A Blog by

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (29 August 2015)

Sign up for The Ed’s Up—a weekly newsletter of my writing plus some of the best stuff from around the Internet.

 

Top picks

Read the New Yorker’s devastating Hiroshima story from 1946, of six ordinary lives, brutally interrupted.

Here’s David Attenborough saying a blue whale’s heart is the size of a car. Which is not true.

Aatish Bhatia and Robert Krulwich have started a new blog together. It’s called Noticing. It’ll be great.

Talking on the phone stopped being enjoyable because the experience of talking on the phone fundamentally changed. By Ian Bogost.

There’s a version of Turkish in which all the syllables have been converted into piercing whistles. By Michelle Nijhuis.

Torture doesn’t work; so, what does? Peter Aldhous a fascinating look at the science of interrogation.

A story about corn wars between the USA and China, featuring spies smuggling corn kernels

Christie Aschwanden synthesises the ongoing fraud and irreproducibility crises in science.

Sandcastles built as if “Antoni Gaudi had designed the fictional island of Laputa in a dream.” By Adrienne LaFrance

How Big Pharma used feminism to get the “Female Viagra” approved. Great story by Azeen Ghorayshi. Meanwhile, Jen Gunter reports that the safety of this women-only drug was based on tests of 23 men and 2 women.

Emily Willingham reviews Steve Silberman’s new book Neurotribes, about “a haunting history and new hope for autistic people”.

What goes through the minds of people who try to break obscure world records? Cari Romm considers.

A massive study quantifies psychology’s reproducibility problem. By me at the Atlantic.

“In Space, Every Goodbye Could Be Our Last.” Beautiful writing from Nadia Drake about space exploration

 

News/science/writing

“Frankly, I just don’t think musk oxen have the sex appeal pandas do.”

Chemo drug works by tricking cells into thinking they’re infected

Helping the trees save themselves from a deadly insect invader

Sometimes, it’s hard to give a crap.

Biologists Are Tweeting Photos Of Animal Genitalia With The Hashtag #JunkOff

Can we save the Sumatran rhino from extinction?

Evolutionary secrets of cancer cells revealed in new research

Why do we sneeze when we look at bright lights?

Chickens help scientists study dinosaur death pose

The man who saw his double in the mirror. A creepy case

Dorothy Bishop on what the Reproducibility Project says about psychology and how the field can improve. Vaughan Bell has a good analysis of the results, too.

Karolinska fnds trachea surgeon Paolo Macchiarini not guilty of misconduct.

The Verge Review of Animals: the giant water bug

The First National Inventory of All Household Life (on a swab)

3-D millipede genitals are strangely fascinating”

Professor re-encounters a very rare nautilus

Using microbial warfare as a possible treatment for bat White Nose Syndrome

Why humans are unique among predators on our planet

The Lost Dream Journal of the Man Who Discovered Neurons, Santiago Ramon y Cajal

Ants form amazing daisy chains to drag away millipedes

Smart piece on the recently hyped “first 3D-printed drug“, by Robinson Meyer

Gut bacteria –> autoimmune disease of the eye.

These just-discovered tropical spiders can soar from tree to tree

Informed Consent” a play on genomics and bioethics

Some frogs can quickly switch on genetic resistance to pesticides

Environmentalism’s history as an élite, white movement

The Internet of Elephant Seals – Why animals make the best oceanographic instruments

Venomous animal trapped by alcohol: the quintessential Australian story.

A new paper claims to find epigenetic effects in Holocaust survivors. Not so, says Jerry Coyne.

Here’s PLOS, re-enacting that scene from Fight Club where Ed Norton repeatedly punches himself in the face.

Trophy hunting causes problems for lion societies beyond killing individuals.

To avoid mosquitoes, stop breathing and be invisible.

Ants drug themselves with toxins when they’re sick

Mimicry has a puzzle at its heart: Time and again, scientists find examples of overkill. Animals don’t seem to receive an extra benefit from making their disguises more elaborate.” By Carl Zimmer.

Blood-Sucking Bugs Are Smart at Night, Dumb by Day

A vomiting machine shows how viruses spread in puke

Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone’s eyes for 10 minutes

Gulls are snacking on baby seals’ eyeballs

What Is Elegance in Science?

Mutilated rhino treated with innovative bandage made from elephant skin. Elephant now seeking innovative bandage made from rhino skin.

On rebranding the cockroach

Fatal great white shark attacks on sea otters have tripled over the past 25 years

 

Heh/wow/huh

American vs European Robins

No One Knows Joy Like This Man Yelling Underwater About Sea Lions

Europa or frying pan?

Blue whales are really rare and we’re unlikely to see o… oh there’s one.

 

Internet/journalism/society

Fountain pens want to connect letters. Ballpoint pens need to be convinced to write.”

Annalee Newitz finds that Ashley Madison was actively and maliciously scamming men

Everything you’ve heard about chastity belts is a lie: they were never really a thing

George Monbiot: roadkill squirrel eater.

Little girl breaks 2000-year-old vase, museum says thanks

Why I’m reading more women, and fewer men.

Like Uber but for poo.

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape

How do algorithms rule Amazon’s warehouses?

Dog-sh*t Luck & other Chinese idioms we should start using in English

The Village Without Men

Very solid list of science accounts to follow on Twitter. High on really good people, low on celebs.

The Atlantic is bringing bloggy back with the Notes section.