Friday, January 17, 2014

Weekend Reading: The I Love Science... and Some Other Things Edition

Real life continues to drain my attention away from blogging. Which is as it should be... except I think that there are some posts that it would do me good to write. So I may try to carve out some time for some more posts soon.

But not tonight. Tonight I have weekend links for you. I originally thought I'd do a science-themed links round up, but then I found a few non-science things that I really wanted to share. So I decided to go ahead and include them.

And yes, I DO still love science, even though I am constantly told I am inferior by virtue of being a woman. (I'm looking at you, Nature.) And I also DO still love technology, even though there, too, I am constantly told I am inferior by virtue of being a woman, or maybe just by virtue of not having been "hacking" since I was 13. (I'm looking at you, Paul Graham.) Seriously, this just goes on and on and on... and then people wonder why so many women in science and technology suffer from Impostor Syndrome.

But back to the links. First, the science:

There are way too many big dots on this graph showing vaccine-preventable outbreaks. Remember, too, that some of the blank areas are blank because they don't report the data. This graph should be taken as a lower estimate of the number of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.

I can't remember where I came across this awesome explanation of a classic quantum mechanics experiment that still bends my mind, but you should go read it and get your mind bent, too.

Sleep! It is super important. This one is bouncing around in my head with some other ways in which I think our society can be detrimental to people's mental health, trying to form into a coherent blog post.

How is ergot poisoning not a more widely known theory of what happened in Salem? Or maybe it is widely known and I have just been living under a rock or something?

Bad Mom, Good Mom has a pointed post about Gov. Christie's bridge shenanigans, air pollution, and health.

What-If by xkcd covered the topic of making a lake of tea. It is (as usual) a fun post, but sadly, he missed mentioning the fact that there is an actual Tea Lake in Australia. I have been there.

And now, for the not science:

I found this interesting article about the harm done by "Do What You Love" career advice via @SaraHCarl's twitter feed. I have since seen it on Slate.

I loved this article about the origin of the artisan toast fad in San Francisco, which turned out to be about so much more. I don't want to give away the way the story evolves, but I can say that I may never sneer at a hipster food craze again.

This heat map showing where the most photos are taken (and tagged) could waste a lot of time. Thank/curse my husband for sharing it.

This picture of a Japanese pilot and her manga portrait decal is awesome. I want to know the back story.

Finally, this list of words of the year from other countries delighted me.

Let's end with another Lorde parody. The fact that someone who graduated from high school 10 years ago made this parody about how old she feels makes me feel older than the fact that Lorde is only 17. But it is still a good one!

Happy weekend, everyone!


  1. Anonymous5:52 AM

    Great article on do what you love.( other articles great too, just pointing that one out.)

  2. Anonymous5:57 AM

    I thing I read a children's novel that had ergot poisoning and the pied piper story...

  3. Sonia8:23 AM

    Speaking as a historian, the ergot theory has been included in various anthologies about the Salem witch trials. But I think it's not been accepted by most early American historians. Granted, I spent grad school studying European, and not American, history, but I seem to recall a more popular explanation having to do with an urban/mercantile vs rural/farming divide between Salem village and Salem town. Nevertheless, it is an interesting way of thinking about the way people interact with their environment

  4. That article on DWYL is brilliant. Thank you.

  5. Can I tell you a random and crazy sleep story? I went to Europe for work after Christmas. I had a red eye from the east coast, and didn't sleep a wink. (I usually manage a couple of restless hours.) So I had a short nap when I arrived (90 minutes) and then stayed up until 9 PM. I was really tired, but I try to conform right away to a normal sleep schedule. The hotel had black out shades, so it was very dark in the room. I fell asleep and woke up at 6:30, and thought, that's pretty good, though I'd had a restless night's sleep. But it turned out it was 6:30 AT NIGHT and not in the morning. I'd slept for 21 hours. I've never gotten that much in my life. I felt really messed up for a couple of days after that,.

    The vaccine-preventing map was very interesting. I was especially struck by all the whooping cough in North America vs the measles in Europe.


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