AMNH Shelf Life

I’ve never been to the American Museum of Natural History (it’s on the “to visit” list!) but now the museum is coming to me via the magical medium of YouTube. AMNH has launched a video series called Shelf Life, through which you can get a behind the scenes tour of parts of their collection.

The show debuted in November, with an episode on collections in general (and fish in particular). Two more episodes have since gone up, one per month. The production quality of the videos is really good, but they managed to stay within the YouTube attention span.

The most recent episode is about the coelacanth, which actually ties in nicely with my last post about the Tiktaalik, so you might want to watch that.

I can’t help but wonder, though, if they modeled it after the Field Museum’s (acquired) Brain Scoop series, but it is clearly a different concept, with different people on screen in every episode. Each episode is also accompanied by a web page with more information, so it’s more in depth than just the videos. I really liked the turtles and taxonomy episode and web page.

It’s good to see another museum embrace online video to share their collection, and I can’t wait until February’s episode, which is all about the olinguito!

Science Caturday: Hot Take on Climate Change


Both the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released reports this week naming 2014 as the world’s warmest year. According to the NOAA report, the average temperature was up 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit over the 20th century average across all land and ocean surfaces.

NASA’s Gavin Schmidt said that greenhouse gases are responsible for the long-term warming trends, and that even if the entire world stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, it still would take many years to stall the rising temperatures. But we better get on it soon! It looks as though some kittehs are already beginning to melt.

SJW: Social Justice Witch

If Hermione Granger and the Goddamn Patriarchy from BuzzFeed’s Daniel Dalton isn’t the best thing the Internet produces today (hell, all weekend), I will be gobsmacked.

Without Hermione, The Boy Who Lived would be dead as shit.

Science for the People: Private Sector Space

sftp-square-fistonly-whitebgThis week, Science for the People is learning how private enterprise has jumped in to fill the gap left by shrinking government budgets for space exploration. They’re joined by journalist Elmo Keep, to talk about her article on Mars One, a nonprofit planning to make a reality show out of a one-way trip to colonize the red planet.  And they’ll get an update on the state of the for-profit space industry with Space News Senior Editor Jeff Foust.

*Josh provides research help to Science for the People and is, therefore, completely biased.

LEGO Scientists in “New Students In The Lab”