Geekery

MAL-entine’s Day is coming!

I don’t want to alarm anyone but VALENTINE’S DAY IS THIS FRIDAY. If you don’t have all your proper v-day accoutrements and hoity-toitily overwrought micro-tapas gastro-chic reservations prepared already, you’re either SOL or you care about v-day just as much as I do (read: not a whit). However, if this is the sort of holiday on which you like to take an extra moment to make... »

Don’t Let Your Kids Play Monopoly

Don’t Let Your Kids Play Monopoly

Monopoly is a terrible game. It is bad enough to make people believe that they do not like board games. What’s worse, is it’s often one of the first board games that children are introduced to. Still worse, it is so ubiquitous that many people believe it to be representative of board games as a whole. It is not. It is horrid. I cannot blame the creators, it was developed at the turn of... »

Design Diaries – Pan Pacific Pauldrons

Design Diaries – Pan Pacific Pauldrons

This week, I create some steel armor from Pacific Rim using only basic tools and beginner techniques to help demonstrate that armoring isn’t such a hard craft to get into. »

Aging, Metabolism, and Basic Biology

Aging, Metabolism, and Basic Biology

I’m really happy when a plan comes together, which means when my general plan of “talk about science journalism and cut through some of the hype” converged with a new year’s resolution plan of “summarize papers regularly on MAL”, I was thrilled. There’s an article recently published in Cell that’s actually quite cool, and it’s being picked up i... »

Representing Data in the Science of Emotion

Representing Data in the Science of Emotion

A recent study published in PNAS has been floating on my radar for a while — this one, proclaiming a physical reaction to emotional content that is universal across cultures and languages. There’s some interesting data here, and a couple issues I have about how they represented their data, and how it’s been picked up by the public as far as I have seen. The Good: More Evidence th... »

Doctor Who Disproves Evolutionary Psychology!

Doctor Who Disproves Evolutionary Psychology!

This was a very clever study and a very cute result. In short: in order to test whether the increased attentiveness and distraction associated with phobias was related to an evolutionary advantage of quickly sensing threats, or if it was due to the increased emotional significance of, say, spiders to arachnophobes. If increased attentiveness was a result of a need to detect threats, then arachnoph... »

NEW! Chris Hadfield Paper Doll

NEW! Chris Hadfield Paper Doll

Proud to honor Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield with his very own paper doll. »

Battle of the Sexes: Why Mammals Won’t Lose the Y.

Battle of the Sexes: Why Mammals Won’t Lose the Y.

An Op-Ed by Maureen Dowd trying to explain conflicting predictions about the fate of the Y chromosome sent me on an eye-rolling spree. It fits the cultural zeitgeist, I suppose; the image of a war between the genders. Something about women coldly calculating that men are an evolutionary waste of space (due to their inability to bear children) and doing away with the gender. This fact, coupled with... »

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