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October
2011

TOSP Episode 8: October 31st 2011

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Featuring something ever so slightly different this week. Elf, as previously mentioned, is away for a couple of weeks (somewhere in the Pacific, possibly)? So aimee invited friend, and the g33k show co-host Chelfyn Baxter onto the podcast. This week, we covered the very real possibility of a functional malarial vaccine, carbon nanotube-containing silicon which could function like skin, a secret society’s opthalmic obsession (and [...]

Future interactions, reinventing discovery, living homes and more

I am profoudly fortunate.  Every day, tonnes and tonnes of brilliant bits of information come flying at me over the intertubes.  I try to send as many of them back out as I can, and so today, I thought I’d put a couple into a post. Enjoy! First up: ‘Ubiquitous Computing’ My g+ stream is shouting excitedly about two primary things today.  One of them is Ripple.  The other is this concept video, released by [...]

Reprise: "Drone meets nerd, drinks beer and talks"

About 18 months ago I was approached to write an article for the Waikato-focussed Scope magazine.  Something about science, maybe, and business.  I figured it might be good fun to talk about jargon. So below, with kind permission from Scope, is my article as it first appeared in Scope Winter 2010 (the latest edition, Summer 11, is here). The word is out, and on the lips of Kiwi politicians, scientists and entrepreneurs: We need to [...]

TOSP Episode 7: October 25th 2011

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Featuring (very) bright sparks, biomimicry and flight, Dance Your PhD, NASA inventions, carbon nano-onions, Iceland’s renewable internet, spider silk, zoned-out rats, forecasting with Twitter, autistic facial characteristics, a new superconductivity, the geek book list, Tell Us A Story 2011 winners, and the economics of milk. Also featuring some Interesting Things, including a comment on a paper showing how cats lap water… Elf and aimee had [...]

Young scientists tell it their way

UPDATE: I got the venue wrong: it Memorial Theatre, Kelburn Campus, Wellington :) More on communication! Last night saw the first of two final Tell Us A Story events in Wellington. Tell Us A Story is a VUW initiative encouraging postgraduate (read: young) science/engineering students to communicate with the public in an emotionally engaging way.  To tell their stories, not as they would at a conference or presenting a paper, but rather as they might [...]

Say what now?

Scientists and the public often seem to speak a different language. And no, I’m not necessarily talking about the dense jargon employed by scientists or, to be frank, the private (or public!) sectors.  Instead, I’m talking about some pretty common words, like enhance*.  Or aerosol, or manipulation, or, even, scheme. Taken from the article Communicating the Science of Climate Change (1), I think it’s a stark (and extremely useful reminder) to science communicators everywhere to [...]

TOSP Episode 6: October 17th 2011

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Featuring yetis, flashing bacteria, space!, brownian motion twists, That’s What She Said, better traffic control (hint: drive slower), nanotech _helping_ cell growth, wired petri dishes, vaccination, whale fall, NZ’s freshwater, and various fabulous eventry! This week, aimee and Elf could happily have talked for hours, and managed not to.  We are proud :) Don’t forget to check out ‘other interesting things’ in the link list [...]

New Zealand internet usage is on the up!

Internet usage in New Zealand is, not surprisingly, on the increase :) Apparently, we’re choosing easier access to the internet, more data and faster access.  Huzzah! Statistics New Zealand has released the results of the 2011 Internet Service Provider Survey, saying the following: A greater number of subscribers had access to faster upload speeds in 2011. The proportion of those with upload speeds of 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) or more increased by over 70 [...]

Giant squids and a bit of a giggle

In New Zealand, most of the news today centres around the Rena environmental disaster currently unfolding off our coastline. So I thought I’d bring in something else nautically-related, but this more on the subject of beasties historically thought to put holes in ships, than ships with holes themselves. Sort of. Some of you may be familiar with the Kraken, a mythological squid/octopus-like creature apparently resting at the bottom of the ocean, and which is able [...]

Lauren Ipsum: a book about which I'm rather excited

I imagine many of you are familiar with Lorem Ipsum*, the ‘nonsense’ text used as a fill-in for websites and other things-using-words under construction. Presenting, however, what looks to be a charming, and distinctly clever, new book: Lauren Ipsum.  It’s the story of a little girl who gets lost in the woods one day, and what happens next.  It describes itself as being “A story about computer science and other improbably things’, and then goes [...]