1: Since we’re having the snowiest winter New Jersey has seen in 62 years, this post about snow fleas (aka springtails) is relevant and interesting. I haven’t actually seen any recently myself, but I also haven’t been outside except to shovel out my car (EcoTone).
2: Vladamir Nabokov, author of Lolita and many other novels, was also a gifted but largely unknown lepidopterist who had what were considered far-fetched theories about the evolution of Polyommatus blue butterflies. Thanks to recently advances in genetics, however, his ideas have finally been vindicated (New York Times).
3: Bats. Pitcher plants. Poop. Three of my favorite science-y topics. I literally cannot think of anything more adorable than tiny bats who sleep in pitcher plants (TreeHugger).
4: Nerdy Christie explains to us how citrus plants use chemical signals to recruit the aid of nematodes when grubs start chomping on their roots (Observations of a Nerd)
5: Over at Deep Sea News, Kevin Zelnio launches a series of posts on the Deep Sea for Beginners, starting with…what is it? (Deep Sea News).
General Science Links
1: What’s an angular unconformity? And how is one formed? Chris Rowan offers a case study of the one at Siccar’s Point in Scotland – followed by an even more scrumptious post on how to bake an angular unconformity (Highly Allonchthonous)
2: The most distant and therefore the oldest (er, youngest?) galaxy we’ve discovered so far was found this week. Hubble really has been earning its keep lately, particularly since it apparently wasn’t designed to find things this far away (Starts With a Bang)
3: Following Science Online 2011 there has been quite a bit of kerfuffle in the science blogosphere regarding women scientists and science bloggers. Where are they? How should they be treated? Why are the ones that exist not given more credit for the work they do? As part of the ongoing conversation, Ed Yong posts a list of truly superlative female science bloggers (Not Exactly Rocket Science)
4: Phil Plait continues the epic de-bunking of the completely ridiculous and over-hyped “Betelgeuse will go supernova in 2012, giving us two suns and heralding the Mayan apocalypse” story. Pity, I always wanted to live on Tattoine (Bad Astronomy).
5: How did dinosaurs get so huge, and why don’t we have any land mammals even close to that size these days? What about economies of scale? This post helps explain why nothing is awesome anymore (Laelaps).
1) Friday night dinner suggestion – caramelized onion flatbread with spiced olive oil and a balsamic reduction. They had me at “caramelized”. Although I think I’ll go with mozzarella cheese over chedder (The Food Network).
2: You can roast your own coffee beans at home using an air popper for popcorn. Yes, even a cheap one. Popcorn AND home roasted coffee for less than $15? I’m there. It’s a far better alternative than getting fresh roasted beans off the guy in our lab who used to secretly roast them on the weekends on a hot plate under the sterile hood… (Not Without Salt)
3: I may literally be the last science geek on the interwebs to see this, but Zheng Labs spoofs Lady’s Gaga’s “Bad Romance” with “Bad Project”. Although in my lab mystery vials were more likely to be labeled in Hindi than Thai (PharmaGossip).
4: I need a Nestrest. For nappies. And so I can pretend I’m swallow. But how does the guy hanging over the water get out of it? Maybe he just lives there now (99 Apples).
5: Note to self – when asking a random group of American school kids to locate things on a map so you can prove how terrible our education system is, be sure they aren’t students on the way home from a Geography Bee (XKCD).