Let's get right to it.
I know Mother's Day was two Sundays ago now, but these are still worthwhile posts, and we should probably appreciate Mom on more than one day of the year anyway.
Deliberate Pixel: Mothers, daughters and superheroes. Almost made me cry, this one, and I'm one of those horrible people who tries not to get too sentimental about such things.
NYT: When We Hated Mom. Believe it or not, we did. Really. Go find out why and how.
One of the biggest stories - well, more like ongoing saga - of the past couple of weeks is the flooding on the Mississippi. Here are some posts that will help you sort through the chaos.
XKCD: Michael Bay’s Scenario. You've only got time for one post on the Mississippi flood. You want to understand just what the fuck is going on. This is that one post. And it proves that there's more at XKCD than just brilliant science comics.
Riparian Rap: Giving and taking at Birds Point. Levees for Libertarians? This post is crucial for understanding flood easements, and a nice antidote to all those "Oh, those poor people the evil Army Corps of Engineers are flooding out of house and home!" stories.
And, quite important for me, at least, Neil Gaiman's episode of Doctor Who aired Saturday. This post explains why this is a Really Big Thing. Allow me to quote, because this sums up exactly why I adore this show, and Neil Gaiman, so very much:
It was all that and much, much more. If you didn't get a chance to catch it, treat yourself - it'll come round again.All in all, it's a silly, twinkly and enchanting look at the world of Doctor Who from a new angle. The idea of treating the original mad scientist show as a fairy tale has seldom worked better than it does in Gaiman's hands. It's one of those things that starts out just sort of spinning out cleverness, and then it suddenly turns quite scary and dark, and winds up being quite emotional. And it might just make your friends fall in love with the greatest time traveler of them all.
And now, on with the regular linkage.
History of Geology: May 8, 1902: La Pelée. First time I heard about Pelée was in a Ripley's Believe It Or Not book. David's post is better. If you like volcanoes, history, or volcanoes in history, go read this right now.
Uncovered Earth: Sunday Science Photos, May 1 – 7. Have I mentioned lately how much I'm loving this series? Gorgeous!
Bad Astronomy: Incredibly, impossibly beautiful time lapse video. The next time someone tells you science isn't phenomenally beautiful, send them here.
The Biology Files: Autism, Lupron, the Geiers, and what can science do about emotions? A horrifying story, and a very good point.
Molecular Matters: I wanna be a Pseudoscientist. This post made me laugh so hard I almost peed myself.
Glacial Till: Meteorite Monday: Origins of carbonaceous chondrites. This post will cure you of thinking that meteorites are merely slightly-interesting space rocks.
Oscillatory Thoughts: We are all inattentive superheroes. No, really, we are. Go find out what that means.
The Panic Virus: The latest claims of “proof” that vaccines cause autism: Will the media take the bait? Why the anti-vaccination crowd is, once again, remarkably full of shit.
Culturing Science: Erasistratus on the nature of scientific inquiry. Because I'm a complete sucker for history and science, not to mention ancient Greek and Rome. Are you trying to tell me you're not?
NASA Science: NASA Announces Results of Epic Space-Time Experiment. Einstein was right. Do try to contain your surprise. But seriously - go read it. This shit sounds like a science fiction show, but it's real, and it's so close to home.
Daily Mail: Drifting apart: Amazing underwater photos that show the growing gap between two tectonic plates. This, people, is why science is so damned incredible. Without science, it's just a dive through an underwater canyon. With science, it's a story of epic forces and powerful plates pulling apart. Fantastic!
Not Exactly Rocket Science: A memory for pain, stored in the spine. Did you know your spine has a memory? I didn't. Read on!
Short Sharp Science: Fossil raindrops reveal early atmospheric pressure. Fossil raindrops are cool. The fact they can tell us about the air up there billions of years ago is even cooler.
Explainer.net: The Fracking Song. A video that explains fracking in song? So awesome! I loved this, and I don't even like that sort of music.
Reading the Washington Landscape: Iceberg Tracks and Kettles in Columbia Valley. Simply because I love glacial landforms, and these are awesome.
Religion, Atheism and All That Rot
Punctuated Equilibrium: Understanding Christianese, Lesson 1. This is hilarious. And helpful. You can't beat that combo.
Almost Diamonds: Standing on Aether, Thinking Airy Thoughts. Bad questions, pseudoscience, and theology, and how they all tie together. This post allowed me to clarify my thinking a bit. Always nice!
Mother Jones: One Man's Crusade Against Fundamentalist Claptrap. And how the Cons have fallen in love with an enemy.
Choice in Dying: Religion Lies. Just in case anyone had any doubt. But it bears repeating, and the fact Eric MacDonald has an inside perspective makes it hit all the harder.
Butterflies and Wheels: Ron Lindsay talks to Chris Mooney. Further proof the leopard can't change his shorts. Even when they're reeking.
The Passive Voice: Don’t Sign Dumb Contracts. Really, seriously, no matter how desperate you are to get published, don't. Also, this, this and this - you really need to read these in order to get a handle on how contracts can fuck you sideways, and how to avoid getting fucked.
MacLeans: Why it’s hard to write for Bugs Bunny. This is one of the best articles on writing I've read for a long time. Definite food for thought, here. Plus, Looney Tunes!
KeyboardHussy: Reasons behind Self-Published Book Sale Spikes and How I was Wrong. A must-read for anyone considering self-publishing.
A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: What Works: Promo for Ebooks. And this.
XKCD: Marie Curie. Women, science, women of science, and truth.
Guardian: Speak up, I can't hear you. Why you should just forget all of the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus bullshit.
Salon: The "Hooker Teacher" tells all. What our society does to women who ever dared take their clothes off.
Slate: Texas Passes Ultrasound Requirement. And why frothing fundies and uterus-obsessed Cons might want to rethink the whole thing.
Pandagon: Sluts, Walking: A FAQ sheet. In case you have no idea what Slutwalk's all about, or think you know and have your prim little nose turned up.
Southern Fried Science: Florida Senate fails basic biology, accidentally outlaws sex. ZOMG ROFLMAO EPIC FAIL. Funniest damned thing ever.
Various and Sundry
Vanity Fair: Unspoken Truths. This will break your heart.