A collection of cool and useful resources and tools and general nerdy stuff for science and math folk:
Science Blogworld (A sampling of news and summary sites to help you keep up with the literature):
- The Loom: Carl Zimmer’s blog, hosted by National Geographic. Zimmer’s one of the best science writers going (best in terms of writing as well as getting the science right). He’s particularly good on all things evolution…
- Science NOW: From Science magazine, snapshots of hot new stuff from other journals.
- Extinction Countdown: Kind of depressing but fascinating stories about endangered and extinct organisms
- Observations: A news blog from Scientific American.
- xkcd and PhD: web-comics targeted at nerds and geeks; if you have any thoughts of going to grad school, you really need to be reading PhD…
Software (preferably free, open-source…):
- Zotero is free software for collecting, managing, citing, sharing all kinds of research sources (papers, books, web-pages, etc.). VERY good at capturing biblio data from website of publishers, scholar.google, etc. Use as a firefox plugin or as a free-standing app that integrates with other browsers. It also integrates with (some) word-processors to insert citations and compile flexibly fomatted bibliographies; best of all, stores your full data-base in the cloud AND syncs it across computers.
- OpenOffice: Free, open-source application suite with word-processor, spreadsheet, presentation, data-base programs analogous to Microsoft Office or Apple. Used to be pretty clumsy and buggy, but pretty smooth now — so, if you’re tired of the monopolies… (OR, you can find the even more politically correct LibreOffice suite here)
Resources on writing (especially for scientists):
- A collection of bits of advice from an ecological journal, but mostly generatlly applicable
Data and data-visualization:
- Gapminder World: Pretty amazing vehicle for looking at multi-variate, global data on human demographics, economics, environment. From Hans Rosling.
- From Michael Friendly at York Univ., a collection of good and bad data graphics with thoughtful exegesis.
- Many Eyes: A collection from IBM Research
Maps, GIS data-layers, and other geospatial imagery:
- Wind Map: what you can do with active data… (I monitored Hurricane Sandy here…)
- NASA Earth Observatory: A new image each day; subscribe to it.
Culture and Everything Else:
- Photosynthesis rap: How can you miss with ‘Rubisco’ rhymed with ‘thought you new this, yo’.
- Protein synthesis simulation dance: 1971 vintage, made by Stanford students. Good way to review some biochemistry — also to get a sense of history, what college was like when your elders were there.
- Library of Congress American Memory: Not particularly science-oriented (but lots of maps), but possibly one of the most fascinating multi-media archives anywhere.