Friday Recommended Reads #8


You probably caught the news about the oarfish. Two washed up in Southern California. Why did these creatures make it up to the surface? One idea, that I haven’t heard or read anywhere else, is that it was probably the US Navy. They keep using massive sonar instruments that are deafening to whales, and it makes sense given the locations. It’s wholly credible. (This wasn’t my idea, but a student’s, though I wish it was mine.)

Darwin was a loving and doting father, if not up to current standards, then at least a far better one than his contemporaries. And when he was done writing drafts, his kids used his paper for their drawings.

Heard that you can’t start a sentence with a conjunction? There’s no rule against it. So don’t sweat it if you do.

This newly-famous guy named Macklemore wrote on his website about the last year, about the process through which he became famous. It’s refreshingly reflective and honest about the interplay of the strategy, thrill and weirdness involved in going from a restricted distribution to cosmopolitan in a very short period of time.

When you’re in a teaching campus, how do you allocate your limited research time? Do you put all the eggs in one basket?

Is your department’s seminar series no good? Here’s how Alex Bond thinks they can be less sucky.

David Foster Wallace on doing science.  Okay, not really, he wrote about writing, but if you substitute “doing scientific research” for “writing,” this piece works just as well. Remember, we’re in this to discover stuff, and being high-profile should be a side benefit rather than the purpose.

If you’re wanting the authoritative recap on the sexual harassment saga in the Science Online community, it made it to the New Yorker. The ensuing discussions led me to think about how I structure discussions and work to be inclusive on this site. Some of the comments on that post earlier this week were curious and particularly revealing about the subculture of science blogging, and only reinforce my will to make sure that this site is a conversation designed for everybody.

Damn, Hope Jahren sure can write. A little flavor of VonnegutBorgesZadieSmithSedaris.

As always, share any other links you wish to share in the comments. People really do click on these things, you know!

Thanks to Arikia Millikan and Stacy Philpott for pointing to things via social media.