Cool Links

via It Takes 30, from the Department of Systems Biology @ Harvard Medical School

As so often with mathematical treatments of complex problems, one of the key benefits of creating the model is that it forces you to make explicit your assumptions.
Can't be at the San Diego Comic Con because your dog's Boba Fett costume is at the cleaners? Great news ... ScriptPhD is on the scene.

It's just like being there, without having to stare at some guy wearing a t-shirt with barbecue sauce on it from dinner three nights ago telling you you're not really a "Farscape" fan because you pronounced Gigi Edgley's name wrong.

 
The 1960s were a great decade - the 1960s that the '60s would become famous for (drugs, riots, protests) didn't really happen until the end and, as David Crosby replied when asked to disclose one thing people did not know about the '60s stated, "They happened in the '70s" - and its mystique has become even greater with the gentle misogyny and rampant chain smoking of "Mad Men".

But there was cool science too.  At Psypost, they write of a Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study that set out to find what we could learn about men from what they preferred in women - like the size of butts or boobs.  
Gamblers House, a blog dedicated to work on Chaco Canyon, goes into some common questions they get from visitors
One thing that seems to surprise a lot of visitors is the fact that the Chacoans apparently had no knowledge of the wheel, or if they did have such knowledge they didn’t apply it to transport any of the many things they brought into the canyon from distant sources.
Answer; a lack of draft animals.    It's cool stuff.

Now tell us why so many of the New World civilizations learned to write either.
The article we all wanted to write, but it isn't science and we feel guilty wasting the audience's time complaining about people they never run across but we see day ... after day ... after day ... 

They subscribe to our Twitterfeed, they want to write to us on Facebook, they can show us how to make money if we just bookmark them.

No one knows what they actually do is just 1 of the 5 signs.  You have to read for the rest ...

H/T Jennifer Ouellette at Cocktail Party Physics.
Since I know you are all too cheap to pay for Newsday and this article is behind their pay firewall, I will sum it up for you - Darth Vader apparently missed his flight to San Diego for the Comic Convention and decided to rob a bank in Setauket instead.

Really, that doesn't need anything else to be funny.



The camouflage pants are a nice extra humorous touch, though.   H/T and photo Gothamist

British nanny Nicola Paginton, age 30, suffered a sudden heart arrhythmia, likely caused by "her activity before death", says the coroners report.  

A heart attack at such a young age?   What was that activity?  I am not writing it here but you can go read about it



I guess all British nannies look like this?  It explains why American men are not allowed to have them.
See if you can follow along as an Old Media giant goes after a new competitor.

The Wylie Agency, that of literary agent Andrew Wylie, has said it will publish Kindle versions (that's Amazon) of backlist titles by authors like Ralph Ellison and John Updike.   

Random House says they will kick Wylie's teeth in, legally.   Nope, says Wylie, the authors (or estates) control digital rights to works produced before e-books like Kindle existed.
Alex Antunes, space columnist and mastermind behind Project Calliope, got some love from Wired's online Gadget Lab.


It doesn’t always have to be a scientific experiment. Antunes’ project, called Project Calliope, will use magnetic, thermal and light sensors to detect information in the ionosphere and transmit the data back to earth in the form of sound. That sound is almost like space music, he says.

“Just like people have taken ambient sound and used it in music, artists can take this and create something out of it.” says Antunes.
Extreme Hobbyists Put Satellites Into Orbit With $8,000 Kits By Priya Ganapati
Inspired by the new "Inception" movie, io9's Annalee Newitz compiles her favorite scifi dream cities - dark horse inclusion: "Monsters, Inc."
Dave Bacon, who used to be at Scienceblogs it seems (though not a departed because of Pepsigate, at least from what I gathered) outlines a pretty good vision of what the future of science networks might be.

Obviously we are a science network but we are not the only model - however, we are very much Science 2.0 whereas Scienceblogs was Blogging 1.0 (and yet I would regard Adam Bly as a Science 2.0 pioneer, even though Scienceblogs is not a Science 2.0 site - makes no sense?   You'll have to buy the book) and there are tangential ways to go as well, something a quantum physicist would surely understand, living in a world of complex adaptive systems.
At Jonathan Rosenberg's excellent "Scenes From A Multiverse" ...

Get ripped in defiance of conventional physics: Dark Energy brand energy drink replaces 74% of your muscles with Dark Muscles. 


Like it?  Buy a print here.
Casey Rentz takes that whole chicken-egg silliness (solved! say headlines) and gets to the meat of the issue in Which came first, the scientist or the sensationalist?

It isn't just pageview-whoring journalists and media companies, Casey notes, but researchers and PIOs at institutions as well.
Web publications want flashy news. Press officers want to glorify their own institution. Scientists want to attract new funding. It's a reinforced loop that can in some situations lead to the printing of truly questionable material, as the chicken and egg article so plainly illustrates.
Most of us are good at one thing; sports or science - Josh Witten is an exception but he may have found his match in Sweden's Elin Ekblom-Bak, who jacks up goals for a professional women's football team and still has time to work  in the Department of Medicine at the Karolinska Institute and the Astrand Laboratory of Work Physiology in the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences.


Strange creatures have been inhabiting London’s construction sites. Artist Zara Gaze knows more about their nocturnal origins.



Artist Zara Gaze calls the installations “sandalism” - I call it awesome.   http://sandalism.co.uk/ for lots more cool stuff.
Hypatia was, if we are being honest, one of the sexiest women ever -  not because of looks, on that we have no clue, but because this fourth century citizen scientists discovered the sun was the center of the universe a thousand years before Copernicus did.  Smart women rule.

And, if you go for that sort of thing, she was a total pagan in a land of Christian expansion, and she kept boytoys around for her amusement.   

Rachel Weisz Hypatia
Ladies, are you tired of your significant other buying wargames and stupid cartoony things with fake Italian accents?    Wish the Wii could be more practical?   Here it is ... the Shii.

This disappeared from the Internet after I wrote Awesome Thanksgiving Science last year so I found an archive version before it disappears for good.

Original link: http://www.kimmerer.com/a-botanical-guide-to-thanksgiving-dinner/

In 1998, Christie's Auction House of London auctioned off a musty old prayer book for two million dollars. 

What they thought was just a prayer book contained Greek inscriptions and accompanying diagrams that turned out to be the only surviving copies of several works by Archimedes from over 2,000 years earlier. And the researchers discovered that Archimedes was working out principles that, centuries later, would form the heart of calculus and that he had a more sophisticated understanding of the concept of infinity than anyone had realized.