There was so much good stuff this past week or two. Here's a round-up:
Seventh graders draw pictures of scientists. Then they meet some scientists. And draw new pictures.
And from Scientific American, is whaling really the biggest threat to whales?
Really fantastic article in The Guardian about Jane Goodall, who has now spent fifty years working with chimpanzees at Gombe.
A fascinating article in PLoS ONE shows how the people at Pompeii really died when Vesuvius exploded. And apparently, those at the eruption at Herculaneum died because their BRAINS BOILED!!!!!! (thanks to @tideliar for the Herculaneum link)
In the Boston Globe, psychological scientists weigh in on how people decide the details of their vacations. The things you think matter might not matter as much as you think!
Oliver Sacks has an article on the neuroscience of reading (which happens to be my other area of research), in The New Yorker. Personally, I find Sacks painful to read. But Mark Changizi, whose work on the origins of writing Sacks covers, describes his research quite wonderfully, and has collected some links for people who read Sacks's article.
Jesse Bering suggests one way that humans are unique: We masturbate. A lot. Carin Bondar isn't so sure. (Speaking of which, if you're a male, you might consider participating in this research study on male genital self-perceptions...from the comfort of your own home!)
My scibling Jonah Lehrer has a cool post on body games. Why are games like Dance, Dance Revolution and systems like Nintendo Wii so fun?
Your genes might be odd, but they're just the odds, says Razib of Gene Expression.
Razib also provides an excellent perspective on the issue of porn and moral panic.
Does national IQ depend on parasite infections? Well, they might be related. A good note of caution from Ed Yong - correlations give us interesting hypotheses, and they play an important role in scientific research, but they don't provide causal evidence. Carl Zimmer chimes in as well.
The evolution of the twitter hashtag. Hilarious article in The New Yorker.
PalMD's complaint about science journalism isn't anything new. But the comment thread is pretty interesting.
Is it possible that you missed Scienceblogs Zombie Day yesterday? Start here.
Editorial from Nature: When Blogs Make Sense.
Apparently, the presence of a cartoon character on food packaging changes the likelihood of kids' choosing that particular snack food. Pretty interesting.