August 3, 2009
1. Improbable Research: Read the Annals of Improbable Research, buy tickets to the next Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and read a daily blog of new and interesting research (such as “Hair Length in Florida Theme Parks”). The science may not always be real, but it’s always funny. And, of course, here you’ll also find the home of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™.
2. PhD Comics (Piled Higher Deeper): The life of a grad student isn’t easy. Long hours, poor pay, crazy advisors, and that’s just the beginning. Recent topics in Piled Higher and Deeper, “the ongoing chronicle of life (or lack thereof)” among a group of grad students, have included publishing in Science and Nature, grooming and what would happen if research papers had comment sections. Real grad students will recognize some of the scenarios. The rest of us will be glad we decided to skip all those extra years of school.
3. NCBI ROFL: Science can get weird. A couple of molecular and cellular biology grad students at the University of California at Berkeley realized this and created a blog culled from the PubMed database of scientific abstracts. Being grad students, they’re a bit obsessed with alcohol, farts and sex, but you’ll giggle nonetheless. An example, “On the authenticity of shrunken heads“:
Jivaro tsantsas or shrunken head: an expertise of authenticity evaluation.
“Presence of sealed eyelids, pierced lips with strings sealing the mouth, shiny black skin, a posterior sewn incision, long glossy black hair, and lateral head compression are characteristic of authentic tsantsas.”
4. xkcd: “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” Written by a former robot scientist, though, it makes sense only if you speak geek.
5. Creation Wiki: The creationist answer to wikipedia has plenty of hidden gems. For example, the idolatry entry recommends reading the pages on DNA, sexual reproduction and embryos. Uluru (Ayers Rock) was, of course, created by the great flood. Dinosaurs coexisted with man. And there is no scientific evidence that the continental plates are still moving (which I think would be a shock to all those geologists who have compiled such data).
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