Aglitter in the Net: Sparkly things from the past week or so


A team from the Antarctic Heritage Trust found some century-old negatives from the Shackleton’s 1914-1917 expedition. Some lovely photos, like that above, amidst them. Note the artful use of three men at varying distances to capture a sense of depth the photo would otherwise lack. Shackleton took some good photographers. Story at Imaging Resource. Also check out the Heritage Trust site, which has many other riches.

Speaking of Antarctica and riches: Guardian science correspondent Alok Jha is currently on a research boat that has become stuck in the Antarctic ice. The experience is drawing from him some spectacular work.

The Electric Typewriter has some nice choices for its 50 Best Articles of 2013.

Dienekes Anthro blog briskly summarizes a rather amazing year for ancient DNA, including revelations of more hanky-panky between ancient hominids. For a field guide to those, do check out John Hawks’ Infographic Field guide to Pleistocene hookups.

Gladwell’s David and Goliath in 600 words.

“The Dark Matter of Psychiatric Genetics”, by Carl Zimmer, looks at what psychiatry might extract from “an emerging understanding of the human genome that [Zimmer] explored in a recent story for the New York Times: each of us does not carry around a single personal genome, but many personal genomes.” Zimmer is riffing off a commentary in the journal Molecular Psychiatry by Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Psychologist Tal Yarkoni on What we can and can’t learn from the Many Labs Replication Project, which sought to replicate some classic psychology experiments. Tarkoni’s smart write-up includes a review of a strange dust-up in which Dan Gilbert either did or did not diss journalist Ed Yong for his recent write-up of psychology’s replication issues in Nature.

The Times looks at the state of Connecticut’s final report on the Sandy Hook killings. Nothing really big here, but a chilling look at how very isolated the killer was in the months before the shooting.

Thirty months old but new to me, and utterly magnificent: Remembering Horace Judson, at Last Word on Nothing.

Speak, Butterfly. Mary Ellen Hannibal looks at how butterflies tied together Vladimir Nabokov’s home, science, and writing. “A modern taxonomist straddling a Wellsian time machine.”

Is 2013 the year open access reaches critical mass? Hilda Bastian takes a look. Meanwhile, a Washington Post article reminds us why so many want science to open up.

And don’t miss Ed Yong’s back-to-back best-of collections for the year: Top Science Longreads of 2013 and Hidden Gems of 2013.

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