Great sciencey watchables

August looks set to be an absolute cracker for that segment of my readership who a) likes to watch science-related programming and b) has access to TVNZ 7 (hilariously, I don’t actually fit into the latter group). Still, even if you don’t, then guaranteed you’ll have a friend who does, and it’s a handy excuse to go and sit on someone else’s couch and flatten their snacks/wine/fridge contents. To get on with it, then, August […]

Go forth! Make friends!

Or, why having a social network is very good for you.  Really. Yes, fine, I’m biased.  I admit it.  I see no harm in the burgeoning everywhereness of social media and stuff.  And I think having friends is awesomely important. As far as I’m concerned, the more friends we have, and the more people to whom we’re connected, the less isolated we feel.  Which is good.  It’s more difficult to condone a war against people […]


Imagine I could take the world and, holding gently to its corners, fold it Into a rose, of infinite petals, and infinite complexity And give it to you

All kinds of trippy goodness – food as scanned by MRI

Hah!  Still alive!  (Possibly) A little bit of very intriguing strangeness today.  And yes, a brief post too.  Still, the amount of time spent watching this in fascination should hopefully make up for that. Some very interesting person took a bunch of different foods, and bunged them into an MRI scanner.  For the fun of it.  And to see what would happen.  And it’s mad!  And quite strange.  And very beautiful.  And it moooooves.  Hypnotically […]

In which I make an excuse, but put out a suggestion

Greetings, readers all Yes, I am alive.  No, I have not forgotten my duty to you all to produce entertaining and informative content.  However, I am at this point stupidly busy, and thus have fallen a little behind. Amusingly, the gravity well around my to-write-about list has now acquired the ability to levitate small objects around it. Objects thus far include a pot of geraniums*, a surprised-looking goldfish and, for some reason, my coffeepot.  Which […]

In which I join the 'hello readers!' meme

And it’s not just a cheerful greeting, either. Rather, it’s an encouragement for our blogs’ readers to step forward, say hi, and introduce themselves. Started, well, multiple times in various ways, the most recent instance thereof is superhero science blogger** Ed Yong resurrecting his own meme.  ‘Cause you can do that when you’re kickass. Anyway, since then the clarion call has been picked up by the legendary Carl Zimmer, fellow Research Blogging Awards 2010 finalist […]

Deep-sea critter madness: new species, new photos

I love Wired.* I also love strange deep-sea critters, and brilliant photos of them.  So this recent article in Wired is a quite a treat. Captured between 700 and 3,660 (or so) metres** deep along the mid-Atlantic ridge***, it showcases 10 new deepwater species which are intriguing scientists for a slew of different reasons, including what they might teach us about the move from being spineless, to having backbone (and no, that wasn’t a metaphor […]

Space geekiness: a lecture

I really, really hate it when events don’t have an online presence. I like broadcasting things.  Not to be able to do so easily, particularly when it’s something interesting, is upsetting.  I have fitlets of pique thereover.  As it were. Anyhoo, on to the point of this post: tomorrow, in Wellington, there’s going to be a lecture on radio astronomy, next gen telescopes and so forth.  To make the obvious pun, it’s going to be […]

Planck telescope's first full-sky image of the universe

A brief post, this, simply to alert everyone to this absolutely stunning image. The European Space Agency has a telescope called Planck.  This marvellous technological beastie was sent about a million miles into space in August last year and proceeded to take the next ten months or so scanning the sky. Why?  Because of what maps like this (more will be forthcoming next year) can teach us about the universe, how it began, and and […]