Thai friendship bracelets

B0jUtyMCUAA4YYG.jpg-large "Cheeky, sexy, English-language phrases sought for friendship bracelets at Thai market. Inevitable horror ensues," writes @sliderulesyou.

Awesome! "Epic" is declining in use (except at CNN)

epic-trends

Good news! The most overused word of 2013 is clearly in decline. Epic became synonymous with dudebro culture thanks to web phenomena like Epic Meal Time and epic fail, leading marketers to pounce on the word in hopes of reaching the demographic. That explains why CNN has it twice on their front page this morning, like a dad trying to connect with his son.

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Twerking enters Oxford Dictionary

The rooms are neither as dusty, nor as bald of sound, as one might imagine the cloisters of the Oxford English Dictionary. There are no books piled in the cracked tile hallways, no atmospheric beams of light angling into the tranquil gloom. No old clunking timepiece marks the infinitude of time.

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What makes science beautiful?

In his book, The Science Delusion, Curtis White criticizes scientists for throwing around the term "beautiful" without really asking what, exactly, makes science beautiful ... or what beauty even means in the context of science. I got to interview White last night, and will be posting the audio from that interview soon. But this is one of the points in the book that I thought was rather unfair. How did White know that this isn't something scientists have thought about? He never really said.

So, I turned to Twitter, asking scientists, science writers, and science fans about what made science beautiful to them. I got a really nice variety of answers and wanted to share some of my favorites — you can read them in this Storify.

Image: VISTA's infrared view of the Orion Nebula, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from esoastronomy's photostream

Are "theory" and "hypothesis" dead?

Do you understand the difference between a "hypothesis" and a "theory"? Physics professor Rhett Alain thinks you probably don't. But he says that's not your fault. The words just aren't terribly precise, at least in the public parlance, and they only serve to make discussions about science confusing. He has a modest proposal: Let's replace them both with something that makes sense to the general public.

GIF is word of the year

"GIF has been named the Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year," reports the NY Daily News, in an article that Rich Kyanka points out is illustrated by JPGs of popular GIFs.

Here I present you with a splendid actual GIF from DVDP; put on the "apocalyptic rave" music that the BBC plays in the background of news broadcasts to make you anxious, then stare at it until 2013.

You know how you find certain words seriously annoying? Like whatever.

Reuters is just saying.

"Whatever" headed the list, cited by 32 percent of adults, and next came "like," which 21 percent didn't like. Runners-up included "Twitterverse" and "gotcha'." The results mirrored last year's survey when "whatever" topped the annoying words list for a third straight year. But "seriously," named by 7 percent last year, dropped off the list entirely - really.