Saturday links

By Ed Yong | April 10, 2010 1:06 pm
  • The unveiling of Australopithecus sediba was covered by some excellent journalism from Carl Zimmer at Slate, Kate Wong at Scientific American and Brian Switek at Laelaps. Meanwhile, Ivan Oransky covers the embargo farrago that surrounded this story, and I suggest to the world’s journalists that the only acceptable use of the phrase “missing link” is this.
  • Grisly video of a hyena eating a giraffe while sitting in it. Not for the squeamish.
  • A great piece by Dan Ariely of Predictably Irrational, talking about why businesses don’t experiment and why they should (instead of relying on consultants)
  • An incredible story by Abel Pharmboy from Terra Sigillata about a blog reader who was a former homeless addict and turned her life around. Amazing, life-affirming stuff.
  • Colin Schultz discusses whether science journalism is caught in a reinforcing cycle of niche reporting, with views from me, Carl Zimmer, Ferris Jabr and more, and a great comment discussion developing
  • Crittercam reveals a great fight between a sealion and a giant octopus. I say “great”. I really mean “quick”. Poor octopus.
  • The best infographic of all time
  • From Lifehacker, a study showing that touching an object for longer increases our perception of its value. It explains why we hold onto our clutter, and also why arrogant people are such w*nkers…
  • The always excellent BPS Research Digest tells us that people lie more in email than when using pen and paper and that emailers feel more justified in lying. I choose to believe them.
  • Christine Ottery discusses the future of investigative science journalism following interviews with me and other participants at City University’s Science and the Media debate.
  • PLoS ONE has an interesting paper about how positive results increase down the hierarchy of the sciences, from physical sciences to social ones.
  • The scientific community is abuzz with news that everyone’s favourite black-bellied dew-lover Drosophila melanogaster might have to be renamed. Nature News has the story. Brendan Maher has already set up a #savedrosophila hashtag on Twitter.
  • In the Atlantic, Lane Wallace has an excellent piece about the bias of veteran journalists – essential reading for anyone who thinks that journalists are the only people capable of impartial, independent reporting.
  • A PNAS paper about beautiful insects preserved in Cretaceous amber prompted a fascinating blog fight between Alex Wild of Myrmecos and the paper’s authors. Alex has since conceded but the entire issue makes for fascinating reading.
  • Ever since Titanoboa, the world’s largest ever snake, was discovered, every fossil in the surrounding area became destined to be described in relation to this mega-serpent. As an example, see Wired’s piece about a fossil turtle that had an extra-thick shell to fend off Titanoboa.
  • National Geographic has a piece about a rare breed of super-taskers who can juggle driving and using mobile phones without an increased risk of accidents. But can they juggle phones while driving?
  • The New York Times had an interesting piece about gay behaviour in animals. Jonah Lehrer gave his take on it, and Vanessa Woods followed it up with a post in Psychology Today claiming that a story about gay sex in animals without bonobos is like an article about big ears without elephants.
  • Mind Hacks has a post about how rates of yawning change throughout our lives, which will almost certainly make you yawn.
  • Will the iPad change journalism or publishing? Who cares? The big question is will it blend?
  • In the NYT, Natalie Angier says that even among animals, there are leaders, followers and schmoozers
  • Phil Plait shares one of the most incredible astronomy photos of all time – the International Space Station flying through the aurora
  • New Scientist covers research that suggests Archaeopteryx may have been nocturnal
  • And finally, I started a Posterous account to mock a piece of hilariously bad PR which suggested that atoms are conscious and that I am Jennifer Ouellette. Neither is true.
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Links, Uncategorized

Comments (6)

  1. dearieme

    I’m quite taken by this account of rotifers – which I’d never heard of before.

  2. You’d never heard of rotifers?? Sit down, my good man. We have some catching up to do.

  3. The missing link link fails.

  4. Yes. I know. It’s missing. Geddit?

  5. dearieme

    “bdelloid rotifers”: ah, maybe that’s why they’ve changed the rules of that boring game, whatchamacallit? Raffle? No. Razzle? Nope. Scuffle? Nearer. It’ll come to me.


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