I have dug through the Internet this week and uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.
I have marked my favorite links with a ∞. Enjoy.
Science to Read, Write, and Watch
In the science communication sphere, the two big topics this week were Shark Week and Geek Week. A number of my colleagues covered the sharks, while I tried hard to geek out all week.
Shark Week Coverage:
- ∞ The major Shark Week backlash came from a program claiming that the extinct and gigantic C. megalodon could still be swimming today. Discovery put on a fake documentary to make their case: Responding pieces by John Platt at Scientific American, Wil Wheaton, and Christie Wilcox at Discover
- It Came From Basic Cable: Don’t believe everything you see on nature TV
- Discovery’s bloodthirsty ‘factual’ TV shows demonise wildlife
- Sharks, Lies, and Videotape: The Daily Show tackles the C. Megalodon fiasco
- How to Survive the Shark Attack That Is Never Going to Happen To You
- FYI: C. Megalodon is extinct and the Discovery documentary was fake
- (Just for fun) Adam West could tell you all about SharkWeek. He gut-punches sharks that are eating him and then sprays them
My Geek Week Coverage:
- Tusken Raiders Ride Single File as a Valid Military Tactic
- ∞ And…It’s gone…Why The Joker’s Magic Trick Wasn’t So Serious
- My personal treatise on what I think it means to be a nerd
- Here are the 10 nerdiest things I have written so far
- The 10 videos that blew my mind in the last few months
What would you look like inside a spherical mirror? Like an acid trip
Time for “cautious optimism” as new malaria vaccine has 100% effectiveness in small trial
Catch a HUGE mako shark, open its stomach to find a whole sea lion head. Win-Win
∞ How can a butterfly mimic itself? I must be at the nexus of the universe…
“There were two known methods by which animals could direct travel through the air. Now there are three”
∞ From the amazing camera of biologist and friend Phil Torres (@Phil_Torres): As a decoy-building spider, no better way to make a fake spider-leg than USING THE ACTUAL LEG OF AN INSECT. This is a leaf cutter ant fortress. Do you know who love yellow footed tortoises more than I do? Mosquitos, that’s who.
Mosquito mouth parts are actually like prehensile face-straws full of malaria!
We get so much use out of lab animals, but what is the most humane way to end their use?
It’s hard to lift a wet glass from a table because of a billion molecular bridges
Gluten: Defining a poorly defined fad
If hunger doesn’t kill you, it doesn’t make you stronger, new study
Depth Perception & Death Prevention: Babies’ Visual Instinct
∞ Why does your voice sound different when you hear it in a recording? Because of your vibrating skull
How a sand storm can become even stronger by bumping into itself
After a stroke, Bond music sends man to “double-oh-heaven”
∞ In 1919, a 40-ft tall wave of molasses killed 21 people because of the physics of the fluid
I always feel like this, a temporary expert: Should We Write What We Know?
Nerdery at its Finest
A size comparison of everything still says you should fear the Reapers
∞ The Gravity Gun: Awesome Half-Life 2 fan film
Some of the best superhero stories have already been written…by evolution
Screw BB guns, get a gauss gun that is like a magnetic strobe light that fires steel bolts
Based on YouTube, Batman is our favorite superhero
∞ Live-action Wolverine vs. Predator video is probably better than all the X-Men films
Adventure Time theme recreated in LEGO is so so good
Here are the reasons why Final Fantasy is dead
What would your perfect videogame say about you as a gamer?
How Close Are We to Elysium-Style Exosuits? Because I want to punch through ALL THE THINGS. Also, fellow Scientific American blogger David Biello talks with a neuroscientist and roboticist to find out about Elysium. (Also, don’t let him give a praying mantis a suit!)
If you think Magikarp is the weakest Pokemon, you are f***ing wrong [NSFW lang.]
Achievement Unlocked: A whole blog dedicated to deciphering the language in XKCD’s “Time”
∞ “Riker’s Beard” is a phrase with real utility, now use it everywhere
GIFs and Images for 2-Seconds of Woah
∞ Looking up at the Perseids, this Calvin and Hobbes is all the more poignant
There is always a bigger fish [Warning: Shark faces involved] (unless you are a whale shark, I suppose).
∞ Dragsters have so much torque that their tire rubber bunches together! Here’s an explanation from a helpful Facebook friend:
Drag racing slicks are specifically designed to do this. They’re known as wrinkle-walls. The sidewall is designed to be super thin and is made of very flexible rubber. They also run very low tire pressures, allowing them to flatten the tread surface out providing a greater surface area of rubber contacting the track for enhanced traction. As the tire’s speed builds up centrifugal force stretches the sidewall out, making the tire grow in diameter and reduce in width. This allows for less rolling friction at high speed and the increase in height creates more top speed by effectively changing the gear ratio. Tire science FTW!
They certainly don’t make them like this anymore: Amazing chart of the electromagnetic spectrum from the 40s
I delved into this “Floor plan of the mind” for a good 10 minutes
Generic science statement about sunspots…OMGEEK SO BEAUTIFUL
This cuttelfish probably likes dubstep
∞ WOW. In slow motion, some grenades expand like balloons before rupturing
Yes, nuclear reactors actually look like this
Other Stuff Happened Too!
∞ “@RichardDawkins is the increasingly erratic comedy creation of a bored Oxford Professor called Richard Dawkins”
One second on the Internet is crazy, look
That astronomy class has made you suck at small talk
∞ For two years, Congressional websites featured a “Flight of the Conchords” Easter egg
I used to live in Shanghai, it has radically transformed in such a small amount of time
The MLB logo is depicting either a strike or a ball. The ball is too close to swing at and hit.
What is more likely, a conspiracy or a mistake? The Adam Lanza Death Certificate Conspiracy
∞ Incredible, I never even knew: SeaWorld vs. the Whale That Killed Its Trainer
Photos illustrating the frustration and confinement of anxiety
Neil deGrasse Tyson answers your questions about COSMOS on Reddit