ResearchBlogging editor’s selections: wishing on a dinosaur, the 4th down odds, the town that went mad, dead star navigation and deep-water sand dunes

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

Here in the U.S., we’re just coming off our Thanksgiving weekend; to celebrate, we’ve got a couple of Thanksgiving-themed posts in this week’s selections!

  • This Thanksgiving, Make a Wish on a Dinosaur. One Thanksgiving tradition is to make a wish off by breaking the wishbone of a Turkey.  Brian Switek of Laelaps uses this tradition to discuss how the discovery of clavicles in dinosaurs led to a greater acceptance of the bird/dinosaur connection.
  • Thanksgiving and Football: Why you should always go for it on 4th and short. Another big tradition is to sit and watch one or more football games before and after the Thanksgiving feast!  Brad Walters at Cortical Hemming and Hawing takes a look at a statistical study of football that suggests, contrary to common practice, that one should almost always go for it on the 4th down.
  • The Town That Went Mad. Everybody goes a little crazy over the Thanksgiving holiday, usually from dealing with relatives.  At his eponymous blog, Neuroskeptic looks at the curious case of a French town where, in 1951, a large number of people went literally psychotic.
  • Navigating by the (dead) stars. After the Thanksgiving feast comes the treacherous task of navigating oneself home (okay, I’m really stretching the Thanksgiving connection, now).  At we are all in the gutter, Niall explains how certain types of stars can be used to navigate spacecraft in a sort of cosmic-GPS.

Finally, did you know that sand dunes can be formed in really deep water?  Brian Romans at Clastic Detritus talks about fascinating deep-water sand dunes that have been found in the South China Sea.

Check back next week for more “miscellaneous” suggestions!

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