Links & Lit: My Favorite Reads of Late, 11/8/11


Some of my favorite short ‘net reads over the last few weeks:

Auroras! via Jerry Coyne, as above. To get a heads-up on coming auroras via Twitter, btw, follow Aurora_Alerts.

Stunning wren duets are conceived as a whole but sung in two parts, by Ed Yong. (He wrote the piece; did NOT sing one of the two parts.) A true deep wonder of nature. Human ensemble players, take note. Beautiful work written up beautifully.

500 Years of Women’s Portraits in Western Art – in Three Minutes. Seriously remarkable morphing going on here: One set of eyes through the ages. With Yo-Yo providing soundtrack. Lovely. Via Two Nerdy History Girls, relayed by the fabulous Jenny McPhee‘s twitter.

Stephen Fry linked to a post. David Quigg poins to and comments on Stephen Fry’s pointer to Hugh Grant’s courageous scrapping with the UK press. Points scored. BTW, my heads-up source on this, too many Daves, Quigg’s Tumblr, is an invaluable source of such gorgeous and unexpected musings on reading and writing.

naked dense bodies provoke depression (and other tall scientific tales) From Tal Yarkoni, a wonderful list of entertaining scientific paper titles. E.g. “Are Analytical Philosophers Shallow and Stupid”. Plus orgasms.

mrianleslie: Bill Clinton on Obama: “I’m really trying to help him, but he seems to have lost his narrative.” More on this later.

What is peer-review for? by Bradley Voytek, who always seems to be having a great time. Even with peer review.

Mental-health guide accused of overreach, from Nature News At this point, I don’t think the DSM-V can avoid being incredibly controversial; psychiatry simply has too many conceptual, practical, and diagnostic problems to have it otherwise.

I am yours for 2 coppers Glorious comparison between graffiti in AD 79 Pompeii and 1960s Los Angeles, via Vaughan Bell. For example, “The risen flesh commands: Let there be love.” v “Show hard.” Your call.

The Flying Rhinos. Airlifted rhinos. Really. via @olivia_salon > @bengoldacre > edyong209

Meanwhile, reading of greater length right now:

  • Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight, by William Langwiesche. Some of the best writing on flight.
  • Coming into the Country, by John McPhee
  • Michael Nielsen’s Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science, in which he explains how open science can lead to great science.
  • The Boardman Tasker Omnibus, a dear dear friend to me. Some of the best climbing writing of the second half of the 20th century. This was briefly out of print, I’m happy to see it available again.
  • Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961, which I earlier wrote about (sort of) here.

Happy reading!

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