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Nerds and Words: Week 32

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

In the science communication sphere, the two big topics this week were Shark Week and Geek Week. A number of my colleagues covered the sharks, while I tried hard to geek out all week.

Shark Week Coverage:

My Geek Week Coverage:

What would you look like inside a spherical mirror? Like an acid trip

Time for “cautious optimism” as new malaria vaccine has 100% effectiveness in small trial

Catch a HUGE mako shark, open its stomach to find a whole sea lion head. Win-Win

How can a butterfly mimic itself? I must be at the nexus of the universe…

“There were two known methods by which animals could direct travel through the air. Now there are three

From the amazing camera of biologist and friend Phil Torres (@Phil_Torres): As a decoy-building spider, no better way to make a fake spider-leg than USING THE ACTUAL LEG OF AN INSECT. This is a leaf cutter ant fortress. Do you know who love yellow footed tortoises more than I do? Mosquitos, that’s who.

Mosquito mouth parts are actually like prehensile face-straws full of malaria!

We get so much use out of lab animals, but what is the most humane way to end their use?

It’s hard to lift a wet glass from a table because of a billion molecular bridges

Gluten: Defining a poorly defined fad

If hunger doesn’t kill you, it doesn’t make you stronger, new study

Do We Really Need a $380,000 Burger Grown in Petri Dishes?

Depth Perception & Death Prevention: Babies’ Visual Instinct

Why does your voice sound different when you hear it in a recording? Because of your vibrating skull

What it really looks like to leave Earth

How a sand storm can become even stronger by bumping into itself

After a stroke, Bond music sends man to “double-oh-heaven

In 1919, a 40-ft tall wave of molasses killed 21 people because of the physics of the fluid

I always feel like this, a temporary expert: Should We Write What We Know?

 

Nerdery at its Finest

A size comparison of everything still says you should fear the Reapers

The Gravity Gun: Awesome Half-Life 2 fan film

Some of the best superhero stories have already been written…by evolution

Screw BB guns, get a gauss gun that is like a magnetic strobe light that fires steel bolts

Based on YouTube, Batman is our favorite superhero

Live-action Wolverine vs. Predator video is probably better than all the X-Men films

How close are we to the Pacific Rim “Drift”? by Twitter buddy Dr. Pete Etchells. Also, some ubernerdery: The Ichnology of Pacific Rim

Adventure Time theme recreated in LEGO is so so good

Here are the reasons why Final Fantasy is dead

What would your perfect videogame say about you as a gamer?

How Close Are We to Elysium-Style Exosuits? Because I want to punch through ALL THE THINGS. Also, fellow Scientific American blogger David Biello talks with a neuroscientist and roboticist to find out about Elysium. (Also, don’t let him give a praying mantis a suit!)

If you think Magikarp is the weakest Pokemon, you are f***ing wrong [NSFW lang.]

Videogames vs. Real Life (Part II)

Achievement Unlocked: A whole blog dedicated to deciphering the language in XKCD’s “Time”

“Riker’s Beard” is a phrase with real utility, now use it everywhere

Ex-particle physicists make the worst biologists

 

GIFs and Images for 2-Seconds of Woah

Looking up at the Perseids, this Calvin and Hobbes is all the more poignant

There is always a bigger fish [Warning: Shark faces involved] (unless you are a whale shark, I suppose).

Dragsters have so much torque that their tire rubber bunches together! Here’s an explanation from a helpful Facebook friend:

Drag racing slicks are specifically designed to do this. They’re known as wrinkle-walls. The sidewall is designed to be super thin and is made of very flexible rubber. They also run very low tire pressures, allowing them to flatten the tread surface out providing a greater surface area of rubber contacting the track for enhanced traction. As the tire’s speed builds up centrifugal force stretches the sidewall out, making the tire grow in diameter and reduce in width. This allows for less rolling friction at high speed and the increase in height creates more top speed by effectively changing the gear ratio. Tire science FTW!

Hypersonic impact!

They certainly don’t make them like this anymore: Amazing chart of the electromagnetic spectrum from the 40s

Staring at lava too long

I take all my introversion tactics from this cuttelfish

I delved into this “Floor plan of the mind” for a good 10 minutes

Generic science statement about sunspots…OMGEEK SO BEAUTIFUL

This cuttelfish probably likes dubstep

WOW. In slow motion, some grenades expand like balloons before rupturing

Yes, nuclear reactors actually look like this

The best way to make a paper airplane

 

Other Stuff Happened Too!

“@RichardDawkins is the increasingly erratic comedy creation of a bored Oxford Professor called Richard Dawkins”

The best missed connection on Craigslist?

One second on the Internet is crazy, look

That astronomy class has made you suck at small talk

For two years, Congressional websites featured a “Flight of the Conchords” Easter egg

The building density in Tokyo is kinda crazy

I used to live in Shanghai, it has radically transformed in such a small amount of time

The MLB logo is depicting either a strike or a ball. The ball is too close to swing at and hit.

What is more likely, a conspiracy or a mistake? The Adam Lanza Death Certificate Conspiracy

Incredible, I never even knew: SeaWorld vs. the Whale That Killed Its Trainer

Photos illustrating the frustration and confinement of anxiety

Neil deGrasse Tyson answers your questions about COSMOS on Reddit

The infinitely falling pitch aural illusion

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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