A wonderful and terrifying difference between science news and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is this: there is always more science news. While the fates of Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow hang maddeningly suspended for years (decades, lifetimes, millennia), while George R.R. gets older and older and blogs about the Superbowl instead of what’s happening to Arya Stark… you have only to cast about you for a second and—whoops—some more cool Science has happened.

A second difference is that there aren’t as many descriptions of feasts in science news. There may actually be several differences.

The exciting thing about the abundance of science news is that you can afford to be choosy:
  • Technology a little slow this week? Then astronomers have probably discovered a white peak (a reverse black hole) enpuffening space-time and blasting light and matter into the universe like the point of a massive syringe. 
  • Astronomy’s not catching your interest? Then biologists have just found that penguins evolved from buffalo. 
  • Biology sending you to sleep? Then researchers have recently integrated touch displays with feline skin cells. You’ll soon be able to adjust the temperature of your bedroom with one swipe of your cat. 

And that cool aspect of science news is also truly frightening: like Jason Voorhees, it never, ever stops.

Finished reeling from that penguin-buffalo revelation? Next week, it’ll turn out gravity doesn’t exist, or that climate change is being caused by deeper shades of ladybug pigmentation. A tidal wave of Science is always coming at you, and the moment you pick yourself up and try to sort out where your bikini top has gone to, BAM, here comes another one and now you’re flat on your back like Charlie Brown post-punt, and CRASH, another butt-ton of new discoveries are pinning you to the sand and smothering over your eyes and ears and mouth until you’re blind and deaf and drowning and dead. From all the Science.

Many science blogs would help you to narrow your search by bringing you the latest news highlights, perhaps chosen along a particular thematic axis. Not Tighter Science! No, we don’t have the time or the attention spans for that. Instead, we present a survey of early 2013 science journal covers. Yes, it’s a superficial look at the very first page of the latest publications: the page with the pretty picture and not a lot of stupid words. 

You’re welcome.

Science News that Fucking Owns


February 14 2013

BOOM! Science'd! On the cover of the current issue of Nature is an awesome explosion and headline. It features an artist's rendering of a massive comet striking Asteroid 4 Vesta about a billion years ago, creating a massive crater called Veneneia. The headline refers to a second planet-scale collision on the same impact scar, which happened more recently. Poor Vesta. KO'd by the old one-two.

Look at this cover. Remove the fine print. Add Daniel Craig's name there somewhere. Seriously, I'm not sure why you're still reading this; I'd have clicked the link above and gone to check out the Michael Bay-type action over there at Nature. (Or did you already go there, and were you detered by all the talk of olivine-rich lithologies? And now you're back? No shame there, gentle reader.)

Science News for Teatime

Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences)

April 7, 2013

Big 'splosions not really your style? Well, the latest from the Proceedings of the Royal Society's biology journal offers you this image of an iridescent Helicoverpa armigera caterpillar trudging stolidly along the surface of a plant leaf. That's sure to be a pleasant article that you can talk about between bites of crumpet.

"Great Scott!" you can exclaim, lowering the edge of the Proceedings to glance over at Margery, curled up in the windowseat, crocheting a new cover for the piano forte. "Rather surprisingly, it turns out that certain insects will modify their behaviours in response to induced plant defences!"

Margery's face will turn, your spiffing nugget of science news momentarily distracting her from a view of the groundskeeper splitting logs shirtless near one of the outbuildings, the muscles sliding beneath the tanned and dirty skin of his arms, back, and abdomen in a ballet of power and grace. "Goodness, my dear, how interesting!" she will murmur, and then you probably won't need to interact with her again for at least three days.

Science News for Hiding Your Porn In

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences) 

March 13, 2013

Not everyone's interested in Science, but most people would open the journal with the planetary collision on it, and some might wanna see more pictures of rainbow caterpillars inside that last one. But no one--no sane person, anyway--is going to be interested in learning more about this picture of old I-beams and other scrap metal. The photo is not connected with any article in particular, but with the issue's theme, which relates to improving material efficiency.

This unbelievably dull cover makes the current issue of Philosophical Transactions Tighter Science's top pick as a hiding place for porn or other flat items you'd rather keep private. This journal is like an Invisibility Cloak for documents. 

Science News for Staring At, Just Taking It In, Man


February 8, 2013

This cover shows a picture of the far side of the moon.

There are lots of bright colours on the moon.

Have you ever put your hand on a tabletop and tried to forget what experience has taught you: that your skin and the surface of the table mark the fixed boundaries between entities? Inside your skin, you are yourself; you extend that far and no further. Similarly, the table's tableness stops at its outermost layer of varnish. But you and the table are both collections of atoms: over 99.999% of you both is just empty space. If you could somehow break the tissue-thin membrane that separates You and not-You, slip suddenly through those containing barriers, flow generously into everyone and every thing, dissolve and disperse throughout Creation... would that be like becoming a god? Or is to be God the opposite of inhabiting the totality of created things: is it to be the outside looking in?

The word "GRAIL" is also on there pretty big.

Science News for the Immature

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

February 12, 2013

Heh. PNAS.

Okay, so in the current issue of PNAS, Yang-Yu Liu et al. figured out the exact nodes needed to represent the complete internal state of a complex system. They then used this to model biochemical reaction systems.  Their method could potentially have wide-ranging biological and socioeconomic applications; for example, to map biomarkers, allowing researchers to monitor cellular metabolism.

It says PNAS right on the cover of this science journal. And then there are all those green Matrix-style connect-the-dots boners. LOL!


Whatever your particular appetite in science reportage, there's bound to be a satisfying read out there somewhere. Above is a small sampling--consider it an amuse bouche--of the plethora of news items available to you this spring. We hope that it's gotten your reading juices flowing... ewww, no, we hope that you're as enthused as we are about discovering all the thousands of super-fantastic things Science has probably done in the last few months. 

We can't wait!