Yes, it’s been two weeks since the last Good Stuff, and it’s not surprising many good things have appeared on the web in the last fortnight. Nate and I have both been remiss about blogging recently — Nate is working hard in Formentera and I’m working on a couple of new videos and preparing for my field season in Miami, which begins in **gulp** four days! But the Internet doesn’t slow down to accommodate my schedule, so here’s a quick run-down of the best things I’ve seen in the last 2 weeks.
First, I never knew there were contests for visual illusions, but this one surely deserved to win. How cool is that? Our brains are amazing, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be tricked.
If you photograph tiny wildlife you don’t want to miss this: a 3-day insect photography workshop with some insect photography all-stars: John Abbott, Alex Wild, and Thomas Shahan. If you want to learn how to photograph bugs like the masters, these are the guys to learn from!
I first learned about the “Science Cheerleaders” project in January at the Science Online 2011 meeting in North Carolina. Well, Darlene Cavalier, the original Science Cheerleader, just won an Emmy for the “Science of NFL Football” series, funded through an unlikely partnership between NBC and the National Science Foundation. Nice work, Darlene!
Ed Yong, one of the best science bloggers out there, celebrated his 1000th blog post with an entry about a recently published paper, which was inspired by one of his own blog entries about another paper. Whoa… it’s like science communicators actually have something to offer scientists! (Sarcasm… of course they do.)
Scientific American is initiating a new venture called “1000 Scientists in 1000 Days,” which aims to connect working scientists with classrooms at every grade level. Sounds like a good idea to me — let scientists tell their stories without a boring textbook as an intermediary. And by meeting scientists face-to-face, maybe students will realize that scientists are cool, down-to-Earth people, not the ivory-tower elitists portrayed in the mainstream media.
We’ve probably all heard the word “fracking” recently, but I will sheepishly admit that I didn’t really know what it was. Until, that is, I watched this fun music video about it! I really like the animation and overall production value of this piece.
What does a photographer, videographer, and sound recordist need for three months in the field? You don’t know the half of it! Watch this entertaining time-lapse video of Gerrit Vyn of Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology as he packs for a three-month stint in remote Siberia.
Nick Risinger of Seattle, WA quit his day job last year in order to create an enormous, panoramic image of the night sky. Armed with six cameras and an arsenal of other hardware and software, he traveled around the world for a year to capture every corner of the heavens. The result? A breathtaking, 5 Gigapixel full-color rendition of the entire night sky. More than 37 thousand individual images were stitched together to create the final panorama, which you can explore in a slick web interface on SkySurvey.org.
Finally, Conservation International provides a handy guide for scientists and policymakers, describing how these two groups can talk to each other effectively. You can download the whole guide as a PDF. Other than some extremely annoying pagination (the section for scientists appears last-page-first in the PDF), it seems like a useful resource.