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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.

It was a huge week for me. In an article on Scientific American, I used physics to try and save one of my favorite characters from Firefly. Nathan Fillion (Capt. Malcolm Reynolds) then said it was his favorite fanboy rant to date! His endorsement made the piece the most popular of the week on Scientific American. The piece was also featured in Wired, with a few more calculations and pictures.

I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.

Must Read

Saving Lives in Serenity: Can a Fanboy and Physics Change a Movie?


Drawing by Sara E. Mayhew

The White House’s response to a petition to build the Death Star is beyond perfect

The horror that is what the Jewel Wasp does to cockroaches

 What a great read: Awakening: The Dark Side of Anesthesia. Well written, riveting, good review of the science

On The Origin of Venom

Must See

Do you want to see the earth completely swallow a car? Of course you do

Vi Hart is a symmetry wizard. She can make “sphereflakes”

 I think Schwarzenegger makes a much better Darth Vader. Don’t you?

Hey, footage of a ridiculously close sweep of the Moon is pretty sweet

The winners of the 2012 Nat. Geo. photo contest are as you suspect: amazing

 This guy can *easily* steal just about anything off you

Animals with misleading names [Comic] “The horny toad only likes you as a friend.”

Sagan just blew my mind explaining the 4th dimension to me. Better explanation than others I’ve seen

“KILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY”–This is what happens when your killstreak is too damn high.

DOLPHIN STAMPEDE! What more could you want?


I really enjoyed this piece in the Lancet, “Mangling the Dead.” Well written and macabre.

A video explaining why a chimp could lift 16 people over its head

 Amazing how effective inserting someone’s poop into your colon is…and we’re getting better at it.

If you take the first 100 billion decimals of pi in base 4 and graph it, you get this lovely bit of sci-art

What that study supposedly showing the “benefit” of some extra fat really says

“An antelope falls in a forest and there’s no one around to hear it. But there are plenty of things that will eat it.”

A poem about wind farms, fog, and climate change

Turns out that humanity won’t be obliterated in 2036. Yay!

Why Do Dogs Sniff Crotches?

How do you test an evolutionary hypothesis about wrinkled fingers? Soak people’s hands and have them grip marbles

Here lies…everyone | XKCD

This cardboard cockroach is the fastest robot in the world

The winners of Olympus’ “Bioscapes” competition are woah

 A comic on reconnecting the math and rigor of science with its beauty

It’s official: we’re on track for getting f***** by the climate

Sugar free gum may only help fight cavities by accident

Pop Culture

A great concert from David Byrne and St. Vincent

 Brilliant–“Listen, it’s my God-given right to have the freedom to own a gorilla to protect myself

Jon Stewart: Scapegoat Hunter

Rape visualized is very. very. depressing. With a critique of the chart here

 Jon Stewart on gun control might be the best I’ve ever seen him

The Blessings of Atheism–NYT opinion

Mentally Ill Man Not In Mood to Gun Down Strangers, But Glad To Know That Option There If Needed


Someone should really shave this sheep. Artificial selection at work

Get your anatomy painted right on your skin to awesome effect

This is one hell of a magic trick

The greatest piece of art ever? Sagan riding a velociraptor wielding a lightsaber

Jeez, the showers in Canada sound really uncomfortable

A combination of “electro” and “execute,” someone is only “electrocuted” if they die. If they don’t, they were merely shocked.

 The zenith of cute–This jumping red panda may be the cutest GIF you see today

Watching how the CG effects in The Avengers was done was impressive

Woah. Freak Australian dust storm looks like the invading Independence Day aliens

“Point-blank range” does not mean “as close as possible,” but the range it takes to hit a target without aiming higher or lower than it.

The deleted scene in which Marty McFly worries that hitting on his mom could “screw him up permanently,” you know “gay”

I have changed my perspective on eating entirely. It’s so metal.

WOW–The Best Aerial Image of NYC You’ll Ever See

Career Spider Not Sure She’s Ready For 3,000 Children At This Point

I am stressed out today. Watching flowers bloom in glorious time-lapse helped

“Hey, I thought this was about physics” | XKCD

Good lord you didn’t want to have bladder stone surgery in the 1800s

This is a photo of a teen who grew a tumor on his eyeball which grew hair

“The coolest looking dolphin in the world” indeed

You know you’re a badass spider when you eat snakes

 Love this blog dedicated to bad science figures

XKCD’s sick day

Huh. Many winding staircases were constructed to make it hard for invading swordsmen to use their weapons

A comic for Mass Effect fans

If Smaug were real, he’d have more money than anyone on Earth.  Delightfully nerdy analysis

Now THIS is a photo of a shuttle launch

Almighty God tweets about how the Bible is like software

This really helped: The Tolkien Nerd’s Guide to The Hobbit

Artist turns real spider webs into beautiful art

 Nice try, Sauron.

Tweeps in this week’s linkfest: @chirurgeonsappr @sciam @jtotheizzoe @JohnRHutchinson @carlzimmer @DrJenGunter @edyong209