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Overthinking It

Overthinking It

Thinking way too hard about science and pop-culture

Nerds and Words: Week 29

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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 d?j? 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

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