Small Wonders: Sept. 24, 2010

In this week’s edition: schizophrenic self-tickling, an online test for traumatic brain injuries, and soccer games for the trapped Chilean miners.

* Mandatory sickle cell testing for athletes raises concerns about racism.

* Plankton can steer storms!

* You can’t tickle yourself, right? Well, you can if you’re schizophrenic.

*Christopher Mims deconstructs the statistics behind the e-book hype. Beware the trough of disillusionment!

* The Navy SEALs have an online test that detects traumatic brain injuries. Too good to be true? Yup.

* Dave Munger weighs in–with excellent stats–on the gender imbalance in science blogging.

* Placebo Journal: the Mad Magazine of medicine.

* Former Microsoft exec Nathan Myhrvold continues to prep his massive treatise on modern cooking, developed after extensive laboratory testing.

* Scientific American has published the results of a remarkable poll about global attitudes toward science. (In somewhat related news, research has revealed that women are more likely than men to believe in global warming.)

* Newsweek has a nice page on the supplies that are being sent down to the trapped Chilean miners. Among other vital supplies, the miners are getting a tiny projector that can display soccer games on the wall of the cave.

* A single, mistranslated word leads to medical tragedy.

* The Millennium Development Goals turned 10. How are they doing at narrowing the gender gap?

* At the Boston Globe, Carolyn Y. Johnson explores how scientists are handling the fallout from the Marc Hauser case.

* Is there more to science than publishing peer-reviewed papers? In “Publishing your science paper is only half the job,” David Dobbs writes: “But here’s the essential fact: science has no importance or value until it enters the outside world. That’s where it takes on meaning and value. And that’s where its meaning and value must be explained.”

Image: NASA/Earth Observatory

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