gender, photography, poetry, science, science and society, Science in Society, sexism, video, woman scientist
I seem to be posting these link collections just about every two weeks. Maybe I should make that the official schedule? Anyway, here’s my latest collection of tidbits from the web for you to enjoy. Feel free to add more in the comments if you’d like.
- “Stomata” is an fantastic poem which I found in Openlab 2012.
- From the Finnish Museum of Natural History: an interactive map tracking the migration of individual European Honey Buzzards.
- In 2010, Google released their Ngram Viewer, a tool to check the frequency of a word or phrase in a collection of scanned books dating back to the 1500s. It got a major update in October, adding features like the ability to search for word categories.
- OneZoom is a fractal, Google Maps-style interface for exploring the tree of life. It’s limited to mammals at the moment, but is a really great tool! You can also read the paper describing it — it was published in PLoS Biology, an open access journal!
- After everything I’ve heard about it, I’m really looking forward to watching BBC’s Prehistoric Autopsy! In the meantime, there’s a good article about it on the BBC website.
- Here’s a fun write-up about how the Indo-Australian plate is gradually breaking in two.
- A Nature News piece about how pesticides which might be safe for bees individually can be dangerous in combination, which could cause unanticipated problems.
- A story in The Economist about a new technology that could help with mitochondrial disease: one father, two mothers!
Science & society
- Most people (myself included) probably don’t know enough about women scientists. There’s a nice post about Madame Wu, the “Chinese Marie Curie”, over at The Finch and Pea. I think I’m going to try to make a point of including something about a woman scientist in every Foraging from now on. Feel free to add more in the comments!
- A nonsense math paper was accepted by a peer-reviewed journal. Peer review is supposed to be one of the strengths of science, a way we check and double check ourselves. So is peer review completely broken? Maybe, but that’s not what’s going on here. The journal belonged to Scientific Research Publishing, a publishing house with a poor reputation. Morale of the story: “peer-reviewed”, like any other label, is sometimes used deceptively. Alone, it’s not a guarantee of accuracy or honesty.
- Russ George has taken it upon himself to try to re-engineer the environment by dumping 100 tonnes of iron sulfate into the Pacific to create an plankton bloom. If you haven’t yet heard about it, here’s the story from The Guardian.
- Why Are Environmentalists Taking Anti-Science Positions is a nice piece which sums up how I feel about environmentalists sometimes.
- What happens when you just drop off a box of tablets without any instructions in an impoverished village? You may be surprised.
- Petridish and Microryza are crowdfunding websites for science projects. I haven’t used them, but I’m glad they exist.
- More from The Smaller Majority: stop turning pictures upside down! It may make people happier, but it’s a distortion of the actual world!
- BBC’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year gallery has some great pictures.
- Alex Wild writes about how he processes his insect photos, transforming them into a finished product.
- Hannele has put up a great collection of photos of finnish wildlife and aspiring young scientists at work during a field course.
Sex, sexism and gender
- A former Amherst student has written an account of how she was raped and the ignorant and offensive response from the administration. A must-read!
- An interesting post by Marcia Malory over at SciAm blogs: Is Homosexuality a Choice?
- A video clip of a preacher testifying at a city council hearing about adding LGBT people to the list of minorities protected from discrimination. Be sure to watch the whole clip!
- I recently discovered the Good Men Project, which describes itself as “a glimpse of what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century”. I’m not sure I like everything I’ve read there, but the site sounds like an excellent idea! You should read their article about living with someone who has depression. Good Men Project also republished my latest post!
- In case you missed it in my last post, the WEF Gender Gap report for 2012 was recently released.
Just for fun
- Wired writes about Kåre Halvorsen, who builds really cool robots in his spare time.
- Ray Villafane is a sculptor who makes amazing carvings in pumpkins.
- Visualize how and where one million tweets are happening in real time across.
- Eric Hines has made a beautiful video of Chicago by combining 30,000 still shots.
- A collection of clips from the excellent Microcosmos set to music by Radiohead.
- A time lapse video of planes on approach to London Heathrow. It’s pretty neat to see the planes get jostled by the wind.
- A pretty cool story in The Guardian about Flash Anzan, a Japanese competition where participants do calculations quickly — on an imaginary abacus!
That’s all from me; have a nice weekend!
That OneZoom tree is frakkin’ AMAZING! The amount of information on there is outrageous, the more you zoom, the more there is!
I know; it really is an amazing toy! You could almost say it’s bigger on the inside…. 😉
Great list, I enjoyed reading them.
About peer review, well, it is definitely not perfect. I remember, last year my husband was reviewing a paper written by a very reputable group in Germany, who are doing cutting edge work in that particular field. I don’t remember the circumstances, but he was given the review of the other anonymous reviewer too, which was glowing with praise and did not find anything wrong with the manuscript. My husband had found some errors, and he took a few weeks extra to make sure of his findings, because the writers were so famous. He went on to write his findings in his review (accept with changes), and the writers agreed with the errors (and problems) he had pointed out, and thanked him for the new insights. They not only corrected the errors, in fact they also did some additional experiments to address the issues, and my husband reviewed the new version and recommended it for publication. We discussed this for many days, because the writers were sincere and had more integrity than the reviewer.