Calling All to the Night of the Nerds

As some of you may know, for the last 4+ years I’ve been organising and hosting a wee event here in Wellington called Nerd Nite (you guessed it) Wellington. I’ve made mention of it occasionally here¬†over the last few years, and today seemed as good a day as any to mention it again! For two […]

A mathematically representative climate change debate

John Oliver*, commentator and satirist, NAILS IT. And in case you didn’t see the news last week? Well, I’m just super glad I’m not investing in seafront property. Or anything close. Distinctly worried about most of our major cities, though, given humanity’s apparently inability to get its arse into gear around climate change-related issues. —– […]

What science becomes news?

A question almost constantly on the minds of (well, most, I guess) science communicators is: “Is this piece of research newsworthy? Will anyone CARE about it, and read what I write on the subject?” And, as a general rule, the bigger and more important the news outlet, the more crucial that question is. Thankfully, people […]

The best visualisation of the solar system yet

Regular readers may be aware of my penchant for whimsy. My happy grinnings when people mix pedantry with a sense of humour*. And today’s offering is just such a one. The description is perfectly apt: it IS a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system. But there are some wonderful surprises, and I found […]

Winners of 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge announced

And my goodness but there are some stunners this year. As readers of this blog will know, I’m something of a fan of data visualisation, and this year’s competition winners have a great deal to offer, in categories from games to video, posters and more. It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but I did want […]

Countdown: I love this liftoff

It’s an insane day for space stuff! Stephen Hawking is boldly claiming ‘there are no black holes‘* – and this from the chap who proposed Hawking radiation :P Astronomers have discovered an ‘ultramassive’ black hole: one of the most powerful objects ever found. The ‘cosmic web’ – filaments of gas connecting galaxies across the darkest […]

Spellbinding: Computers Watching Movies

Artist Benjamin Grosser has done some utterly fascinating – given us a new perspective on, well, our perception by showing us how computers ‘watch’ movies. The outcome is stunning. Each movie used – from Taxi Driver to The Matrix, Space 2001 to American Beauty – shows a strikingly different pattern. They come from software, written […]

Academic kindness

The academic world can be a harsh mistress, as anyone who’s been anywhere near it knows. Not only can it feel like your colleagues are out to get you, but your bosses, funders, the public, governments and officials and, well, the world. Through all of this,¬† fledgling (and lovely!) tumblr blog Academic Kindness shines a […]

Thoughts on using people to get into restaurants

I’ve not blogged for a while (sorry!), and today I’m going to do something a little different. I’m NOT going to blog about science*. Instead, I’m going to write down my feelings on why I don’t particularly think what this lady has been up to, is particularly awesome. And I’m going to be coming from […]