Sunday, November 11, 2012

Media Consumption: 11/4/12-11/10/12

In case you missed the memo, I'm providing a weekly round up of things I've read recently for my colleagues at work and I'm cross posting them here on the blog. So, there's that.

Cancer Pick
Cancer’s Funny? – Nara Schoenberg for The Chicago Tribune
When choosing a cancer story from the past week’s media coverage there seem to be two ways to go. Either choose the glaring example of that weeks “x reduces cancer risk” and how it was written about, or you can choose the human interest stories. This week I went with a really nice (I think) story about how as cancer becomes more ingrained into our lives and culture, it is becoming more acceptable to find humor in the disease.

Science Pick
Smilodon the Vampire – Brian Switek for his Wired Blog Laelaps
The idea of bloodsucking saber cats is really something that needed to be debunked. Really. Also the title, I don’t know how you could see that and not click on it. Some background on the LaBrea Tar Pits might be helpful if you aren’t familiar. (Also of note, this post appeared on Bram Stoker's birthday - thanks for that bit of information Google Doodle.)

Writing Pick
In Praise of the Big Old Mess – Carl Zimmer for his Discover Blog The Loom
This was a re-read for me, but it was something I was thinking about this week. When Carl Zimmer rants about science writing, I listen. I picked this piece for two reasons, one I closely followed the Jonah Lehrer debacle (Perhaps the greatest case of a young journalist torching their career since Jayson Blair, for background see this Slate Article the other reason I chose Zimmer’s blog post is because the issue of how we cover the messy business that is scientific research is something that is always up for debate.

Bonus Pick
Triumph of the Nerds: Nate Silver Wins in 50 States – Chris Taylor for Mashable
Perhaps I just follow the nerdiest people on twitter (okay, I do follow the nerdiest people on twitter, and I love and appreciate you all so very much) but in terms of election coverage, the story of Nate Silver blogger/analyst for The New York Times at FiveThirtyEight was a huge topic this week. Cheers for math!