Books and the image of science

[SCRIPT] I’ve been catching up on classics, and recently read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (first published in 1818) and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, from 1962. These are two very different books. One is a horror story and the other is a non-fiction book about the effects of pesticides on the environment….

Festival of the Spoken Nerd – Full Frontal Nerdity

Last week I finally cleared out my inbox and among lots and lots and lots of mailing lists, ads, and other irrelevant things I found the review copy of Festival of the Spoken Nerd‘s Full Frontal Nerdity, which has been on sale for WEEKS now. Whoops. I watched it almost…

Finding DNA sculptures in London

On Sunday, a group of friends and I set out to find the DNA sculptures that are scattered around London this summer. The weather wasn’t the best, and we started the journey in heavy rain, but it got a little bit better later. We didn’t make it to all 21…

Martha Meets Shakespeare

Way back in December, the Doctor Who Fan Orchestra released “Martha Meets Shakespeare”, the ninth collaboration between musicians around the world performing the music of Doctor Who. I’m in this video a few times, playing alto recorder in a Tardis dress and playing violin dressed as one of the Carrionites…

Spontaneous Paleontology

The Art Assignment is a YouTube show on PBS Digital Studios, hosted by Sarah Urist Green, which features a different artist each episode. The artists show how they work, and challenge viewers to carry out a specific art assignment. I’ve been following The Art Assignment ever since it launched, but…

Can my cat see the rotating snake optical illusion?

In 2013, Rasmus Bååth uploaded a video of a young cat responding to the rotating snake optical illusion. In this illusion, developed by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, it looks like the snakes are moving, even though it’s a static image. Later, Bååth published a scientific paper about this cat and other cats…

Barcelona

I finally had a chance to visit Barcelona last week, on a holiday with my family. Some photos and video below, and many more photos on Flickr.   Thanks for visiting easternblot.net! I’ve been writing about science and scientists in art/culture/life since 2005, both on this blog and for other…

#ScienceWoman

I recently made a video about Maud Menten. I used Lego, of course, but this time also added myself. Menten is a famous name in Biochemistry, but for years I didn’t know that her first name was Maud, or that she was a woman in the first place. I just…

Breaking glass and restriction enzymes

In one of my undergraduate chemistry lab courses the teaching assistants ran a “Break List”. Every time you broke a piece of glassware, you got a score, depending on how expensive that piece of glassware was. Test tubes were only a few points, but breaking the rotavap would instantly get…

Lego scientists stop motion

Like Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation, I used my time off work to make a stop motion animation. Mine’s a bit longer than his, though – but only a bit! I used iStopMotion for iPad and the Lego Research Institute (and an additional Lego chemist mini figure) to make…