When Math Hurts

When Math Hurts: Math Anxiety Predicts Pain Network Activation in Anticipation of Doing Math

Doing math is a pain in the head;
At least that’s what we’ve all learned in dread.
But it’s not math that hurts,
A brain-scan asserts;
It’s fear itself hurts us instead.

Lyons IM, Beilock SL (2012) When Math Hurts: Math Anxiety Predicts Pain Network Activation in Anticipation of Doing Math. PLoS ONE 7(10): e48076. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048076

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Evidence for a midlife crisis in great apes

Evidence for a midlife crisis in great apes consistent with the U-shape in human well-being

When humans in midlife reside,
We oft feel a bit off our stride
But it’s not our society
That brings this anxiety:
It’s just that we’re great apes inside.

Alexander Weiss, James E. King, Miho Inoue-Murayama, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, and Andrew J. Oswald.
Evidence for a midlife crisis in great apes consistent with the U-shape in human well-being.
PNAS 2012 : 1212592109v1-201212592.

(Note: Why did all the media coverage of this talk about men and male apes when the article emphasizes that sex is not a factor?)

Apotropaios

‘Concealed Shoes’, ‘Northampton Museum’s Concealed Shoe Index’, ‘Hidden Shoes and Concealed Beliefs’
Available as .pdfs on the Archaeological Leather Group website

Shoes Concealed in Buildings
Html hosted with permission at apotropaios.com

The English hide shoes in the wall;
In roof-beams; under planks in the hall.
Why hide a shoe?
–I don’t know, they just do.
‘Cause they always have done, that is all.

Cameron, E., Swann, J., Volken, M., and Pitt, F. (1998) Hidden Shoes and Concealed Beliefs. Archaeological Leather Group Newsletter, Feb 1998 , pp. 2-6
Dixon-Smith, Denise (1990) Concealed Shoes. Archaeological Leather Group Newsletter, no 6., pp. 2-4
MacKay, Andrew (1991) Northampton Museum’s Concealed Shoe Index. Archaeological Leather Group Newsletter, no 7., pp. 3-4
Swann, June (1996) Shoes Concealed in Buildings. Costume no.30, p.56-69

The Earliest Matches

The Earliest Matches
Online at PLoS ONE

Long, pointy, and round, not too thick;
So of course, they assume it’s a dick.
But spun in a gyre,
It will light your fire!
(If you said, “So will mine!”– you’re a prick.)

Goren-Inbar N, Freikman M, Garfinkel Y, Goring-Morris NA, Grosman L (2012) The Earliest Matches. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42213. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042213

A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature

A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011

Some warn you of flooding and storm;
Some say there’s no cause for alarm.
So we re-ran all the stats,
And hold on to your hats:
The weather is going to get warm.

Rohde, Robert; Muller, Richard A.; Jacobsen, Robert; Muller, Elizabeth; Perlmutter, Saul; Rosenfeld, Arthur; Wurtele, Jonathan; Groom, Donald; and Wickham, Charlotte (2012): A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011. Draft of an article submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

(Something very scary, in honor of the day!)

Future volcanism at Yellowstone caldera

Future volcanism at Yellowstone caldera: Insights from geochemistry of young volcanic units and monitoring of volcanic unrest
Featured science article at GSA Today

Rumbley tumbley,
Yellowstone Caldera
Someday is going to
Just up and explode.

Even with tools like
Geobarometry
We won’t have time to
Get out of the road.

Girard, Gillaume and Stix, John (2012). Future volcanism at Yellowstone caldera: Insights from geochemistry of young volcanic units and monitoring of volcanic unrest. GSA Today v. 22 issue 9 pp. 4-10.

(you use two unfamiliar sesquipedalians in your abstract, you get a double dactyl.)

Optimum Mating Rates under Traumatic Mating

Female Fitness Optimum at Intermediate Mating Rates under Traumatic Mating
online at PLoS ONE

A sea slug’s two sexes in one;
Screw and get screwed’s how it’s done.
And with buns in the oven,
They’re game for more lovin’!
I guess getting screwed is just fun.

Lange R, Gerlach T, Beninde J, Werminghausen J, Reichel V, et al. (2012) Female Fitness Optimum at Intermediate Mating Rates under Traumatic Mating. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43234. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043234

(note: “getting screwed is just fun” was not the conclusion this article came to, I just like it better than theirs.)

Salmon and Science

Salmon, Science, and Reciprocity on the Northwest Coast
Available online (html) through Ecology and Society

Give some fish to a neighbor who’s poor,
And he’ll eat for a year– that’s the score.
As for teaching him, now–
We still haven’t learned how.
We’d do better to look to before.

Johnsen, D. B. 2009. Salmon, science, and reciprocity on the Northwest Coast. Ecology and Society 14(2): 43. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art43/

The Catatumbo Lightning

Microfísica del relámpago del Catatumbo
pdf en Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y El Caribe, España y Portugal (Redalyc)

In the clouds south of Lake Maracaibo
Are unending flashes of skyglow.
But spaceships it’s not!
It’s methane from rot,
From the swamps south of Lake Maracaibo.

Falcón, Nelson; Williams, Peter; Muñoz, Angel; Nader, Dia. (2000). Microfísica del relámpago del Catatumbo. Revista INGENIERÍA UC, junio.

This paper is in Spanish; I got through it on the strength of my schoolgirl Spanish, Google Translate, and how utterly cool the subject matter is. ymmv.

(Este papel es en español; yo comprendí en la fuerza de mi español muy mal de escuela, Google Translate, y mi entusiásmo por la sujeta [y también, mi español muy mal es más mejor que el resumen en inglés en la original!])

The Cantabrian Orocline

Buckling an Orogen: The Cantabrian Orocline
Featured Science Article in GSA Today, July 2012

Buckling in neat folds, the
Variscan Orogen
Rose from the earth’s crust
(And all of that schist);

So why are its ridges all
Subperpendicular?
Forces came later that
Added a twist.

Gutiérrez-Alonso, G., Johnston, S.T., Weil, A. B., Pastor-Galán, D. and Fernández-Suárez, J., 2012, Buckling an Orogen: The Cantabrian Orocline: GSA Today, v. 22 issue 7, pp. 4-9

(articles that suffer from superabundances of sesquipedalian hexasyllabicals may end up with double dactyls insead of limericks. Double dactyls are quite likely to make less sense.)