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Hurricane Sandy Hints at the Perils of Global Catastrophe

It takes a lot to bump the United States election out of the national spotlight one week before election day. Hurricane Sandy was that big, a direct blow to the most heavily populated region of the country.

November 6, 2012 — Seth Baum

Small professional societies and open access

In the past, I have written about what I want as a user of information from tiny scholarly societies. This week, I'm thinking a lot about what I want as a member of a tiny scholarly society, the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS).GSIS is a very small scholarly society made up of librarians who work with geoscientists, mostly at academic institutions.GSIS is responsible for two major publications: the society newsletter and the more scholarly GSIS Proceedings .

November 6, 2012 — Bonnie Swoger

What's So Special about Mirror Neurons?

In the early 1990s, a team of neuroscientists at the University of Parma made a surprising discovery: Certain groups of neurons in the brains of macaque monkeys fired not only when a monkey performed an action – grabbing an apple out of a box, for instance – but also when the monkey watched someone else performing that action; and even when the monkey heard someone performing the action in another room.In short, even though these “mirror neurons” were part of the brain's motor system, they seemed to be correlated not with specific movements, but with specific goals.Over the next few decades, this “action understanding” theory of mirror neurons blossomed into a wide range of promising speculations.

November 6, 2012 — Ben Thomas

Learning the Language of Rivers II: The Basics

This post was originally published at En Tequila Es Verdad. For those who haven’t yet seen it – enjoy! ***The Marys River at Avery Park had me staring in incomprehension like a kid on the first day of a foreign language class.

November 6, 2012 — Dana Hunter

Flightless bats from the future

Image of the Week #67, November 6th, 2012: From: Giant flightless bats from the future by Darren Naish at Tetrapod Zoology .

November 6, 2012 — Bora Zivkovic

The Great Dinosaur Art Event of 2012

People have always wanted to know what extinct animals might have looked like when alive. Combine the science of anatomical and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction with the liberal amount of speculation involved in the imagining of animal soft tissues, behaviour and lifestyle, and you have the vibrant and ever popular field known as palaeoart (or paleoart).September saw the release of a large, visually spectacular, beautifully produced volume devoted entirely to palaeoart.

November 5, 2012 — Darren Naish

No rats in Ryder Alley

Last week, in the wake of superstorm Sandy, I saw a number of people asking questions on social media (and some traditional media picking up on it) about a potential for ratpocalypse, i.e,.

November 5, 2012 — Bora Zivkovic

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