Tina Fey, "Confessions of a Juggler" →
Fey’s writing is surprisingly terrible — I guess sitcom/sketch writing, especially with an absurdist bent, doesn’t require strong thematic and structural organization. That said, her riff on Ball of Fingers slayed me.
Malcolm Gladwell, "The Order of Things" →
Gladwell takes a break from his usual reductionist contrarianism to offer wholly axiomatic “insights” about how the college rankings in US News and Reports is arbitrary, tautological, and ultimately meaningless. Oops, should’ve asked you to sit down before you read that sentence.
Who Knew the Male Gaze Was Real? →
I mean, besides women? Each was assigned an interviewer of the opposite sex, who, when the participants entered the room, looked at them from head to waist and from waist to head in one sweeping motion and stared at their chests during the interview.
Shell-Hauling Spiders →
From the BBC: The footage revealed the spiders’ fascinating technique, spinning silk to hoist empty snail shells up to 50cm off the ground. “With almost flawless precision the spider descends on a single line of silk from the branch and attaches its first thread to the shell,” said Mr Fiely. “This is the critical anchor the spider uses, as it attaches a new thread...
Fleas Jump Off Their Feet →
But via NPR’s Morning Edition, that’s not the best part: So how does Bennet-Clark feel about being proved correct after all these years? “Let’s put it this way: It leaves me unsurprised,” he says. “Because I always thought that the trochanter idea of Miriam Rothschild was as silly as the statement I’m about to make, which is, ‘I’m about...
The Future is Now, Brought to You by Volvo →
But really now — “SARTRE”?
The long wait is over: Scientists have achieved laser-driven mind control over moving, squirming worms. (Via 80 Beats)
Batcave A La Poison Ivy →
The world’s worst flesh-eating plant lives in the jungles of Borneo. It’s called elongata and it’s one of several strains of Raffles’ pitcher plant. Like its relatives, it has distinctive pitcher-shaped leaves that can lure insects into a watery grave. But unlike other strains, elongata is strangely incompetent at catching insects. Instead, it lures bats into its pitchers, and lives off their...
Eaterficial Intelligence →
About 1.6 billion years ago, animals and plants went on their separate ways. One type of organism has the “stay in place and absorb” energy strategy. These are the plants, which sit and photosynthesize all day. The other organism has the “go around and get it” energy strategy – that’s you. The innovation of being an animal, in comparison to plants, is to have a gut with an ability to move,...
"Robotic Ghost Fish" Would Make Excellent Album... →
Science Not Fiction sez: At night in the rivers of the Amazon Basin there buzzes an entire electric civilization of fish that “see” and communicate by discharging weak electric fields. These odd characters, swimming batteries which go by the name of “weakly electric fish,” have been the focus of research in my lab and those of many others for quite a while now, because they are a model...