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Nerds and Words: Week 45

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

A depressingly poignant comic about an ex-rhino

Really clear Washington Post infographic on the path of the Chelyabinsk meteor

Is MSG really dangerous—or just a victim of bad PR?

You are made of waste. But don’t worry, so is everything else.

The Math Trick Behind MP3s, JPEGs, and Homer Simpson’s Face

Amphibious snake robot moves so fluidly, organically in water that it is bound to freak you out with how cool it is

How does Thor fly? Why can’t anyone pick up his hammer? Short answer: HE’S THOR. Long answer: Science!

There are no known instances in which anyone has been injured by space debris…but look out anyway

Profile of the high-profile climate denier, funded completely by industry, who is making waves in Washington

It’s like a brain-machine interface, but replace “brain” with “bladder”. And rats

The “great uncle” of the T. rex was still pretty cool, unsurprisingly

Out of 33 examples of fossilized or preserved insect sex, this one is the oldest!

An optical illusion is causing dentists to drill oversized holes in your face

The Chelyabinsk meteor was moving at Mach 50!

“One of my goals in life, is to make biology look like astrophysics.”

The Top 6 Reasons Why This Infographic is Just Wrong Enough to Sound Convincing

I love old illustrations like this: Anatomy of the horseshoe crab

Really sobering interactive from National Geographic: What if all the ice melted?

Is science really “broken”? Can we fix it? Some thoughts

That’s how you color images of space

This is what climate change looks like: Beautiful but retreating glaciers

An 8-bit Pop-Tart cat moves twice as fast as the fastest jet ever created because it goes to the bathroom on the moon

Neil deGrasse Tyson answers all the big questions: How to blow up a planet like the Death Star

Nice NPR video that explores the universe of microbes that lives within you

“This blue whale skull has been here since it got hit by a ship in 1985, and it’s still leaking.”

Herbal supplements: On the whole, stay away, too much uncertainty

Electricians explain how one Canadian saw this crazy electric fireball

A collection of great images from the hybrid solar eclipse you probably missed

In a lot of cases, you are more than a single genome. You are fragments and copies and mutations, even in your brain

That time when the military tried to weaponize bats

One of the world’s first underwater nuclear tests, re-colored

 

Nerdery, Geekdom

Every successful superhero movie needs a stupid-long death scene. Add dubstep to pass the time

xkcd makes news headlines more fun. E.g., “2014 eating contest to test some elf-lord incumbents.”

Former Klingon general elected to NY town board

Fanatic editors kill Jar Jar Binks in a Phantom Menace deleted scene

A Guide to Star Trek Economics

Stan Lee rants about how Superman needs to make more sense, even in a comic universe

Scientifically, you don’t get the joke

Lovely, nerdy GIF: NES facts

The fastest lawn mower running 24/7 could keep one adult male cougar’s home range neatly trimmed

One illustrated haiku for each episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If you have $160 to drop, drop it on a custom Voltron hoodie

Ohhhhh, there was symbolism in Return of the Jedi

Does the Obsessive ‘Adventure Time’ Fandom Overlook the Depths of Pendleton Ward’s Cartoon Network Hit?

Daryl wasn’t always the zombie marksman that he is today

Get your Star Wars aficionado the Death Star Owner’s Manual

Exactly: Too ​Many Choices Of The Past Gaming Era Weren’t Choices At All

In which Benedict Cumberbatch freaks out Harrison Ford with how good his Chewbacca impression is

For his latest creation, Man At Arms crafts Thor’s hammer, smashes stuff

This would be the first thing I did in a Power Rangers outfit

Stolen passwords and their hints=the best crossword ever

FYI Fallout fans: “Cazadores” do exist, they’re called tarantula hawk wasps

 

GIFs and Images to Make You Wow

The jawfish mimics an octopus that is mimicking a fish and behaves like a 9th arm.

Seeing a skull 3D printed is like watching an MRI GIF in three dimensions. That is to say, awesome

A picture of typhoon Haiyan heading towards the Philippines

These lines look like they are going back and forth, but they really are just changing length..or are they rotating?

An aircraft carrier moving through open water is like one big fluid dynamics demonstration

A horribly dark version of Super Mario that I kinda like

By my math, at the top of this arc, this orca has double the potential energy of a mini-van at highway speed

Pretty women right? Turn them right side up. Works for men too, still shows you that your brain creates reality

This robot has a 100% win record in rock, paper, scissors, because it cheats

Sculpting a lava flow underwater

The most fun (and somewhat dangerous) way to take out your anger at the Asian carp?

So, have you ever wondered how many posters get put on concrete pillars?

If you were looking through the right camera, this helicopter flies via sorcery

What ants make horror movies about. This is not an ant.

I love watching this. Look how it turns the head and ears to zero-in on the prey before leaping face first into snow!

Incredible (and very graphic): Stabilized footage of the Kennedy assassination

Stabilized Patterson-Gimlin footage makes it look even more like a guy in a suit

WWII cat: Stop doing war pleaze

Otters really try to keep their hands untangled (or dry?) when rolling themselves in kelp

Our cousins like Fall too

Note to self: Put hydrophobic coating on body and then swim, see what happens

A hummingbird hawk moth earns its name

 

Pop Culture Happenings

I love modern hobbies: Video of kid who can speak backwards almost perfectly

Fantastic! 1,000 Hong Kong kids form a giant shark on beach, taking a stand against city’s fin trade

Old, but necessary viewing: Artists who take it upon themselves to accurately color historical photographs

This sums up everything I think about Twitter

The Massive Map of Hip-Hop Monikers. A mos def-initive chart

This is the coolest thing you’ll see today: Homemade jet pack rockets inventor around like Tony Stark

The secret to making a rock-climbing robot? 750 grippers per arm

Wonderful, newly discovered subreddit: Full Movie GIFs

Amazing photo journal of an icebreaker at the North Pole

Portraits Of The World’s Remotest Tribes Before They Pass Away

”Any story that starts out with someone on a hunt for Sasquatch, we probably have problems from the get go.”

In an African desert there lies an amazing memorial that you’d never see. Enter Google Earth

Sometimes, a technology comes along that blows my mind, this is one of those times

Why have zombie stories become so popular in the past 10-15 years? A pretty good answer.

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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