The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for September, 2010

BBC Life Is “Coral Reefs”

Figure 1: Deep sea coral. Click to awesomely embiggen! Another awesome exclusive video from our friends over at BBC Life Is. This month, the theme is corals, and the video (behind the fold, since it takes up a decent amount of bandwidth) features an interesting new attempt in Fiji to restore coral reefs.

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week. “The relationship between leaders and followers reflects a social contract wherein followers trust leaders to make decisions that benefit the group and leaders agree to pursue actions that are in the group’s best interests. The prevalence of leadership throughout history and across species suggests that…

My contribution for the Guardian’s Science Blogging Festival has been posted! Healthy, sane humans do not stab themselves in the thighs, or bathe their eyes in lemon juice. So why do we so love to assault one of the most sensitive organs in the human body, the tongue, with what amounts to chemical warfare? Chillies…

At least one dog can be found in forty percent of US households, and forty percent of those owners allow their dogs to sleep on their beds. To put this in perspective, in a family with five children, two of them can be expected to become dog owners, and one of them will probably allow…

Extra, Extra

There was A LOT of stuff this week. Was this week particularly good for blogging or am I just aware of more blogs and blog posts in recent weeks? Am I paying more attention because of the new networks? Am I just filtering less, and including more in the round-up? Anyway, lots of awesome. Science…

Origins of Mind 101

If I had to describe the mission, the point, the raison d’etre of the entire field of psychology in just one sentence, I would say: Psychology aims to determine the relative extents to which biology and experience determine cognition and behavior.” And, as you might expect, there are widely differing schools of thought. Nativists emphasize…

This talk, from last spring’s TEDxUSC (for those not in the know, USC held the first ever TEDx event, in 2009), is made of awesome, and worth watching in its entirety. It will be especially interesting for those who have read The Invisible Gorilla. As I’m always looking for good teaching tips, here are a…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: “Now, five years later, there’s new evidence of the significant, negative impact of Hurricane Katrina on children’s mental health.” Many Children Still Haven’t Recovered from Katrina. “Congenital amusia is one of several different types of music perception impairments. A person with the disorder is born…

New-born twin giant pandas made their media debut at a zoo in Japan on Friday. The twins, one male and one female, were born on August 11 to mother Rauhin and father Eimei, by artificial insemination. (video via BBC News)

Monday Pets on Scientific American!

For today’s dose of monday pet blogging, head on over to a piece that I wrote for Scientific American that went up today. I used the invitation as an opportunity to a dig a little deeper into the story of Belyaev and his domesticated silver foxes (I previously wrote about them, here and here)