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August
2009

Personal space issues: now we know the 'where'

Caltech continues to live up to its reputation for producing some fine work.In a recent coup (haha), they appear to have figured out the whole ‘personal bubble’ issue. Well, to be more precise, they’ve figured out which brain structure is responsible….

xkcd: Newton and Leibniz

I couldn’t resist. For the uninitiated, xkcd is a marvellous webcomic revolving around maths, physics, and, well, the human experience. In fact, its author, Randall Munroe, is even publishing a (real) book!(subtitle: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, m…

Addendum to previous post

I found this delightful website (click on logo below)JOVE, or the Journal of Visualised Experiments, is a fantastic idea. Anyone working in the biological sciences will, I’m sure, appreciate how tricky it can be to learn or duplicate a new methodology…

The (threat) challenge to science publishing

An article I recently wrote for the Science Media Centre (note, there’s a really cool sound recording from the WCSJ on the SMC website, here). The debate’s a complicated one – this article just manages to lightly touch upon some of the issues…The Op…

Global warming warning

I’ve just come across this and, frankly, my first reaction was to burst out laughing.Not, I hasten to add, because I think it’s funny in and of itself. And the article itself is very calm and cogent about things. It’s simply that the headline reads s…

Gamma-ray bursts get even more sci-fi

Gamma-ray bursts really are the stuff of science fiction. And something of a mystery.They’re the most impressive explosions the universe has been able to offer after the tremendous effort of the Big Bang. If one happened anywhere near Earth (and by n…

More evidence that cockroaches may be the pinnacle of evolution

..Sorry, those of you who thought it was humans. (As a side note, Terry Pratchett is particularly hilarious on the subject in The Last Continent)Alright, for those of you who prefer accuracy in your statement: no, they’re not really the pinnacle of ev…

Sunbed silliness

I will admit to being slightly biased on this one, having heard many, many years ago about the entirely legitimate concerns about the cancer risks through UV exposure associated with their use.And it’s become a rather heated (haha) issue here in New Ze…

Biomimicry and AskNature

Biomimicry is big right now. Or small. Or waterproof. Or able to run at full tilt (haha, considering the angle of activation is 10 degrees) across walls and even ceilings.It’s a fascinating subject, and one of those which, like many great brainwaves…