Archive for the 'Science' Category


Monday, September 26th, 2005

It must be perculiarly annoying to find out that someone has named an enormous, water-saturated volume of high velocity, low pressure oxygen and (mostly) nitrogen after you. However, exactly this has happened with my mother and hurricane Rita. Alternatively it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snip hilarious headlines and stick them to your pin-board, like “Monster […]


Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Sci / tech articles for your cogitation: Twelve ways to think differently, and no, this isn’t anything to do with Apple. Favourites of mine include: 6) Synthesis, Distillation and Restatement. Forcing yourself to explain an issue to someone is a great way to highlight the gaps in your understanding and gain insight. 12) Collaboration. I […]

Intelligent Design

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

There have been a few articles relating to Intelligent Design (ID) in New Scientist recently, and one in particular tickled me. For those who don’t know, ID is supposedly a non-partisan, ‘scientific’ alternative to the theory of evolution as an explaination for the origins of life. In a nutshell, life is too complicated to have […]

Sleep Paralysis

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Today on the train I had my first encounter with the strange phenomenon known as sleep paralysis. One moment I was comfortably dozing, the next I was awake but completely unable to move. From my closed eyelids to my leaden limbs I was conscious, but utterly frozen. It was very, very strange… Sleep paralysis happens […]

A light straw colour

Friday, January 16th, 2004

A paperwork clearout session over the holiday unearthed a long-lost advice sheet given to me by the urologist after my kidney stone episode, two years ago. The sheet is entitled "Advice for stone formers" which sounds like an album by David Byrne. Take my word for it, kidney stones are profoundly unamusing and definitely to […]


Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

Whilst I was an undergraduate I never understood relativity. I could do most of the math, albeit badly, but it never really went any deeper than the symbols and a few ‘wow’ factor examples. Then about three summers ago I was reading a book called The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, and suddenly it clicked. […]


Sunday, September 7th, 2003

The mornings are getting much darker now, and the feeling of summer having passed is becoming harder to ignore. New Scientist reckons that we could be in for a SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder) epidemic this winter, with everyone having soaked up so much sunshine during our scorching summer. I would’ve thought that all the sunlight […]


Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

This week’s New Scientist includes an interesting feature on the anthropology of Celebrity. Apparently, it all boils down to the human tendency to copy successful behaviours: Prestige is unique to humans … we seem to be the only [animals] which freely confer status on the grounds of perceived merit. In the ancestral environment, prestigious individuals […]