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Cordyceps in glass, by glass artist Wesley Fleming — a strange depiction of a rather horrid business. For more, do go to the source, the lovely Myrmecos Blog, which is all about bugs. Now, the best of the week’s gleanings. I’m going to categorize them from here out, and at least try to keep them…

The sky before Katrina struck, from Rense.com Correction: I been snookered. As alert reader Alex Witze pointed out, these photos were taken by stormchaser Mike Hollingshead in Nebraska and Kansas in 2002 and 2004, and have passed around the net in other guises ever since. For more amazing storm photos, go to Hollingshead’s site, extremeinstability.com.…

The day’s gleanings

Jerry Coyne relates that Birds are getting smaller. Most students use Wikipedia, avoid telling profs about it When I talk to writing classes, someone will usually ask if I use Wikipedia. I tell them, “It’s often my first stop — never my last.” Carl Zimmer has mashed up the data from his clever online survey…

Patty’s Day Roundup

BoingBoing loves The Open Laboratory: The Best in Science Writing on Blogs 2009, founded/published by the ever-present Bora Zivkovic and edited by scicurious. Nice pointer to four entires on weightlessness, major medical troubles, vampires v zombies, and how poverty affects brain development.   Slate’s Sarah Wideman reports that Insurance companies deny fertility treatment coverage to unmarried…

Gold in the tweetstream

I’ll try doing this now and then, maybe regularly, to gather the more notable tweets I get in my twitter feed. Darwin2009: Population-level traits that affect, and do not affect, invasion success http://ow.ly/1mMUp jayrosen_nyu: “The New York Times is now as much a technology company as a journalism company.” <— Bill Keller http://jr.ly/2pfz dhayton: “H-Madness”…

Hits of the week past

Hits of the week: Savage Minds (with a spiffy website redesign) asks Why is there no Anthropology Journalism? Jerry Coyne takes sharp exception to both a paper and a SciAm Mind Matters article by Paul Andrews and Andy Thomson arguing that depression might be an evolutionary adaptation. Dr. Pangloss punches back. (NB: 1. I was…

1. Maybe it was just the headline … but the runaway winner was “No pity party, no macho man.” Psychologist Dave Grossman on surviving killing. Actually I think it was the remarkable photo, which looks like a painting. Check it out. 2. I’m not vulnerable, just especially plastic. Risk genes, environment, and evolution, in the…

via press.princeton.edu I am extremely pleased to report that my friend Adrienne Mayor’s riveting (if queasy-making) biography of Mitradates, “Poison King,” is a finalist for the National Book Award. It’s wonderful to see a skillfully executed and absorbing account of an obscure bit of history get this sort of well-deserved attention. Congratulations, Adrienne. And to…

I regret I can’t treat at more, um, length, the following weighty matters: Size Matters; So Do Lies   Nate Silver finds that Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, speaking of the 9/12 tea party rally in DC, ” did the equivalent of telling people that his penis is 53 inches long.” Dr. Nobody Again Questions…

Bloggingheads.tv just posted a conversation Greg Laden and I had about the second-biggest scientific controversy of Darwin’s time, and of Darwin’s life: the argument over how coral reefs form. The coral reef argument was fascinating in its own right, both scientifically and dramatically — for here a very capable andn conscientious scientist, Alexander Agassiz, struggled…