Blobologist-approved Reads: Week of 26 Sep 2011

Even though I haven’t quite finished my first CellTweet for ASCB that is due tomorrow; even though my bum is sore because I insist that I can only be productive while sitting on the floor; even though I need some sleep before another gruelling day of Gaussia luciferase assays in the lab; even though I still haven’t got round to finishing my next proper Blobologist post; I’m still making time to tell you what to read. That’s how dedicated I am to your reading pleasure. You’re welcome.

Make me happy

If you want to make me happy, you’ll read this New York magazine article about distraction. It’s hilarious, interesting and very distracting.

If you really want to make me happy, you’ll join the NYT Science Times in jumping on the ‘solution journalism’ bandwagon. The series is called Small Fixes and is a collection of stories about feel-good, low-tech, high-impact global health solutions. Fold saris into water filters and save the world!

Just so you don’t feel too warm and fuzzy about the Times, you should probably also read one of the several brutal responses to their recent pseudoneuroscience Op-Ed on ‘loving’ your iPhone.

Science, I promise

I keep meaning to write something up about bugs-within-bugs-within-bugs. But then I found this nice piece at Small Things Considered and decided just to link to it.

The second issue of the Science/Lifesyle magazine Guru is out. It looks gorgeous.

Almost Science

If I ever found the time to read a whole book, I would read this book about an epic journey to make the most humble of domestic appliances from scratch. Or I would watch the video highlights.

I’ve always wanted to read this Victorian mathematical fantasy. Instead, I just read about a nice article about it on the Public Domain Review.

The debate about copy-checking and fact-checking in science journalism still hasn’t died down. For example, David Kroll’s follow-up post asks for scientists to join the debate. Some of them even do.

OK, really not science, this time

In The Atlantic, Our Man in Kandahar is a great investigation by Matthieu Aikins into extrajudicial killings and torture by the US ally and Kandahar acting Chief-of-Police Abdul Raziq.

Finally, I wouldn’t normally link to myself, but this time the narcissism is for a good cause. At Steel City Science we’ve decided to join the Science Bloggers for Students challenge, and try to raise some sorely-needed cash for local science classrooms. Honestly, you should read what kind of things these schools are trying to raise money for. You could probably spare a few dollars for some pencil sharpeners.

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2 thoughts on “Blobologist-approved Reads: Week of 26 Sep 2011

  1. Thanks so much for the link to our science writer fact-checking posts. I’m surprised that we didn’t get more scientists chiming in given the criticism I often hear among colleagues. Perhaps referrals like yours might get more to comment. – thanks again!

  2. No worries, David. Great job on unleashing the debate! It is a bit odd that more scientists aren’t commenting, because as you say, I doubt it’s because they don’t have an opinion about it (we’re an opinionated profession!).
    At least for myself, I’m quite intimidated by having so many famous writers dominate the thread. It makes it seem like someone else’s argument.
    I am glad to see some people breaking out the ‘silly headline’ stories, though – because the general impression you get from the writers’ arguments is that all science writing is serious, informed, and considered investigative journalism that would only be contaminated by input from scientists.

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