Los Links 6/24


Late again, I’m afraid.  Story of my life.  But you didn’t think I was going to deprive you of your delicious linkage, did you?

Either I wasn’t paying attention, or I was distracted, but I didn’t notice any enormous controversies this past week.  Oh, there were dust-ups and flare-ups and there’s always something stupid trending in the political world, but whatev.  For once, let’s put some fun, uplifting and really neat science front and center.  Scientific American’s Expeditions blog has been running a series on Montana State University’s China Paleontology Expedition, in which students from a variety of Montana colleges and universities get the chance to study dinosaur eggs in China.  Reading the series has been an exercise in delight and discovery.

New Expedition–MSU Student Research with Dinosaur Eggs in China.  In which we are introduced to the program and learn why dinosaur eggs in China are a Very Big Deal.

MSU China Paleontology Expedition–New season starts with division of egg duties, petrified trees, soybean Popsicles.  A student’s-eye view of immersion in Chinese sights, sounds, and food, with a sprinkle of science on top.  And holy shit, the petrified tree…

MSU China Paleontology Expedition–Beautiful window serves as escape hatch for baby dinosaur.  We’re on to the eggs!  It’s amazing how delicate structures can fossilize, and give us a glimpse of what the beginning of life was like for those long-vanished bebbes.

Fossil hunting in China very different than in Montana.  Methinks they should’ve practiced in the Pacific Northwest.  We could tell them a bit about sorting the geology and paleontology from the biology!

Incredible Find in Temple Museum, Harrowing Rescue on Crumbly Mudstone.  Geos and geoadventurers in the audience will grin at this.  We know a little something about crumbly mudstone, don’t we just?

Rock Mapping a Challenge for Biology Student.  Heh, I sympathize.  But this kind of thing is outstanding – more folks should get their feet wet in unfamiliar fields.  Cross-disciplinary fertilization FTW!

Go to Landfill, Find a Dinosaur Footprint!  Ah, the glamorous life of a paleontologist!  Doesn’t sound like anybody decided to switch majors afterward.  Strong bunch!

We Visit Fishy Relatives, Geology Wonderland.  When you see how China treats important geological formations, you will resolve to go there forthwith.  I have only one question: when are we going?

Right.  Refreshed?  Excited?  Then let’s get on with los links!

Science

Almost Diamonds: With Friends Like These. When people jump in to defend a sexist, racist moron, our Stephanie Zvan is there to take ‘em down.

The Loom: Sex with someone from the future can be hazardous to your health. Anyone planning to write time travel, take especial note.

Looking for Detachment: Recent Hike: Water in the Desert.  This former desert rat thoroughly loved this post. Loved loved loved.  And while you’re there, visit Cathedral Gorge II: The Hike.  Get up close and personal with some truly astonishing geology.

Highly Allochthonous: The slowly building threat of Cascadia – and the slow realisation it was there (book review).  Sigh. Another book to read, a little more mortal terror.  Also, read Seismo-volcanism in Eritrea.  This rifting stuff is teh awesome!

Georneys: Geology Word of the Week: C is for Coquina.  A shelly stone that can stop a cannonball – how cool is that?  And absolutely do not miss D is for Delta either.

Scientific American: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Natural Selection and Evolution, with a Key to Many Complicating Factors.  For all those who wonder about the evolutionary science of same-sex attraction.

Not Exactly Rocket Science: Herding HIV into an evolutionary dead end – study finds the virus’s weak spots.  Send this link to every person who claims evolution has no useful applications.

Meteorite Monday: Impact craters and surprises.  It’s got plate tectonics, meteors, and unexpected twists.  So why aren’t you over there reading it already?  Also see The Quotable Geologist: Sir David Brewster.

Scientific American: Brain Scans Predict Pop Hits.  Now that we can predict them, can we fix the areas of the brain responsible for them?

Darryl Cunningham Investigates: Evolution. A fantastic comic strip about evolution suitable for sending to any ignoramus.

Bad Astronomy: Betelgeuse’s sandy gift.  This post expresses exactly why science is so sublime.  Carl Sagan couldn’t have done better!  It’s every reason why I find science intensely inspiring, and that’s why I’m putting it in bold.  But don’t get so distracted that you miss As arctic ice shrinks, so does a denier claim.  And a special one for Who fans: An observatory that’s bigger on the inside.  WANT!

Maniraptora: Tastes Like Chicken: Cold-
blooded cannibals: extreme adaptations to island life
.  The Darwininian struggle for existence gets really intense when there’s limited land…

ScienceNews: Death of a Continent, Birth of an Ocean.  One of the best posts on African geology I’ve ever read (aside from Georneys). How awesome is it to see plate tectonics in action, ripping a continent asunder?

Clastic Detritus: Pyroclastic Flow Caught In the Act.  ZOMG drool. A must-see for any pyroclastic flow afficinados in the audience.

Neatorama: Six Seriously Strange Animal Adaptations.  I love how wacky evolution can be.

Mountain Beltway: The Rockfish Conglomerate.  Glaciation or metamorphism?  Callan Bentley investigates.

Eruptions: Why volcanism isn’t the source of increasing carbon dioxide emissions.  In which we learn how dirty humans are compared to volcanoes.

The Scholarly Kitchen: A New Study Asks a Troubling Question: Are We Losing Our Minds?  This is a great case study in how to interpret a study.

Quest: Geological Outings Around the Bay: Stinson Beach.  Yet another place in the Bay Area that is a must-see for geology buffs.

Blag Hag: Picking on myself. As usual, Jen’s absolutely correct.  And brave as can be.

Pharyngula: Dear Emma B.  PZ writes a beautiful letter to a little girl about questions, science, and thinking for yourself.  Which caused the creationist fucktards who filled her head with bullshit to lie, run and scream.

Writing

Nieman Storyboard: Slow violence and environmental storytelling.  In this era of flash and bang, how do we tell those stories that (like global warming) take decades to unfold? Here’s how.

This View of Life: Narrating Science and Fear.  For this sentence: “We can use the heroic narrative to communicate that the sciences do fit in with the traditional idea of a good and worthy pursuit, and not just as the villains or warning character.” Brilliant.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Notice to Appear.  The pros and cons of going on tour to pimp your novel, lovingly dissected by an expert.

La Vie en Prose: Down and Dirty Ethics of Digital Publishing.  If your agent also wants to be your publisher, this is what you should know.

Embargo Watch: Wait, Guardian bloggers shouldn’t get access to Nature’s embargoed materials? A guest post by Martin Robbins.  Isn’t it about time that journals et al started realizing bloggers ARE journalists?

Women’s Issues

A Division by Zer0: Feminists don’t think all men are rapists. Rapists do. Men, this should get the old neurons sparking. Think about it.

National Post: Counterpoint: Dressing modestly doesn’t stop sexual violence.  So can we please stop pretending it does?

Religion and Atheism

WWJTD: Thanks Christians! Don’t you just love the law of unintended consequences?

Stupid Evil Bastard: Statue of Hindu God included in public art project and Christians freak the fuck out.  I shouldn’t love it so much when stuff like this happens, but I do. The self-unawareness is just delish.

Evolving Thoughts: Atheists aren’t entirely human, part whatever. Subtle but vicious dehumanization of atheists continues apace.

Huffington Post: The Atheist in the Closet.  You know that if I’m linking to that wretched hive of scum and quackery (h/t Orac), it’s a damned good post.

Alternet: Sex, Love, Revenge … and Atheism? Finally, a Big New Film That Shows Non-Belief in a Positive Light.  And it seems it’s even good storytelling. Woot!

Politics

Starts With a Bang: Weekend Diversion: And now, they’re coming for me. Yeah, me. Because I write for you.  If this noxious bit of legislation passes, they’ll be coming for us all

Daily Kos: The conservative war on facts.  Nothing more needs be said. Just read.

Think Progress: Mitt Romney: Federal Disaster Relief For Tornado And Flood Victims Is ‘Immoral,’ ‘Makes No Sense At All’ and As Crops Are Killed, House Forbids USDA From Preparing For Climate Disasters.  These two posts don’t say all that needs to be said about the current Republican party, but close enough.

Boing Boing: Georgia’s anti-immigrant law leaves millions in crops rotting in the fields.  What was that about “taking American jobs” again?

Balloon Juice: Not Fade Away.  The take-away lesson from Sarah Palin’s aborted bus tour.

Rolling Stone: Michele Bachmann’s Holy War.  Okay.  Terrified and depressed now. I can haz new country?

Society and Culture

Hudson Valley Geologist: Assess this! In which tests are dealt a devasting blow, and what’s truly important in education is put front-and-center.

CNN: Recycling hotel soap to save lives. This is one of the most genius things I’ve ever seen. Waste not, want not, and save the world!

The Guardian: The shot that nearly killed me: War photographers – a special report. This is harrowing. War is not pretty.

The Times of India: ‘I supported Husain but you can’t disown your country’  A view from exile, haunting and provocative.

Snarkmarket: I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This. The Justice League and journalism – see how they juxtaposed.

The Bloggess: And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles. Towels vs. Giant Metal Chicken. ZOMG ROFLMAO I think I need a towel…