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I’m offline this week as I’ve retreated to one of my favourite places in the world for a holiday. I was too busy to prepare a post before leaving, but fortunately it’s about time for another Found while foraging.  Hopefully this post will be automatically published on Wednesday while I’m happily reading in front of a fire in a lovely cottage unburdened by the trappings of modernity — power, plumbing, and internet.  I’ve never pre-scheduled a post for publication before, so I hope it works.  I won’t link to many Scitable posts this time, but do pop over and have a look anyway; there’s some great stuff on there.  As always, though, feel free to add more links in the comments!

  • Some people have asked how they can follow my new blog, Accumulating Glitches.  Unfortunately there’s no way to sign up for email alerts at the moment, but you can find the RSS feed here.  I’ve asked about email alerts and will let you know as soon as they’re implemented.
  • If you’re hankering for some of my science-writing, check out this week’s on Accumulating Glitches, which presents echolocation as an example of convergent evolution in bats and whales.
  • Last week on AG, Sarah Jane wrote about the evolution of personality.
  • On Eyes on Environment, Kate Whittington introduces the concept of re-wildling: “reintroducing lost species and then ‘stepping back and letting nature get on with it'”.  What do you think?  Is it a misguided effort or a good idea?
Science and society
  • I was at the opening talk at the World Conference of Science Journalists last week and really enjoyed the opening talk by Hans Rosling.  His presentations challenges many of our preconceptions and shows that our world-view is largely based on population data that’s out of date or just plain wrong. I’m not convinced about everything he said, but it was certainly thought-provoking.  You can watch the archived video of his plenary and can also find some TED clips on youtube.  Better yet, you can go and explore the data yourself at gapminder.org.
Sex, sexism, and gender
  • Athene Donald argues that schools (and society as a whole) should do more to encourage girls to try things out instead of treating them as “too fragile to cope with failure“.  What do you think?
  • Ruby Payne-Scott contributed a great deal to radio-astronomy in the 1950s before her promising career was cut short when she had a child at age 39.  How much further might she have made it today?
  • Kris Hardies discusses whether the use of Western undergraduates in research has created a bias which accentuates the apparent differences between sexes.
  • Suzie Sheehy explains some of the issues of benevolent sexism.
  • Rachel Aviv tries to get a glimpse into the mind of a pedophile and asks whether it’s right “to imprison people for heinous crimes they have not yet committed”.  Are we dealing with this problem the right way?
  • Women in Refrigerators is a short video about “superheroines who have been either depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator” in order to motivate superheros.
  • A short article on CounterPunch about the ‘crime’ of “a powerless black man looking at white folks” in the US.
Visual art

That’s all from me this time!