Top thirteen picks
This almost made me cry. Calvin and Hobbes, 26 years later.
David Dobbs’s incredible post on how a family quest exposed barriers to open-access science
An intrepid New Scientist reporter masturbates in an fMRI scanner to learn about the consciousness of orgasms
From Marietta diChristina, The 1000 Scientists in 1000 Days project – a Scientific American project that aims to create more scientific Americans.
Scientist looks in local pond, discovers entire new branch of fungi kingdom
I’m dying here. It’s “Inception,” summarized in 1 min. with OS X folder management.
Ent seeks entwife. The Loneliest Plant In The World by Robert Krulwich.
XKCD on female scientists, role models, and “being the next X.” Spot on, on so many levels.
Great piece on the science of being buried at sea, w/ flesh-eating shrimps & biodegradable shrouds
Life is beautiful, as is this post by Patrick Clarkin
A test that can distinguish between vegetative and minimally conscious states
Guarding your reputation online and why “Dr Anil Potti Likes Spending Quality Time With His Wife & Three Daughters”
America’s first full face transplant recipient regains his sense of smell. Incredible.
Why the Mississippi floods were expected: “The simple answer is because it rained. A lot.” But wait, there’s more
Right, the Vatican brings moral authority to your climate change report. Not, say, the “potentially irreversible impacts”
Good NYT coverage on new paper about interactive teaching methods in science. Apparently, it’s bolstered by fewer lectures and group working, but the comments here are sharp.
A wonderful biography of Alfred Russell Wallace by David Quammen. 3 yrs old but new to me
Oh sure, it starts with “just defensively”… Teaching a Robot to Sword Fight
WHO to decide fate of smallpox stocks
Heh. Central dogma of psychiatry: DNA -> DSM diagnoses
Felisa Wolfe-Simon wouldn’t discuss her arsenic-life findings with the press, but she’s happy to share keys to success with Glamour. Wikipedia has this to say on glamour: “Glamour originally was a magical-occult spell… Today, glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality.” Mm-hmm.
Did inaccuracies in IQ tests lead to wrong executions?
Could the giant squid be a marine equivalent of the giant panda.
What are the risk factors for getting bitten on the face by a venomous snake? 1) Alcohol 2) Y chromosome
Reactor at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant has a hole, leading to leakage of radioactive water
Rise of the Superweeds: Profligate use of Roundup yielded crop of weeds that are impervious to it
A Danish university’s approach to eliminating cheating? Online access even during exams
Homeopaths suggest fabricating a racial discrimination complaint to avoid ASA homeopathy investigation
The ecology of pants by Robert Krulwich.
Scattershot Science from John Rennie: Blood, Neandertals, Robot Arms and More.
Oh that’s a nice headline: Draculin, Stroke Drug From Vampire Bats, Moves Closer to Circulation
20% of papers supporting climate skepticism come from same 10 “scientists”, 9 with ties to ExxonMobil
Who do you fantasise about killing?
The Guardian’s demand-driven, crowdsourced climate change FAQ for the win.
“It’s been an agony of biology to find boundaries…” The intellectual inertia of dividing nature and nurture.
Plans for Scotland to have whisky-powered homes, to store its whisky-powered people http://bit.ly/kjGsI7
Colour meaning in different cultures – an interactive guide
Parasite of the Day made only of reproductive organs
Schizophrenic “symptoms” in a computer programmed to learn too fast, forget too
How do you say “So long & thanks for all the fish“? Talk with a dolphin via underwater translation machine
How particle physics can help fight cancer by Jennifer Ouellette
“It’s me again, can we spawn?” Simple Toadfish Grunts May Contain Complex Information
Brandon Keim covers the Coal Cares hoax site
Well at least those bedbugs aren’t carrying anyth… OH NUTS.
Elsewhere from me: seen headlines that coffee prevents breast cancer? That study pretty much invalidates itself
Fascinating piece on ‘dark tourism’ on BoingBoing
‘Overgeneral memory ‘ and its role in mental illness
Great interview with Carl Zimmer as he explores The Weird Lives Of Viruses
More Bad News for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Mouse Virus Thesis.The last quote from Mikovits is telling.
Man quits job, travels 60k miles to shoot 37k images of the night sky, stitches them together to create this
A criminal knock-out drug may help us understand the neuroscience of free will
Fascinating piece on fashions and flim flam in understanding men’s and women’s communication styles
An awesome outreach thread by PsiWavefunction as she explains what she does on Reddit.
Quake pulled Japan “out and down into the sea” so coastal towns now flood during high tide
Did the economic downturn reduce the number of coins swallowed by children? THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW
Ants! Ants ants ants ants ants ants ants ants. Also, ants.
Yes, a blog for EVERYTHING! Dinosaur Toy Blog reviews
Best illusion of the year.
And it’s the return of my favourite headline memes
Centaur skeleton constructed from real human and zebra bones
The most important question about Osama bin Laden’s death has now been answered.
There are going to be a lot of unemployable people on May 22nd
“Your hammer will look more impressive polished.” Scene from old Thor comic that never made the film
“In that one weasely “critics said,” the NYT gives aid & comfort to the worst & least competent among us.” Tom Levenson on false objectivity in journalism.
A storify of reactions to the ASNE Social Media Best Practices. Still driven by fear, rather than opportunity
The many lies of Christopher Booker. No realm of knowledge untouched.
The Future of Book Reviews: Critics vs. Amazon Reviewers.
Cool. The Domesday Book is online. The Winklevoss twins will probably claim it’s their idea and sue William the Conqueror
“Media shrinks: a breed for whom [a] new circle of hell is currently under construction” – Marina Hyde
Here’s the man who created the Microsoft Word paperclip
One good journo slaps two awful former ones to reveal Facebook’s smear campaign against Google
The Taliban is on Twitter. Hopefully, they’ll turn on location tracking.
UnbeMFlievable. Bidding war: last week’s health care PR offer to reporters was $100… $250 this week!
“I’m always amazed men aren’t more furious at the way the rape problem is framed.” I absolutely am.
You’ve got to wonder if Brian Deer has a list of people he’s cross at, that he’s systematically working his way through. Here he targets Nature, making legitimate points about contracts, with a slight hint of toys and prams.
20 things that should rarely if ever appear in your copy
Longreads, one of the web’s best-curated sites, launches Community Picks
Swedish newspaper boosted its print circulation by concentrating on features and investigative pieces
The WSJ says uploaders to its Wikileaks-esque whistleblowing site must own copyright to docs. Er…
Navigating news online — online news audience mainly “casual” users.
“Don’t assume “short attention spans for generation that will read Harry Potter books.”