Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interesting stuff (6/29/2011)

  • Every day, we seem to learn more about animals that lived tens of millions of years ago.  Including the approximate body temperature of sauropods.  This feeds into the story about dinosaurs being warm blooded or cold-blooded, but to me the real question is how an organism so large kept its body heat down.  
  • I think hyenas are really interesting (and apparently so do others).  Did you know they are more closely related to cats than dogs?
  • The neat thing about Tet Zoo, is that every now and then an animal comes up on there that is contemporary, and yet I didn't even imagine such a thing existed.  Like a bearded pig.
  • A lot of people complain about scientists over-stating climate change (IMO, a lot of people who don't know anything anyway).  In reality, climate models are very, very conservative in terms of the rate at which actual climate change happened in the past.  Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed this.
  • I'm fascinated by cases of scientific fraud and not only is this an interesting case of which I wasn't previously aware, but it reminded me of the Baltimore case (mentioned in the comments of that article).  Which is a case of fraud where the participants were eventually exonerated (sort of), even though everyone (including that commentator) seems to feel like someone was guilty and things aren't quite right.
  • I just get the feeling that bugs (the non-technical term) just sprang, fully-formed from the earth.  I mean, there are really old fossils of, essentially, gnats and Hey look.  They had fully functional and sophisticated eyes 515 million years ago.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Internet Paths

I don't know if anyone else does this, but when I get online, there's a certain sequence of sites that I run through. My way of getting to know what's happened in the world that I care about.

So in case anyone else is interested, here is my "Science Path" for exploring science news online:

The New York Times Science Section:  Started reading this because of Carl Zimmer's articles.  I think eventually NYTimes is going behind a pay wall.  I haven't been reading this one as much lately.

The Los Angeles Times Science Section:  Pretty much all the big stories are the same between these two source.  But each have blogs and 'local' stories that are interesting as well.

Research Bloggers "Ecology and Conservation" Index:  This site compiles all those blogs who are publishing articles reviewing or discussing recent articles.  There's some good stuff and some mediocre stuff on here.  I often dig around other categories, but the ecology and conservation category is the one I read most frequently.  I used to link my own stuff on there a lot, but I haven't (obviously) been contributing much lately.

Science Subreddits:  I usually try to look at the Science, Biology and AskScience subreddits on  I'm a panelist for the AskScience subreddit, although there aren't usually questions that I am qualified to answer there.

Tetrapod Zoology:  I generally am bored by taxonomy, but every time I read Tet Zoo I get interested again.  I've learned and forgotten more from reading this blog than I could possibly have imagined.  The articles are long-ish, so I end up spending a lot of time in the Tet Zoo archives.

The Loom:  I like Carl Zimmer's writings a lot.  I don't get this far down my path very often, but when I do I'm always impressed.  I also like some of the other Discovery blogs (especially Bad Astronomy).

Anyway, just thought I'd share.