As with last week, the Japan/Fukushima coverage counts as “one”:
- The Nature News team continues to bring the best reporting about the Japan crisis. Geoff Brumfiel offers this stirring narration of the first days of the Fukushima crisis and the actions that averted catastrophe. The Great Beyond blog has more good posts including: political fallout around the world, a clear analysis of what the first estimates of radioactive caesium/iodine emissions mean, this incredible Google Earth map of all the world’s nuclear reactors, lessons we’ve learnt, and the surprising impacts on scientific experiments
- XKCD explains the radiation risks of Fukushima, in comparison to CT scans, flights, bananas and more. An animated Japanese explainer on the radiation risks, using the medium of poo.
- Evelyn Mervine continues her series of illuminating interviews with her dad, a nuclear engineer, about the Japan crisis.
- Peter Aldhous and Zena Iovino cover Japan’s record of nuclear cover-ups and accidents
- George Monbiot talks about why Fukushima taught him to stop worrying and embrace nuclear power, New Scientist has a piece comparing the risks of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Meanwhile, opposition to nuclear power rose recently, while support for offshore oil drilling rose too. Because that never leads to fatal accidents and environmental disast… wait.
- The Guardian has a piece about how many of the Fukushima ‘nuclear samurai’ are manual labourers unequal to the task.
- “The overwhelming response of Japanese engineering… was to function exactly as designed.” A great perspective on the Japanese response to the quake, from a local resident.
- Badass of the week: undeterred by two natural disasters, Hideaki Akaiwa dons his own scuba suit, “face-punches a tsunami” and rescues his wife and mum.
- Ferris Jabr looks at the case of Josef Oehman and the blog post that went viral. Loving Ferris’s work.
- In the wake of the quake comes the Journalist and Blogger Walls of Shame
- How not to talk about earthquake hazards (and why San Andreas fault probably won’t get a magnitude-9 quake). Chris Rowan debunks claims by Simon Winchester, and Brian Romans takes the baton.
Wow. Just wow. An interactive timeline of Middle East protests at the Guardian. I’ve been waiting for something like this since they started.
We know how human populations react to two nuclear bombs. How does a coral reef deal with 23 of them? Thomas Hayden reports.
Nuralagus rex – giant extinct bunny, couldn’t hop, tiny ears, once mistaken for a tortoise. Pass me the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch… Meanwhile, Brian Switek discusses the giant “bear otter” that got much less publicity.
Hannah Waters on the danger of appealing stories and anecdata, featuring spider-saturated trees and Chernobyl.
Listen to Adam Rutherford’s excellent Science Betrayed, a radio documentary about scientific fraud, featuring Piltdown Man, Marc Hauser and an interview with the still unrepentant Andrew Wakefield. It’s possible that you won’t be able to listen to this outside of the UK…
Imperial Sci-Comms students have completed their group projects and the results are wonderful.
Houdini versus the paranormal, featuring Scientific American, fisticuffs and Arthur Conan Doyle
“Scientists take the wonder and beauty out of everything.” XKCD debunks a common trope
China recalls 2000+ tons of pork products after the meat tested positive for an illegal stimulant drug. Maryn McKenna reports.
Self-control pisses us off. Jonah Lehrer basically tells you, yes YOU, to just hulk out and be done with it.
I’ve previously highlighted Carl Zimmer’s great post on what the mere existence of whales means for cancer research, but it’s worth revisiting for the lengthy comments thread, and the fact that the authors of the paper Carl referred to have joined in. Blogs are wonderful things
“Infusing a scientific aesthetic into a thing of beauty only enhances our appreciation of it.” The physics of blooming flowers
3D printable insect wings! The future is now.
Long-necked dinosaurs were like 1950s vacuum cleaners
Virginia Hughes on barcoding bushmeat – how genetics can help conservation
Salmon fertilise forests by getting dragged to land by bears and wolves and then helpfully rotting. Go salmon!
A great tale of break-ins and security systems, featuring Salmonella, by Kevin Bonham
Success in recruiting women to MIT creates unexpected consequences
SciCurious debunks the 5-second rule with DATA and SCIENCE.
Hive of 137 biologists elbow-slams trio who questioned the relevance of kin selection. Reporting on the brawl are Carl Zimmer and Ewen Callaway
Frightened birds produce smaller young with longer wings [
Sleepwalkers act out earlier learning.
What was a vegetarian animal doing with massive saber teeth?
Waaaahh, life’s not fair and no one understands us. Except Carl Zimmer. His new piece on the teenage brain.
The more serious a brain injury, the higher one’s self-reported life satisfaction. Pass me that drill.
Nerve cells grow along semiconductors. “They seem to like the tubes.”
“Humans arrived in North America 2,500 yrs earlier than thought,” says the Guardian. Some would argue that thought still hasn’t arrived yet. Kidding.
An intriguing piece on the spatial nature of natural selection
Jeremy Yoder has another good critique of the evolutionary psychology hypothesis on the adaptive value of homophobia
“By staging mating trials, we documented genital amputation, sexual cannibalism and genital organ reuse” Of course you did.
A picture of the plastic inside one sea turtle’s stomach by Brandon Keim
Ten simple body postures that boost performance – I love embodied cognition
Slow and steady wins the race: pelicans, crocodiles, and the meaning of evolutionary stasis, by Brian Switek
The Neandertal genes in Europe are by and large different from those in China, by John Hawks
Calls to ban shark fin soup growing around the world
The blog from the editor of The Journal of Universal Rejection
“The true bitch – ass prevalence may be obscured by random variation in the sample”
If I was Mendeleev, I would have drawn the Periodic Table like this
“No student is in a cow for more than five minutes now and up to 90% leave the first session having felt a uterus”
Fungus makes ant look a bit like a d*ckhead
Hugo Chavez says capitalism and imperialism “finished off” life on Mars. Maybe he should write for the Journal of Cosmology…
OED traces “OMG” back to 1917.
The aurora borealis: God’s screensaver.
The Open Laboratory 2010 is now up for sale! A recommended buy for some of the year’s best online science writing.
Ben Goldacre has another go at sloppy (read: non-existent) referencing of primary sources, and Paul Raeburn chimes in at the Knight Tracker.
How happy people flock together on Twitter (unhappy people, too)
“Our ideal candidate has also cursed out an editor…” Best journalism job ad ever
Alice Bell on a thought-provoking seminar on science journalism