Links, links, and more links. Lots of good stuff this week.


Brains and Beauty: a three-movement concerto was written inspired by a poem written by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, and set to images culled from the research of Hanna Damasio.

How does beer become whiskey? At the Guardian Science blog, Andy Connelly describes this delicious transformation.

Fascinating musings on comparative medicine from our friends over at the Dog Zombie. What is a wallaby?

Blog bff Scicurious writes about PCR - a technique that shouldn't work, but does.

In the NY Times, Carl Zimmer has probably the best run-down on the recent paper by E.O. Wilson and colleagues on kin selection and inclusive fitness. And an awesome photo by Alex Wild of Myrmecos fame!

Stemming from that eusociality paper my scibling David Sloane Wilson has an open letter to Richard Dawkins that is worth a read.

Jump behind the break for more!

Really cool video over at Science is Culture about triangles. I'll admit it: when I was in high school, I was definitely a geometry nerd.

At Everyday Biology, Peggy has an interesting essay on Women's Equality and Neurosexism.

Eyes are cool, the evolution of the eye is cool, and the evolution of the eye in beetles? Even cooler. Ed Yong explains.

The mere presence of women might be health benefits to men, according to an article in The Economist.

Chris Mooney interviews primatologist Richard Wrangham for his Point of Inquiry podcast.

An interesting paper from TICS: Sex-related variation in human behavior and the brain.

From Sciencedaily: How do flies set their cruising altitude?

Also from Sciencedaily: Brain gene expression changes when honeybees go the distance.

"A study just published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has found that only 23% of the population are without symptoms of personality disorder." So, really, who are the pathological ones? At Mind Hacks.

The Carnival of Evolution and the Circus of the Spineless rolled into town this week.

Whispering bats evolved to trick prey. From National Geographic.

The PLoGsters are hitting them outta the park:

Steve Silberman interviews Oliver Sacks.

John Rennie explains the physics behind the way karate masters break boards of concrete slabs with their hands.

Lindy Moyer discusses the hottest new health drink (that might give you cancer).

Also from Steve Silberman, A Renaissance of Wonder.

Obese pets and how we can help them, on Obesity Panacea.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how you can use the sound of angry bees to scare off elephants. Apparently, ants can do the same, at Not Exactly Rocket Science. Who knew elephants were such wimps?

The Science of Sexism: Eric M. Johnson (who I interviewed this week) has a killer post looking at evolutionary origins of sexism and sexual coercion and what we can do about it at the Intersection.

Animal rights groups face off over the status of some chimps who had been used for research. LA Times reports on this ethical question.

An article in Scientific American asks: How can Los Angeles adapt to coming climate change?

For all those who sat through Intro Psych or Sensation and Perception, wondering when this information would ever be useful for you, this is really cool: someone thinks his or her dog has unilateral neglect, and offers some anecdotal evidence.

Science Writing

You did notice the new blog networks launched at The Guardian, and at PLoS, this past week. Right?

Ed Yong muses on the changing topography of online science writing. The take-home message? We all have to step up our game.

I'm also excited to inform you that my recommendation of calling the PLoS bloggers PLoGsters seems to be catching on!

This year's advice for journalism students, from the Online Journalism Review.

Academia / Careerism

At Daytona State college, administrators are experimenting with making all textbooks available to students as downloadable e-books. Those who prefer the dead-tree version can still buy old school textbooks, or print out the PDFs, of course. While I appreciate and support the effort to make textbooks more affordable, I can't help but note that, myself, I will always prefer the dead-tree version of textbooks.

At Inside Higher Ed, Russ Olwell writes about what to do on sabbatical if you're not working on a book. I'm obviously nowhere near a sabbatical yet, but I find his thoughts useful anyway.

Over at LabSpaces, Doc Becca pleads with PIs: get a $%^&-ing lab website!

What is Twitter, asks Dr. M from Deep Sea News, and why do scientists need to use it?

The Chronicle offers up four steps to a memorable teaching statement.

In The Atlantic: Science is one of the most misunderstood professions in America.

From Rogue Neuron: A message to the sciencey elite: Step out of the lab and into the real world.

Awesome but not Science, Science Writing, or Academia

Lots of blue whales spotted recently off the coast of Southern California.

Also lurking in the waters off of LA: leopard sharks. Lots of 'em.

Namnezia ponders the pencil.

Stuff Geeka Likes. Now I totally want a Fitbit. Who wants to buy one for me?

How do search and rescue dogs find people?

Huge spatula and bacon skates. You'll have to follow the link to see what it means.

Speaking of bacon (and we usually are), Ferris Jabr sent me this: how to make bacon cups.

An LA blogger writes about what she learned from getting mugged. An important read.