What We're Reading

Last week I said that "What We're Reading" was going to take a break for Black Friday. But have you seen how crowded the stores are? (You could shop online, of course, and -- ahem -- take a moment to benefit NCSE by shopping at AmazonSmile. Unlike these fellows, who are reading on a different South American river: the Orinoco.) Anyhow, NCSE found a lot of interesting articles this week. Here are a few of them. Feel free to share articles that crossed your screen in the comment section, or e-mail us directly during the week with things that caught your eye. We'll add the best to our weekly posts.

  • Iowa's Climate-Change Wisdom, The New York Times, November 20, 2015 -- In his op-ed column, Jeff Biggers explains, "A new climate narrative is emerging among farmers in the American heartland that transcends a lot of the old story lines of denial and cynicism, and offers an updated tale of climate hope."

  • Inside the Bizarre Genome of the World's Toughest Animal, The Atlantic, November 23, 2015 -- Everybody loves tardigrades, right? But maybe they should be renamed chimeras. Ed Yong reports on a new study that shows that "foreign genes make up 17.5 percent of the tardigrade's genome."
  • Adapting to -70 Degrees in Siberia: A Tale of Yakutian Horses, Science Daily, November 23, 2015 -- A new speed record for mammals? It took less than eight hundred years for Yakutian horses to adapt to the frigid conditions of eastern Siberia, according to a forthcoming paper. (Hat tip to The Whole Truth for the link.)
  • Unique Watercolour of Darwin on HMS Beagle Tipped to Fetch Upwards of £50,000 At Auction, The Guardian, November 25, 2015 -- "The watercolour ... shows fossils and botanical specimens being hauled aboard for examination by Darwin, who commands the centre of the painting in top hat and tails."
  • For Humanity's Sake, Get Over Climate Change Denial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 26, 2015 -- "Climate change denial is a sickness with many causes," opines the editorial board of Missouri's second-largest newspaper. "If the world cannot overcome it and commit to real action, the consequences will be ruinous."
  • Is This What Tyrannosaurus rex Really Sound[ed] Like? Nerdist, November 27, 2015 -- The makers of Saurian, a dinosaur-themed video game in development that "seeks to immerse players in the world of the Hell Creek Formation, 68-66 million years ago," have been pondering what T. rex sounded like. Brian Switek is impressed.
  • 5 Interactive Ways News Outlets Are Covering Climate Change, journalism.co.uk, November 27, 2015 -- It isn't always easy for journalists to explain the complexities of climate change science and policy to their readers, but interactive features on the web are helpful, explains Mădălina Ciobanu.