ResearchBlogging editor's selections: the first Englishman, the last Seismosaurus, the semantic web, hidden ruptures and E.T. life

skyskull “Dr. SkySkull” selects several notable posts each week from a miscellany of ResearchBlogging.org categories. He blogs at Skulls in the Stars.

  • Unmasking Eoanthropus dawsoni, The First Englishman. This post was too late for the special “fools, failures and frauds” edition of The Giant’s Shoulders history of science blog carnival, but it is a perfect researchblogging post! Krystal D’Costa of Anthropology in Practice discusses the infamous discovery of “Piltdown man”, and how national pride, among other things, muddled the field of anthropology for decades.
  • Cylons and Smelloscopes: False Positives and False Negatives in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. In recent years, the search for extraterrestrial life has heated up with the ability to search for Earth-like planets outside our solar system. At his eponymous blog, The Astronomist describes the techniques for searching for life on other planets, and the pitfalls of such techniques.
  • What’s the point of the semantic web? Anyone who has been around long enough to remember web searching pre-Google knows how far the quality has improved. But can it be done even better, and how? David Bradley at Sciencebase explains the limits of current search engines, and describes how the “semantic web” could fix those limitations.
  • Friday(ish) Focal Mechanisms: Samoa’s hidden rupture. Though our understanding of earthquakes has increased tremendously in modern times, there is still much to learn and many subtleties in every recorded event. Chris Rowan at Highly Allochthonous discusses research that indicates that last year’s Samoan earthquake was much more complicated than previously appreciated.
  • Whatever Happened to Seismosaurus? Finally, Brian Switek of Dinosaur Tracking takes a look at a dinosaur that drew a lot of attention in the 1990s — Seismosaurus — and explains why we don’t hear anything about it any more!

Check back next week for more miscellaneous suggestions!

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