Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, from David, a link to a story about four Spanish teens--taking pictures from space. It's a stunning story, and brilliant in its relative simplicity. Oh, and here's some tremendous photographs.

Matt Watson sent me a link to an absolutely remarkable behavior of finches, and here's an excerpt:
New research shows that a female Gouldian finch chooses to hatch an even number of boys and girls if she has the same head color as her mate. If there's a mismatch, mom produces more males and isn't as attentive to her offspring. This is the first example of such strong gender selection based solely on a mate's looks, experts say.

Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) come in two color varieties, red-headed and black-headed. When two different varieties mate, genetic incompatibility causes many of their offspring--especially the females--to die before they reach sexual maturity. With such a dire outcome, biologists Sarah Pryke and Simon Griffith of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, wondered whether mother finches had any power to adjust the ratio of sons to daughters. That ability might allow mothers to avoid wasting energy on doomed females.

To see what happens, read the rest of the article here, and it's amazing.

From Sean, a link to spectacular collection of high-speed photos. The colors, in particular, are stunning.

From Stephen Cotter, a link to another "The Big Picture" feature--this time, it's scenes from the recession.

From Andrew B, a link to an ingenious (and interesting) idea for a blog: Write In My Journal.

From Ryan Malinowsky, it's extreme sheep herding, and by that I mean "herding sheep into very funny formations."

From David Palomares, a link to a preview of an upcoming Mythbusters episode called "Big Bang." Here's a description:
They were trying to literally "knock the socks off" a mannequin by igniting 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate. But the explosion was a lot bigger than they expected...The explosion was so big it shook the town of Esparto, knocking Stephens off her couch and breaking her front window.

From Greg Bagley, a link to what must be one of the most remarkable stories in history: the only man known to have survived the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, a story about the love that cows have for a big robo-brush. Also, and these are remarkable, it's the most beautiful waves ever. Then there's a link to a hilarious spacebat tribute.

Steven Kreuch sent me a link to the trailer for "Where The Wild Things Are" (the classic Maurice Sendak children's book), and believe it or not, it's live-action.

Here's a fascinating link from Chris Meyer: audio recordings from the Hudson crash combined with a flight simulator rendering of what happened.

From Sirius, and you better hope this isn't a trend (if you live in England), a walking catfish was found in the Thames. Also, a link to Forgotten Books, a digital archive of thousands of books, and all free.

From Roger, a link to football names that should exist, and if you don't like "Gas Station Montclair" then you're dead inside.

From David Gloier, a link to video of a kayaker plunging 127 feet over a waterfall.

From Jason Maskell, a link to a one-woman band named Theresa Anderson performing a song called "Birds Fly Away"--in her kitchen. It's quite mesmerizing, actually.

From Jesse Leimkuehler, a link to a new webcam--of Old Faithful.

From Jonathan Arnold, another "The Big Picture" link--this time, to the volcanic eruptions in Tonga.

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