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Would I eat that?

It’s something I rarely talk about, but this year is my 10th anniversary of being vegetarian. I don’t know exactly when, because it was a very gradual process. I started slowly phasing out meat from my diet in the late nineties, but lapsed in early 2001, when I was staying...
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Hovercraftcrafting

Earlier this month, I joined a table of fellow geeks (including NN’s own Lou) to craft hovercrafts at Drink Shop & Do. The event was run by Science London (the London branch of the British Science Association), who regularly host science craft nights. Dan had been before, and encouraged us...
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Make history, not vitamin C

(This post was previously hosted on my old blog at http://blogs.nature.com/eva and is published in print in The Best Science Writing Online 2012) “Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?” - Edward Lorenz This is a story about a tiny molecular shift...
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Colin Firth’s first scientific paper

Colin Firth is having a pretty good year. First he won an Oscar for the King’s Speech, and now he also has a paper out in Current Biology! When guest editing Radio 4’s Today programme in December, he suggested that it could be interesting to investigate whether there were any...
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The biggest petri dish in the universe

I admit, I just clicked the link on the BBC news site because it said something about “beer”, but it turned out to not be about the drink, but a town. Bill Bryson was right – English towns really do have the strangest names… “Bacteria taken from cliffs at Beer...
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Go, internet!

Overheard at a bus stop in Cherry Hinton (near Cambridge). Two mothers talking, and one said to the other: “I did some research on Google, and apparently more people died of swine flu than of the vaccine, so I’m going to get [kid’s name] vaccinated after all.” They were on...
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Here comes the sun

Last week, my friend Maria asked me a question that I didn’t know the answer to because it’s totally outside my field of expertise. But I knew that Dan Falk would know, and Maria knows him too, so I made her ask him instead. It’s an interesting question, so with...
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Info

Normally I would post this kind of stuff on easternblot but I’m having huge problems with my host right now. Whenever I try to update the site, they block my IP and now I can’t reach my own site from house and from two major UofT libraries. I found out...
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Front page science: collecting controls

I found a copy of today’s Toronto Star newspaper on my coffee break, and was thrilled with the front page. All four front page articles in the print edition are about science! ALL OF THEM! The two smallest ones are the first paragraphs of articles about a meteorite that crashed...
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Cause and effect

I was on Facebook today, and yesterday, and the day before, and saw that several people on there linked to the study about Facebook users getting lower grades in college. The headline of this particular article is actually quite neutral, “Facebook Users Get Worse Grades in College”, but it does...