Weekly Highlights – May 8-14, 2011
Here’s a quick wrap up of some of my favorite things from the web this week.
Favorite Picture worth a thousand words:
Even though he said what I have believed (and have been doing) for much of my life, radio host and journalist Robert Krulwich put into words the “just do it” philosophy better than I ever could have.
Suppose, instead of waiting for a job offer from the New Yorker, suppose next month, you go to your living room, sit down, and just do what you love to do. If you write, you write. You write a blog. If you shoot, find a friend, someone you know and like, and the two of you write a script. You make something. No one will pay you. No one will care, No one will notice, except of course you and the people you’re doing it with. But then you publish, you put it on line, which these days is totally doable, and then… you do it again.
This is from his May 7th commencement speech (full text) to Berkeley Journalism School’s Class of 2011. (Gosh I’d love to have a video of this!) His “don’t wait” advice is applicable to every field today – not just journalism, so I encourage everyone (especially those of you fresh out of school), to read his whole speech.
Ed Yong, whose blog hosts the speech, says: That’s Robert Krulwich, who hosts the singular radio show Radiolab, one of the most accomplished pieces of science broadcasting in any nation. Robert Krulwich, who won a Peabody Award for broadcast excellence a few months ago. Robert Krulwich, whose blog Krulwich Wonders should be on everyone’s reading list.
Full screen, sound on, tell me you can’t watch this for hours.
Favorite New Book
Haven’t read it yet, but plan to buy it.
In 1997 Gloria Grow started a sanctuary for chimps retired from biomedical research on her farm outside Montreal. This is journalist Andrew Westoll’s story about the months he spent as a volunteer at the sanctuary and the lives and histories of the chimps who live and recover there.
Favorite Upcoming Documentaries
Two this week:
The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
Project Nim tells the touching and controversial story of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was raised by a human family to see if raised and nurtured like a human child—he could learn to communicate using sign language. From the Oscar-winning team behind Man on Wire.
Favourite Science Blog Post
Zombie Ants and The Bite of Death by Allie Wilkinson over at “Oh, for the love of Science!”
C’mon, who can resist Zombie Ants, their brains taken over by fungus, falling.. no staggering .. to the forest floor.. and then …
At solar noon, the fungus synchronizes ant behavior, forcing the zombie ants to bite the main vein on the underside of the leaf. At that final moment, when the ant is under fungal control and biting into the leaf vein, its head is filled with fungal cells, and its mandibular muscles are atrophied. The multiplying fungal cells in the ant’s head cause fibers within the muscles that open and close the ant’s mandibles to become detached, resulting in lock-jaw, which ensures that the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death.