20 long reads to #StayAtHome

A while ago I wrote a post with 10 long reads to make you think, some on the perks of having curiosity, freedom, and ignorance as the pillars of science, some on the scientific publishing industry and the reproducibility crisis, and others on gender bias, career progression, and other topics we don’t openly talk about enough. Since then I’ve continued to slowly populate a bookmark folder with several more articles of this sort. Some I’ve come across on twitter, others I’ve been sent by friends and colleagues, and none of them talk about Covid-19 nor exponentials. All the pieces that end up in this particular bookmark folder tend to be longer than usual, tend to make me think harder than usual, and tend to be thoroughly enjoyable. After finishing them I find myself having learned something new, changed my mind on something I thought I knew, or simply had a great time reading and thinking about something I usually don’t read or think about much. Given that they’ve been sitting in the online void of a bookmark folder for longer than I can remember, I thought now was as good time as any to share them with you. As last time, skip to the end for the list of titles and links. Stay safe everyone!

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10 long reads to make you think

Chances are that if you are a human being that has survived the lingering festive period you will be either patting your back after coming up with a remarkably-self-embettering-yet-very-much-achievable brief list of New Year’s Resolutions, or struggling to stick to them. You are not alone.

Let us assume, for the sake of the argument, that you have resolved to read more this year. Let us assume, just because it is a New Year’s Resolution, that you want this reading to be meaningful, to teach you something. Let us assume, just follow me on this one, that you want 10 long reads to make you think. What a marvellous coincidence, my digital friend! For I was just thinking of writing *precisely* about that.

[Full disclosure: if patience is neither your forte nor an item in your list of resolutions, you can find the links to the reads at the end of the article.]

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Unexpected advice

I woke up today feeling that it would be a writing day. It was about time, I should really be getting on with my motivation letters for PhD applications. But then this interesting post about how cuttlefish hold their breath to hide from predators caught my attention. It turns out that by covering their gills they decrease the generation of electrical signals in that area and thus make it more difficult for sharks to sense them.

http://news.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_article_l/public/sn-cuttlefish.jpg
http://news.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_article_l/public/sn-cuttlefish.jpg

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The legend of the flying neuron

Some say it can be seen on stormy nights under full sail, sometimes at night or through the fog, sometimes in the distance, sometimes gliding above the water making great headway even in the lack of wind. Some say the Dutchman refers to the captain of the ship, a man cursed to sail the seas forever and never make land1.

flying dutchman neuron

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