Nerds and Words: Week 49

By Kyle Hill | December 8, 2013 1:18 pm

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, Watch

There is an elephant’s foot underneath a failed Chernobyl reactor that could kill you in 300 seconds

“We can safely assume [decapitation by parasitic fly] is relatively distressing for the ant”

Need to image a heart better? Inject it with some metal, maybe

“As you can see, skeleton shrimp have taken the basic amphipod body plan and dialed all the features to ‘scary’”

“Creationists reconstruct old stories from a book. Animals should not suffer and die for their design sins

MIT scientists: Toughest tongue twister ever is “pad kid poured curd pulled cod

How the “Crazy Ant Strike Team” used cat food and neurotoxin to wipe out a real jerk of an ant

You can count the rings in a shark to tell its age, like a carnivorous tree!

Sharks do get cancer, by the way

Don’t believe the hype that men’s and women’s brains are wired differently

What’s easier than dyeing silk by hand? Feed silk worms dye, let their metabolism to the work

The way that city design is trying to change your behavior

Great video on Carl Akeley, the father of modern taxidermy

Not your typical ISS timelapse. Wow

“There is no weather feature exactly, consistently like this anywhere else in the solar system.”

The Last Thing You Would See If You Were Eaten by a Penguin (Is Pretty Cool)

Newly processed high-res view of a fractured icy moon, Dione

How birds can sleep on branches…maybe

Very cool compilation of NASA ISON semi-destruction videos

After almost 100 years, we finally have another study to establish ZOMBIE SNAILS

A survey of the exoplanets in our neighborhood

“In the current media environment, a list is perfectly designed for our brain.”

A LOT of speculation here, but still interesting: Did Jesus turn the other cheek because neuroscience?

Using meme faces to explain our search for exoplanets

Where do humans actually rank on the food chain? It depends on how you define it

Climate change is quickly bringing a pine-killer into New Jersey forests

Trying to explain a mystery that involves one (or maybe two) of the prettiest stars I’ve ever seen

How Photon Torpedoes Will Mark An End To The Energy Crisis

Finally establishing a predator that uses flower camouflage to attract pollinators

Do giraffes float? Kinda, according to computer models

Stopping manure pits from exploding by throwing antibiotics into them. It might all blow up in our face

Where the Wild Bees Are

Why the universe looks fine-tuned for life, but isn’t

The odd walk that parapsychology has taken to study the afterlife, with almost nothing to show for it

 

Extreme Nerdery

The best Lord of the Rings GIF is a flipbook in the book itself

Want to read a paper about the climate of Middle Earth? Here you go [PDF]

Oh, the stones from Temple of Doom are totally opal gemstone

Strengite is what Smaug would covet most

This ridiculous horse stunt makes me so happy

It’s so annoying to have moons

The Periodic Table of Lube

“Chances are the water in your soda has never been in another soda; almost all of it has been drunk by a dinosaur

Yes. This is the best Pacific Rim cosplay

Smugness is proportional to the negative second derivative of the rate of TV ownership over time

The one thing you needed after The Walking Dead midseason heartbreaker…DUBSTEP

Out of the four TRILLION ways to play a game of Connect Four, there are a few “perfect” games. Learn one of them

Playing an intentionally glitched version of Super Mario 64 is a literal acid nightmare

Introversion: “I just appreciate silence in a world that never stops talking.”

I have taken 16 flights in the last 5 weeks. To pass the time, I have been slowly, scientifically annotating all the SkyMalls I find. Here’s my current handiwork:

Sciencey GIFs and Images

Lighting makes all the difference when it comes to faces

Stunning image showing 19th century naval voyages, realizing trade winds and outlines of continents

You can cut water in half if you have the right knife

One of my favorite Mythbusters moments was this expertly visualized example of relative velocity

Were you aware of how much cool fluid mechanics goes on during a dive?

Sorry for ruining your day, but this is a harpy eagle grabbing a sloth out of a tree. And a harpy eagle eats whatever it wants

Painting with the flow of ink in water is the coolest

I absolutely love these “3D” environment paintings by Georges Rousse

Seeing a (Bryde’s) whale attack a bait ball is something I want to see before I die

 

Pop Culture Happenings

Base jumper (who is OK) filmed his accidental encounter with a cliff face, set it to music, and it is EPIC

Bill Nye’s Open Letter to Barack Obama: Planetary science needs special funding because it IS special

We Are Nature: Amazing double and triple exposure portraits that make me long for the woods

Katie Couric doubles down on HPV misinformation as critical coverage grows

Artist turns her rooms into a “Stage of Mind

Sobering, thorough interactive experience: The Untold Story of America’s Mass Killings

To prove a point, security researcher makes nearly a dozen weapons from the stuff found after airport security

So…Kyle Lambert is pretty much the best finger painter ever, huh?

Would-be ghost hunters don’t just burn down houses, they get killed trying to find phantasms

“Love, robots, and salsa” summarizes the absolute weirdest twitter battle I have ever seen

J.J. Abrams admits lying about Star Trek 2′s Khan was a mistake

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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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