The Thoughtful Animal

Extra, Extra

Welcome to the weekly linkfest, August 28 edition.

Science
Brian Switek writes about one of the fastest mammals on earth, the pronghorn, and the complex ecology it lives in. Of Pronghorns and Predators. It’s an interesting look into the predator-prey relationships between wolves, coyotes, and pronghorns.

Another great post from Brian, in which he tells us about the mystery of the missing brontosaurus head.

Yet another human falls prey to the illusion of attention. The guys at The Invisible Gorilla explain why there is just no safe way to text while driving.

The dog-human connection in evolution. A long post, but well-worth the read, in which the author argues that “animal domestication is one manifestation of a larger distinctive trait of our species, the ‘animal connection,’ which unites and underwrites a number of the most important evolutionary advances of our hominin ancestors.”

Some really cool videos of cephalopods from Mike Lisieski of the Cephalove blog.

Jump behind the fold for the rest!


Also as the Cephalove blog, a multi-part series of posts examining cephalopod consciousness. It starts here.

Apparently, young people might identify with an online community as strongly as with their own meatspace family.

Mike Brotherton explains how a stupid psychologist is sending the wrong message about superheroes.

The September edition of The Psychologist is available for free!

From the Economist: Riders on a Swarm. What can we learn from ants, bees, and other insects that swarm?

How can you work at conserving a species if you don’t even know how many individuals there are? Maned wolf survival rates.

Many teenagers insist that they smoke as a way to self-medicate against “the blues.” But smoking might actually increase depressive symptoms in teens.

In a new paper just released in Nature, E.O. Wilson (and others) have proposed a new theory of social evolution, particularly with respect to kin selection. And some biologists don’t buy it. Wired explains.

In the New York Times: Can Preschoolers Be Depressed?

Science Writing
As the 365 Days of Darwin comes to a close in a few months at Southern Fried Science, our friends over there are beginning a new year-long series: Finding Melville’s Whale. I first read Moby Dick in my 11th grade AP English Language class, so I’m looking forward to going back and reading it again this year.

The Ten Commandments of Science Journalism according to Dave Mosher.

One of the best examples of medical writing I’ve seen recently, Atul Gawande discusses palliative care and the doctor-patient relationship at The New Yorker. Then, Ed Yong deconstructs Gawande’s essay and explains why it is so effective.

From the LA Times: Bloggers Beware! Your posts can lead to lawsuits.

Since most of science is about measuring things we can’t see, science writers often have to rely on analogies. And this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Life in Science
Dr. O reminds us that you don’t need no stinkin’ permission to start writing your dissertation.

Sheril has updated her list of policy fellowships for scientists and engineers. Some of them look really cool.

Female Science Professor asks how much service can graduate students reasonably do?

USC Physics Professor Clifford Johnson muses on the utility of an iPad as a serious work tool.

Not Science but Awesome
As even the most casual reader of this blog (but definitely the casual Twitt) knows, bacon holds a special place in my heart. But even I must draw the line at toaster bacon.

According to TreeHugger, there’s some new glass that helps birds avoid crashing into it. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Some True Blood revelations from the girl who plays Crystal. Don’t read it if you haven’t seen last Sunday’s episode, though.

For your daily dose of cute, here is a long-tailed macaque who has taken to a cute little kitty. I think that our domestication of companion animals like cats and dogs might have similar effects on non-human primates.

Finally, you probably don’t clean your computer monitor very often, and you definitely never clean the inside of your computer screen. Lucky for you, I’m here to help. Click here. You’re welcome.