Links for 2012-05-31

In which we look at creepy fairytales, the writing of science books, when overfishing is actually okay, and what it means to be an experimental physicist.


  • 10 Creepy Details Glossed Over By Modern Versions Of Fairy Tales

    A surprising number of these can still be found in SteelyKid’s fairy tale books.

  • Making the leap from news to books: Critical questions |

    Authors of science books often begin as writers of science news. As a science journalist who is looking to write a book, I’ve become very curious as to how other science journalists made the leap forward. I suspected that the questions that go into books might be different from those that drive newspaper and magazine journalism. With that in mind, I asked six successful science authors what questions they have found themselves asking — of themselves or of their sources — when writing books. Are there essential questions that journalists might not ask but which book authors should? They provided a trove of valuable insights:

  • Q&A;: Eat that fish! When overfishing is also sustainable | SmartPlanet

    Many of us think that if a fish species is overfished we probably should be wary about choosing it at the supermarket or on the restaurant menu. But the opposite may be true. Our boycotting of some overfished species may be hurting us and the American fish industry, not the fish. This counterintuitive opinion is laid out by Ray Hilborn, professor of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington, and co-author of Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know. Hilborn holds that the public, food retailers, NGOs and congress have misunderstood what defines a sustainable fishery. In fact overfishing and sustainable can, oddly enough, go together.

  • Physics and Physicists: What Does It Mean To Be An Experimentalist?

    For most of us, when we talk about an experimentalist, the image of someone in a lab coat, bending over a table full of chemicals, etc. would come to mind. While this may be true in fields such as chemistry or biology, nothing can be further from the truth in physics. In all the years that I’ve been an experimentalist, I’ve never worn a lab coat (I don’t even own one, ever!). The interesting thing about physics is that it is such a wide and varied field, and consequently, the experiments that we do can look very different from one field to another, and even within the same field!