Here are the things that have struck me as interesting over the last fortnight.
I’ve experimented a lot with this series since I started it, trying out different ideas to see what works, but I may have settled down for now. I’m pretty happy with the present format. You’re allowed to voice an opinion if you want to.
Astronomy and Technology:
- Updates on the Kepler mission: 1, 2.
- The moon’s sticky dust.
- Diatoms as moulds for making solar cells.
- Chimpanzees that share food get more sex.
- Tracing the origin of the concept of the Tree of Life.
- New population of orang-utans.
- If you’ve ever wondered what a chimpanzee looks like naked, look once and you’ll never ask again.
- Inside-out cells see in the dark. (There’s an earlier report here, with less elaboration.)
- It seems that every five minutes there’s a new scientific report pushing back the origin of life. Here’s the current record for multicellular organisms.
Linguistics (and linguistic psychology):
- Mental skills of young children who hear multiple languages.
- Automatic dialect detection by analysing very short segments of speech.
- Language Log draws attention to a nonsensical statement about reality and truth.
- How psychological benefits of religion depend on the belief.
- A reflection on morality in an age of fast media. (This has been misreported, but really is worth thinking about.) [Update: I hadn’t realised it was misreported by the authors of the press release, too. See my comments here on why I included this item.]
- People are kind to robots.
- Eye exercise improves memory of right-handers.
- Some considerations on using the Internet at work.
One more thing: John McIntyre is seeking to establish a group of pirate editors who would “board offending publications, seize texts and deal with them appropriately“, but points out that there’s much to be done first, including the design of a flag. I’ve submitted a very rough sketch for such a design, and linked to it in a comment on John’s post. It also appears below.
If you have any alternative ideas, you might consider doing the same. I for one would be interested in seeing them.