Nerds and Words: Week 13

By Kyle Hill | March 30, 2014 12:43 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

You’d be killed by the crowd of urinators before you were by the interaction of urine and pool water

Noah isn’t accurate because it can’t be

Everything isn’t relative. In fact, most things aren’t, and that’s how we do science

The only discovered wingman in the animal kingdom is the long-tailed manakin, helping an older partner get laid

If Pacific Rim followed its own math, the kaijus totally would have exterminated us

Why do snakes have two penises?

Wow put a fly in a particle accelerator and record incredible muscle moment

It’s pretty easy to make people think their hands are no longer made of flesh

Nearly microscopic, beautiful little snails first described in new paper are also close to extinction

“Slow Life” has to be some of the best nature footage I have ever seen

Why crows are smarter than your 7-year old, but not your 8-year old

This virus is an aphrodisiac for infertile crickets

These are fossilized spider footprints from 260 million years ago

You can’t bring yourself to share that ugly selfie because our brains prefer mirror images of our faces

There just isn’t any good evidence that brain training programs like Luminosity work at all

Meditation may have small benefits, but the researchers could only use *0.3%* of the cited studies

Ants, dogs, and light know how to be good lifeguards. You’ll know what I mean when you read this

Implanting a 3D-printed skull. It looks absolutely incredible

I really enjoyed this TED talk, but maybe that’s just a parasite talking

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?” Great talk about fear and and space from Chris Hadfield

A video made from 200,000 pictures taken by the Cassini Spacecraft around Saturn’s Rings is worth a watch

Tyrannosaurus rex is considered the dino king, but here are 10 tyrants that came before

Watch this hawk fly through obstacles with incredible precision

Twin studies tell us so much. Now we are studying them in space!

Ruining some classic children’s books with science, because science

The same effect that causes brilliant halos on the battlefield is helping golf clubs start wildfires

It sounds bizarre, but evolution doesn’t play your strict species game: There was no first human

“Good scientific theories can fit all the data but still seem unsatisfying to us.”

A Reptile Dysfunction: Salmonella super common among reptiles and we touch them

The science behind that gorgeous Andromeda/Milky Way collision from Cosmos

How other animals see: “A cuttlefish could only read the headlines

What all the zebrafish tweets are missing are videos of their incredible, 24-hour development


Extreme Nerdery

These nerdy charts show when viewers started really loving/hating their favorite shows

His eyes open: Statistics show that “Darmok” was a great TNG episode, haters

The huge, money-making enterprise that is uploading videos of yourself playing Minecraft

Yeah! Teach me about light speed with Minecraft!

The unmade sci-fi film of DUNE that went on to influence everything

I just sat for 6 minutes listening to one guy play the whole Star Wars theme on one instrument by himself

The original Pokemon game map redrawn in SimCity 2000, because internet

Magic school bus and captain planet

If you played Deus Ex: Human Revolution at all, you will be really impressed by this fan film

You couldn’t drop a tungsten countertop into the Sun. Wait, who uses tungsten countertops?

Three of my very favorite Star Wars posters, animated

Entomologist hosts bad insect horror movie science festival, finds “Mimic” inaccurate, watchable

Bound to happen: Carl Sagan in slow-motion sounds just as high as Neil deGrasse Tyson

This chemist knows how to save you from the zombie apocalypse: DEATH PERFUME


Sciencey GIFs and Images

Need to hold thousands of tiny octopus babies

To film Navy SEALs exiting a nuclear submarine, you have to overcome a fear of the giant, chilling deep

Surface area is not always your friend

No, next traveler in 5E, “magnetic ionic” bracelets do not improve your health

Watching a guy slam his arms down on 150 mousetraps in uber-slow-motion is wonderful

Relax for a second. The whole universe is above you.

Making you cry with dinosaur comics: The saddest reason for extinction

The floor IS lava

Escape! Escape to the sea!

Dust devil+Controlled burn=Awesome fire physics!

Geckos and cockroaches have at least one thing in common: The ability to use their claws for awesome parkour moves

Graphite is conductive, as a pencil and some current shows quite effectively


Pop Culture Happenings

A Complete Ranking Of (Almost) Every Single Mitch Hedberg Joke

In case you need to break out of zip ties, I don’t know

Someone can buy me this transparent silly putty

There is so much nonsense wrapped in this “vibrator that makes you smarter” I don’t know where to begin

Banecat” works so well that my smile muscles hurt

“It’s unclear what Russia will use the Ukrainian combat dolphins for, but they will be getting upgrades”

Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman” is hurting animals

More Reasons To Stop Watching Animal Planet

California senator known for legislation against violent videogames indicted for gun trafficking

According to the MIT Media Lab, Justin Bieber isn’t even close to all-time famous. Look at the stats

When a homeopathic medicine contains real medicine, it gets recalled

Base jumpers easily make it onto the new World Trade Center, jump, take incredible footage that looks like GTA V

Wikipedia founder’s response to an online petition calling for equal treatment of holistic healing

Alcoholics Anonymous has little scientific support, helps very few who enter, blames the victim, and resists scrutiny

Did that giraffe really know his zookeeper was dying? Probably not. It is still beautiful? Yes.

Thanks to e-cigs, you can now buy barrels of liquid nicotine. The poisonings are piling up

The TSA, and most of us, think body language can give us away. It doesn’t.

It’s time to reject the term “substance abuser” if we want to treat it like the disorder it is

Saw a UFO? It was probably Sirius, not ET



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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_PhileEmail him at sciencebasedlife [at] gmail [dot] com.


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