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Massive brain dump – unanswered questions

1.) SciBarCamb is in two weeks. If you’d like to spend a day-and-a-half meeting interesting people and talking about science in Cambridge for only £10 – sign up . Ideas for sessions go here YouTube videos of demos people are bringing along are here 2.) Nature Precedings is closing. I...
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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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Poster or talk?

A few weeks ago, at a conference, I was talking about posters with some people. Not the specific posters that were at the meeting, but posters in general. I have only ever had to present posters at department poster days, and never had anything interesting enough to warrant printing at...
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Stovetop underwater volcano

A few days ago, my friend Karen shared a video of something she discovered in her kitchen: A funnel in a pot of near-boiling water creates an underwater volcano when the water inside the funnel starts boiling much sooner than the rest of the water. Does anyone have an explanation?...
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The thing with the plunger?

You know those multi-pipettors? Not the one with the eight rows of tips, but the one where you fill it up and go chnk-chnk-chnk a few times in a row? Do you know what the disposable/washable part of that is called? I just discovered the answer yesterday, in “Active Surplus”...
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That survey again

If you haven’t yet clicked it, because maybe you were on vacation or heading a revolution or otherwise incapable of ticking boxes for a few seconds, here is the survey again in which I try to find out how people find my blog. It is for a purpose, which I...
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I’m curious

Who are you people? I’ve thought of a handful of reasons why you could possibly be reading this. Please take a moment to click on this one-question survey and select the ones that apply to you. You can also leave a long anecdotal comment here, but I thought I’d do...
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Squishier – the poll

(Read this post first) Now with a poll that may or may not work! Vote for the new cow’s name: What should Squishy Cow’s new friend be called?Squeeky CowSquashy CowSmooshy CowSquidgy Cowsomething else (leave a comment)View ResultsCreate a Poll For reference, that’s Squishy on the left and the new cow...
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Ant-traction

My bloggy friend Fiona has had a very strange recurring problem: she keeps finding ants on toothbrushes. Only Colgate toothbrushes of a particular type are affected, and it doesn’t matter if the brushes are used or new. Ants seem to love the rubber on these. They’re ant magnets! Being a...
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Knowledge for sale?

I was just reading the “Cambridge News & Crier” – a free door to door paper about all the weekly goings-on in Cambridge. Kittens need loving homes, Area Man grows giant pumpkin – that kind of thing. There was an article in this week’s issue about 40 people being laid...