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I’ve got your missing links right here (2 July 2011)

Top picks

“If this were true adios theory.” Darwin’s margin scribbles show the evolution of a theory

Video games that use living microbes

It’s survival of the weakest when bacteria play rock-paper-scissors

Humans guided evolution of dog barks

The last Indian vultures, and the feral dogs that are replacing them

A fascinating piece about the real secrets behind Area 51 (no, really), involving stealth planes and a mystery illness

Thomas Knudsen carefully poisons a 3-week-old human embryo… in a computer.

What do you get when you put a terrorist inside of a brain scanner? We don’t know. Important piece by Virginia Hughes

These critters are hell-for-leather, flat-out just gonna get there.” Wonderful David Quammen piece on animal migrations

The evolution machine: genetic engineering on fast-forward, a great story by Jo Marchant

Beetles with screws and nuts in their legs

News/science/writing

How airplanes punch spreading holes in clouds, cause snowfall

The value of simulations – why crew/pilot errors have become a minor cause of plane accidents

Bacteria in Carl Zimmer’s belly button was previously known mainly for being in Asian soil. What has he been putting in there?

Electrocuting women who look at photos of their partners… for SCIENCE

“Garcia inserted the compressed-air hose & blasted the pigs’ brains into a pink slurry” The Spam factory’s dirty secret

King of headbutts

“We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this.” PR campaign to play down Fukushima

X-rays illuminate fossil pigment

Jellyfish force nuclear reactor shutdown

The failure spectrum, from Apple’s iPhone antenna to the Jamaican bobsled team to evolution

Crows never forget, and CROWS NEVER FORGIVE

A marketing programme for an epilepsy drug, designed to look like a clinical trial

Snake-eating opossums have evolved venom-resistant blood

Wilhelm Reich – the inventor of the orgasmotron, profiled in Slate

Finches tweet with grammar. Insert social media joke here.

Pics of the asteroid that buzzed the Earth. Damn thing probably scratched the mirror.

Tasmanian devils were sitting ducks for deadly cancer – and yes, it’s our fault

“The opportunity to get bitten by a ground hornbill presented itself to me… so who was I to miss out?”

Orca ears inspire all-depth hydrophone

“Fukushima residents’ urine now radioactive” 3 mSv = half a chest X-ray

Wildlife filmmakers use the fact that most species fail the mirror test to develop a hidden camera

Case of intense hallucinations triggered by, and of, faces

Intriguing. A design competition to re-design the food label

Heh/wow/huh

Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men

Hilarious vid of kids trying to resist eating a marshmallow, and failing

New Zealand land snail consumes earthworm in sudden, rapid attack.

Internet/journalism/society

‘Science journalists have forgotten how to be journalists’

Journal pulls paper on meditation and heart disease after “additional data” surfaces. Authors presumably calm about it

Why’s this so good?” series analyses tricks of long-form. First up, Alexis Madrigal on Truman Capote. As good as it sounds

Elegant bribery” – The fascinating Chinese art of bribing people with Chinese art. Also, step-by-step guide to forging

A kid’s view of marriage equality: “So what’s the big deal?”

Influence scores” like Klout are complete nonsense – less-than-useless abstract numbers for fans of pissing competitions.

Splendid rant against the “aural ordure” that is UK train and station announcements

Gay Girl in Damascus hoaxer accused of defending himself with new persona, says it was a visiting friend

In 1906, people thought that in 2006, we’d have too much leisure time, with 16 hour work weeks