Expiscor (3 June 2013)

Welcome June! Here’s the 10th edition of Expiscor – a weekly feature that brings you discoveries, ranging from natural history and entomology to big science and, well, other weird stuff.

Here’s what I stumbled across last week…

  • Sorry folks, Tarantulas do not have silk spigots on their feet. According to this paper, that claim is bogus. And I tend to believe the lead author, Rainer Foelix. This does stir the imagination, though (think Spiderman). Thanks to Matthew Cobb for pointing me to that paper.

C.L. Koch Plate

  • We should all love the Diptera. Matt Bertone helps us realize this:
A snipe fly, photographed by Matt Berton, reproduced here with permission.

A snipe fly, photographed by Matt Bertone, reproduced here with permission.

  • Speaking of biodiversity – here’s a list of the top 10 biodiversity hotspots in Canada. I’ve only been to one of them. Most Canadians have not been to any of them. That’s probably a good thing -maybe their isolation will save them…
  • Over at unpopular science, here’s a post about the top five fictional scientists. I’m ok with the 1st and 3rd on the list, but Futurama & The Simpsons? Really? There are better options out there: Dr. FrankensteinSherlock Holmes (…I call him a scientist of sorts), Sheldon CooperBruce Banner?  And where are the women? What about Eleanor Arroway (from Contact), or Dana Scully (X-files)
  • Is the peer-review process broken? Ever wonder what might happen if you submitted your published article again, to the same journal, under a pseudonym? Here’s a study that did exactly that. Truly alarming results. (spoiler: editors don’t notice and the articles don’t get very far along in the review process). As Terry McGlynn pointed out to me, perhaps the big message is that the original papers were entirely forgettable.
  • Yay! Ainsley is back on Expiscor! Arrrrrrrrn’t you happy about that?
@AmericanBeetle's whiteboard of science pirate puns.

@AmericanBeetle’s whiteboard of science pirate puns. (reproduced here with permission)

  • Speaking of Iceland, gotta love Of Monsters and Men. Shut the office door, crank up the volume, and click the video below.

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