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Nerds and Words: Week 44

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, Watch

Why “Kill It With Fire” Is a Terrible, Terrible Idea

Cyamid amphipods: Turning whale skin into the Grand Canyon since…well, since evolution

Buried alive, you’d get about 5 hours of air in a coffin. But at least you’d go unconscious before suffocating!

When a bullet lodged in the brain makes for a beautiful MRI

Huh. Watching the fluid dynamics of simulated pee is pretty fun

The layers of beauty hidden in butterfly *scales*

What does a million lines of code actually look like?

Darwin, the dad, let his kid doodle on his Origin of Species manuscript

Why we get scared too fast to consciously react

Every cloud has a silver lining. Except mushroom clouds. That lining is thorium

Why are zombies so creepy looking? The eyes

Time travel sounds cool, but know that you are doing it right now!

Quetzalcoatlus had the head of a stork, except instead of delivering babies it delivered death”

Getting mass, the physical concept, straight

What would happen if all the world’s water was suddenly, chemically, “heavy”? A wonderfully nerdy analysis

Amazing what science can do: 3 photos of people posing with their own hearts

What’s bad for the oarfish is great for the scientist who wants to learn about the mysterious fish

NASA releases 8 never-before-seen space images. Of course, they’re incredible

In 50-100 years, dead people on Facebook will outnumber the living. And we will have to learn how to mourn digitally

What Ender’s Game Gets Right About Communicating With Aliens. Even if a lion could speak English…

Using computers to simulate how an 80-ton dino once walked. (But I don’t buy that it picked up 2 legs at a time…)

“If uncertainty makes you feel icky, it’s probably best to step away from WebMD and try a real MD”

Where is the SARS reservoir? Bats, probably

Hot water freezes faster than cold water because of expanded hydrogen bonds. Mystery solved!

The terrifying jewel wasp proves that reality is scarier than fiction

Did evolution put snake-fearing neurons in your brain? Maybe

Mermaids can’t exist because they would freeze to death

Look in the back of a reindeer’s eye, and what color you see depends on the season. Also squishiness

“When you search for it online, the truth may turn out to be whatever you need it to be.” On zombies and bias

Your favorite animals are jerks, but that’s because we (mistakenly) think about animal morality in our own terms

“Bunny rabbits and butterflies could be very cool for young aliens from all corners of the galaxy”

Setting the record straight: Debunking ALL the flu vaccine myths

What happens if you are traveling close to light speed and you turn on a light? Head. Hurts.

How we conquered smallpox. The story is a lot messier than I learned.

Really cool: Watch a wave in the Earth’s surface propagate across the US

This is how a tick bites you. Like a small Ahab harpooning a whale (you).

“Most of the people you are descended from are no more genetically related to you than strangers are.”

One man had more impact on our atmosphere than any single organism, and he is just a speck in time

Why Do I Study Physics? A fantastic animation as a graduation project

Fertilizer saves millions of lives, but it also lingers to cause damage long after we are gone

Scientists are working on a material that could save you from Predator (or an actual predator)

How a mental/physical quirk scared the hell out of us: The strange history of the Ouija Board

Thank you for showing me a spider with Cthulhu on its back

 

Nerdery at its Finest

Love this: Portraits of Cosplay Enthusiasts in their Homes

“I am vengeance! I am the night! I am…whatever.” Illustrations of the X-Men and Bat-family as hipsters

Ebola, use hemorrhage! FBI biosecurity Pokemon cards

The terrifying truth of Portal’s “companion cubes”

Those who picked Charmander struggled early game, but was it worth it? On that delayed gratification

The best way to secure your computer? Use physics to make light that only you can see

The Song of Storms: How you learn it makes no freaking sense

You guys, custom Firefly LEGOs. Serenity is 7-feet long

You guys, we are so close to Star Wars speeder bikes

The terrible Tidus laugh from FFX makes The Big Bang Theory seem like a terrible show

A list of 250+ Star Wars books in chronological order according to the canon, in case you need it

Nerds, this will be your favorite website today: Scroll Down to Riker

You can all stay home, Steampunk Cyborg Frankenstein wins Halloween

 

GIFs and Images for Some Wow

Put a banana flower in an MRI and you get something like biological fireworks

This parakeet has bilateral gonadromorphism. It’s a boy and a girl!

The elephant trunk snake has “baggy” skin and sharp scale, all the better to hold prey with

Purposely try to get your cat’s eyes to dilate, it’s awesome.

The power of artificial selection: Chihuahuas and Great Danes

You can vaporize a metal screw by using it like a resistor

This dog shaking itself dry is particularly mesmerizing

Remember, spiders are more afraid of you than you are of…BLARGH GET IT OFF ME

Good use for larvae number 987: Post-It note chestbursters

I really like this for some reason: Reversed aircraft carrier

They say not to stare at the sun, but in this case you probably should

Shoot a fake zombie head with a .50 caliber incendiary round? Sure, it’s Hallow…JEEZ

The Confederations Bridge in New Brunswick, Canada is to ice what a cheese grater is to cheese

Drills. can. drill. squares?

Do you think the owl monkey evolved to use its eyes at all?

In 1901, being a railway engineer was kinda like Lincoln Logs

It’s unbelievable that we don’t break our hands when trying to break cinder blocks with them

Finally a scientific illustration that makes sense!

We can all agree that Ohio State has the best/nerdiest marching band, right?

Pretty sure this hybrid animal would take over the planet

Striking gold in the digital age

The Great Salt Desert of Iran

 

Pop Culture Happenings

How World War Z should have ended. Exactly!

Ghost hunters believe “The cake is a lie” scrawled on a chalk board is a spirit. Due. Diligence.

Wow. Nikon releases another round of spectacular microscopic photography. Did you see them all?

Can’t stop looking at this GIF set of before and after Photoshop celebrities. And you *must* go through them all…

The Simpsons all have four fingers, so why isn’t their world base 8? There’s a fascinating reason

How do we know aliens don’t visit us? Because of the Chelyabinsk meteor

Anatomy nerds will want to pick up this (super expensive) book, a translation of a 16th century foundational text

Next flight: Use an iPad while typing on a laptop while talking on a phone while putting batteries in a Walkman

David Attenborough narrates the twerking ritual of Miley Cyrus

No, one mile of highway for every five DOES NOT have to be straight in case it needs to be a landing strip

xkcd is absolutely brilliant here: 20th Century Headlines Rewritten for More Clicks

My latest sci-fi shorts: “Eaten“, “Friends“,  “Reflection

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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