Browsing Category : Science Communication

Serious squishy cow chat

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Sometimes I forget that not everyone who sees my tweets has had access to my entire back catalog of online ramblings. I did a poll a while ago and discovered that many of my Twitter followers don’t know Squishy Cow, or haven’t seen my Lego videos. Both are some of my favourite science things I’ve done online, and (not coincidentally)…

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Beach bodies, as rated by marine biologists

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Sea nettle (2/5) Ouch! Their transparent look makes them hard to spot, but a surprise encounter with one of these beach bodies can really hurt your seaside enjoyment. Penguin (3/5) The coolest penguins are chilling on beaches in Australia, South Africa and Argentina this season. They certainly dress to impress, but does your beach body really need a dinner jacket?…

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Outreach advice for Pied Piper

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I don’t always get what’s happening in Silicon Valley. I mean the TV show. I certainly don’t understand what’s happening in the actual global tech hub of the same name. Silicon Valley is a comedy about a start-up company, Pied Piper, that does all the things start-up companies do. They have engineers, a CEO and funders. There are competitors, conventions,…

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Being John Malkovich, and six other Twitter users

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What if you could be someone else for a day? Well, you can’t. You’re stuck with being you. But you can experience Twitter as someone else, and that’s almost as good, if not better.   What? How? Tell me more! The app Antipersona, created by Anastasios Germanidis, let’s you pick a Twitter user, and will show you their timeline (based…

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Science songs – why so silly?

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Why are songs about science often so silly? You know what I mean. They try to fit long words in the lyrics for the sake of scientific accuracy, they’re reductionist and literal, and they’re often parodies of existing songs with the words changed to be about science. Some of them are really popular. These days, Tom Lehrer’s Elements song is…

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Pantographs and the magic of words

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“Drivers! Don’t forget to drop the pantograph!” I don’t know what it means, but this sign at London’s Farringdon Station sounds important and magical. It’s a large white sign at the end of the platform, just before the train enters the tunnel towards City Thameslink station. I don’t want to look up what a pantograph is or why it needs…

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Image origins: That walking molecule

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Suddenly it’s everywhere: a gif of a molecule stepping along, carrying a big load. It’s currently going viral online, with text suggesting that it’s a myosin molecule carrying endorphins in the brain. It’s none of that. First of all, it’s not a myosin molecule, but kinesin. They’re both motor proteins and some of the myosin proteins have a very similar…

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