We’re talking science in this week’s What I’ve Been Reading. So grab your safety goggles, and let’s go on an adventure together!

  • Writing for NPR’s Goats and Soda blog, Michaeleen Doucleff reports on new research about how the measles virus works. It was previously thought that measles suppressed the immune system for a few weeks after the infection, but it’s now believed that this suppression lasts for two to three years. This should provide an even greater incentive for parents to get their kids vaccinated. (“Should” is the operative word here; anti-vaxxers are incorrigible.)
  • George Dvorsky of io9 interviews Zack Kopplin, an education activist who is fighting to keep creationism out of science curricula in American public schools. You’re fighting the good fight, Zack.
  • Writing for Boing Boing, Aroon Karuna reflects on the “edutainment” games of his childhood. A lot of his experiences with those games reflect my own, but I suspect that he’s a bit older than me; by the time I was playing edutainment games, they were slightly more sophisticated than what he describes. (Thanks to my buddy Cloks for bringing this piece to my attention. Here’s a link to his webcomic.)
  • We now turn our attention to trends in food. Firstly, writing for Gawker, Yvette d’Entremont takes a scathing look at some “all-natural” food trends, some of which are downright dangerous and all of which are informed by shitty science. Secondly, writing for the Food and Farm Discussion Lab, Marc Brazeau takes fire at Chipotle for eliminating genetically modified ingredients from its food, especially since their meat is still raised with genetically modified feed. For the last time, genetically modified food is no more dangerous or unhealthy to consume than regular food.
  • Finally, a completely unscientific history of Brand New and the evolution of their music. Ignore the top 10 list at the end; it doesn’t include “You Won’t Know” or “You Stole”! (Courtesy of James Rettig of Stereogum.)

That’s all for this week. Tune in next week. And the week after that. And the week after that. And the week after that…