Playing in the road

Yesterday the suburban street outside our house was closed all day. It’s a busy road so the contrast with an ordinary day was pronounced – the silence lovely. We all rushed out into the street to enjoy the calm. Olly brought his scooter and raced down the hill (achieving some kind of scary, wobbly land… Continue reading Playing in the road

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Excellent New Scientist podcast

If you’re interested in this evolutionary biology stuff you’re going to want to get over to New Scientist and subscribe to their excellent podcast. This week’s double issue is devoted to a brilliant interview (by podcast anchor Ivan Semeniuk) with E.O. Wilson who’s got a new book out. In The Creation he bravely reaches out… Continue reading Excellent New Scientist podcast

Scientific curiosity in action

Space scientists have been preoccupied for a while with the tantalising prospect of life in the ultra-cold oceans and ice-sheets and deserts of the solar system’s rockier lumps. Their readiness to believe that organic life might thrive even in these nasty, inhospitable places has got earth’s biologists thinking about life here. If there could be… Continue reading Scientific curiosity in action

It’s planetary correctness gone mad

The Mail‘s Science Editor Michael Hanlon can be relied upon to recruit even the most obscure and disinterested branch of science to the cause of rampant political correctness. Today he takes on the ‘loony’ planetary scientists who want to ‘demote’ poor Pluto, removing the plucky planetoid from the list of proper planets all together. He… Continue reading It’s planetary correctness gone mad

New York & India

Rush out and buy these special issues before they disappear from the shelves at the end of the week: The Economist’s terrific Survey of New York and New Scientist’s comprehensive special on science in India. Both are outstanding – the best specialist journalism in Britain and lots of clever, exclusive content. Both mags are really… Continue reading New York & India


I defy you to find a better layman’s summary of Nanotech (science and business) than The Economist‘s terrific survey from last week (The Economist’s well-researched monthly surveys are probably the best reason to sort out a subscription to the magazine sharpish, if you ask me).

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Oh shit

MRSA – the hospital super-bug – is well-and-truly out of the hospitals (and getting more super by the day – it kills between 25 and 43% of its victims). Species-level ecological trends like this really sort out the optimists from the pessimists. If you’re a classical anti-growth green or an eco-warrior there’s really only one… Continue reading Oh shit

This week’s top cow meme

Journalists don’t know anything. That’s their job. If they knew anything they’d be doing something that paid better. Besides, knowledgable journos wouldn’t be better journos, they’d just be more opinionated and that would reduce their value as reporters. An exception to this rule seems to be Mars guru Oliver Morton. I don’t want to gush… Continue reading This week’s top cow meme

Water everywhere

My kids – before they’re my age – will know Mars better than I know, say, Tasmania or Patagonia. They won’t have been there but they’ll feel like they have. If they’re paying attention (unlikely), they’ll also have a pretty detailed mental image of two or three of our Sun’s other planets, submarine images from… Continue reading Water everywhere

Warm white wine, peanuts, outer space, celebrities… Marvelous

The highlight of the week was on Wednesday. First, fantastic French Vietnamese lunch with parent and wife Juliet, baby Rosa, sarcastic artist Paul Murphy and noted author Yolanda Zappaterra (they don’t have a high-chair but Bam-Bou was probably the most baby-friendly restaurant we’ve ever been to), then to Carlton House Terrace to help Demos launch… Continue reading Warm white wine, peanuts, outer space, celebrities… Marvelous