Penis Size Demystified

by on March 23, 2012

From the department of Questions It’s About Time Science Answered, Damn It, comes a long-overdue report from Observations of a Nerd. Grad student and science writer Christie Wilcox starts with a map of global differences in penis size, and ends up tackling the age old conundrum; is bigger really better? The answer, as so often in science, is an entirely unequivocal “kinda.”

The short answer is yes, but


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Tastes Like Chicken

by on January 10, 2012

I bet you thought that cows and deer were vegetarians. You were wrong.

Note: If you dislike seeing cute things being eaten, this will make you sad.

It’s perhaps not as well known as it should be that many ‘strict herbivores’ will eat animal matter on occasion. Sometimes this behaviour is absolutely deliberate and likely motivated by a need for calcium: antler- and bone-eating is common in deer and other


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Boldly Go Learn Something About Space

by on December 29, 2011

The IRrelevant Astronomy video podcast is a consistently accessible, tongue-in-cheek look at space science. I was reminded this morning of “The Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor” episode, featuring the voices of George Takei, Mark Hamill, and Ed Wasser.

What reminded me of that, was this:…
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Science Says You Suck At Picking The Fastest Line

by on December 20, 2011

So there’s four days until Christmas. That’s four *shopping* days left before Christmas. Some of you will have had a minor panic attack reading that sentence. My apologies.

You, and everyone else who has left it to the last minute, are likely going to spend what seems like an eternity standing in checkout line, hoping upon hope that you picked the fastest line.

Interestingly, engineers know exactly how to get …
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Climate Science Resources to Help Preserve Your Holiday Sanity

by on December 7, 2011

‘Tis the season for mandatory holiday get togethers. So many people, so many different opinions. The possibility of awkward exchanges runs high, and the chance of one of them ending up as “the great turkey throwing tragedy of 2010″ is only a sip of Grandmas’s high-octane mulled cider away.

But you can be prepared for at least one the potential hot-button topics, with The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism
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The Unexpected Artistic Inclinations of Nemotodes

by on November 9, 2011

On the great life long quest to eat (or not be eaten), it’s good to have a couple tricks up your sleeve. Anyone who’s left their sandwich in the lunchroom fridge should be able to appreciate the competitive advantage of making your food glow a bright radioactive red, but this idea is implemented on a much smaller scale than you might imagine. Imagine further that one of your co-workers is painting …
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Herd Immunity 101

by on October 27, 2011

Every year at around this time, I find myself having conversations about the flu. Specifically, about why everyone should go get vaccinated in order to decrease my chances of getting sick, which decreases everyone else’s chances of me being a big, whiny baby within their immediate vicinity.

Which leads to me explaining herd immunity.

See the rest of the suitable-for-sending-to-coworkers-that you-KNOW-don’t-wash-their-hands-after-they-sneeze-so-at-least-go-get-vaccinated diagram.

If you’re interested in more detailed information …
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Who’s the Tonya Harding of Dinosaurs?

by on September 23, 2011

Although the sound is crap, a comedian freaking out about what is, or is not, the coolest dinosaur, is worth watching.

“T-Rex? I want you to really, really thoroughly image map that dinosaur in your brain, and imagine it trying to open a fruit cup.”

It’s not SFW, but hey, it’s Sunday.

Hear more from Dan Telfer.

Originally posted Dec 19, 2010…
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Breaking News: Wealthy People Live Longer

by on September 19, 2011

Professor Hans Rosling tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years, in four minutes. Poverty, war and death… visualized.

The Joy of Stats on BBC Four

More of Hans Rosling and the big trend optimism of his dynamic graphic statistics: The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen and Let My Dataset Change Your Mindset.

Originally posted Dec. 15, 2010…
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For Snails, All Porn is Foot Porn

by on September 11, 2011

The following video is fascinating, vaguely educational, and disturbingly erotic/erotically disturbing. Not that I’m judging. And although a short film about snails having sex would usually be considered safe for work, the fact that one of them is wearing Isabella’s Rossellini’s face makes it much less so.

Told you so.

Listen to a recent interview about the webseries with Isabella Rossellini on Science Friday.

(Hat tip to Michael Kruse, …
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Fathers! Welcome To The Prenatal Paranoia Club!

by on August 11, 2011

For years, women have been told about the myriad ways that we could harm our unborn children. Drinking while pregnant causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, smoking could deprive the fetus of oxygen, and caffeine may lead to low birth rates. Cleaning the cat litter can cause toxoplasmosis, eating cheese can cause listeria, and handling uncooked chicken could give you salmonella, all of which could lead to miscarriages or severe illness in …
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Cellular Mechanics Are Ready For Their Closeup

by on August 2, 2011

All it takes is a few simple chemicals, and A BILLION YEARS, for something as sophisticated and fascinating as a cell to develop. Then, with a few months of effort, and a couple thousand dollars of animation tech, XVIVO shows us how it works.


Created by XVIVO, a scientific animation company near Hartford, CT, the animation illustrates unseen molecular mechanisms and the ones they trigger, specifically how white blood


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