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Nerds and Words: Week 29

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


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I have dug through the Internet this week and uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Write, and Watch

YES. Here’s the link to the new COSMOS trailer

No. Saturn Wouldn’t Float in Water. I thought this for so long until I was set straight with physics

The (awesome) physics of why a swarm of caterpillars can be faster than any one by itself. EVOLUTION.

It’s not about the Mermaids: Animal Planet’s track record of fabricated reality

Alton Brown of the Food Network discussed an article I wrote on this blog on his podcast! It starts at 03:50 of episode 4!

How Forensic Linguistics Outed J.K. Rowling (And James Madison, Barack Obama, and the Rest of Us)

Controversy surrounds these (possibly) head-butting dinos

Best read this week: The story of an amazing scientist whose tragic slip into pseudoscience gave rise to multivitamins

SCIENCE! Smart surgical knife could help tell doctors what tissue is cancerous

Not everyone who argues against vaccination is “crazy,” but you should know how to deal with the fringe

The coolest fireworks are from a nuclear bomb exploded in space

What Good Is Half A Sucker? A cool study on evolution and an answer to the old creationist canard

We have a T. rex! And it’s a hunter AND a scavenger. Ending the fake debate

Weeds are annoying, resilient masters of evolution

Seeing a piece of pitch drop is so f***ing satisfying

Acoustic levitation and sodium exploding water, what more do you want?

Phantom phone vibrations are a consequence of you never wanting to miss a call and a healthy psychology

Does a mattress double its weight due to dust mites and their debris?

YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTERY Or why the Oregon Trail has ~10 graves per mile on it.

To me the most amazing bit about the human helicopter is how *slowly* the blades spin and it still works

Why were the humacopter rotors so big? They throw a lot of air balls down, duh

How déjà vu might work, or why it could really be a glitch in the matrix

Revisiting all the best Nessie photos and…nope, still doesn’t exist

The physics behind walking on broken glass

Is sugar really toxic? (Spoiler: No). Comprehensive piece

Science is not a path towards truth; therein lies its greatest strength. But creationism…

What’s the hardest thing to find in the universe? Hint: It has 85 protons and a great history

How do you get blood from a stone? Find one of these weird creatures. Answering a viral photo

Maybe you should keep your cat inside, because they are mini bird apocalypses

Let’s not throw the evolutionary pyschology baby out with the bathwater, but some of its proponents are kinda douchebags

The shark that made its tail into a weapon (a really good one too). It’s a fin flail!

Compelling piece with some astonishing facts: The Horrible Psychology of Solitary Confinement

Climate change is melting our ice, but revealing a peaceful invasion of glass

When a snake expert says he’s got the coolest snake ever to show you, you listen

The Mad Hatterpillar: Also a head-banger

Nicely skeptical piece on why gluten is the new MSG

What is the scrotum for anyway? I think it should have a rib cage…

SuperFreakonomics is SuperFreakingWrong on global warming

A closer look at some of the guns science uses to mow down ignorance

Imagine having to get into a clam by rapping your knuckles on it. Hard right? Not for this shrimp

“While searching for knowledge we must abide by ignorance for an indefinite period

A wow-beat piece that gave me a lesson in science reporting: Charged bees and spider webs, so what?

Can evolutionary theory help solve long-standing problems in economics?

How the attempt to sequence “Bigfoot’s genome” went off track. (You might need a bio degree to read it)

Watching bats fly in an x-ray is a science job I envy

Will we long for that mote of dust in the sunbeam? A homesick astronaut on Mars

 

Nerdery at its Finest

While constructing additional pylons, gamers are getting a working knowledge of cancer in StarCraft

XKCD with some more good skeptical advice on quantum mechanics. (We’re talking about you Chopra)

Measuring The Ridiculous Physics Of Disney’s Hercules

A Fallout fan film that could be a movie: Nuka Break-Red Star

Why does the shadow in this unedited image cast a future action? Cool optics on display

What the world be like with true psychics?

Possible spoilers but fun: How many people would a Kaiju need to eat everyday?

How we think we would react to aliens tells us a lot about ourselves

Blast through Blade Runner in 60 seconds with stick figures

If you pick up a seashell and don’t hold it to your ear, you can probably still hear the ocean

You live in the past. For you, nothing is *now*. Unless you are The Flash

PSA: You can recreate Chewbacca’s voice on guitar

These guys can world-record speed run Half-Life 2, but honestly, that is one game I wouldn’t want to

XKCD making the killer skeptical point here: We’ve settled ghosts, Bigfoot, and UFOs

What is weight? No, really, what in physics’ name is it?

My favorite What If so far: How long would it take for the world to drain, and what would it look like?

 

GIFs and Images for 2-Seconds of Wow

Just some Flickr photos from an astronaut showing the toolbox on the ISS

I don’t want to scare you, but chemists know how to release the kraken

I wish I could have a dog made out of circuit boards

The Mississippi River is basically the US’s urethra

Any of these artsy science prints would be great for the inquisitive kid

I could see a kaiju emerging from this underground nuclear blast but are we all sure that Kaijus don’t spawn from the Grand Prismatic Spring?

North America has had way more suitors than I thought over the centuries, or so this GIF showed me

So cool: What is actually inside a golf ball?

Up realllly close, the tip of a ballpoint pen looks like a bleeding self-aware robot

I linked to a cool shot of a photographer with burning shoes on a lava flow. It’s fake…kinda

Internal combustion engine

Delphinapterus leucas bubble wizardas

In case you had a trade dispute with the Klingons: A massive map of Star Trek space

Our own Moon can look bizarre if you simply go around the back

The icy hand of old man winter indeed

The tentacles of youth

Atomic explosions have an odd beauty to them

An ash and lightning GIF you could watch all day

It makes you think it was evolved to blend into a bench

Holy wow. Every time I stumble on these 2D yet 3D drawings I am blown away

Elastic collisions with volleyballs and glass are saweet. Like a glass cannon

Physics: It works bitches

Remember that scene from The Thing where they test everyone’s blood? You can really do that, but with H2O2

Why do vulcanologists refer to “lava rope”? Because of this prettiness

Painting optical illusions onto people is visually pretty tiring

Perpetual snake motion machine is a high thread count bed sheet

With enough pictures of the moon landing, you can make it look 3D

You’ve had too much coffee today

From space, Peru looks like crushed paper in the most beautiful way

GIF of a cicada molting is a metaphor for the coming of age film, maybe

 

Other things happen too

The Anti-Vaccine Body Count is always a sobering reminder of pseudoscience’s true harm

The must-read background if you don’t see the harm in Jenny McCarthy and her positions on vaccines

Destabilizing the Jenny McCarthy Public-Health Industrial Complex

Sometimes the social media focus seems a bit trivial

An Open Letter to the Worst Waxwork Museum in America. It *owns* the uncanny valley, in a bad way

This webcomic shows exactly how I feel about writing some days (partly because it was based on me)

How to become an enlightened internet user

“Numerology is bogus, but art based on numbers has a beautiful random quality.”

When will we have the first leaf-cutter ant superPAC?

A bunch of jacketed hippies have a drum circle with exposed ice

I like to stay away from “look how weird this robot is” stuff, but, um….does it have to dance?

When someone showed that you can cook an egg in Death Valley, we responded by trying to cook ALL OF THEM

When Penn and Teller created the worst videogame ever

Kyle Hill About the Author: Kyle Hill is a freelance science writer and communicator who specializes in finding the secret science in your favorite fandom. Follow on Twitter @Sci_Phile.

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





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  1. 1. k banco 7:39 pm 07/22/2013

    where is week 28?

    Link to this
  2. 2. Kyle Hill in reply to Kyle Hill 12:40 am 07/23/2013

    Was traveling, had to combine two weeks together!

    Link to this

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