Interesting Stuff: Early June 2010

The voting period for the Three Quarks Daily Prize in Science is nearly over, but there’s still some time remaining as I write this. The eighty science-related blog posts that are candidates include some that I have read before, and many that are new to me.

Among the articles I’ve seen before (and indeed linked to from this blog), there are some very worthy candidates, notably #38: Evolution: the Curious Case of Dogs by Christie Wilcox. However, my vote went to an article I hadn’t previously read, candidate #70: On Seeing Yourself by Meera Lee Sethi. This is not your typical science-related blog post. It’s written more in the language of a story, and develops a character around the first person protagonist even as she muses on psychological aspects of reflections and self-recognition.

In votes, Meera’s essay is not doing so well. To win the voting round, an article must be among the twenty most popular, and hers is not currently making the grade. (At the time of writing, it has eight votes in its favour, and there are almost thirty candidates with that many votes or more.) So if you agree with me about its worthiness, you might consider adding a last minute vote of your own.

Now, having said all I want to say about the 3QD competition for now, here are some other interesting links that I’ve come across recently.

  • Back in 2003, Mark Liberman of Language Log came up with a hypothesis pertaining to psychological aspects of mobile phones. Recently a new study was reported that backs up some of Mark’s ideas. There is definitely food for thought here, whether or not you find the hypothesis plausible.
  • In fossil news, a Cambrian cephalopod with only two arms makes an intriguing addition to our knowledge of prehistoric life.
  • An Australian cave painting may depict a giant bird that went extinct 40000 years ago. (Oddly, the ABC did not file this story under News in Science).
  • A speculative article about what it would be like to see the Milky Way Galaxy from outside the disc.
  • A short, humorous article from SkepticBlog about … diets. A somewhat unconventional diet, but arguably one that many of us have followed without even realising it.
  • Finally, a couple of humorous videos. One about chemistry and the other demonstrating a working lego-and-texta printer.
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