Light Sunday reading, viewing and thoughts.

By Grant Jacobs 24/01/2010

A potpourri of bits and bobs for some light Sunday entertainment. (I have several more “serious” posts lined up, but they are held up for a variety of reasons.)

Some time ago I write about silly or humorous scientific research article titles or content: Craziest research paper titles, awards and authors. I’d completely forgotten about the NCBI ROFL blog, which has re-surfaced as occasional posts of Discoblog. If humorous takes on research are your thing, head on over. Their latest effort on this theme is NCBI ROFL: the case of the haunted scrotum. A haunted scrotum? Scary.

Once posted...
Once posted... there forever

The incredibly silly illustration to the right is lifted from one of Isis’ blog articles. The point being that what you write on the internet stays. I’m popping this in as a lighter take on a serious topic. (Yes, this picture is incredibly scientific…) There’s been a lot of discussion about civility around the ScienceOnline2010 crowd. There is a serious point to some of these conversations, which is too heavy for light Sunday reading but a rule of thumb I have is not to write something that you wouldn’t want to your family, close friends, workmates, employers, etc., to read. The people that matter to you, basically. (Also: if you really think an internet alias is untraceable, don’t.)

Those looking for on-line science documentaries, don’t miss these lists: 100 best free science documentaries on-lineand DocumentaryHeaven. Enough to keep you going for days.

Many of you will be bookworms. If you’re looking for new non-fiction books, check out the list of books towards the end of this article, recommended by Susan Orlean’s readers.

If infographics is your thing I picked this short video up from bioephemera’s article If you’re chased by an angry mob armed with infographics…

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There are some great points made in this short space of time. (WordPress keeps throwing away the embedding code: I will keep trying, but you may have to use the link to view the video. My apologies, but WordPress and embedding videos aren’t always happy bedfellows…)

Finally a quip, favourite of mine: The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it! but rather, “hmm… that’s funny…” (Isaac Asimov).

This should keep you going for a bit. If you need or want more, check the links out below. Have fun!

A selection of other light-hearted posts on Code for life:

Map shows New Zealand with lowest death rate on earth in 1856, over 11 in 1000 dying

Deleting a gene can turn an ovary into a testis in adult mammals

All this talk about 3-D movies and TVs is depressing

Scientific baking. Great for those lab meetings or kids’ parties.

New decade cartoon: Calvin on scientific progress

Explore ancient science books on-line

Neti pots now validated as sound science?

Royal science

Observing neurons and 1960s sci-fi geeks