Vol. 1 / No. 8.1 — The “Best Of” Time (List-o-Mania)


As the year grinds to a halt and the science and technology world starts feeling nostalgic for the year that was, we inevitably see the yearly spree of “Best Of” articles. Being a bottom-feeder in the news cycle, I present therefore my best of “best of” lists of 2013.

Gizmodo has enough “best of” lists to have its own best of “best of” lists list, but here’s my favorite: their best “explainers” of 2013: ten longform articles from 2013 that explain to the average reader something interesting in science and technology, from how space will kill you to what happens when you stick your head in a particle accelerator, these are ten worthwhile (or at least interesting) articles from the past year.

The Guardian has a great list of the best science fiction novels of 2013, so if, like me, you haven’t had a chance to read, well, anything since 2012, you can at least know what you should have been reading.

Every year Popular Science does their “best of what’s new” lists, which are a great way to kill an afternoon. If you find yourself with a hell of a lot of time on your hands and the science fiction books the Guardian lists aren’t up your alley, there’s a heap of interesting just waiting for you.

If hard science is your thing (rather than the pop variety) the next one is worth a look: Scientific American has a list of their top ten science stories of 2013. From the successes of gene therapy to the most powerful storm on record (Haiyan) this is the year’s best ICYMI (in case you missed it) post.

Over at Wired they’ve opted for a best scientific discoveries of 2013 post. CRISPR, leaving the heliosphere, the olinguito, and growing organs, among other stories, await you over there.

For a more aesthetically-pleasing list, check out the Huffington Post’s Science blog for their picks for the 27 best (read: most “mind-blowing”) space images of 2013.

And for something closer to home, take a gander at Gizmodo’s Sploid blog, where they’ve taken the National Geographic photo contest for 2013 and digested it down into a more manageable nine best world photos of the year.

For the full NatGeo contest and winners, have a look here.

Also at Gizmodo (last one, I promise) is the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s best books of 2013 list. If you buy one using their links,’the EFF gets a little something, which is great. It’s also great to just donate to the EFF.

And finally, true to form, Time has a list of the best Twitter feeds of 2013. But don’t expect to get through the list very quickly: there are 140 (feeds, not characters) in all.