Nerds and Words: Week 15

By Kyle Hill | April 13, 2014 10:02 am

Digging through the Internet this week, I 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

Ants face an omnipresent threat from zombie fungus, and a new study helps explain why

 You have never seen nature make mistakes so beautiful

Will “sluggish cognitive tempo” be the new diagnosis du jour, like ADHD?

COVER YOUR MOUTH, YOU FILTHY ANIMAL

Coral-eating worm is basically John Carptenter’s Thing

Preliminary computer simulation of the March 22 landslide near Oso, Washington. All that earth, only 120 seconds

People see faces/women/hands/trees on the Moon. Be skeptical of the pattern-seeking brain

Crows are smarter than your cat, and your baby. It’s science

You’ve probably seen this famous protein animation, but you’ve never seen the realistic (super jittery) version

How do birds zip through the environment with ease? They have mastered “optic flow”

 Cuttlefish have a cuttlebone, are anti-social cross-dressers, and display the most dazzling hipster colors

One of my very favorite science visualizations: If the Moon were only 1 pixel

To date, scientists have not definitively identified a single human pheromone

Hagfish slime is gross, but it has incredible engineering properties similar to spider silk

Why did the daddy long legs lose its (median) eyes?

Gut-eating amoeba doesn’t even eat our guts, it just Pac-Mans them

Study: It’s the challenge of a videogame, not the violent content, that generates “aggression”

Botflies really did a number on this howler monkey [GRAPHIC]

You don’t have to go far to find bizarre lifeforms. Scoop up some pond water

 This is what sound looks like

Holy crap RAILGUN. You can see the trailing shockwave!

The worlds that blink into existence whenever a log sinks into the sea

Culling lionfish is unintentionally making the damn things smarter

You don’t even need to know how this surgical snakebot works, just look at it

Turns out that the value we place on old violins has little to do with how we enjoy their sound or playability

After you die, your body starts releasing over 400 different kinds of gases and chemicals including freon

 This new footage might be only one of two showing a live oarfish and it’s awesome

Shadow, Labyrinth, Mirror: New Species of Child-Eating Dracula Ants Get Cool Ninja Names

Baby sloths sound like babies requiring a cheek pinch

 

Extreme Nerdery

It’s official, the ALIEN queen would beat a na’vi and a terminator in a fight

The endings to Pokemon games are garbage

“Installation is difficult, but it is a Sarlaac in your toilet so give a guy a break.”

Batman: Strange Days” is a short from Bruce Timm for the crusader’s 75th, and it’s pretty classic

Literally low-budget Tony Stark

You can play hockey in StarCraft II, where Canadians and not Koreans are the ones to fear

 Realistic Mario involves neck snapping

Paying your power bill with your bathtub is less about pumping, more about scamming bottled water

How big of a system can you make before you fling a world into the void? Super Planet Crash

Redditor makes chart on how all the episodes of Game of Thrones line up to their book chapters

A map for Game of Thrones based on character observations and geology

The only iPhone case I’ve ever wanted is, it turns out, from Metal Gear Solid

Being in a car with Rust Cohle is unbearable, don’t ask him about puppies

Should we recognize that Firefly can’t really be scifi royalty?

 Explore your inner Sonic the Hedgehog, er, I mean fish, with Joe Hanson and Neil Shubin

I’ve tried for literally an hour and I can’t make a Higgs boson in this stupid/fun/addicting game. You try

Does Tatooine make sense cosmologically? Yep!

 

Sciencey GIFs and Images

Movies have gotten more blue in the last 100 years, according to data visualization 

The world is big even for an elephant

Periodic table. Sorry.

 Giraffe kicks over camera, shows you a view you have probably never seen of the animal

oh my god chipmunk face-rubbing in slow motion

Watch Voyager 1 approach Jupiter, over and over again

Another GIF to troll the science trolls with

Science: Starlight from a variable star reverberating throughout a gas cloud. Regular: WOW LOOK AT THAT GIF!

Dude from Texas is a gas, ideally

The northern stargazer is still appalled that the blobfish beat it

Saw a picture of this frog, thought it was ‘shopped. Found a video, totally real and awesome

 Enjoy the little things, like how scientists weigh little birds

A Mitey Claw

 When wind conditions create a “cross-sea“, it’s dangerous but fascinating

So damn satisfying: The exact moment when two water droplets coalesce

Send out the signal!

The geometry between sine, cosine, and the circle

An arctic night when the Sun doesn’t set

Reminder: Some mammals have hairy teeth.

These blocks are moving slowly, not stopping and starting, stupid brain

And Now, A Giraffe Eating An Impala Skull

 Similar conditions and same thrust make these rockets dance a ballet at the edge of space

 

Pop Culture Happenings

Colbert has had the freedom to have serious/engaging science on his show, but will that be the case on The Late Show?

http://lonelychairsatcern.tumblr.com/

“Commenters discussed the presenter’s characteristics on YouTube, but engaged with talk content on the TED website

 Chemical free beverages.

As usual, xkcd has the simplest explanation of a confusing topic: The Heartbleed bug

Australia’s main health organization has officially declared homeopathy “useless,” again leading the skeptical charge

Some cool science and math to learn about in Jack White’s new music video (and enough guitar to melt your face)

Denmark puts animal welfare ahead of cruel religious tradition in its slaughter houses, draws protests. Good.

There is even a huge income disparity in the doctors receiving Medicare payments

Vaccine pro: Get to puncture child with needle. Vaccine con: You have to go to a place.

“Let’s get one thing clear: The ‘black box’ isn’t black. It’s orange.”

Study: Give people more access to information about the real world (the Internet) and they become less religious

Saying “like” all the time is not degrading our language, dudebro, totes because linguistics

 Biologists Confirm God Evolved From Chimpanzee Deity

 

SCIENCE

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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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