Interesting stuff #2

This is the second in a series of interesting things I’ve learned recently from the Internet. The first installment is here.

I’ve just been watching Catalyst, and learned that the People’s Choice Award in the Australian Museum’s Eureka Prizes this year has been won by Nicole Kuepper. I am happy with this because I was barracking equally for both Nicole Kuepper and Mark Walker. Read about all of the contestants here.

Now here’s my list of interesting things I learned online between the 8th and 20th of August:

  1. A fascinating video about the genetics of tamed foxes. The only thing wrong with it is the image quality, so to compensate for that, here’s a page with a photograph.
  2. Jessica Palmer’s blog Bioephemera frequently contains cool stuff – a touch of weird, a touch of beautiful, and a touch of intellectually fascinating. Check out this, this and this for a sample.
  3. This isn’t exactly cool and interesting, but I think it’s worth knowing about. Apparently there are Christians in America who believe not only that watching out for the Antichrist is incredibly important, but that the biggest giveaway that someone might be the Antichrist is that of advocating ideals that one might describe as, well, Christlike. This was discussed on the Internet early this month when John McCain’s campaign for the American presidency tried to tap into this madness, though apparently they were rather clumsy about it. Via The Greenbelt (I suggest reading all the links from that article for the full picture).
  4. I found this article on the history of interpreting the Bible quite interesting from a historical and cultural perspective.
  5. Via Language Hat, I learned about the publication of George Orwell’s diaries in blog form, seventy years after he wrote them. This may be worth keeping an eye on.
  6. Scientists have discovered bacteria that breathe arsenic, using the poison to power their version of photosynthesis!
  7. The Ideophone writes a blog about African linguistics, and an introductory series which began here has recently been continued here.
  8. A biography of Galileo, written twenty years after his death and recently re-discovered, has sparked new speculation on the politics behind Galileo’s famous trial. Speaking of 16th Century Astronomy, here’s an interesting article on the etymology of the word “satellite“. [Update: web archive link]
  9. Magpies (that’s European magpies, not the unrelated Australian kind) can recognise themselves in a mirror.
  10. To finish of this installment, here’s a music video from Youtube which I think is very, very beautiful and just had to share with you.

You can visit my Twitter page to preview the queue of items I’ve nominated for the next installment of this series.

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