Blog of the Week:
Kristina Killgrove (Twitter) is a bioarchaeologist. Her blog Powered By Osteons covers a wide spectrum of topics on archaeology, bioanthropology, and the classical world. But what it has the most, and is most exciting, are bones. Lots of bones. Human bones. Skulls and femurs and pelvises and what we can learn about the past from studying them.
Satisfying Curiosity: preparing for the Mars landing by John Rennie:
...All the Mars rovers so far, from the trailblazing Sojourner to the overachieving twins Spirit and Opportunity, have been extraordinary exploratory robots, but Curiosity represents an ambitious new extreme. Most obviously, it’s much bigger: Curiosity weighs almost a ton and is the size of a small car, whereas Spirit and Opportunity were half as long and a fifth as massive and Sojourner was not much bigger than a large cat....
Muscles and the Lactic Acid Myth by Larry Moran:
...It's all a myth. Lactic acid has nothing to do with acidosis (the buildup of acid in the muscles). In fact, it's not even clear that acidosis is the problem, but let's deal with that another time....
Is a PhD required for good science writing? by Emily Willingham:
.....In fact, as someone who has a PhD in science but has been a writer longer than I've been a scientist, I'd argue that it might be better not to have specific training in science if you're reaching for an audience of nonscientists, depending on what your goal as a writer is. If your goal is to tell a great science story that keeps the nonscientist reading and thinking, "wow" or "I get it," then scientific training might be an anti-requisite. If your target is critique and analysis of science, then scientific training could be quite useful as long as you don't let your deep background blind you to what your readers might not understand as well as you.....
What Grown-Ups Can Learn From Kids' Books by Maria Konnikova:
....The little prince isn't alone in carrying insights that are lost on a child. What of Alice in her wonderland and mirrored adventures? Alice's story may have been born from a tale told to children one lazy afternoon, but it became much more: a deep philosophical meditation....
Even now, there are those who claim that the long-jump record of 8.9 meters that Bob Beamon set in 1968 was so crazy awesome because he accomplished it in Mexico City, which is almost 8,000 feet above sea level. The argument is that the air is thinner, and so there is less air resistance, and Mexico City is further from the center of the earth, and so the gravitational forces are smaller. Does any of this have any impact? And if so, does it really matter?...
Is corn the new milk? Evolutionarily speaking, that is. by Jeremy Yoder:
It is a widespread misconception that, as we developed the technology to reshape our environment to our preferences, human beings neutralized the power of natural selection. Quite the opposite is true: some of the best-known examples of recent evolutionary change in humans are attributable to technology. People who colonized high-altitude environments were selected for tolerance of low-oxygen conditions in the high Himalayas and Andes; populations that have historically raised cattle for milk evolved the ability to digest milk sugars as adults....
In the Bronx, Rights Get Fuzzy by Cassie Rodenberg:
I’ve been working with photographer Chris Arnade to document stories in Hunts Point, Bronx and often-ignored areas of New York City. Over the course of the last year, we have noticed the impact the city’s Stop and Frisk policy has on the neighborhood. Recently, we made the decision to start documenting that in action should we see it. This Sunday, we did:...
What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory? by Maggie Koerth-Baker:
I've mentioned here before that I went to fundamentalist Christian schools from grade 8 through grade 11. I learned high school biology from a Bob Jones University textbook, watched videos of Ken Ham talking about cryptozoology as extra credit assignments, and my mental database of American history probably includes way more information about great revival movements than yours does. In my experience, when the schools I went to followed actual facts, they did a good job in education. Small class sizes, lots of hands-on, lots of writing, and lots of time spent teaching to learn rather than teaching to a standardized test. But when they decided that the facts were ungodly, things went to crazytown pretty damn quick....
Stop Calling Sherlock a Sociopath! Thanks, a Psychologist. by Maria Konnikova:
I’d like to get something off my chest. It’s been bugging me for a very, very long time. Sherlock Holmes is not a sociopath. He is not even a “high-functioning sociopath,” as the otherwise truly excellent BBC Sherlock has styled him (I take the words straight from Benedict Cumberbatch’s mouth). There. I’ve said it...
In writing my previous post on The Murderer Invisible, I started thinking again about the relationship between something being “transparent” and something being truly “invisible”. Most of us can appreciate that, under the right circumstances, a transparent object like a glass window can be very hard to see, but most of us also appreciate that glass is not even close to fitting the popular perception of invisibility. In fact, though we encounter plenty of transparent things in nature, we don’t encounter invisible things....
Special topic: Curiosity:
Mars needs rovers! (and it just got a big one) by Matthew Francis
What Curiosity Will and Won’t Teach Us About Martian Life by Jeffrey L. Bada
How Did We Get That Incredible Photo of Curiosity's Descent on Mars? by Alexis Madrigal
Me and Curiosity by Taylor Kubota
"Curiosity" Driven Science by Larry Moran
Long day at the office as scientists get in sync with Mars by Bridie Smith
Curiosity’s first color photo of Mars is only its second-most exciting photograph yet by Robert T. Gonzalez
Meanwhile in Mars…. by Shibin Dinesh
Curiosity Rover: Driving Lessons on Mars by Tamara Krinsky
See what it's like to be a flight controller for Curiosity by Ruth Suehle
SCUBA Diving through the Endless Martian Desert by Thomas Hayden
Poet Laureates of Mars: Meet the NASA Team Behind Curiosity’s Twitter by Benjamin Soloway
Mars orbiter catches Curiosity by the tail by Eric Hand
Curiosity Rover's Home on Mars: A Powers-of-Ten Visual Explainer by Alexis Madrigal
Classic Scientific Illustrations by Ian Wang
Stickleback by Simone
The only existing video footage of Mark Twain, as filmed by Thomas Edison by Robert T. Gonzalez
3D-printed exoskeleton gives a little girl use of her arms by Sean Ludwig
Curiosity's Descent by JPLnews
Fred Guterl by The Daily Show
Forget Wireless Keyboards and Touch Your Plant Instead by Katie Pratt
The Scienceline music video awards by Kelly Slivka
How Math Comes to Mind: Intuition, Visualization, and Teaching by Stanislas Dehaene and Steven Strogatz
High Speed Video of Flipping Cats by destinws2
Mark Achtman on Plague Genetics by Michelle Ziegler
Superbug Summer Books: THE POWER OF HABIT by Maryn McKenna
Olympic Greatness: Biology or Motivation? by Melanie Tannenbaum
Backpacking Lizards For Science: Radio-Tracking Puerto Rican Anoles by Jonathan Losos
Will Climate Doubt Dry Up with the Drought? by Bob Deans
Undead: The Rabies Virus Remains a Medical Mystery by Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik
In Antarctica, Dreaming of Mars by Alexander Kumar
Stress Is a Real Killer—for Dragonflies by Douglas Main
Award-winning teacher Michael Lampert: WHY I LOVE SCIENCE by Casey Rentz
The Largest Waves in the Sea Aren’t at the Beach by Kim Martini
Plants with Personality by Emily Anthes
What's up with social psychology? by Thom Baguley
The Molecular Olympics by Stuart Cantrill
Free online tool helps identify bat calls by Mark Kinver
Historiography of the Market for Health by Jaipreet Virdi
Sleep research reveals keys to health by Lydialyle Gibson
Olympic Diving Physics by Paige Brown
Explaining Risk: Know Your Aristotle by Trisha Greenhalgh
Species Traits and Community Assembly by Jacquelyn Gill
A Cult of Quantity by Will
Nope, these birds are not lesbians by Annalee Newitz
The Spruce Street Swamps by David H.
Psychology and Its Discontents by Carol Tavris
Ehux: The Little Eukaryote with a Big History by Jaime E. Zlamal
A New Generation of “Digital Ornithologists” by Abby McBride
What Lurks In Logs by Carl Zimmer
The Sham Ph.D. by Dave G Mumby
In Defense of Algebra by Nicholas Warner
Fear of a Black Hole by Matthew Francis
Skeletons in the Closet by Heather Pringle
TGIPF: Slug Sex Redux by Cassandra Willyard
Anorexia nervosa, neurobiology, and family-based treatment by Harriet Brown
Ten clues to the modern poisoner by Deborah Blum
Cheetah Sets New Land Speed Record, Beats Bolt by 4 Seconds by Tanya Lewis
Science settles some decades-old debates about the best way to swim by Michael Ann Dobbs
Seven climate-change diseases to ruin your day by James West
Stiletto snakes by Andrew Durso
Media, Publishing, Technology and Society:
Scientific Communication As Sequential Art by Bret Victor
How to Write a Malcolm Gladwell Book by Zach Weiner
Oracles, Big Answers, & Pop Sci’s Neglect of Mystery by David Dobbs
Journalism at the speed of bytes – a timely report by Lawrie Zion
Advice and examples on how and what journalists should tweet by Steve Buttry
PeerJ: are we reinventing the wheel? by Eduardo Santos
Whither Science Publishing? by Bob Grant
Downgrading Facebook. Tech Abandoner? Or Rational Lifestyle Choice? by Haydn Shaughnessy
Security Questions: The Biggest Joke in Online Identity Verification by Rebecca J. Rosen
All in a Single String by Maria Konnikova
Who's That Woman In The Twitter Bot Profile? by Jason Feifer
Social Media for the Physiologist – A Modern Utopia or a Brave New World? by Dr. Isis with contributions from Danielle Lee, Pascale Lane, and Kristy Meyer
Enter an Elevator with Confidence by Heather R.
The Future of the Internet is…a la Carte by Matt Shipman
If #Google Plus is “Deserted” I Hope It Stays That Way by Tinu Abayomi-Paul
The false-balance trap by Paul Raeburn
Cheating in Online Courses by Dan Ariely
There’s only one truly open platform — the web by Mathew Ingram
The balance trap by Natasha Loder
Knit Together by Mindy Weisberger
Blogs of the Week so far: