Your Interesting Links

There’s a lot in this month’s “links”, so let’s get right in …

Science & Medicine

For those of you with youngsters interested in science – or even just for yourself – don’t forget the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition in London which runs 4-9 July.

Earthquakes are well known for making big cracks in the ground, but could an earthquake ever crack a planet apart?

So what is the oldest living thing on the Earth? And no, the mother-in-law doesn’t count!

Now this is really odd. It seems that all Cook pine trees lean towards the equator – and dramatically so! Scientists have only just noticed and they don’t understand why.

It seems that jumping spiders can see the moon, their vision is so good.

Well yes, butterflies have sex, but it is a lot more complicated than we imagine.

So just why are birds’ eggs egg-shaped? Researchers have finally worked out the real reason.

Want to smell like a dog? Well now you can. Psychologist Alexandra Horowitz is training herself to approach the world in the same olfactory way her dogs do.

From dogs to cats … there have been several articles recently on research which has worked out how cats conquered the world. Here are just two, from IFLscience! and the Smithsonian magazine.

And now to humans. Apparently foetuses turn to follow face-like shapes while still in the womb.

Be afraid, at least if you’re American. It seems the Lone Star Tick is causing people to become allergic to meat, and even causing death; scientists are still trying to work out why.

Finally in this section, one science journalist has weighed up the pros and cons of having a PSA test, and found it wanting.

Sexuality

Suzannah Weiss in Glamour wants to end the expectations of pubic hair grooming.

What happens when illness robs someone of their ability to orgasm.

We’ve known for some time, but now research has provided the evidence, that women are the stronger sex.

Men need to be talking about fertility – male fertility.

Apparently there’s an association between sex in old age and keeping your brain sharp.

Environment

Harry Mount laments the vanishing glory of the suburban front garden all in the worship of the automobile.

Social Sciences, Business, Law

Will Self looks at the need for a Britain to have a written constitution – and offers to write it!

Several years ago, lawyer David Allen Green looked at the effects of the political penchant for banning things.

Language

Here are 35 words which many people use wrongly. Yes, even I fall into one or two of the traps.

History, Archaeology & Anthropology

Apparently there was a huge wooden structure at Avebury. It pre-dated Stonehenge by hundreds of years and was (deliberately?) destroyed by fire.

Something many aren’t aware of is that medieval castles were very cleverly designed, even down to the spiral staircases.

So what really did happen at Roswell in 1947.

London

IanVisits goes in search of London’s lost Civil War fortifications.

Also from IanVisits are two items on the London Underground. First a look at possible plans to make gardens in unused ticket offices; and secondly at some of the engineering challenges in taking the heat out of the Underground system.

Lifestyle & Personal Development

Are 16 and 17-year-olds really too young to vote? Dean Burnett, in the Guardian, looks at the evidence.

There are some amazing photos showing the work of Sutherland Macdonald, Victorian Britain’s first professional tattoo artist.

Ada Calhoun, in the Guardian again, looks at how to stay married. Spoiler: don’t get divorced.

People

And finally, Geoff Marshall (who has twice held the record for travelling the whole London Underground in the shortest time) and Vicki Pipe (of the London Transport Museum) are on a record-breaking mission to visit all 2,563 railway stations in mainland Britain this summer – documenting the state of our railways as they go. They started in early May and are already over halfway there. Follow their progress on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at All the Stations.