Empathy, Vitalism, Alzheimer’s, Physical Paradoxes and other things found in dictionaries


--- 1 --- When I was little, one of my favorite things to read was the science magazine Muse, but I've finally found a suitable substitute for adults.  After poking around on the Nautilus website, I finally became a subscriber, and had a wonderful time reading my first print magazine.  A number of their articles and blog posts have turned up in my Quick Takes over the last few months, and I strongly suspect a bunch of my readers (and your children, if applicable) would really enjoy this science … [Read more...]

7QT: Cats that are not on fire, and more spiders than you’d expect

spiders georg

--- 1 --- My facebook friends are the kind of people who are patient with me when I post things like, "Oy, where is that quote about the problem with cat burning not being that it's bad for the cat but bad for the spectators?"But even their patience has a limit.  One friend supplied the quote I was looking for ("Macaulay said that the Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators." - G.K. Chesterton, All Things Considered.) … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/23/14)


--- 1 --- I'm delighted by how many of you wrote in to tell me that "modern stylites" exist, after I referred to them hypothetically in the post on Orthodoxy and eating disorders.  Here's one of the best links you guys found: Shortly after the collapse of communism and the resurgence of religion in Georgia, former "bad boy" Maxime Qavtaradze (now 59) decided to live atop the pillar in the way of the old stylites. “When I was young I drank, sold drugs, everything. When I ended up in prison.... I … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/16/14)

--- 1 --- Ok, it turns out there have been so many cool sources of internet musings on Captain America: The Winter Soldier that this week's quick takes will alternate CA:TWS links with unrelated ones.First up, a piece that does a great job explaining why Captain America is my favorite Avenger, "Grimdark is lazy, good is hard work and Jewish American superheroes" Basically (right?) Captain America was created by two Jewish-Americans to shame the US into properly fighting Hitler.Like, I … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/9/14)


--- 1 --- Here's the most fun you'll have since slime molds mapped your public transit.  Scientists are using ants to model stampedes and other chaotic ways humans move around.  It turns out that ants (and probably also people) exit more quickly and safely when the doors are partially obstructed.  If an exit is partially blocked, people tend to wind up in more of a queueing pattern than when they all rush a wide open door in unison. --- 2 --- More enjoyable problem solving: a stat guy did su … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/2/14)


--- 1 --- I'm on tenterhooks waiting to get my copy of Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, which I preordered immediately after reading this review of the graphic novel. CA: The way you draw him, the thing that I really notice is that you’re always doing these close-ups of his hands, either contrasting with other people or just with the tiny little neck of a beer bottle poking out from his fist.BB: That was the thing. I watched a lot of footage of Andre, and that’s one of the things that, onc … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (4/25/14)


--- 1 --- Everyone's still talking about the data journalism sites Vox, FiveThirtyEight, and the Upshot, but the most adorable statistics reporting I've seen turned up on FlowingData, in an article putting together statistics and graphs on his six-month old son.Below is the graph of how far he strayed from his house, before and after his baby's birth, and there are plenty more fun graphs at the link.--- 2 --- Speaking of the power of statistics, I totally need this poster for my room, … [Read more...]