Wescott’s Weekly Update: Best of the Science Blogs. Natural Disasters Edition.

We know where you're going

OK, so there’s been a lot going on, especially on the East Coast – we’re looking at earthquakes, hurricanes, and the possibility that your home could be overrun by mutant ants.  (OK, kidding about the ant part.) (But not really.)

So here are some links that fit the times:

The science of predicting hurricanes.  Boston is bracing for Irene, and Tinker Ready at Nature.com’s Boston Blog is sharing some of the best thinking from the best brains on this.

Following the earthquake on Twitter.  David Kroll at PLoS blogs has a really cool story about how he felt the earth move and then he saw people on Twitter up and down the coast say the same thing.  In telling the story he (perhaps unwittingly) gives us all a list of great science writers to follow on Twitter.

Send your ants to Raleigh.  Or more specifically, to North Carolina State University in Raleigh.  Seriously. David Hunt writes a guest post at NC State’s science blog The Abstract is spreading word of the world’s first ant census.  (Yes, I said “ant census.”) And they’re asking for volunteers to send in their ants.  It’s important to know whether non-native species of ants are invading more sensitive areas because it can have a significant impact on local plant and animal life in your area.   And you can help. If ants aren’t your thing, check out hundreds of other opportunities to advance science on SciCheer’s sister site, Science For Citizens.

Star eaten by a black hole.  Just in case you needed some perspective on the earthquake-hurricane-ant thing, this might remind you it can always be worse.  LIKE YOU MIGHT GET SWALLOWED UP BY A BLACK FREAKING HOLE.  This strikes me as kind of cool to watch from a distance, but decidedly unpleasant if you’re up close…

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