Want some astronomy on the cheap? The 114th edition of the Carnival of Space has been posted up on Cheap Astronomy. This edition links to numerous blog posts talking about public outreach for astronomy, the status of Pluto, what could have been with the Apollo program, and a whole lot more.
If you like reading science blog posts written for public consumption, you might be interested in the third edition of the Scientia Pro Publica blog carnival. Given all the current attention to the swine flu, it's no surprise that this edition has a special section just for it, although I also have a vested interest in promoting the blog carnival since it includes my explanation of the potential confusion when referring to cosmological distances.
Prompted by the Evilutionary Biologist's response to an article in Nature, I have been working on a web site in my insufficient spare time during the previous month. The Evilutionary Biologist makes the good point that the science coverage in newspapers has been terrible, in contrast to the improving coverage by blogs. Not that all science coverage in "traditional media" is terrible, but there is an awful amount of crap written by "journalists" who don't not know what they're talking about, not to mention that so many of them simply rehash press releases and don't even care if they're true.
Every scientist stands on the shoulders of giants as they add just a little bit more to what their intellectual forbears had achieved in science. In the same vein and as the host for the April edition of The Giant's Shoulders, I stand on the shoulders of the previous giant (singular), The Evilutionary Biologist, where I link to blog posts talking about classic papers in science and important people or concepts in the history of science. And Curving Normality will be the next host in May.
- Skulls in the Stars talks about Earnshaw's theorem which was proven in 1839, which among other things shows that no static magnetic field by itself can stably levitate another magnet, except Earnshaw was more concerned about figuring out the nature of the "aether" rather than levitation.
- A book review of Jim Endersby's Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the Practices of Victorian Science at The Dispersal of Darwin gives us a look at how scientists worked in the Victorian era, focusing on the botanist Joseph Hooker.
- Materialia Indica talks about an experiment in metallurgy by S. Harper in 1951, which used a torsional pendulum to measure the amount of dissolved carbon in iron and confirm a theoretical prediction by Cottrell and Bilby from two years earlier.
- I talk about Dijkstra's algorithm that was published in 1959, which is a classic algorithm that most students in computer science learn about today.
- Mary at the OpenHelix Blog wrote about Margaret Dayhoff and her work on the first computational protein sequence analysis paper written with Robert Ledley in 1962, as part of the Ada Lovelace Day celebration on March 24.
- The Primate Diaries discusses the theories of kin selection and reciprocal altruism as background to the recent theory of group selection.
- The Evilutionary Biologist talks about a breakthrough in DNA sequencing published in 1977, which was a dramatic improvement over previous DNA sequencing techniques and made whole genome sequencing feasible.