Wescott’s Weekly Roundup: Best of the Science Blogs. Lady Gaga edition.

David here. I have two words for you: Lady Gaga.

Made you look, didn’t I? But that’s really the trick that Rob Dunn uses at Scientific American’s Guest Blog uses to write a fairly lengthy post about the “top ten life-forms” – actually, kinds of bacteria – that are on all of us, including Lady Gaga. Cheesy? You betcha. Effective? You tell me.  Thanks to our advisory committee member Thea for passing this one along.

I have two more words for you: poison life.

You may have heard about the discovery of an arsenic-based life form from NASA.  Straight outta Hollywood, right?  Except it doesn’t look like that’s exactly what they found. The science blogosphere has been all over this story for a while now, and the best tick-tock on it I can find comes from Ed Yong at Discover’s Not Exactly Rocket Science.  If you haven’t followed this, it’s a good place to get caught up and it has links to other good posts.

And yes, I have two more words for you: dead birds.

You’ve probably heard about the creepy stories about thousands of blackbirds just dropping dead in Arkansas and a similar incident in Louisiana.  I’m surprised there hasn’t been more about this in the science blogosphere, but I found this from Wendee Holtcamp at Discovery.  Here’s the thing – this sort of phenomenon isn’t really as rare as the mainstream media may be making it out to be. Here’s the other thing – we still don’t know why this is happening, and since science bloggers tend to get data BEFORE they analyze it, we’re probably going to have to wait on this one. (Speculation surrounds fireworks, though.)

Finally, I have two more words for you: field goal!

The college football national championship and the NFL playoffs are just days away, and it’s fitting that Rhett Alain at Wired Science’s Dot Physics examines the issue of where you want to place the football (middle of the field versus the hashmarks) before you try to kick a field goal.  Andy Reid & Bill Belichick, take note…See more on the Science of NFL.