Oooof, election season’s over. I’m not sure if I miss it or not. The whole thing was a little surreal, and on that theme—actually no, I don’t want to talk about the election results at all, in fact I may have to move to New Zealand. Fortunately, I’ve curated this little compendium of things that amused me on the Internet in the past month. Enjoy!
First, some science links:
- This story from the Globe and Mail is the sort of science reporting I wish we saw more often. However, I object to the title. Slugs are adorable. Especially bright blue ones.
- The exciting tale of the discovery of a new order of insects, the Mantophasmatodea, is a good example of how a lot of species discovery works: the specimens are already in hand, but no one notices that they’re something entirely new. (Also, these are some really adorable insects. Can you tell how warped my maternal instinct is?)
- I’m hugely in favour of scientists telling the story of how they do research—not just their results, but the whole process—and this new blog by the talented Ms. Des Roches promises to be full of lizardly hijinks.
- Over the past few weeks a rare specimen of one of the world’s largest flowers began blooming. It warms my heart that this attracted so many visitors. The inflorescence has wilted now, but the daily shots showing its growth are fascinating—it was only fully open for a single day. I saw this story in the news on several occasions and much was made of the plant’s common name, the corpse flower (it smells like rotting meat). And although they mentioned the scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum, they completely ignored the fact that it translates to “titanic misshapen cock”. Here’s a picture from the webcam earlier this month. It reminds me a lot of “Little Shop of Horrors”!
And some science-tinged art/surrealism etc.:
- Next time you’re world-building for your totally epic mindblowing heartbreaking brilliant SF novel, look no further than the bottom of your frying pan.
- I’ve always loved tall ships, but this gallery of more modern shipwrecks is stunning and just as evocative as wrecks from the Age of Sail.
- Here’s an abstract look at Florida’s endangered springs.
- This unusual art combining bits and pieces of different animals makes me want to take up taxidermy.
- More biological art, and more Simone Des Roches: Sketches of Biological Mythology.
- Adorable bird art: Alice’s Aviary.
- Christopher Hitchens’ message to conference-goers after he had to cancel an appearance for health reasons is just so good. I am almost literally drooling at how well this man can write.
- An experiment that I would like to replicate. Let’s try Wolf Parade with actual wolves, Modest Mouse with actual mice, Said The Whale with actual whales…
- Results of the 2011 Hexapod Haiku Challenge
- I have an old book about ballet at home that’s full of ethereal line drawings that superimpose the same figure at different steps of a dance sequence. This short film from 1968 is much like that, and it’s achingly beautiful. If you’ve read through this whole post and clicked on none of these links, PLEASE watch this one.