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

I have marked the my favorite links with a. Enjoy.

Must Read

Arguing the semantics of eating brains: Why the Zombie Apocalypse Wouldn’t Happen

Meet the “perfect” virus you’ve probably had which makes you violently sick at both ends. By Carl Zimmer.

The pseudoscience of energy drinks, or how it’s all caffeine and expensive pee

My favorite effect in the cosmos: Gravitational Lensing is the Coolest

A story about the public health scourge that was leaded gasoline, and how we ignored it by Deborah Blum

 Amazing piece: The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death (except for the heat through the head myth)

On the purposely slow plod of science, and how it’s hard to accept when your little girl is sick by Virginia Hughes

Why our human ankles shouldn’t preclude us (or our ancestors) from taking to the trees by Ed Yong.

 “Most erections reach an internal pressure of 100 torr–comparable to a boa constrictor suffocating its prey.”

Must See

 My workshop from TAM2012 is finally up! An Introduction to Critical Thinking: Science and Skepticism 101

World’s most useless machine is also its most addictive

What it looks like when a polar bear wants to eat you

Deepak Chopra answers a physics professor asking why his explanation of quantum mechanics is so “misleading.” Great comments

The Leidenfrost Effect is definitely the coolest way to heat your water.Explained here.

 Motorbikes, Terrorism, Heart Attacks, Sausages: A great TEDx talk on chance and risk

This is what it would actually look like if you saw Superman zoom past you, and it is awesome

Cold winter, cuddle up with a cuttlefish video

Heh. True Facts About the Angler Fish

Rare amateur video of the Challenger shuttle disaster

The Scientific Hangover “Cure.” You’re welcome.

 I think I prefer fireworks in reverse

Here’s some video of a vomiting robot that scientists use re: the norovirus


A fun science demo you can do with your kids to prove that in space no one can hear you scream

Keep a spoon in champagne, if you like to think things that don’t work work

Is it OK to drink while pregnant? That’s hard to say, the science is complicated, but better safe than sorry

I am biased to love studies about bias: The “End of History Illusion”

 A bit of risk communication: What Should You Really Be Afraid Of? [Infographic]

Does true photographic memory exist? Meh

How long does it take to form a habit?

 Sick of leap seconds? Hit the Earth with 50,000 asteroids a second | XKCD

Alex Wild’s best sent-in photos of ’12 are beautiful. My favorites here and here

Bridging the Zap: High-voltage water threads, how do they work?

Screw alternative medicine, use circadian rhythms to beat jet lag!

Convection currents make your beer bubbles run down the glass. Get drunk and test it

 A skeptical take on skeptics of the BMI by Benjamin Radford

Why BMI is not a critique of body image. A response to the Skepchicks by Sara Mayhew.

Pop Culture

Turns out that (at least for subjects) holding a gun biases you into thinking others have guns too. Escalation anyone?

 What changes the mind of the activist who basically started the anti-GMO movement? “Discovering science.” Brave/welcome

As with “theory,” Brian Dunning importantly distinguishes between the various meanings of “consensus”

Soon, the Inuit will have 50 words for grass.

 *Hadouken facepalm* The 10 Dumbest Things Fox Said About Climate Change In 2012

I Can’t Stop Looking at All These 2012 Photos of Some Super-Cool Dude Named Barack Obama

Don’t trust the man behind the curtain. The best evidence clearly contradicts Dr. Oz. Consistently.

Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut–25 Handy Words That Don’t Exist in English

A doctor who sees the results of gun violence everyday breaks his silence


FACT: You do not want to get so drunk on a flight that you end up like this guy

Sure-fire way to alcohol poisoning: Drink each time you have to use air quotes while explaining “Ancient Aliens” to someone.

 HA. The medical bracelet that absolutely everyone needs

A quick lesson and reminder on confusing correlation with causation

A real study with a title and figure you won’t believe graces academia

William Shatner tweeted at an astronaut—and the astronaut responded with a Star Trek joke

This guy has some crazy-good intuitive physics. Sweet “gravity glue” art

I’ll let Peter Griffin make fun of chiropractors so I don’t have to

Have you ever seen young Christopher Walken and Scarlett Johansson in the same place at the same time? #justsaying

 In which an Army officer instructs soldiers on how to fight an invasion of giant ants. Great read by PZ Myers.

“Kicking the bucket” is more macabre than you think: it’s derived from kicking a bucket out from under you to hang yourself.

 What Facebook looks like for most people

Crazy creepy: ALIEN facehuggers made out of animal bones

Very nice: 2012 Told Through Twitter

 All the Batman actors morphed together (West/Bale/Clooney/Kilmer/Keaton) makes someone who *actually* looks like Wayne

Bill Nye capturing the essence of how I think about science

Find out what is directly on the other side of the Earth from where you are. If you’re in the US, you’re swimming

Every single person in the US is on this map as a dot

Efficient fishing? Catch a small shark to catch a larger shark

The spotted deer is amazing and I literally could not find the snipe: Awesome animal camouflage

Using behavioral conditioning to solve noise pollution with kamikaze animals | XKCD

Syphilis can basically give you monster teeth

 Well, this hits home.

Tweeps in this week’s linkfest: @saramayhew @carlzimmer @virginiahughes @edyong209 @Myrmecos @btradford @jtotheizzoe @BrianDunning @pzmyers @ChirurgeonsAppr @deborahblum