The Scienceblogging Weekly (June 8th, 2012)

Wow – this was hard! I could have had at least Top 20 instead of Top 10 (but you’ll find them all listed down there anyway)…

 

Blog of the Week:

Tanya Khovanova s Math Blog is a blog by Tanya Khovanova, a Visiting Scholar and Research Affiliate at MIT, a 1976 gold medalist (and 1975 silver medalist) at the International Mathematics Olympiad. What she does the most (though there is occasionally other stuff there) is to pose difficult (and some not to so difficult) mathematical problems and puzzles for her readers to try to solve in the comments. Go ahead and give it a try yourself!

 

Top 10:

Sea Level Rise Is Tied to Prevalence of Homosexuality by Craig McClain:

Although only two years old and previously unrecognized by the scientific establishment, Global Draining (GD) has now become a widely accepted theory. GD states that sea level is falling not rising (Southern Fried Science, 2010a). Current rates of GD indicate the entire world s ocean will be empty by 2026 (Southern Fried Science, 2010a). Local-scale observation of in situ draining combined with a robust theoretical model firmly place the rate of draining at 40 Gigatons of water per year (Dr. M, 2010). It has been argued that both one and multiple holes occur in the ocean floor that allow for GD (i.e. the monoclavis versus polyclavis hypotheses via McCay, 2010; Southern Fried Science, 2010b). However, the impacts and causes of GD are not clearly understood. Despite this, GD is a fundamental tenet of nearly every facet of science and likely correlated with many aspects of biology, economics, sociology, religion, and politics. For example, GD is likely to lead to massive die offs of sharks and reduce global atmospheric oxygen levels (Shark Diver, 2010)…

The crayola-fication of the world: How we gave colors names, and it messed with our brains (part I) by Aatish Bhatia:

In Japan, people often refer to traffic lights as being blue in color. And this is a bit odd, because the traffic signal indicating go in Japan is just as green as it is anywhere else in the world. So why is the color getting lost in translation? This visual conundrum has its roots in the history of language…

Arsenic Life Wrap-Up: The Good, the ‘Not-So-Good’ by See Arr Oh:

“Arsenic Life,” a hot-button issue for much of the past year, reemerged this week with two new papers, one propitious, and one, well…not so much….

In defense of frivolities and open-ended experiments by Bradley Voytek:

My first child was born just about nine months ago. From the hospital window on that memorable day, I could see that it was surprisingly sunny for a Berkeley autumn afternoon. At the time, I’d only slept about three of the last 38 hours. My mind was making up for the missing haze that usually fills the Berkeley sky. Despite my cloudy state, I can easily recall those moments following my first afternoon laying with my newborn son. In those minutes, he cleared my mind better than the sun had cleared the Berkeley skies…

Women s Work by Virginia Hughes:

I write mostly about neuroscience, genetics and biotechnology. That means I spend most of my time talking to and writing about men.

In May of 2011 (chosen arbitrarily just because it was a year ago and I m pretty sure I wasn t thinking about this gender gap then), 89 percent of my phone interviews were with men.

I can think of a few reasons for this…

The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol’ Dial-Up Modem Sound by Alexis Madrigal:

Of all the noises that my children will not understand, the one that is nearest to my heart is not from a song or a television show or a jingle. It’s the sound of a modem connecting with another modem across the repurposed telephone infrastructure. It was the noise of being part of the beginning of the Internet…

I’m not a speciesist, but… by Jack Scanlan:

Is it a paradox to hate your own species? Is such a feeling the product of a broken and conflicted mind? Or could it perhaps be the signature of psychopathy? Every day these questions run through my mind and I feel guilty. Why? Well, because I do hate my own species. Homo sapiens is terrible, and I m surprised more people don t recognise this…

The science and ethics of voluntary amputation by Mo Costandi:

…In January 2000, the mass media ran several stories about Robert Smith, a surgeon at the Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary who had amputated the legs of two patients at their own request and was planning a third amputation. The news stories incorrectly described the patients as suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. They further stated that the director of NHS trust running the hospital at which Smith works described the amputation of healthy limbs as “inappropriate”; since then, no British hospital has performed a voluntary amputation…

In Defense of Mickey Mouse Science by Byron Jennings:

…I suppose one could hook up the computers directly to the experiments and have them generate models, test the models against new observations and then modify the experimental apparatus without any human intervention. However, I am not sure that would be science. Science is ultimately a human activity and the models we produce are products of the human mind. It is not enough that the computer knows the answer. We want to have some feeling for the results, to understand them. Without the simple models, Mickey Mouse science, that would not be possible: the big news made ever so small…

From plaster to programming: How borrowed technologies are changing paleontology by Justine E. Hausheer:

In popular culture, paleontologists are like Indiana Jones. Rugged men wandering through rocky deserts, wearing wide-brimmed leather hats and multi-pocketed khaki vests. Rock-hammers hang nonchalantly from their belt-loops, maps and note-pads protrude from pockets. On a whim, they brush aside some sand to reveal a ferocious skull and massive vertebrae, and then they puzzle out the mysteries of dinosaurs just by staring at the rocks. But in contemporary science, paleontologists are biologists, computer programmers, and engineers…

 

Special topic: Scientists, Journalism and Outreach

Eh, the whole week started with The Unwritten Rules of Journalism by Adam Ruben and then the blogosphere exploded – see for yourself:

Make Me Feel Something, Please by Soren Wheeler

Will Scientists Ever Get Science Writing? by Deborah Blum

Science Careers Magazine: A platform for a funny guy who says he really hates science journalism by Charlie Petit

Keep Cool Science Journalists by Khalil A. Cassimally

Congratulations! You re Dumb! by Matthew Francis

Science is more than freaks and circuses by Paul Livingston

A KISS for communicating science by biochembelle

Scientists Engaging With The Public: Let s Get Started and Talking About Science: Why Do You Do What You Do? by Matt Shipman

Summary of the #ReachingOutSci Series by nature.com Communities Team

On Outreach: something’s got to give by scicurious

A Call To Arms For Young Science Journalists by Khalil A. Cassimally

Which came first, rewarding outreach or doing it? On chickens, eggs, and overworked scientists by Kate Clancy

The root of problems by Zen Faulkes

Quick thoughts on the what and why of science outreach by Cedar Riener

Where Have All the Scientists Gone? by Magdeline Lum

Why are scientists trapped in the ivory tower and what can be done to escape? by Jeanne Garbarino

Speak Up, Scientists! by Tom Bartlett

So You Want To Communicate Science Online: The Flowchart by Miriam Goldstein

Some Scattered Thoughts on Outreach Work by Eight Crayon Science

One Venus transit but many kinds of scientific outreach by Chris Rowan

 

Best Videos:

A Wildlife Rescue Center for New York City by Rachel Nuwer, video by Kelly Slivka and Kate Yandell.

The Curious Sex Lives Of Animals (VIDEO) by Cara Santa Maria and Carin Bondar

What we didn t know about penis anatomy (video) by Diane Kelly

CreatureCast Ginko (video) by Casey Dunn

Fruitfly Development, Cell by Cell (video) by Joe Hanson

 

Science:

How Our Disinterest in ‘The Environment’ Signals the End of Nature by Christopher Mims

Dramatic impacts on beach microbial communities following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by Holy Bik

I Point To TED Talks and I Point to Kim Kardashian. That Is All. by Carl Zimmer

NASA s Manned Venus Orbital Mission and This Is What Happens When Galaxies Collide and The X-15 s First Glide by Amy Shira Teitel

North Carolina s attempted ban on sea level rise is a boon for Global Draining researchers by Southern Fried Scientist

How Intuition and the Imagination Fuel Scientific Discovery and Creativity: A 1957 Guide by Maria Popova

Battleship Earth: Does the Pentagon have the right weapons to fight off an alien invasion? by Cara Parks and Joshua E. Keating

Is Arsenic the Worst Chemical in the World? and The Arsenic Diet by Deborah Blum

Bad Reaction: The Toxicity of Chemical-Free Claims by Sharon Hill

Peptide shows potential to reverse skin fibrosis and Turning down the heat revs up brown fat by Kathleen Raven

Mermaids Embodies the Rotting Carcass of Science TV and Time for a Dinosaur Attack? by Brian Switek

David Dobbs and science storytelling: Lost in your brain. by Paul Raeburn

Piscine Geriatrics and Update on the iFish by whizbang

“HULK SMASH GM” – mixing angry Greens with bad science by Martin Robbins

For an Isolated Tribe, Time Follows the Terrain, and the Future is Uphill by Valerie Ross

Turning Scientific Perplexity into Ordinary Statistical Uncertainty by Cosma Shalizi

Credible Amelia Earhart Signals Were Ignored by Rossella Lorenzi and More Amelia Earhart Nonsense by Brian Dunning

How do you feel about Evidence-Based Medicine? by Harriet Hall

Wind-aided birds on their way north by Liz O’Connell

Transit of Venus through the ages by Jonathan Nally

Attempts to predict earthquakes may do more harm than good by David Petley

Reporting Preliminary Findings by Steven Novella

What makes sea-level rise? by Stefan Rahmstorf

Detectable but not hazardous: radioactive marine life of Fukushima by Miriam Goldstein

Elaine Fuchs: There s no comfortable route for a scientist by Rachel Zwick

Why the GOP distrusts science and Conservatives Attack Scientific Findings About Why They Hate Science (Helping to Confirm the Science) by Chris Mooney

Jumping Vampire Spiders Choose Victims by Headwear and Why You Can’t Kill a Mosquito with a Raindrop and Rare Blooms by Elizabeth Preston

To study vampire spiders, build Frankenstein mosquitoes and Cockroaches and geckos disappear by swinging under ledges and inspire robots and Giant insects disappeared thanks to falling oxygen levels and agile birds and Bacteria turn themselves into living electric grids by sending currents down mineral wires and How to weigh dinosaurs with lasers and Will we ever clone a mammoth? by Ed Yong

New species are found all the time, even in Europe. by Tim Parshall

Sunday morning musings by PalMD

Winning the climate culture war and The top five things voters need to know about conservatives and climate change by David Roberts

Genetic Modification What s the big deal? by Donna

Cancer on the Brain by David Ropeik

Learning by Making: American kids should be building rockets and robots, not taking standardized tests. by Dale Dougherty

“Arsenic bacteria”: If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies by Ashutosh Jogalekar

BP Demands Scientist Emails in Gulf Oil Spill Lawsuit by Brandon Keim

Will Lex Luthor save North Carolina from climate change? by Michael Yudell

Coordinated Hunting in Red Devils by Craig McClain

Use it or lose it? by Levi Morran

Natural voyeurism: Animal webcams make peeping Toms of us all by Kelly Slivka

Why We Don t Believe In Science by Jonah Lehrer

Mermaids do not exist, and five other important things people should, but do not, know about the ocean by WhySharksMatter

Transits of Earth from Other Planets by John Rennie

Bend me, shape me: flexible electronics perform under punishing conditions by Matthew Francis

The Invasivore s Dilemma by Michelle Nijhuis

Beware Of The Branches: The Impacts Of Habitat Structure On Locomotion And Path Choice by Timothy Higham

Science Hubris, or Shame on You, Mayim Bialik by Lucy E. Hornstein MD

Your guide to zombie parasite journalism by Carl Zimmer

Science Gallery Pushes Art With A Social Conscience by Lucas Kavner

This Is Your Quail on Drugs, Behaving Badly by Neda Semnani

Making neuroscience public: Neurohype, neuroscepticism and neuroblogging by Brigitte Nerlich

Dictators Turn Strangely Benevolent in Online Game by Dave Mosher

The Platypus Fallacy. by T. Ryan Gregory

What You Know About the Difference in Dolphins and Porpoises is Wrong by SoundingTheSea

Has the public s understanding of science devolved into a perverse worship of uncertainty? by Pamela Ronald

Darwin s clumsy prose by Angelique Richardson

Life and science challenges: flames, Hawkeye, the needle and the damage done by Jeanne Garbarino

Mars One: The Martian Chronicles or Big Brother Live on Mars? by Danica Radovanovic

Driving without a Blind Spot May Be Closer Than It Appears by Rachel Ewing

I love waking up to bad science in the morning paper by Rachel Felt

Interloper of the Venus Transit by Phil Plait

Brian: The Typographical Error that Brought Early Career Neuroscientists and Artists Together by Megan J. Dowie, Erin Forsyth and Leah Forsyth

How can I stop stammering? by Stuart Farrimond

Identical Twins, Different Lives by Neuroskeptic

That Antidepressants In Water Cause Autism Study by Neuroskeptic, and Fish, Antidepressants, Autism and a Problematic Research Premise by Dorothy Bishop, and Taking the Bait: A Fish (and autism) Story by Deborah Blum

Zombies are not a health problem (for us). Should they be a solution? by Jonathan Purtle

Portrait of the Archaeologist as Young Artist by Heather Pringle

Building a Shadow CV by Jacquelyn Gill

WHO adopts global vaccine action plan by Gozde Zorlu

The Republican Brain: The perils and promise of taking a stand. by Paul Raeburn

N. Carolina Senate decides to include science in sea level projections after all by John Timmer

 

Media, Publishing and Technology:

Lessons in blogging (and tweeting) from Samuel Pepys by Justin Ellis

Social Networks Over Time and the Invariants of Interaction by Samuel Arbesman

This I believe about journalism, newspapers and the future of media by Tim J. McGuire

Beyond citations: Scholars’ visibility on the social Web by Judit Bar-Ilan, Stefanie Haustein, Isabella Peters, Jason Priem, Hadas Shema and Jens Terliesner

Wi-Fi and Amtrak: Missed Connections by Ron Nixon – obviously written by someone who’s never boarded anything but Acela, which is notorious for bad wifi. I find wifi perfectly usable on the Carolinian route of Amtrak.

The North West London Blues by Zadie Smith

SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #164 by Peter Suber

Facebook will sell me to you, and you to me by Scott Rosenberg

A brief history of Car Talk: They ve changed the way people see public radio in America by Andrew Phelps

Ebook revolution can kindle a passion for publishing by Ed Victor

My Gettysburg oration: A vision for journalism that can long endure by Steve Buttry

All A Twitter: How Social Media Aids in Science Outreach Chapter 6: Struggles of Facebook for the Multipurpose Marine Cadastre and Chapter 7: Survey Design by Caitlyn Zimmerman

Not a fan of the big Bitly revamp? Here are 9 alternatives by Nancy Messieh and A little free advice for Bitly by Dave Winer

Added Value: I do not think those words mean what you think they mean and 25,000 signatures and still rolling: Implications of the White House petition by Cameron Neylon

Sustainable quality by Dan Conover

Revisiting the View from Nowhere by John L. Robinson

How Writing A Science Blog Saved My PhD and 3 Mandatory Tools For Digital Scientists by Julio Peironcely

How the Internet Became Boring by Christopher Mims

Dear Author by Ted C. MacRae

What Is a Blog Post? by Rob Jenkins

Startup Culture: Values vs. Vibe by Chris Moody

Ask TON: Organizing notes by Jeanne Erdmann and Siri Carpenter

Why Reporting Is Ripe For Innovation by Vadim Lavrusik

Guys! I Have the Next Big Thing: A Social Network for Hermit Crabs by Alexis Madrigal

Arianna Huffington says HuffPo’s ‘sideboob’ news page is meant as a joke by Ruth Spencer

Does your newsroom have a smart-refrigerator strategy? by Adrienne LaFrance

How to improve environmental coverage? by Curtis Brainard

10 Timeframes by Paul Ford

It’s a Googly World: A Map of the Planet’s Most Visited Websites by Country by Rebecca J. Rosen

Twitter Gives you the Bird by Armin and Twitter’s new bird logo by Dave Winer

The great newspaper liquidation by Jack Shafer

Follow Scientific American on Twitter @SciAm and @SciamBlogs. Visit ScientificAmerican.com for the latest in science, health and technology news.
© 2012 ScientificAmerican.com. All rights reserved.

[ [ [['xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', 11]], '27013743', '0' ], [ [['keyword', 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]
Search