Blobologist-approved reads: oops, is it May?

Apologies, my dear, neglected readers, for posting so infrequently, but things have been a little hectic in the House of Blob this semester. Sadly, this meant there was no time for blogging. On the positive side, I did at least spend that time writing about science, InDesigning up a storm, creating a hella professional social media strategy for a clinical research group and building a pretty respectable looking website for a local non-profit.

But now I’m left with a blobology backlog that I will address with the following strategic plan:

1) Present my ScienceSeeker picks from the past few months, even though they are now horrifically out-of-date

2) Post a couple of my favourite science writing class assignments

3) Mix myself a Dark ‘n’ Stormy

I might not follow this plan in the prescribed order.

My ScienceSeeker editor’s picks: The semester shell-shock edition

The Unresolved Mysteries of the Mold in Your House
Contains the answer to the question, “What do your dishwasher and fruit bat’s colon have in common?”
Rachel Adams at Your Wild Life (guest)

When #chemophobia isn’t irrational: listening to the public’s real worries.
Part of the on-going conversation about chemophobia, which is the blanket distrust that many people feel towards anything they consider “chemical.” But shouting at people that they don’t understand what that word means doesn’t help anyone, least of all chemists.
Janet D. Stemwedel at Doing Good Science

How genetic plunder transformed a microbe into a pink, salt-loving scavenger
A tale of genetic thievery on an epic scale.
Lucas Brouwers at Thoughtomics

How to protect lions?
Can we really protect lions by fencing them in or by hunting them?
Colin Beale at Safari Ecology

Ducks Meet the Culture Wars
A beautifully written defense of basic science and the point of studying duck penises.
Carl Zimmer at The Loom

The Narcissism of De-Extinction
If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that the TedX DeExtinction conference got me uncharacteristically irritated and even made me break out some ALL CAPS OUTRAGE. Thankfully, by the time I extricated myself from TweetDeck Hannah Waters was already ON IT, explaining much more thoughtfully and lucidly than I could why it was just ALL SO ANNOYING.
Hannah Waters at Culturing Science

Roller Derby Teammates Give Each Other Bacterial Hugs
Roller Derby teams are close and so are their skin microbes.
Kate Clancy at Context and Variation

The two ideas to fix the gender balance that do not make me cringe
Two recent (at least, they were recent when I made this pick) initiatives for addressing the fact there are not enough women in the most powerful positions in science.
Eva Amsen at Occam’s Typewriter (guest)

There Should Be Grandeur: Basic Science in the Shadow of the Sequester
On the risks posed to basic research by the sequester. Featuring the line: “paying for basic research is a bet a society makes on its future.”
Tom Levenson at Scientific American Guest Blog

Buzzsaw Jaw Helicoprion Was a Freaky Ratfish
So paleontologists finally solved the mystery of where to put the the spectacular buzzsaw jaws on their Helicoprion reconstructions.
Brian Switek at Laelaps


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