? Or do they just age realllly slowly?

How many bouncy balls would it take to kill someone? Also, you’re now an accessory to murder

“Darwin’s Doubt,” a new book about the “merits” of intelligent design, is a masterwork of pseudoscience

Give one last Vulcan salute to Pluto’s newly named satellites. Shatner is pissed.

I got physically creeped out watching this great science video: Why Are Thing Creepy?

The True Science of Spinach: What the Popeye Mythology Teaches Us about How Error Spreads

How nuclear fallout from the cold war can help us track and stop ivory poachers

‘Proof of Heaven’ author and claims debunked again. A good time to revisit one of my most popular pieces ever: Even if Heaven is real, you aren’t seeing it.

I love that someone got around to this: The physics of that gravity defying chain of metal beads

How might NSA spying affect the clinically paranoid?

Curiosity marvels at the moons moving around Mars

How we are preparing to fight the great lionfish invasion. Or, kill one if you see one.

As an American, I believe that we need to prevent the North Pole from migrating into Russia

Why is a rainbow? I learned!

You may not have seen any cicadas, but scientists did, and they’re using GPS to uncover the next swarm

What’s the time frame on “solving the problems in our own backyard” before we continue to explore space?

 

Nerdom at its Finest

What the Fifth Element can teach you about design principles. I love this idea.

Big data answers the question: Just where is the middle of nowhere?

Conference soon? May I suggest for a laser pointer you bring this insanely dangerous 6-barreled Gatling laser with a taste for balloons?

What Arkham Ayslum Gets Right And Wrong About The Criminally Insane. The fascinating questions good games raise…

Here’s How Mass Effect‘s Biological Warfare is Scientifically Possible. I want to be the very model of a scientist Salarian…

I must kill Roy Phillips: A story about how you can fall deeply for Fallout 3, and realize you’ve fallen too far

Inside the Moon: The Power of Majora’s Mask. A detailed analysis of one of my all-time favorite games

‘Now Is The Best Time’: A Critique Of BioShock Infinite. Amazingly deep commentary and a great prose

The Darth Valley challenge sounds like a darth sentence. But world record dude!

This drawing of a Half-Life 3 conspiracy theorist is gold Jerry, gold

Battlestar Pedagogica: Using Science Fiction to teach Science!

 

GIFs and Images for 2-seconds of WOW

Physics and starlight don’t just bend around a black hole, they bend my MIND. Cool simulation of what orbiting a black hole look like

There are two types of people in this world. Those who are scared of this picture, and those who are like “WHOA, JUMANJI SPIDER”

Getting the perfect shot of lava takes dedication

Up close, your eye is a forest of blood delivery

Superman already invented 3D printing, so Makerbot has a lot of royalties to pay

A few sciencey reminders–Camouflage is incredible. Don’t fill a tank with steam and then close the valve too quickly. A llama eye looks like it is wearing an evening dress. You can see a whole world in a drop of water, or Superman.

The ribbon eel is confirmation of my theory that life is one big rhythmic gymnastics display

You will spend too much time looking at this bridge’s destruction

Um, woah. Arizona Cardinals’ Robert Gill found the 25mph setting on his treadmill

I might want the last thing I ever see to be owl feet

A cobra hatchling emerges!

It took me a good 30 seconds to realize what kind of geography I was looking at

A cuttlefish whose camouflage doesn’t work can always try hypnosis

So, the US/Mexico border is a pretty stark contrast huh?

I always prefer my cabbage to be mathematical

XKCD does the best visualizations (and I’ll stand by that): Lakes and Oceans

The universe in your eyes

Um, don’t do this, but rifling in a rifle is pretty cool looking

 

Oh Yeah, Other Things Happen in the World

News flash: Right-wing preacher has no idea what Star Trek stands for, considers it bestiality

Rare (but well documented) side effect of placebo medicine? Collapsed lung

This artist literally turns people into paintings. Check her incredible website too

First-person parkour is absolutely thrilling

God is like a table with three legs. And skepticism is a hard sell

Amazing read: What it is like to be a Muslim woman, and why we know what freedom is (and you may not)

Is Adventure Time talking about homeopathy here?

Lovely eye candy: A Visual History of Magic

Death by Cassowary is a fate I never want to meet. The last thing I see is a weird frat boy stare…

My (new) favorite (old) XKCD is about the creator of the universe

Can’t wait to read Dr. Paul Offit’s new book examining all the pitfalls of so-called alternative medicine, Do You Believe in Magic?

“Amazon is not investing in the town’s people; instead, it’s mechanizing them.”

Want to stay up-to-date with all the overthinking I do? The RSS feed for the blog is now live!

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But Not Simpler

It has been said that you should try to make a problem as simple as possible, but not simpler. Here, that problem is finding the real science behind pop culture. But Not Simpler is a place where you can ask the questions you thought were too nerdy for real answers. The physics of video games? Sure! The chemistry of dragon breath? Why not? When you can find the realities behind your favorite fiction, and seriously nerd-out in the process, everyone wins. Simple.

About Kyle Hill

Kyle Hill is a science writer and communicator who specializes in finding the secret science in your favorite fandom. His work has appeared in Wired, The Boston Globe, Scientific American, Popular Science, Slate, and more. He is a TV correspondent for Al Jazeera America's science and technology show TechKnow and a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Find his stream of nerdery on Twitter: @Sci_Phile Email him at sciencebasedlife [at] gmail [dot] com.

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