Happy Anniversary Tangled Bank
It is a great honor to be the host of the Grand Super-Special First Anniversary Edition of The Tangled Bank. Tangled Bank was the first blog carnival I ever heard of, and is still my favourite (which says a lot as I am a really obsessive blog Carnie).
The Tangled Bank was first announced on April 13th 2004 and the first issue was posted on April 21st 2004. If you check the archives of the Tangled Bank (and newbies should read the year-worth of posts - it's that much fun!) you'll see that the quality of individual posts was always very high, but that the carnival as a whole has grown in size, quality and scop e.
So, of course, I am very excited to announce that this Happy Anniversary Edition is continuing this trend. I enjoyed reading each and every submitted post (an editor's privilege, not "just a job" in this case) and I hope you will love them, too. So, w ithout too much ado, let's get started.
Let's start with the carnival's founder - he deserves the place of honor today. PZ Myers of Pharyngula, as always, edifies us all with some really cool science. This time, PZ chose to teach us how to make a vulva. And no, you have not mistakenly stumbled into the Carnival of Sin - the post is perfectly work-safe.
PZ's post is not a joke, but Joe Dunckley has been writing about scientific April Fools jokes recently and why they don't work (or, rather, why they work too well).
Mike the Mad Biologist uses debunking a creationist explanation of antibiotic resistance to talk about evolution, pleiotropy and other stuff.
If you think the Creationist stickers in textbooks are a new development, think again. Dave, a physicist blogging on Second Order Approximation translates for us the old Osiander Sticker that warns the audience that Copernicus's stuff is "just a theory". No kidding.
Mad House Madman from the Chronicles of a Medical Mad House writes a post about a resident (himself) who recently had a daughter and how he is dealing with the medicine and child at the same time, and how the lines blur (to a hillarious effect).
Chris of Mixing Memory wrote a thought-provoking article on the way scientific community deals with unexpected (paradigm-shifting?) findings.
Kevin P Menard of Technogypsy loves doing science, perhaps even writing papers, but he hates working on patents: its like anti-science: Patent Hell
One cannot go to Carl Zimmer's blog Loom and pick just one post. So, why should I be the one to deprive you of the embarassment of riches? Thus, here are three recent posts: the first about the brain of the "Hobbit" humanoid fossil, the second about the strange sex life of snails, and the third about evolution of the HIV virus.
Syaffolee is a microbiologist so we are used to reading about strange invisible critters like this one about every pathogenic bacteria's nightmare: the bdellovibrio.
This, from my other blog Science And Politics, may look like a science-fiction hypothesis, but it will make you look at viruses in a different light.
These two are my picks - from Keat's Telescope: about bacteria that love salty pretzels but not beer (as far as we know), and how domestication of animals may have been a slower process than we previously thought.
Aydin Orstan of Snailstales writes that Slug Shell offers 'flimsy' evidence for evolution. I love that picture!
Mike of 10000 Birds introduces a magnificient species in this issue: the Black Crowned Night Heron. Gorgeous! My kind of bird....
Bigwig of Silflay Hraka, the genius behind the concept of blog carnivals and founder of the Carnival of Vanities, has a whole series o f beautiful posts about birds (and occasionaly other animals) of Iraq. He sent us his latest entry on Bee-Eaters who may or may not eat (just) bees.
Wolverine Tom, a geologists, sends a post on the Archeocyathids, an extinct invertebrate since the Cambrian.
David of Science and Sensibility, noted a lack of plant related posts in science blogs and set out to write one and, as he writes, "in the process I think I managed to find out why they are so scarce - it was really ha rd!"
Jennifer Forman Orth of the Invasive Species Blog, another regular at Tangled Bank since the very beginning, makes an announcment that you HAVE to read today, April 20th: Death To Smoochy. You'll have to click on the link to see what it is all about.
Ever wonder how long you might have left? Ironman at Political Calculations has put together a tool that models average remaining life expectancy in the U.S.
Orac of Respectful Insolence tells "how bogus alternative medicine doesn't just hurt patients, but siphons off NIH money that could go to more promising research. The anecdote leads into questioning whether the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is the best use of our limited taxpayer dollars for medical research, given that the NIH budget is going to be flat or even slightly decreasing and the NSF budget actually took a hit last year."
Denni of Liquorice Lovers writes about the many unexpected benefits of liquorice (licorice) root (Glycorrhiza glabra). There are so many listed in that post that I forgot them all...perhaps I should take some licorice to help me remember as one of the proposed benefits is enhancement of memory. Should NIH fund further studies?
Radagast of Rhosgobel wrote this post as a short descriptoin of the evolutionary history of the appendix, aimed primarily at one of his students who had just had an emergency appendectomy.
Nuthatch of Bootstrap Analysis is an ecologist new to blogging. This link is to a "post he wrote following an introduction to his field site, outlining his strong sense of place, as one of the lucky minority of biologists that has spent his whole life a nd career in just one place": Bioregionalism
Revere at Effect Measure wrote about the Trouble in the House of Plastic. "This concerns the just published review of 115 papers on low dose effects of bisphenol A by Fred vom Saal in the current Environmental Health Perspectives. It has already garnered press cove rage but some of the more important points have been ignored. Also a description of why we are concerned with endocrine disruptors."
Pseudonymous UNC Student thought there was something fishy about the new environmenta list student group on campus. After some investigation, the true colors started to appear, described in a three-part post here, here and here.
Students sometimes do not have the perspective on how recent some of the scientific findings in their textbooks are (or how old I am!): Clock Genetics - Short History, right here on Circadiana (and while you're here, look around!)
Dave of Cognitive Daily sent two super-cool posts: Making perceptual categories, or why Nora calls me "Daddy" is about how experts are able to make fine-grained distinctions between items in their field of expertise, and how p eople can be trained to do it; and Why we can't all be divas is a fun little experiment showing that professional musicians can tell when the melody is played in the wrong key, but non-musicians can't (an easi ly observed phenomenon in your local karaoke bar!).
Saint Nate writes about The Conrad Phenomenon. It is a review of a discussed topic in acquired linguistics that actually has very little evidence supporting it.
From Vaughan of Mind Hacks, this post on psychosis and the mundane is a discussion of the mundane and the anomalous in psychosis and how it fits with research into psychosis-like experience in the wider population.
Speaking of hacking brains, here's Carl Zimmer again, on the brave new world of mind-control.
Thank you all for coming. I hope you have enjoyed the Carnival. The next edition of The Tangled Bank will be at Buridan's Ass in two weeks. Send your submissions to: host AT tangledbank DOT net, or pzmyers AT pharyngula DOT com, or to buridans AT buridansass DOT com.