Science link fest for the week of the 27th

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Hello Paleoposse! This week I bring you Egyptians and iron meteorites, Neil deGrasse Tyson as the Carl Sagan of our generation and a mild rant about poor quality science reporting. I’m off to enjoy my 30th birthday. Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Solid science:

  • Here’s a story that’s near and dear to my heart: the first use of iron in Egyptian history came from a meteorite. I really love this article as it’s the perfect combination of science and history and it’s written (mostly) free of jargon. And it’s free through Meteoritics and Planetary Science
  • Continuing with the news on space stuff, this article from Scientific American talks about Comet ISON and how studying it can yield clues about the formation of our solar system.
  • One of my favorite geologists, and personal friend, Dana Hunter, has a great story about the glacier-sculpted geology of Discovery Park in Seattle. She focuses mostly on the South Bluff, which is this thick with layers of mud and sand that record the formation of the Sound. And there’s a picture of the back of my head from my last trip when she gave a tour of the area.

Not 100% science, but still awesome:

  • This one from Patrick- After the fall of the Taliban, biologists were able to get into the more remote areas of Afghanistan and study species that were are either endangered or thought extinct. This article from the Washington Post looks at biologists efforts to save the snow leopard.  
  • One of greatest nerdgasms to occur at Comic-Con this year came from the trailer of the revamped Carl Sagan classic, Cosmos. The new version will air in 2014 with and will be hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. After watching the trailer on YouTube, you should also read the post over at Wired about the importance of this program
  • Scanning electron microscope+film software+everyday insects= creepy, but gorgeous films of every day insects. Definitely worth a watch.

Not even close to being science:

  • This gem comes from the bastion of woo and science illiteracy, the Huffington Post: yet more rumors of a giant, gaseous, undiscovered planet in the outer solar system. I’m putting this one into the not science section for two reasons: 1) it’s the Huffington Post and 2) We barely understand the composition of Pluto, let alone some hypothetical planet that’s supposedly made of hydrogen and helium and has moons because “all outer planets have them”.  Gizmodo and other online sources have reported on this, and it seems that HuffPo just mashed together a story from those sites. Worse yet, none of them have an actual, cited scientific article to back up their stories. This is the perfect example of poor science reporting.   /endrant


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