ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network













A Blog Around The Clock

A Blog Around The Clock


Rhythms of Life in Meatspace and Cyberland
A Blog Around The Clock Home

The Scienceblogging Weekly (June 22nd, 2012)

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


Email   PrintPrint



Blog of the Week:

Like clockwork, almost every day for more than two years, Tommy Leung and Susan Perkins bring you Parasite of the Day. Sometimes gross, but always fascinating. And considering how most of us don’t pay much attention to parasites these days, there is something cool to learn every single day.

 

Top 10:

The only good abortion is my abortion by Maggie Koerth-Baker:

…Of course, we don’t call it an abortion. We call it “a procedure” or a D&C. See, my potential abortion is one of the good abortions. I’m 31 years old. I’m married. These days, I’m pretty well off. I would very much like to stay pregnant right now. In fact, I have just spent the last year—following an earlier miscarriage—trying rather desperately to get pregnant…

Defending Jonah Lehrer by Bradley Voytek (about criticisim of neuroscience, not “self-plagiarism”):

Cognitive neuroscience grew out of experimental psychology, which has decades of amazing observations to link psychology and behavior. But with this legacy comes a lot of baggage. Experimental psychologists observed that we have the capacity for memory, attention, emotion, etc. and they sought to piece those phenomena apart. With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, psychologists put people in brain scanners to see where in the brain behaviors “were”. But this is the wrong way of thinking about these concepts.

The genius myth by Zen Faulkes:

…This myth of destiny and inevitable triumph of genius is, to me, completely the opposite of what science is. The scientific method leveled the playing field for discovering truth. Anyone could follow the methods and get to the bottom of things, so truth was no longer subject to tricky things like personal revelation….

Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed by David Roberts:

…The challenge I took on was to convey the gist of my “brutal logic of climate change” post in a reasonably short amount of time, using as little scientific jargon as possible. Just: there is a problem that calls for urgent action. Business-as-usual means disaster. This is all gloom and doom — not even much humor. I know that turns people off or shuts them down. I know people need to feel a sense of hope and efficacy. I know — indeed, have recently been writing — that we need a vision of a sustainable future. But I needed to do my own version of “Danger Will Robinson!” Just to get it on the record…

Tunes without composers: music naturally evolves on DarwinTunes by Ed Yong:

…The tunes embedded above weren’t written by a composer, but fashioned through natural selection. They are the offspring of DarwinTunes, a program which creates bursts of noise that gradually evolve based on the preferences of thousands of human listeners. After hundreds of generations, tracks that are boring and grating soon morph into tunes that are really quite rhythmic and pleasant (even if they won’t be topping charts any time soon)….

Snake-eating beetles by Andrew Durso:

So little is known about the parasites of snakes that we tend to discount them all together, but the ecological and evolutionary interactions between hosts and their parasites can be very strong. This is a story about how two enterprising snake biologists solved a mystery that had been puzzling entomologists for decades…

Test-Tube Piggies: How did the guinea pig become a symbol of science? by Daniel Engber:

…To call someone or something a guinea pig may suggest a mere experiment (“Joe Biden was put out as a guinea pig for the White House”), or it can invoke the specter of exploitation (the U.S. Army wanted “to use young men as guinea pigs and throw them away”). The image either describes the scientific process or condemns it. It’s a totem or a scarecrow. What makes this wording more curious is the fact that guinea pigs, real ones, don’t mean much to working scientists. For all their rhetorical importance, the animals scarcely register in the lab…

What’s changed in evolution and ecology since I started my Ph.D. by Jeremy Yoder:

Last month, I filed my PhD dissertation, bringing to an end an intellectual and personal journey that began seven years ago in the summer of 2005. I know a lot more now than I did then, and I know a lot more about the boundaries of what I don’t know, too. But not only has my knowledge changed—evolution and ecology looks a lot different now than it did seven years ago when I was planning my dissertation research. At some point, and often multiple points, in the process of getting a PhD, everybody wonders whether what they’re doing is already out of date. Some of the transformations in the field I think I could see coming. For instance, it was clear in 2005 that computational power would keep increasing, phylogenetics would be used more and more to ask interesting questions, more and more genomes would be available for analysis, and evolutionary developmental biology was on the rise. It was unfortunately also predictable that it would be possible to study climate change in real time over PhD-length timescales. And although the 2008 global financial crisis didn’t help, it was clear that funding and jobs were going to be more competitive than they had been for our predecessors….

Drawing sharp boundaries in a fuzzy world by Chris Rowan:

Humans are natural splitters. We have an innate tendency to look at the world and mentally sort everything into different categories, and grades, and entities: this is one thing, that is another; it was this, now it’s that. Our perception of colour is a good example of how our brains automatically split a continuum into discrete boxes. We’ve incorporated our love of classification deep into science, trying to formalise and quantify the dividing lines we want to draw on everything: it’s this when conditions A and B are met, it’s that when we see Y and Z. But nature doesn’t often make it easy for us to draw our sharp dividing lines….

Why the Scientist Stereotype Is Bad for Everyone, Especially Kids by Michael Brooks:

To many – too many – science is something like North Korea. Not only is it impossible to read or understand anything that comes out of that place, there are so many cultural differences that it’s barely worth trying. It’s easier just to let them get on with their lives while you get on with yours; as long as they don’t take our jobs or attack our way of life, we’ll leave them in peace…

 

Special topic #1: Science: It’s a Girl Thing

“Science: It’s a Girl Thing”: Lab Barbie, Extra Lipstick by Maryn McKenna

Hey girl! Science wants YOU – but don’t forget the lipstick by Gozde Zorlu

Girls! Be A Scientist! You too Can Dance in the Lab in High Heels! by Deborah Blum

Friday Sprog Blogging: You’ve made it clear “it’s a girl thing,” but is “it” science? and Science For Princesses and How do we make room for pink microscopes? (More thoughts on gendered science kits.) by Janet D. Stemwedel

#sciencegirlthing: the PR guy’s take by David Wescott

E.U.’s ‘Science, it’s a girl thing’ campaign sparks a backlash by Olga Khazan

Science – It’s a Girl Thing (Insert Facepalm Here) by Carin Bondar and Joanne Manaster

Why “Pinkifying” Science Does More Harm Than Good by Noisy Astronomer

Hey Science, “How YOU doin’?” by Summer Ash

 

Special topic #2: Turtles

Turtle Anatomy, in Stunning Images from 1820 by Maria Popova

Galápagos Monday: Lynn’s Tortoises by Galápagos Monday: Lynn’s Tortoises

Terrifying sex organs of male turtles by Darren Naish

Turtles Have Horrifying Penises by Erin Gloria Ryan

Sex locked in stone: Fossil turtle pairs provide first direct evidence of prehistoric vertebrate mating. by Brian Switek

What Remains in the Rock by Brian Switek

Friday Weird Science: Why, you DIRTY LITTLE HERPS! by Scicurious

Preserved in the Act and Fossilized Turtle Whoopie by Craig McClain

 

Best Videos:

Eating on a Green Roof: New York’s Buildings Provide Food, Habitat for Wildlife by Rachel Nuwer, Chris New and Brennan Kelley

How do Spaceships Landing in Water Not Hit Boats? by Amy Shira Teitel

Must-watch video on rip currents by Miriam Goldstein

Whale Rainbow by rsean9000

Charged Gold Nanoparticles “Unzip” DNA by N.C.State

World Science Festival Fascinates With Robotic Animals, World’s Lightest Material, Quantum Levitation by Cara Santa Maria

 

Best Images:

Human Microbiome Project by Perrin Ireland

Greek octopus forms coalition with dolphin’s genitals by Rowan Hooper

 

Science:

The Difference Between Science ‘Skills’ and ‘Knowledge’ by Emily Richmond

How To Stop Science Alienation Syndrome by Deborah Blum

How to Determine If A Controversial Statement Is Scientifically True by Alan Henry

Numeric Pareidolia and Vortex Math by MarkCC

Tech-Based Dollhouse Inspires Future Girl Scientists by Kellie Foxx-Gonzalez

Med Student Rescues Body Part From Airport Security by Robert Krulwich

Things I Learnt from my (Unscientific) Experiences with Crowdsourcing. by David Ng

In Defense of Genetically Modified Crops by Sarah Zhang

When Did Americans Lose Their British Accents? and Why Do People Feel Phantom Cellphone Vibrations? by Matt Soniak

NASA Astronauts Brought Playmates to the Moon and Valentina Tereshkova Was the First Woman in Space and NASA and FAA Agree on the Future of Spaceflight and Vintage Space Fun Fact: NASA’s Canadian Contingent and Mars Rover Curiosity’s Retro Parachute by Amy Shira Teitel

Brains are Different on Macs by Neuroskeptic

Putting Fear In Your Ears: What Makes Music Sound Scary by Jessica Stoller-Conrad

Former Quantitative Trader Spurns Wall Street to Explore the Final Frontier by Patrick Clark

Can Anoles With Differently Shaped Genitals Interbreed? and Territorial And Thermoregulatory Behavior Of Sri Lankan Otocryptis Lizards by Jonathan Losos

How can scientists communicate to the public if they can’t even explain their work to each other? by Maggie

On this Father’s Day, let’s remember the allofathers, too by Emily Willingham

Are Fathers an Endangered Species? by Paul Raeburn

A shot to the head by Vaughan Bell

Get Ready, Because Voyager I Is *This Close* to Leaving Our Solar System by Rebecca J. Rosen

Does All Wine Taste the Same? by Jonah Lehrer

The Blind Spot: A Requiem by Megan Garber and Driving without a Blind Spot May Be Closer Than It Appears by Rachel Ewing

Notebooks Shed Light on an Antibiotic’s Contested Discovery by Peter Pringle

10-year-old solves science riddle and co-authors paper by Jon White

Keeping strong during a long winter nap by Zen Faulkes

What did Galileo ever do to you? by Ken Perrott

End the macho culture that turns women off science by Athene Donald

What’s in a (Gene) Name? by Hillary Rosner

Darwin, Worm Grunters, and Menacing Moles by Anthony Martin

Growing Up on Zoloft – Talking Drugs, Depression, and Identity With Katherine Sharpe by David Dobbs

ANAL CONES! Diadematid sea urchin mysteries! and Follow up on the Anal Cone! (thanks to the New Scientist) by Christopher Mah

How to find good sperm by Kristian Sjøgren

It has long been a mystery why flamingos in captivity suffer foot lesions. A Danish study now claims to have solved a part of this mystery. by Jeppe Wojcik

Black bears show counting skills on computers by Matt Bardo

DIY biology by Laura H. Kahn

Same Old Story: Too Many Graduate Students by Rob Knop

Scientists Find Weak Evidence That Unhealthy Lifestyles Lead to Weak Sperm by Allie Wilkinson

Sound Scholarly Communication by David De Roure

Sports doping, Victorian style by Vanessa Heggie

Welcome to the Anthropocene by David Biello

Goat Moms Recognize Their Kids Saying “Ma!” and The Shambulance: Ionic Foot Detox Baths by Elizabeth Preston

Thoughts on Tarbosaurus, Part 1. and Part 2 by Victoria Arbour

An Abstemious Home by Jessa Gamble

Crowdfunding: It’s not a grant … or is it? by Rebecca Rashid Achterman

The monthly ring: Expanding HIV prevention options for women by Dr. Zeda Rosenberg

Experiments hint at a new type of electronics: valleytronics and Quantum fluctuations may uncover a clue to high-temperature superconductivity by Matthew Francis

Reinventing the Wheel by Meagan Phelan

When Mammals Ate Dinosaurs by Brian Switek

The Rise of the Fork: Knives and spoons are ancient. But we’ve only been eating with forks for a few centuries. by Sara Goldsmith

‘Silent Spring’ is 50. The Credit, and the Blame, It Deserves. by David Ropeik

As America grows more polarized, conservatives increasingly reject science and rational thought by Amanda Marcotte

In the year 2023, and humans are on Mars for all to see by Kevin Orrman-Rossiter

Scalia’s Republican Brain: Why He’ll Come Up With a Reason to Overturn the Healthcare Mandate by Dylan Otto Krider

Does art-from-science really add anything? by Jon Butterworth

Prairie Ridge Ecostation by Christine L. Goforth

Let’s not get carried away by Markus Pössel

 

Media, Publishing, Technology and Society:

The Slow Web by Jack Cheng

Using Storytelling in Blogs by Maximilian Majewski

I’ll ask the questions here! by M.S.

Lawyer attacking The Oatmeal shocked by big mean Internet’s reaction and Lawyer tries and fails to shut down The Oatmeal’s charitable fundraiser by Casey Johnston and The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part IV: Charles Carreon Sues Everybody by Ken and The Guy Continues to Mess With The Oatmeal by Kevin Underhill and Funnyjunk’s Lawyer Charles Carreon Just Keeps Digging: Promises He’ll Find Some Law To Go After Oatmeal’s Matt Inman by Mike Masnick

Journalism education cannot teach its way to the future by Howard Finberg and Why Professors Value Journalism Degrees More Than Professionals (Beyond the Obvious) by Carrie Brown-Smith

How would you engage the community in a vagina discussion? by Steve Buttry

Socialising Research: How to get your research results noticed and used. by Jo Hawkins

All A’Twitter: How Social Media Aids in Science Outreach – Chapter 11: Set of Best Practices for Social Media Use by Caitlyn Zimmerman

Teachers and Administrators, Don’t Be Scared of Technology: It Won’t Replace the Classroom by Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters

Is it ok to get paid to promote Open Access? by John Dupuis

Pay attention to what Nick Denton is doing with comments by Clay Shirky

Watergate mythology invites pushback, ignores journalism’s messy nature by Andrew Beaujon

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All by Anne-Marie Slaughter and No One ‘Has It All,’ Because ‘Having It All’ Doesn’t Exist by Lindy West

When Twitter Stumbles, Sites Across the Web Go Down With It by Alexander Furnas

Open Access and Science Communication. Reflections on the need for a more open communication environment by Alessandro Delfanti

A step-by-step approach for science communication practitioners: a design perspective by Maarten C.A. van der Sanden and Frans J. Meijman

Does the technical staff at the World Health Organization (WHO) tweet? by Nina Bjerglund

An Open Letter To Conference Organizers and Panel Moderators by Sean Bonner

Twitterror by Oliver Reichenstein

To create a new social network or not to? Scientists weigh in. by Upwell

The Perfect Technocracy: Facebook’s Attempt to Create Good Government for 900 Million People and Inside Google’s Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever by Alexis Madrigal

Why Pen Names Might Be a Bad Idea for Most Bloggers by Ryan Matthew Pierson

Blogging relieves stress on new mothers by Victoria M Indivero

Should We (And Can We) Regulate What We Do Not Understand? by Kathleen Wisneski

Scholars are quickly moving toward a universe of web-native communication by Jason Priem, Judit Bar-Ilan, Stefanie Haustein, Isabella Peters, Hadas Shema, and Jens Terliesner

Bill Marriott: Chairman of the Blog by Michael S. Rosenwald

Apps I Want to Go Away by Sam Grobart

Some Thoughts on Peer Review and Altmetrics by Ian Mulvany

 

Extra: On the Finch report on Open Access:

Open access is the future of academic publishing, says Finch report by Alok Jha

The Finch Report on open access: it’s complicated by Stephen Curry

First thoughts on the Finch Report: Good steps but missed opportunities by Cameron Neylon

U.K. Panel Backs Open Access for All Publicly Funded Research Papers by Kai Kupferschmidt

Finch Report, a Trojan Horse, Serves Publishing Industry Interests Instead of UK Research Interests by Stevan Harnad

 

Extra: On the “self-plagiarism” saga:

On science blogs this week: Jonah Lehrer by Tabitha M. Powledge

Jonah Lehrer: The issues are simple by Paul Raeburn

This Week in Review: The potential of Microsoft’s Surface, and keeping blogging ideas fresh by Mark Coddington

Jonah Lehrer, Hypertext Author by Dorian Taylor

Jonah Lehrer “Self-Plagiarism” Brouhaha is Crap by Matthew E May

New Journalistic Workflow by Bora Zivkovic

Blogging and recycling: thoughts on the ethics of reuse. by Janet D. Stemwedel

How Jonah Lehrer should blog by Felix Salmon

The ethics of recycling content: Jonah Lehrer accused of self-plagiarism by Jonathan M. Gitlin

A (Partial) Defense of Jonah Lehrer by Robert Wright

The Tyranny of Novelty by Matthew Francis

Jonah Lehrer, self-borrowing and the problem with “big ideas” by Laura Hazard Owen



Previous: New Journalistic Workflow More
A Blog Around The Clock
Next: The Scienceblogging Weekly (June 29th, 2012)





Add Comment

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X