Getting back in the swing of things with Channel posts, what’s inside: The large versions of the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.
Life Science. This cuttlefish was thrilled to celebrate International Cephalopod Appreciation Day on October 8. From Flickr, by Pear Biter
It always amazes me when creatures such as these are captured on camera. This one looks rather curious.
Physical Science. A long-exposure photo of momentum in action. From Flickr, by velo steve
When I first looked at this picture I thought there were at least three sets of balls on the table rolling around in a frenzy. But then I realized that some of the balls had phantom shadows and were half-invisible because the photo is actually of one set of balls taken on a long-exposure camera setting. You can practically see the vectors flying around in this picture! It almost makes me want to solve some kinematics problems dealing with momentum.
Reader comments of the week:
This week in the Life Sciences Channel, PZ Myers of Pharyngula posted a variety of sea creature mating pictures and videos which delighted, amazed and weirded out Sb readers. One picture of octopuses in a sensual embrace prompted reader Sven DiMilo to comment,
NSFW if you work with a bunch of really knowledgeable but hyper-prudish bionerds.
Another of PZ’s aquatic mating posts entitled, “Jellyfish gettin it on, baby,” made its way around the office. I found this bit of blogger humor quite enjoyable:
Did someone get so excited that they forgot to close the < a > tag?
But despite the playful nature of these posts, several readers expressed their awe in being able to observe this process. In the grand history of human existence, only a relatively small group has had the technology that enables us to witness natural processes of these mysterious sea creatures. Thanks, technology!
Chad Orzel from Uncertain Principles hosted a discussion on the Physical Science Channel on the importance of science blogging. Orzel addressed reader comments on a previous post that criticized science blogging as being an inappropriate medium for science and necessitating a general approach that seems to negate the specificity required by scientific practice. Orzel responded:
I think that the real outstanding potential use of science blogs is as a tool for outreach, for bringing the excitement of science to a wide audience. As I noted in my Science21 talk, my blog gets roughly 2,000 page views per day, while there are about 2,100 students at my entire college. When I write something about physics on the blog, it effortlessly reaches more people than I could possibly hope to see in any class I might teach.
One reader responded with her analysis of the importance of science blogging:
“I must confess I don’t read science blogs for the science… I read science blogs to learn how scientists think about science.”
Well, we here at Seed obviously think science blogging is an extremely important contribution to the public sphere, but it’s always interesting to hear discussion of the benefits and limitations of this relatively new tool.
Some other Life Science posts we thought were cool this week were:
And from the Physical Science channel:
Coming soon: highlights from the Environment and Humanities channels!