Nerds and Words: Week 9

By Kyle Hill | March 2, 2014 12:38 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

The blind have more nightmares, and it gets more interesting from there

A whale graveyard where dozens of ancient giants met their end by something almost microscopic

Sock for the heart, and you’re to blame. You give science a good name

The fruit fly’s refusal to be monogamous tells us something about how intelligence evolved

When your friend is down, lend a helping trunk, elephants do

Giant scary birds were giant, scary, but probably not mammal-munchers

 A wasp with a zombifying stinger able to sense its way through a cockroach brain in under a minute

The jewel wasp is the preeminent cockraoch brain surgeon

What does Smaug have in common with a beetle? More than you may think

Robots of a rotor synchronize their motors

We are simultaneously on the precipice of several different cliffs.”

 What’s better than talking science? Talking science with geeky 11-year olds! Listen here

Spiders can hear human activity and learn to work around it

“When we look into the eyes of an elephant, we should recognize an intellectual equal

 We bleed 500,000 horseshoe crabs a year for medical services we absolutely cannot get anywhere else

Why we should eat more (delicious) bugs to save the world

Watch the world’s fastest wire-bending machine forever

We have found a bacterium that kills Zebra mussels

A simple task that shows how important the scientific method is: Can You Solve This?

I honestly didn’t know how LEDs worked until Minute Physics explained it with electron spas and parties

 Could A Skyrim Shout Ever Knock Someone Over?

Arachnophobes imagine spiders as bigger and closer than they really are (but they really are everywhere)

The rock that hit the moon had more energy than is released in the fission of 1 gram of U-235

“The Secret” assumes an extreme emotion is always good. It’s wrong: The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking

 Why don’t we get outraged over the nonsense sold at Whole Foods?

Alan Alda wants to make scientists better communicators by making them actors, but really just more “human”

Visualizing 100,000 asteroids at once is of course beautiful

Have you thought of the invasive species crawling around beneath your feet?

The natural selection of oblong egg shape in seabirds, in one GIF

The Cassini spacecraft crosses Saturn’s ring plane, inadvertently photographs the best scifi book cover ever

 

Extreme Nerdery

 GLaDOS makes an appearance in a NASA science explainer video

If you make your golf ball-powered rocket just right, you can score ALL the hole-in-ones

A True Detective infographic that is obsessive, speculative, and awesome, just like the show

There is a protist in a termite gut that is named Cthulhu

 If everyone in The Hobbit was a lady. Fantastic

Incoming transmission Captain

Eventually, Godzilla will be so big that no kaiju could take it down

 My new favorite instrument can play the Super Mario theme better than anything

Kramer was right about the Ukraine in Risk

It had to happen: A robot that could destroy your Flappy Bird high-score

 

Sciencey GIFs and Images

 Still little more chilling than nuclear testing in black and white

Chinese pest eradication poster, Ding Hao (1958)

A murmation of beautiful murmation photos

Set alcohol vapors alight and you get a gorgeous cross between a brain and a developing blastula

You saw the Moon and Saturn together, now see the GIF of the Moon eating Saturn

 Besides brilliant science communication and funny comics, xkcd also makes actually useful infographics

Following only what’s in the games…prepare yourself…people ARE Pokemon

You guys, 3D WELDING

A GIF from MARS

 A moist owlet

 

Pop Culture Happenings

 Finally, some footage of Li Hongbo’s amazing paper sculptures

It’s exactly what we were worried about: Bill Nye Debate Sparked Funding ‘Miracle’

A History of Clickbait: The First 100 Years

Hyping Your Conspiracy Theory In 5 Easy Steps

 A ticker tape of real-time porn search terms (very NSFW, very interesting)

Huh. Those “Do Drugs” pencils were real, and only changed after a kid noticed

Who Said It: Ted Nugent or Eric Cartman?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Technology, top posts
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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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