Nerds and Words: Week 2

By Kyle Hill | January 12, 2014 2:30 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

A nuclear bomb told us that great white sharks can live longer than you

The Mapmakers: The massive effort to fully image a healthy human brain

“You see, but you do not observe!” Why You Should Envy, But Not Worship Sherlock Holmes

Seeding clouds to replace mountain snow. It’s too little too late

One benefit of the cold weather: Killing the pesky insect horde

Over 4,000 Reasons to Love (and Protect) North America’s Native Bees

Have you ever seen the tracked movement of 16,000 cells in a zebrafish embryo? Straight-up mesmerizing

One of my favorite ever longreads from the archives, in case you’re chilly: The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death

No, giant squids don’t get that big. No, Fukushima had nothing to do with it

Why It’s Not Such a Bad Thing to Get Eaten by a Lion

I’ve stopped using antibacterial soaps because of articles like this

What happens to water in space? Actually, you might have discovered it this winter. Seriously!

Some skepticism from another study looking at wrinkly fingers and grip

This website is a really pretty way to explore our most explicit message to aliens

The mantis shrimp doesn’t grab ass. It kicks it.

The solar system is flat because we live in 3D, and gravity

Fight performance anxiety by getting EXCITED!!!! YEEEAAH!

A Lonely Quest for Facts on GMOs

If the tigerfish wasn’t cool enough already, it also pulls birds out of the sky to eat

How Do You Move A Leg That Was Once A Fin?

If crocodiles use tools, maybe dinosaurs did too?

The slowest-evolving of all known vertebrates looks silly, but it can tell us so much about evolution

Wow. Shocking Study Finds Lions are Nearly Extinct in West Africa

Scientists shining lights on coral find that, hey, a bunch of fish also glow!

What resurrecting a pre-colonial water flea from 700 years ago might tells us about evolution and environment

Some marine reptiles could have been black, brown, or even counter-shaded like a shark

A broken heart needs time, and probably this glue similar to worm head secretions

What You Should and Shouldn’t Worry about after the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdowns (Water/fish, no; On-site radiation, yes)

Micro-origami unfolding in water with the help of capillary action

How scientific instruments shape science, but also shape how we think about science itself

Bobbit worm video set to gunslinger music is, I must say, actually disturbing

You are more unique than a snowflake. Does that make you feel good? Science makes me feel good

How prairie dogs do “the wave” with uber adorbs yips and yelps

It’s official, this image of a sea star is accurate. Here’s the science.

Why “Wind Chill” is too subjective to make any sense. Should we dump it altogether?

Sometimes an ice cube will grow a bizarre spike from its head, because physics!

This Peruvian spider slingshots itself, in its web, towards annoying mosquitos. Incredible!

How the most studied organism on the planet can evolve right under our noses

Want to fossilize yourself? First, die. Here’s what you do next

Hmm. The more you online game, the more likely you fit the stereotype of online gamers

Beware bad statistics, you can correlate anything. Even organic food and autism

Engrossingly Gross Photos of Spiders and Insects Eating Each Other

“Drugs are not expensive because we are evil, they are expensive because we are stupid.”

Pokemon Red and the power of videogame nostalgia

Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer. A great explainer on cancer’s role in modern mortality

Fascinating neurological case study: The Teacher Who Couldn’t Read

 

Extreme Nerdery

Are we sure female elephant seals aren’t those things from Tremors?

Scientifically accurate Pokemon: “Let’s be real, Pikachu is a rat that bit an extension cord.”

John Kerry was that Scooby Doo villain you couldn’t quite place

Star Trek Superfan Transforms Basement into Enterprise

Sunday night, you know what that means? Pokemon drinking game!

Nostalgia overdrive: Artist takes all the sounds of the Zelda franchise, makes a catchy remix

In a galaxy far, far away, the Empire is still no match for Star Fleet

The Ghostbusters destroyed tens of millions of dollars worth of property, according to arbitrary counting

There was A LOT of stuff wrong with Pacific Rim, but I loved it anyway

Cataloging code from movies and TV. It doesn’t make any sense

I donated to this effort to make a complete description of all zombies, because I will definitely use it (Now 20x over-funded!)

Veteran MarioKart 64 players will immediately applaud this GIF

A stinging critique of modern video game design, in ranty form: Enraptured by Sadness

My friend wins wallets: Self-folded Tyvek schematic of the Enterprise

So Pacific Rim was almost entirely CGI, but it was like, really good CGI

Love every bit of this: The Scoville Heat Scale explained with Dragon Ball Z power levels

God I wish I had this idea: By mentions, was the polar vortex more Hoth or Game of Thrones?

Illustrating every character and chapter in The Silmarillion

New York could support a population of about 1,000 tyrannosaurs.

Another great deviantART find: A Link to the Future

Everything you need to know about Pokemon Red/Blue in one image

Really interesting fluid mechanics behind a knuckleball in flight

Yep, I want to see a fairytale end this way really bad

Chat Roulette can be fun with less flashers and more Batman

 

Sciencey GIFs and Images

This is why the destruction of comet ISON was so sad

Cockroaches spawning a lettuce leaf, or eating it, I don’t know where the GIF starts for you

I may inadvertently cause a house fire by showing you this, buuuuuuut…orange peels are flame throwers

When a weather balloon pops at 120,000 feet, it’s journey is over, but the end was gorgeous

Should be a gallery of just weather balloons popping at altitude

Saturn’s moons can gravitationally tug on the rings and you can see it.

Since 1962, Walmart has spread like the zombie horde

When you’re done destroying a Terminator villain, put him in a water balloon and pop it!

Keanu woah: See the sound a helicopter makes

This timeline of a trillion years in the future seems a bit speculative

Love watching this computer simulation of a black hole obliterating and consuming a helpless star

Lovely bubble freezing GIF

A bubble popping above a little girl, perfectly timed

Darwin’s beetle was the first transformer

Whatever filter she used, she made a murmation look incredible

200 of the best insect and arachnid photos from Nicky Bay’s 2013

Really cool computer simulation showing J002E3–Apollo rocket debris–being captured into, and flung from, orbit

Damn submarine gravity making me stand all weird!

 

Pop Culture Happenings

We were right. “Baffles scientists” is being used (in books) now more than ever

The Cold Rush: “Are iceberg water entrepreneurs the modern-day snake oil salesmen?”

Another personal genomics company is forced to prove its worth, offered “gene-based nutrition and skin care”

WTF spilled in West Virginia and what does it do? We don’t know.

I have been wearing headphones without listening to music all day

Over the last year, *one* author out of 9,136 rejected man-made global warming

Confessions of a Former “Booth Babe”

Recreating Dutch paintings using scientific tools and instruments

Hard to not just watch the rolling ice balls of Lake Michigan

Here is the video of that hyper-critical TED talk about TED

A history, and the fascinating appeal, of the AMA

Researchers at the South Pole have a rather unsettling tradition of freaking themselves out

Creepypasta: How the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear

A Dolphin Hypothesis: They Are F***ers Too

Love when xkcd is a gut-punch of social commentary: “Photos

Glad that I might be able to help this Australian research organization make a dragon for a 7-year old

FTC cracks down on nonsense weightloss products. Fines that powdermaker only 7% of last year’s income

Absolutely beautiful portraits drawn with help from topographic maps

Wow (and sad). Conjoined whales discovered on shore

Classic Literature, Genderflipped

It’s the ground equipment, not the planes themselves, that get affected by the extreme cold

Woman takes one piece of “alternative” advice from her nutritionist for breast cancer, dies

Rubber face of Bigfoot is totally real, says hoaxer

Wait, it’s cold outside?

Fantastic and revealing “Proof of Heaven” exposé is no longer pay walled. Get skeptical

7 billion people on the planet, all on this webpage

Everyone seems to like “Her” except the other female AI we all know

It should trouble crop circle enthusiasts that a publicity stunt can be misinterpreted so badly

With only one hit of DNA to go on, scientists are bracing for the Asian carp invasion

Proof that taking selfies everyday can result in something awesome

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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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