Cute animal pictures are good for your work!

Workers! Throw off your shackles!  Be not afraid to be seen by your boss cooing over Cute Overload! Hiroshi Nittono and colleagues, of Hiroshima University in Japan, have shown something most intriguing: that looking at ‘kawaii’ or cute images of baby animals improves focus and careful behaviour. It is, perhaps, not surprising that the research […]

Hey girl. Did you know I like the macabre?

Hey Girl. I just found out something pretty cool. Dead Man’s Bones, to which I am currently listening, is a very happy find. The songs from the eponymous album (2009) are about zombies and ghosts and monsters, and have a deliciously cute macabre edge to them. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnEkboR86h0&feature=list_other&playnext=1&list=ALHTd1VmZQRNoKvLr1A16wEhKubCsE6_P0[/youtube] Some songs are very 50s diner schmaltz. Others […]

UnderSkin, the Tube and schematic mapping

A beautiful piece of medical art has cropped up and being doing the rounds again the last few days. Titled ‘UnderSkin’, and made in 2010 by illustrator/designer Sam Loman, UnderSkin shows the human anatomy in the style of the very famous London Underground map.     I must say, it’s a beautiful piece of work, […]

Wash ALL the things!

We all know that fresh water is going to become more and more of an issue over the coming decades.  Climate change and an ever-growing population will be placing ever more stress upon this most essential of resources, and so anything that helps to save water is, at least in my books, a Bloody Good […]

The IgNobel Prize winners 2012: speech jamming, dead salmon brain activity, green hair and more

And, ladies and gentlemen, it’s official!  The winner’s of this year’s IgNobel prizes have been announced and the webcast of the ceremony showed it to be as good-natured and cheerful an event as ever.     Physics: Keller, Goldstein, Warren and Ball for research into the forces that control the shape and movement of a […]

The IgNobels 2012 live! Now!

A very brief post, just to alert y’all that the IgNobels are starting in less than 45 minutes.  And you can watch them live in the video below! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnprpYZYiC8[/youtube] Also, Scientific  American blogger Scicurious will be live tweeting from the awards.  Look for the hashtag #ignobel :) For those who’re not sure why I’m so […]

Crows join humans in the ability to infer hidden causal agents

New Caledonian crows - smarter every time we look at them. A fascinating new piece of research was published a couple of days ago in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (or PNAS for short). It shows that New Caledonian crows are capable of a cognitive feat previously only thought to be […]

Why DID the chicken cross the road?!

Why did the chicken cross the road? No, despite what some think, it’s neither the oldest* nor the worst joke of all time. Hell, it’s not even a joke - it’s an anti-joke. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6nSOgsI_vo#![/youtube]   In this awesome video, YouTube Channel VSauce’s** Michael Stevens looks at the world’s most famous anti-joke, explaining WHY it’s so […]

This is your brain on implants (spoiler: it’s better)

Today, the Journal of Neural Engineering published rather an interesting paper. In it, they showed that they had been able to restore (and in some cases, improve) decision-making ability in primates through the use of an implanted prosthetic. Sounds like something out of science fiction, doesn’t it?     The region of the brain responsible […]