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On Tuesday, Feb. 23, National Geographic Explorer will be devoting an episode to “Vampire Forensics.” You can preview a brief clip below the fold, but I’ll warn you now: it’s not CSI. It’s more scientific (“unfortunately this evidence is inconclusive” LOL) and less sexy (inexplicably, Emily Proctor is nowhere to be seen). Overall, the feeling…

You are not a gadget

Virtual reality trailblazer Jaron Lanier has a somewhat curmudgeonly, critical new book out called You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. Here’s an excerpt: If you want to know what’s really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. If money is flowing to advertising instead of to musicians, journalists, and artists, then…

Turning (virtual) manuscript pages

The National Library of Medicine’s “Turning the Pages” gallery lets you turn the virtual pages of classic science/medicine manuscripts. Check out Hieronymus Brunschwig’s Liber de Arte Distillandi de Compositis (1512):

The initial reviews of Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum’s new book Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future produced a small blogospheric kerfuffle last month. But I think Unscientific America has much more constructive and useful things to offer than provoking more arguments, and there are a lot of reviews focusing on the positives.…

OMG! This Chris Beckett story is totally about me! You can read the title story of The Turing Test online, and it’s well worth checking out. In a dystopian future, Jessica runs a gallery where art increasingly involves human body parts and is designed to shock and appall bystanders. Now I have to go read…

I promised you some updates on the Google Books Settlement, so here you go. Things are definitely getting interesting.

Fossils in fine art

Check out Brian’s new review of A History of Paleontology Illustration (Life of the Past) by Jane Davidson, in Palaeontologia Electronica: It is rare for fossils to be featured in fine art, but in the 15th century painting A Goldsmith in His Shop, Possibly Saint Eligius by the Flemish master Petrus Christus there is, if…

Christmas greeting card, school unknown, circa 1920. Dittrick Medical History Center from Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930 Slate has an intriguing new review by Barron Lerner of a book called Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930, by John Harley Warner and James M. Edmonson.…

This Tuesday, April 7, the Koshland Science museum in DC is hosting a book talk: Join NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt and accomplished photographer Joshua Wolfe as they demonstrate how photographs can illustrate the effects of global warming more poignantly than any temperature graph or chart. The two will show photos and satellite images of retreating…

I’ve been as eager as a brain-starved zombie to get my hands on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Jane Austen mash-up concocted by Seth Grahame-Smith for Quirk Books. It sounded a like Regency Buffy: zombie-slaying Lizzy Bennet indulges in arch quips while skewering zombies and ninjas with her Katana, all in time for the…