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
Can mass hysteria now spread even faster because of Facebook? Great writing, interesting hypothesis.
∞ An Excerpt from the Mad Scientist’s Handbook: “In this chapter you will learn just how many Joules it takes to turn your enemies (or interns) into atomic mist.”
T. rex may be the poster dinosaur, but other species have done the scientific heavy lifting
∞ It may have been ignorance that killed Chris McCandless of “Into the Wild”…and a deadly neurotoxin
Regarding Beijing, some experts say, “I would rather breathe the air at the World Trade Center.”
A sweeping, fascinating article on how evolution (quite visibly) takes the path of least resistance
Scanning the skies for the ruins of alien civilizations. But will we know them if we see them?
∞ Absolutely fascinating: How traffic is a giant experiment in human psychology and engineering
Lightning rods aren’t exactly impervious to lightning
Couldn’t agree more: In Defense of the Blobfish
Grab your bongos, The Feynman Lectures on Physics are now free online
With a special kind of photography, you can see shock waves as they happen. Pretty amazing
What amazes me about insect gears isn’t that it has them, but that evolution totally beat us to the engineering punch
We nailed it! Interstellar space does sound like theremins!
∞ What happens if you take astrology seriously? “Astrology breaks up human life into less possible variations than for a 2x2x2 Rubik’s Cube.” It’s absurd.
Beach erosion and the isopod housing crisis. How could you harm that cute face?
∞ Last year, I read one of my now favorite longreads on chemical weapon disposal. Seems poignant now: The Deadliest Catch
Our “normal” solar system is not at all normal, thanks to exoplanet discoveries
“Predators learn to see through incredible camouflage” is a cool study, not a way Arnold can kill Predator cleverly
∞ I have the science behind, I guarantee, the best photos you’ll see today
Thinking about candles lately, there’s still more to them. The smoke has ions, we can prove it
PIIIIGGGSS INNNN SPPAACCEE: How NASA wants to take the farm into orbit
Do you really remember 9/11? The memory may seem vivid and exact, but it’s probably not
∞ Great piece on the ridiculous numbers at work in migratory beekeeping
Drowning in Hoaxes: Insights into the Personalities of Conspiracy Theorists
What do you find nearly kilometer down in a cave system? Translucent snails!
∞ How to get out from the shadow of a spy who was also a legendary finder of frogs
How many helium tanks and what size balloon do I need to survive a free fall?
No. Artcic sea has NOT increased 60% in the last year
Mercenaries with chemical weapons protect farmers against raiders. Oh, and they’re all ants
∞ A physics experiment that left sciencey YouTubers scratching their heads: Which block goes higher?
The monuments we love don’t just show our history, but the cosmos’
Why “The Big Bang” was neither a bang nor a good term for what actually happened
What will our last words in the universe be? What were our first?
∞ I so hope this becomes a thing: Playing animal decomposition videos in reverse
Reviewing the science of Moby Dick. Are we actually any closer to understanding whales’ mysteries?
Nerdery at its Finest
Love the reversal here: Are male cosplayers just fake geeks?
Snake oil or Superfood? A visualization of the scientific evidence behind commonly touted “superfoods”
Hmmmm. Did Star Trek Into Darkness writers insert 9/11 Truther elements into the movie?
This artist has been painting petri dishes everyday for 9 months. I don’t want her to stop
If you want to survive a lightning strike, don Michael Faraday’s suit, or something like that
∞ Manga art for ocean outreach. Lovely
You are stardust: An inspiring bit of CG
Have you ever seen an x-ray of a person drinking? How about putting a hook through their nose and mouth?
Get some lycopodium powder, a 50 Hz speaker, and a macro lens. Prepare to be amazed
GIFs and Images for 2-Seconds of WOW
If even 1 ton is above this train wheel, the contact point experiences 30% the pressure in the Mariana Trench
∞ Yes, now you have to check all your old books for secret paintings
Yessss, make turbo turtles!
That thing where whatever kickass engineering project you are doing snaps metal like chalk
“Inebriate of air am I, And debauchee of dew, Reeling, through endless summer days, From inns of molten blue”
“Good evening,” said the Madagascar leaf-tailed gecko to his eye
Geologists must now treat all quartz with titanium
∞ A tilt-shift camera can give you a false-miniature effect. It can also make a rocket launch look incredible
Pretty sure a deep-sea submarine voyage would absolutely blow a stoner’s mind
∞ Seriously, I could watch a bait ball ALL DAY
A C-17 releases flares, which then betray the fluid dynamics trailing behind the craft
Pretty sure this GIF solves a ton of problems in physics textbooks
If only you could watch a match work in slo-mo…
Pop Culture Happenings
∞ “If I believed in a pissed-off dude in heaven with a lightning-bolt gun, I wouldn’t want to anger him or her either.”
Airplanes don’t dump waste, turbulence won’t kill you, and other tidbits from “Cockpit Confidential”
Have to agree with XKCD here (it’s just like having no “single page” option for longreads)
Play Portal 2 with your kids. Seriously, it’s great
Some oddball reasons why you aren’t dead, from cows to window screens
Something to think about: The ethical quandaries of photographing insects
DC’s explanation of why Batwoman can’t get married is nonsense
∞ Some amazing technology here: This girl ages into an old woman before your eyes without you noticing
Sometimes the only way to debunk “qi” pseudoscience is to punch an old man in the face
This is a list of unproven cancer treatments. Be aware, there are charlatans about
On Twitter, I also tried my hand at some sci-fi (very) short stories, which I have reproduced below.
It wasn’t the glint of the creature’s teeth that scared her, it was the hand. She hadn’t seen the wires that now ran away from the tattered wrist it since she assembled it years ago.
Without a sound, Number 19 was at the creature’s throat. Grisly and efficient. A twist of Number 19’s fingers split the creature’s spine. Number 19 leaned down to retrieve the hand, helped her to her feet. Wires re-twisted themselves.
“Such fragile beings,” she said, now standing.
The two headed towards the next human settlement.
“You should reload,” she whispered, flicking switches burned into memory.
“I can handle myself.” His breath wavered.
A yellow glow carried a shadow across her fear-stricken face. Anywhere else she would wonder if they were tungsten. The pale light only lit her ammunition counter: 0017
With a hand signal he know to stay back. She always took point, but they never ran a search-and destroy sim on their own ship. She turned the corner. The blaring siren almost muffled what she heard next, but not enough:
In a millisecond the beam past through her and into the hull. Her mind clawed at darkness. “Duncan?” she rasped as her atoms dispersed.
Can you tell I’ve been reading DUNE?
Secrets of the Universe: Past, Present, FutureX