Friday, 29 July 2011

The Weekly Round-up w/e 29/7/11

Would you look at us, another weekly round-up only a week after the last one, we're getting good at this.  We've got various things on offer to you this week for your reading pleasure.  Before we move on, just a quick reminder that Mark Stevenson's 'An Optimist's Tour of the Future' talk fast approaching so make sure you've made a note in your diary, second Wednesday of the month as always.  Have a look over there to the right of the page for further details.  Here's what you've been waiting for:

A body fit for a freaky-big brain.  Human biology reorganized itself to cope with the punishing burden of our oversize thinking parts. That shift completely reshaped who we are.

The evolution of generosity. The human impulse to be kind to unknown individuals is not the biological aberation it might seem.  This new model suggests we develop this kindness towards people because there’s a good chance we’ll meet them again.

What’s it like being a bat?  Where did my consciousness come from?

Michael Specter on the Danger of Science denial

I think we’ve all had moments when we’ve had to tell ourselves to stop reading the comment threads at the bottom of online news stories and blogs as well the torrent of abuse that swarms around twitter.  Twitter is always angry about something.  Tim Adams in the Observer talks about how the internet created an age of rage.

Video games designer Jason Rohrer has designed a video game that would turn into a religion.  Contained on a USB stick is the only copy of the game called ‘Chain World’ and the person in possession of it is God.  Some believe it has revealed several things about games, religion and human behaviour.

Particle Physics: Brilliant.  Birmingham Skeptics’ pin-up Patrick Redmond talks to phyicisist Steve Goldfarb who works at the Atlas Experiment, the largest accelerator at the Large Hadron Collider.

There’s been some sad news for those, like myself, who studied or intend to study at the Open University.  Courses that previously cost £700 per year will, from 2012, increase to £2500 per year.  Fellow OU alumni Kash Farooq charts the end of the Open University as we know it.

OK Climate skeptics, here’s the raw data you wanted.  Anyone can now view the data that was at the centre of last year’s ‘climategate’ scandal.

Mathematician Marcus De Sautoy says there’s a ‘geek chic’ about maths now, that’s not one of his chat up lines by the way, it’s what he says in this interview about maths finding an audience outside of Open University circles.

Planet of the Apes is going to come true, well, you’d think it was judging by the media response to a report by the Academy of Medical Sciences.  Neuroskeptic gives a more realistic portrayal of this report.

This week's round-up was put together by Paul Bryant (@thebigyeti).

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