SciBlogs

perhaps cancer and cardiovascular disease aren’t such ‘modern’ diseases after all Alison Campbell Mar 29

One of the books I'm currently reading is the excellent The Man Who Touched His Own Heart, by Rob Dunn. It's a fascinating and beautifully-written narrative of how our understanding of both the heart and of ways to treat its…

the sonorous war cry of a very angry frog Alison Campbell Mar 23

I’ve always liked frogs. I remember, when I was probably around 4 years old, being fascinated by the tadpoles that Dad brought home in a big jar from a farm pond. Mum explained about how they’d gradually metamorphose (thought…

music to learn by Alison Campbell Mar 19

This was first posted over on Talking Teaching. I’m always looking for interesting ideas that might spark student engagement. A couple of days ago this rap video popped up on the ScienceAlert FB page: As you can see, it’s a…

farewell, sir terry pratchett Alison Campbell Mar 13

Today I heard that one of my favourite authors, Sir Terry Pratchett, had died (at the relatively young age of 66). And I cried. In his Discworld novels he created a world full of the most amazing characters, and…

it’s amazing what you find in the spam folder Alison Campbell Mar 11

I've just spent an entertaining 10 minutes or so clearing out my spam folder. I don't go there often, but a student had asked why I hadn't answered their email & since I hadn't actually received one in the…

yes, we have some bananas – just not gm ones (yet) Alison Campbell Mar 09

Back in 2010 I wrote a post about bananas, following on from a Schol Bio question the previous year. As well as looking at the genotypes of modern bananas, I highlighted the fact that the original wild banana was…

a mantis? or a fly? Alison Campbell Feb 28

So, which is it? A mantis? Or a fly? (Image by kind permission of Daniel Llavaneras) In fact, the creature shown in this gorgeous image by Daniel Llavaneras is neither mantis nor true (Dipteran) fly, although its common name is ’mantisfly’. Instead, it belongs to the insect family Mantispidae (a group that includes lacewings and antlions). Like real praying mantids, matisflies walk [...]

rip frank’n'louie, the diprosopic cat Alison Campbell Feb 25

Seeing this image of a fish with 2 mouths reminded me that I needed to finish writing about Frankenlouie, a janus-headed (diprosopic) cat. It’s funny how the mind works, because the fish definitely isn’t a janus-fish: that would require…

stuff: bible lessons lead to court Alison Campbell Feb 22

And if the Stuff story here is correct, then I can understand why parents might choose that route, particularly as they seem to have exhausted other options. NZ state primary schools can offer 'religious education', and under the Education Act parents have the ability…

the 10 commandments of rational debate Alison Campbell Feb 20

Critical thinking is a necessary tool for understanding the world we live in. And I don’t believe we teach it particularly well. I know that students in high school science classes learn how to assess the validity/reliability of a…

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