Spiders from Mars Madagascar: That beauty above? That’s a Heteropoda davidbowie, newly discovered spider named after David Bowie (in honor of his Spiders from Mars). You can read the whole story here.
Sound quality in music: Sasha Frere-Jones has started a new series in the New Yorker called “Dithering: The Sound of Sound” which explores sound quality in music. The first and second posts are up. If you haven’t yet, you can test yourself to see if you can hear the difference between MP3s at 128 and 320 kbps.
Monkeys find Metallica calming: Primatologist Charles Snowdon at UW-Madison showed that the affective state of tamarind monkeys can be changed by ‘monkey music’ (music based on their calls) but it largely unaltered by human music, with the exception of Metallica, oddly enough. This is interesting because music affects the emotional state of humans in a similar way across cultures, but it these effects don’t seem to cross over to other primates. More information here.