Weekly Webcrawl: Love is in the ‘sphere
The sclogosphere went nuts yesterday with love-related science posts. Here are few that caught my eye:
- The physics of sunsets only makes them more romantic, argues Ethan Siegel on ScienceBlogs. Apparently continuing fractions are romantic, too.
- A couple years ago, researchers came up with a mathematical model to predict the success of relationships.Others say that oxytocin is the secret to lasting love
- Singularity: the new Valentine’s day gift? If that doesn’t work, here are some gift giving tips from the animal kingdom. Deborah Blum warns that chocolate may not be your best bet.
- Polyamory may be the secret for some, but not owl monkeys: they mate for life (and, speaking of owls, a new species was recently discovered!)
- Here’s Smithsonian’s roundup of ongoing research projects on the science of love.
- Relationship stress may lower immunity (and stress isn’t just bad for you, but your kids too.)
- Shark sex. Enough said.
And, while we’re on the subject of animal sex, what is it about science bloggers and penises? A few weeks ago it was squid and barnacles, now these:
- Alligator’s permanently erect penis drew quite a bit of attention this week.
- Of course, the sea slug’s disposable penis was woe to be left in the dust. Ed Yong’s story here.
[I can't think of an appropriate transition between penises and politics so this parenthetical will have to suffice.]
Obama opened his SOTU on Monday with promises about keeping science going despite the ugly funding debate that’s currently dominating most scientists’ minds. Here, ScienceInsider drills down on the President’s science facts and here New York Times blogger Andrew Revkin wonders how hard it will be to turn his rhetoric into reality. Scientific American breaks down the president’s first ever plan on climate change, which was released last week. All of this has gotten the Keystone pipeline debate surging. And if we don’t do something soon, the government risks severe financial exposure from the effects of climate change.
This all comes in the midst of the ongoing debate about science funding and everyone’s favorite word: sequestration. Contemplative Mammoth had a great post on the catch 22 that is science funding but some proposed changes to the way research money is managed look promising (don’t hold your breath).
Speaking of politics, we can’t help it, our brains make us the crazy [liberals/conservatives] we are (and actually, I went to another AAAS session today on the science of politics where one speaker had quite a bit to say about this subject. Stay tuned!)
In case you’ve got nothing better to do over the long weekend, here are a few citizen science activities to keep you busy:
A few things that I found fascinating but don’t fit into the above categories:
- A hair stylist teaches archeologists a thing or two in the great ancient hairdo debate.
- A slew of antibiotic resistant bacteria showed up in a Chinese swine farm.
- Alien contact in 1967?
- Dogs understand us better than we do them.
- The real story of mitochondrial eve (as told by a non-creationist Christian science blogger, via Boing Boing). Placental ancestor found. We’re still evolving. And some new mitochondrial research.
- No kidding: Bigfoot DNA was bogus.
Oh, and by the way, Knight should have never paid Johnah Leherer $20,000 to apologize for his misdeeds. But they realized it a little too late.