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I have dug through the Internet this week and uncovered all this science/pop culture goodness. You can find the hundreds of links from previous weeks here.

I had a big week. I had the week’s most popular post on Scientific American, which you can read here.

I have marked the best links with a. Enjoy.

Must Read

The Death of “Near Death”: Even If Heaven Is Real, You Aren’t Seeing It.

We know how it’s done but why is it so easy? Taking the Lift Out of Street Levitation With Physics! My latest for The James Randi Educational Foundation

Neil deGrasse Tyson keeps tweeting about the nonsense of the “2012 Apocalypse” and I keep Storifying it. It’s a fun game we play

“You should assume your readers are as smart as you are, as curious as you are, but they don’t know what you know

I learn two things from Carl Zimmer. 1. How to write awesomely. 2. The zombie-beat is fascinating

The Singularity is Pseudoscience (“A Rapture for nerds”) by Massimo Pigliucci. Wonderful skepticism here

Everything I fear succinctly put: The fish that learned how to kill on land (kinda) by Ed Yong

Does the new manual for diagnosing mental illness expand and contract without evidence to do so?  Great David Dobbs piece

Must See

 16 GIFs of chemical rxns to make you say “Wow, man, like…WOW.” #3 EXPLAINED

I love this: (an imperfect analogy to) “You just debunk things to make people look stupid!”

DO A BARREL ROLL! Blue whales orient themselves to feed and look like they ride roller coasters

 There is too much WOW in BuzzFeed’s best animal photos of 2012 to handle on a Saturday #1/13/22/27/30/38/44/47

 “Pale Blue Dot” makes me tear up *every* time. Now it’s reimagined. Based on this photo 

The Symphony of Science guys remixed Reading Rainbow, and it makes me smile a smile I haven’t smiled since…

Sometimes emergency contraception is needed. So here’s the science behind ‘Plan B’. Because it’s important to know

Lovely: Isaac Newton Vs. Rube Goldberg

Get your physics straight people! What you know about gravity is probably wrong


 The “fun fact” about being more likely to die on a b-day is actually a morbid infant mortality statistic by Ben Radford

The eggs were frozen at -72 °C for 3 weeks, exposed to UVB radiation for 10 hrs, had no oxygen for 7 days to no effect

This snail has a scaly foot and an iron shell, which is awesome

These caterpillars are *amphibious*. EVOLUTION!

A good overview of woo: The Top 10 Claims Made by Creationists to Counter Scientific Theories

NASA has released their best Earth as Art images as a free e-book!

For everyone’s breathless amazement at the “Black Marble” shot of Earth, I see an irreparably changed planet. It scares me.

What are the most common sperm movements? What does a single atom look like? The Best Scientific Figures of 2012

The 2nd best part of science is knowing, just for a while, something nobody else knows. The best part is sharing it.

It turns out that vaginal tightening products may be a bit of a stretch by Dr Rubidium #longreads

The initial chances of death in Russian Roulette are not 1/6. The weight of the bullet makes it more likely to be in the bottom chamber.

“Doctors’ sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually.”

I really like this quote about how evolution works:

Accident proposes, selection disposes.

“Occupied Time” and a fun psychology test at a train stop

Nerdy GIF of the two vortexes generated by the Airbus AC380’s first set of wings

 TEDx is trying to shape up, and you should too. Look out for the red flags of pseudoscience [Comic]

Go to this physics sim website and just hold down the mouse, you’re welcome

A critical look at the new manual for diagnosing mental illness by Vaughan Bell

“One or two people arguing a point (and often doing so primarily in the media) does not make a [scientific] debate.”

The longest dinosaurs were suitably gargantuan [Infographic]

Pop Culture

 *Awesome* skepticism here as TEDx tries to pull itself out of the mire of pseudoscience: An Open Letter on Bad Science

This Is the Worst Birthday Card You Could Possibly Buy a 13-Year-Old Girl

BioShock Infinite might be the most ambitious video game ever made—if it can live up to its creator’s expectations.

I archived my copious tweeting of last night’s Intelligence Squared debate on whether science has refuted God here. And added photos and video, if you are so inclined.

Reentering spacecraft heat up because they’re compressing the air in front of them like a giant anime fist, not because of air friction.

 Big believer that the most persuasive argument for same sex marriage is scrolling through these


This is what 100 years of shark attacks looks like [Infographic]

 If you like The Walking Dead, this is *by far* the best graphic you will see. Deaths, Kills, and Weapons [Infographic]

Another huh. In Terminator 2, you don’t see Arnold blink. once. I did not know that.

Huh. R2-D2 and C3PO were (kinda) in Indiana Jones

As a science ninja, I like to think that when I hit the “send” button I am throwing a shuriken of knowledge at your face.

A pound of dimes is worth exactly the same as a pound of quarters. This CHANGES everything ヽ(´ー`)ノ

 Your guide to understanding the introverted [Comic]

In the South, Dave Brubeck canceled 23 shows, costing him $40,000, because he refused to replace his black bassist (!)

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show A Hit Among People Who Don’t Know That Pornography Exists

Quick! Try it on a stranger!–If you lick someone’s elbow while they’re not paying attention they won’t feel it.

Wish your family a happy Trekmas with these holiday cards

This is a picture of a woman’s cornea with stitches in it. It’s beautiful. [Large image]

Naming stars, printing money, and nuking hurricanes in this week’s What If? | XKCD

Suggested common name: “Pissed off pokemon crab

Hanging around the comments on your own post after it goes up is like a thesis defense where sometimes a naked guy runs in for no reason.

Do you have a delicate relationship with your keyboard? The Oatmeal does.

The weirdest thing you will read today: Man With 2 Penises, Woman With 2 Vaginas Were the Sexiest Couple of the 1800s

If this world vital stats tracker is accurate, it’s flippin’ depressing

Aim towards the Enemy.” —Instruction printed on U.S. Rocket Launcher

Heh. It’s hard to tweet from a Faraday Cagematch | XKCD

Need a gag gift this Christmas? This site will send your family actual poop

30kg of LSD is enough to give every man, woman, and child in the US a wicked acid trip. #justsaying

This is a GIF set of astronauts falling on the moon

Look at the size of the shockwaves skimming the water in this photo of a US warship firing a full broadside. Awesome

Wow. What it is like to clean an entire elephant’s skin. Just the skin…

Serenity LEGO set is now a reality

Tweeps in this week’s roundup: @jref @neiltyson @carlzimmer @mpigliucci @edyong209 @david_dobbs @jtotheizzoe @veritasium @scifri @DrRubidium @sciencecomic @vaughanbell @IQ2US @saramayhew @oatmeal