Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Links!

It's a debate-free edition of Friday Links, so let's get started.

Here's a link to a fascinating article in the New York Times: Fossil Fish Shows Complexity of Transition to Land. Here's an excerpt:
In a new study of a fossil fish that lived 375 million years ago, scientists are finding striking evidence of the intermediate steps by which some marine vertebrates evolved into animals that walked on land.

There was much more to the complex transition than fins morphing into sturdy limbs. The head and braincase were changing, a mobile neck was emerging and a bone associated with underwater feeding and gill respiration was diminishing in size — a beginning of the bone’s adaptation for an eventual role in hearing for land animals.

From Greg, a link to the entirely wonderful This Sand. A hint: click on that small box in the upper left-hand corner.

From Ben Younkins, a link to a fascinating story in the New York Times about the Tasmanian Devil, whose population is in dramatic decline. The reason? Cancer, and in a bizarre twist, the cancer cells themselves are infectious.

From MSNBC, a link to an article about sound systems--for dinosaurs. Here's a the lead:
The ornate headgear worn by duck-billed dinosaurs millions of years ago was used to make eerie, bellowing calls, suggests a new study.

From Chris Meadowcraft, a link to a story about children and behavior, and here's an excerpt:
Archetypal advice from The Little Engine That Could and Tinkerbell notwithstanding, a new study finds that until children are at least eight years of age, their beliefs have little or no connection to their behavior.

From Sirius, a link to a story about Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian explorer of historic significance--explorer, writer, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922. Also a story about using van der Waals forces to create a new, dry super glue. Next, an article with plenty of old-school references: the ten most annoying DRM methods. Finally, an entirely fascinating story on cluster headaches (which I'd never even heard of) and a totally unconventional cure: psychedelic mushrooms.

From Andrew B, a link to the story of Witold Pilecki, an officer in the Polish resistance who might have been the only man in history to sneak into Auschwitz as a prisoner--for the purposes of relaying intelligence.

From Mitch Youngblood, a link to a superb short film titled Oktapodi HQ--it looks like a Pixar short. Also, a music video for ZOMBIE ZOMBIE that pays homage to both John Carpenter and (stylistically) Thunderbirds.

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, it's the ultimate in Internet connectivity--the deodorant dock. It's both strange and a comment about the end of privacy in the age of the Internet.

From Greg V, a link to Bill Bailey and banjo guitar, and he is a funny, funny man (exhibit one: "the deer, now blinded, stumbles into a ravine"). And here's a second Bill Bailey link, to a put gag--as told by Chaucer.

It's apparently video week, because here's another one, and believe it or not, it's banjos and brain surgery.

Finally, from Mark Trinkwalder, a link to Can I vote?, a site that can tell you if you're registered to vote as well as providing voting rules by state and a list of polling places.

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