Five issues, insights and observations shaping our perspective, from the editors at Seed.

The octopus grabs its unsuspecting prey. Credit: Stevan Hogg

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Octopus eats shark
The not-quite-squid and the not-at-all-whale duke it out in this video. Spoiler: The octopus wins easily. (Thanks to Afarensis for the link)

Quantum interrogation
Maybe someone’s explained quantum interrogation to you. Maybe they’ve explained it well. But have they explained it well…with puppies? Sean Carroll rocks out.

World Population Hits 6.5 B, People Have Sex More than Ever
Only a paper from Sofia, Bulgaria, could report a population increase so eloquently.

The real reason we haven’t cured AIDS…
Welcome FrinkTank to ScienceBlogs. This post should give you a pretty good idea of what they’re about.

Advice to Corporate Giants
Grrlscientist has something to get off her chest. Caution, this is a textbook case of TOO MUCH INFORMATION!

Monday, Feb. 27

Top Eleven: We Have a Winner!
The greater ScienceBlogs community has spoken! “The Greatest Physics Experiment Ever” is…a colossal failure.

Turn out the lights, the “Teach the controversy” party’s over
Controversy, eh? Then how come over 97% of university biology department heads surveyed said that there’s absolutely no scientific controversy between evolution and ID. (Obviously, the one who said their was a controversy came from a theological university.)

Science Friday: The Science of Deception
Daily Kos’ DarkSyde talks about how hurricanes form and how the media has convinced us they have nothing whatsoever to do with global warming.

Reflecting on your flaws
Salon’s feminist blog Broadsheet discusses a study that claims women can improve their body image by looking in the mirror and describing what they see.

Casual Fridays: Moving dots!
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s just a bunch of oscillating dots, but tell the Mungers what you see in them. No psychoanalysis involved.

Friday, Feb. 24

Twin Cities Creation Science Association Science Fair
While the instructions tell participants to “pray your exhibit will witness to non-Christian visitors,” the projects look pretty cool. (Thanks to Pharyngula for the pointer.)

Why not just castrate them?
Dense (but awesome) science post #1: Orac tells us why we shouldn’t chemically castrate autistic kids. Apparently, we were considering it.

Discussion of the Padian paper
Dense (but awesome) science post #2: Tara tells us why we should believe HIV/AIDS is sexually transmitted. Apparently, we believed it was not.

You Can’t Get There From Here
Dense (but awesome) science post #3: Chad tells us how we can keep a quantum particle from ever decaying: Just keep observing it.

Speaking as a scientist ...
In light of Larry Summers’ resignation, Janet of Adventures in Ethics and Science digs up an old post about his remarks on women in science.

Thursday, Feb. 23

The Salem Hypothesis
Not all engineers are creationists with science degrees, but all creationists with science degrees are engineers.

Red Meat: mirth’s tattered hand-me-downs
God comes down on one side of the evolution/ID debate.

Eros ex Mathematica
Artist Peter Miller creates pseudo-erotic images from mathematical algorithms. Barely safe for work. (Nod to Uncertain Principles for the link)

Dancer or octopus?
They give you the answer, but there’s a striking resemblance.

Periodic Table of Blondness
Slate maps the blondness of news anchorwomen by channel. It’s what Mendeleev would have done.

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition
New York Times writer Kenneth Chang investigates the Discovery Institute’s claim that they have a list of 514 scientists who doubt evolution.

College professoring
Essential reading for college students: ScienceBlogger Kevin Vranes of No Se Nada discusses the whiny, dishonest and just plain rude emails he’s received as a professor. 

Letter from Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher
Apparently, teaching evolution = hating on the Declaration of Independence. (Tip from No Se Nada)

How male or female is your brain?
The Guardian features two interactive tests developed by autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen to determine if you’re a manly man or a girlie man, a girlie girl or a manly girl.

The Flying Spaghetti monster is real, and he walks among us.
See the evidence, and his noodly appendage will surely touch your heart.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Algebra-hating and societal problems
ScienceBlogger Dr. Free-Ride weighs in on the Richard Cohen “who needs algebra anyway?” debacle by cutting to the root of the problem.

MERGING MODELS: Popular Science with Political Communication
Matthew Nisbet, communications professor at Ohio State recaps what he said on the AAAS panel “Engaging the Public on Controversial Science.” He calls for quality science education, better framing of issues and a move to the offensive.

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do—The economic case for polygamy.
It’s just supply and demand, baby.

Know Your Creationists: Ken Ham
For his latest in the “Know Your Creationists” series, Daily Kos’s DarkSyde presents Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. Why, just over a week ago, PZ Myers unofficially profiled Ham as a “slimy ass-pimple, a child-abusing freak.”
Black Scientists
February is Black History Month, and Cosmic Variance’s Clifford Johnson, a USC physics and astronomy professor, is being inundated with questions about what it’s like to be a black scientist. People also frequently mistake him for Jim Gates, a string theorist from the University of Maryland. This is Clifford Johnson. This is Jim Gates.

Monday, Feb. 20

Top Eleven: Time to Vote!
Uncertain Principles profiles 11 contenders for the prestigious title “Greatest Physics Experiment [According to ScienceBlogs Readers].” Vote for your favorite of the heavy-hitters, but don’t cheat and look at who other people voted for first. That just makes for bad science.

The 2005 Koufax Awards: Best Expert Blog
While you’re in the Democratic spirit, check out Wampum’s award that “seeks to honor those who bring particular expertise, by way of knowledge, experience, or academic achievement, to a particular topic.” Four ScienceBlogs are shortlisted alongside other A-listers. Voting starts soon.

Randy “Flock of Dodos” Olson Speaks
The director of Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus writes on “Ten Things Evolutionists Can Do To Improve Communication.” Pharyngula‘s PZ Myers comments below the piece.

Richard Cohen, advocate for ignorance
Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post,  thinks algebra is useless. PZ Myers and Thomas Jefferson, um, respectfully disagree.

What is an “altie”? (2006 edition)
Orac popularized the term “altie,” which refers to a person exuberantly, irrationally stuck on alternative medicine. He lists a bunch of ways to identify an altie, such as, “If you get sicker and sicker while taking echinacea but tell everyone you’re feeling better, you might be an altie.”

Beginning of the Week Bonus: Physics of the Flesh
The New York Times captures what Yevgeny Plushenko’s face looks like while he’s spinning.

Friday, Feb. 17

Ed Burtynsky shows us that one day our whole world could look like New Jersey.

Worldchanging Campaign
Worldchanging, an environmentally minded non-profit, is raising money to start a worldwide conversation about the future of our planet. Each dollar donated will be matched by two donors, one of whom uses photographs to show us what the world could look like if we don’t take action.

Reframing Katrina as Gambling Addiction
ScienceBlogger Kevin Vranes of No Se Nada says New Orleans residents gamble with their lives, and we can’t blame nature when they lose.

Bedrock of a Faith is Jolted
Mormons converted Native Americans by telling them they are descended from a lost tribe of Israel. New DNA tests beg to differ.

Uncommon Descent, the ACLU and “Unguided” Evolution
Jack Krebs and Ed Brayton point out why declaring evolution to be “unguided” is beyond the scope of science.

Who’s the Scientist?
Ignorant seventh graders drew pictures of what they imagined a scientist would look like. Then they met a few at Fermilab and drew new pictures, this time without the lab coats, Einstein hair and nerdy glasses.
(Found via Pharyngula.)

Thursday, Feb. 16

ACLU Threatens Suit in Toledo
ScienceBlogger Ed Brayton debunks an IDer’s silly reasons for doubting the credibility of scientists.

Where’s the Outrage?
Bush got his science advice from Michael Crichton? Are you upset? Chris Mooney is.

How Does a Shotgun Pellet Migrate?
In light of Vice President Dick Cheney’s little game of human target practice incident this weekend, it’s a question on a lot of our minds. Slate‘s Daniel Engber has the answer.

Are you kidding me? This is serious! Or, what psychologists have to say about writing e-mail
The Mungers tell us how to predict when our e-mail sarcasm will not come across. File under: “Extremely Useful.”

Scientists Riot!
Scientists protest a cartoon religious pamphlet. Don’t you get it? We’re right, and you’re wrong, wrong, wrong!

Bikini Calculus

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Victory in Ohio
ScienceBlogger Ed Brayton praises the Ohio State School Board’s removal of a high school program that encouraged criticism of evolution.

Someday the Sun Will Go Out and the World Will End (but Don’t Tell Anyone)
Dennis Overbye discusses NASA’s decision to remove a reference to our inescapable doom from a press release.

I should have known…
Tara of Aetiology is not pleased that parents still infect their kids with chicken pox, especially when we have a vaccine.

Notes Toward “Weird Quantum Phenomenon”
ScienceBlog Uncertain Principles presents an overview of some of quantum mechanics’ cooler implications.

Bikini Calculus
Playboy model Jaime Lynn will teach you how to integrate the area under her bouncing curves. Yes, really.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 (HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY)

Respectful Insolence rebooted
Orac arrives at ScienceBlogs, debunking pseudoscientific quackery, “antivaccination hysteria” and Holocaust denial.

Confessions of a Darwinist
Niles Eldredge, curator of the American Museum of Natural History’s Darwin exhibit the creator of the theory of Punctuated Equilibria, discusses the birthday boy and shows that evolution does conflict with his hypothesis.

What does it take to empathize with someone you hate?
The Mungers tell us we behave like racists and other disagreeable sorts when primed.

The Science Whisperer
DarkSyde interviews best-selling science writer Carl Zimmer at Daily Kos.

These guys at the top are despicable characters, aren’t they?
PZ Myers pinpoints the aspect of Dick Cheney’s hunting accident that reveals the vice of the Vice President.

Monday, Feb. 13 (HAPPY DARWIN DAY!)

Tom Bethell on AIDS—the breakdown
ScienceBlogger Tara Smith of Aetiology rigorously rebuts Tom Bethell’s denial of the African AIDS epidemic.

Lost Bird of Paradise Found, In Paradise
ScienceBlogger Grrlscientist presents the animals discovered during the recent Conservation International expedition to unexplored territory in Indonesia.

Manimal magnetism
Why both President Bush and popular television are freaking out about human-animal hybrids.

Casual Fridays: What are you drinking?
ScienceBlog Cognitive Daily spills what people drink at work functions and with friends, as they reveal the results of last week’s Casual Friday survey.

Overwhelming Evidence
The intelligent design movement has finally produced…a song!

Originally published February 27, 2006


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