Unisexual Ambystoma

Unisexual Ambystoma

Sunday, October 27, 2013


As if he were making art just for my interests, Nate Milton presents this animated short film, "TANK"

This beauty is well worth nine minutes of your life, especially if you were anything like me growing up: chasing creepy crawly creatures and playing junior naturalist. I don't think I've ever seen anything that has so accurately tapped into the magical feelings that surround connecting with the natural world as a child, feelings that certainly still resonate with me as an adult.

This film was the results of a successful Kickstarter campaign and you can see more behind-the-scenes videos/photos on Mr. Milton's production blog. Go give his website some love for his awesome work.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Science links: Science Studio educates, entertains, and inspires

Whew, I've been away from the blog for a bit while I finished my PhD candidacy. Now that I've been deemed a competent scientist by my senior colleagues, I have a backlog of blog posts to get to.

I'm going to start by pointing you towards Science Studio, a collection of the best science multimedia on the web. This idea comes from Rose Eveleth and Ben Lillie, who are two people behind the equally excellent podcast Story Collider

So, why is Science Studio cool? Well, finding really good science media isn't easy. Unfortunately, the best and most effective science multimedia isn't easily accessible via traditional outlets like television anymore.
No no no, Discovery, what is this?
Wait, really? Awww dagnabbit

Fortunately, the internet is still a source of so much great science media. It is also the source of so much terrible, pseudo-scientific poo. So if you are a science-seeking human with a limited amount of time to scour the internet, what do you do? Sites and programs like Science Studio could be the answer: nominate really good science media, have people judge it for its quality, and display the results in an easily accessible way. 

So go check out Science Studio for yourself. Here are some of my favorites from the collection:

Some days I'm Jad, some days I'm Robert.

One of the first science podcasts I always mention to folks is WNYC's Radiolab. While this podcast might not always satisfy those who seek for hardcore science, the stories are always entertaining and Jad and Robert make one of the best radio teams you can listen to. Their episode "The Bad Show" displays prominently on top of the Science Studio collection.

Look at this video explaining DNA folding from the blog The Last Word On Nothing. I was so enamored by how simple and whimsical this video is while so accurately and clearly presenting a very complicated topic.

Here is a neat podcast that I had never heard of, One Species at a Time. This one is about an under-appreciated group of species: moths. This is delivered by Ari Daniel Shapiro, who you might have heard all over the radio talking about cool science.

Cutest organism alive

Next, an informative and concise video about Tardigrades from the YouTube channel SciShow. I told my students that the Tardigrade is my spirit animal and they seemed impressed.

Go check the rest of the collection out for yourself and support good science media!