I've got your missing links right here (24 March 2012)

By Ed Yong | March 24, 2012 12:00 pm

Top picks

A video of a debate on science journalism. I’m at 31:00, saying that we must not accept mediocrity

What can James Cameron expect at the bottom of the ocean? Dunno. Maybe nothing, maybe Cthulhu.

Is Silence Going Extinct? Great piece on the science of soundscape ecology

Big meta-analysis finds no genes that are associated with personality traits. Neuroskeptic ponders what that means

Wonderful Robert Krulwich piece on what you gain and lose when you record the data of your entire life

“Despite what most people think, it’s not vomit.” The dirty, lucrative business of sperm whale ambergris

“On the internet today, watching something twice is a radical act.” Fish – a truly wonderful tap essay for the iPhone/iPad by Robin Sloan.

Important news: judge orders FDA to restart 35-year-old effort to examine, and maybe ban “growth promoter” farm drugs

“You don’t write like a scientist.” Wonderful piece of satire.

Helen Pearson is an awesome writer. Here’s her latest piece on Joe Thornton, the man who resurrects ancient, extinct proteins

How appropriate is it to frame overeating and obesity as “food addiction”? SciCurious investigates.

John Hawks on why humans aren’t apes. Not entirely sure I buy it. Meanwhile, is Brian Switek a fish? He thinks so.

UNC physicist faces 16 years in an Argentinian jail, says cocaine found in his suitcase in Argentina was planted by friend of online girlfriend. He’s still writing papers…

Wind-powered kinetic sculptures crawl down a beach and take my breath away.

Incredible! A camera that sees round corners, explained in a funky video by Geoffrey London.

“Across the street… a rhesus monkey named Thor is strapped into a chair.” On the quest to create a true bionic limb

Jaguars in the night… Meet the man who has been recording nature for three decades.

“THIS is why we invest in science,” says Phil Plait, and he’s right. Rocket engine tech leads to a design for a better fire-hose pump.

Not a caterpillar… Incredible illusion photo.

Kill all viruses – Carl Zimmer’s new feature for Wired

Steve Silberman talks to Charles Duhigg about the habits that drive us, and how we can drive *them* instead.

If you really need to puncture someone’s airway with a pen, the BIC soft feel Jumbo is the brand of choice


A good skeptical take from Nature on the connectome. I note Seung only gets a look-in right at the end

Well fancy that. Jumping genes make blood oranges bloody

Carl Zimmer in conversation with E. O. Wilson

A lead in the hunt for lost Peking Man fossils! I covered this here

“The testing is like dragon slaying by committee.” Study suggests crocodiles have strongest bite ever measured, rivalling T.rex.

New tests on orangutans show eco-tourism may be bad for wild animals’ health.

Holding a Gun Influences You to Think Others are Armed

A MASSIVE brain-scanning study (n=1326!!) shows entire brain “lighting up” for simple tasks. By the Neuroskeptic.

Great results in the psych lab – but do they hold up in the field?

Should genetics researchers should look for incidental findings, even years after data was collected by someone else?

Study Finds Newborn Infants Can Tell If Parents Are Losers

People with autism have a greater ability to process information

I’m with Virginia Hughes – no idea why these ancestral ties are interesting. Go far enough back and we’re all connected. I’m a distant cousin of T.rex, dontchaknow?

Whales and dolphins can focus on their prey with a beam of sound, featuring the false killer whale or “pseudo-sea-bastard”

Shocking. LA Times covers new study on how electrocuting people in the head treats depression

Please phrase your tumor in form of a question. Sloan-Kettering hires IBM Watson for cancer diagnoses

Mouse ‘avatars’ could personalise cancer research.

Medieval comment trolls. Monks scribbled complaints in margins of illuminated manuscripts

Could big volcanic eruptions protect against hurricanes?

Round gajillion of the “can tarantulas have sticky feet” controversy

The human gnome project: scientists enlist travelling gnome to test Earth’s gravity

Nokia files patent for haptic feedback tattoo, so your skin will vibrate when you get a text. No, really.

A wonderfully realistic assessment of E.O. Wilson’s iPad biology textbook by John Hawks.

Bone-marrow transplant reverses Rett’s syndrome in a mouse model

By Odin’s beard! Vikings spread the house mouse during ancient conquests

8,200+ Researchers Band Together To Force Science Journals To Open Access

In 2010-11 alone 42m people in Asia were displaced by ‘extreme’ weather. The threats continue to grow

A technical debate about the “QWERTY effect” paper continues.



Heh. Love it. The evolution vs. creationism debate in a very funny video

Bloody hell. Female ant gets skull sucked by a spider, while being assaulted by sex-crazed drone swarm

AHHHH!!! Giant wasp discovered in Indonesia with terrifying mandibles

The (tragic!) life cycle of a physicist

A Kickstarter project … to buy Kickstarter

“Like the Royal Family, aspirin is a wonderdrug that surprises us almost as often as it leads to blood in our stool”

I am a business grown-up who makes business profits



Exec from “Hunger Games” studio Lionsgate tries prevent “damage to Lionsgate & our marketing efforts” by trying to shut down Oxfam campaign “Hunger is Not a Game”. Right. That’ll work.

Credibility is so hot.” A nod to fact-checkers.

You know a review’s going to be fun when it includes phrases like “That sounds nice, and might even be true“. Seth Mnookin destroys David Eagleman’s e-book.

Does the world need more science journalism? Yes, if it’s like Matter.

Guess what’s the fastest-adopted gadget of the last 50 years. Amazingly, not sex-related.

Helmetcam shows firefighting as firefighters see it. Alexis Madrigal is spot-on with the videogame comparison

How Google stopped being Google.

The damage done is huge.” – Mike Daisey and the predictability of lies, by Erika Check Hayden.

“Cheaper than paying journalists who tend to get sick, demand respect.” NiemanLab on journalism by robots for robots

Faced with too much search engine optimisation, Google changes the meaning of “optimal”

The Press Awards names the Daily Mail as Newspaper/Website of the Year. With a straight face


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