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Archive: BioBlog June 2010

music to learn by

Alison Campbell Mar 19, 2015

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... Read More

farewell, sir terry pratchett

Alison Campbell Mar 13, 2015

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... Read More

a mantis? or a fly?

Alison Campbell Feb 28, 2015

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 on … Read More

a spontaneously combustible baby? somehow i don’t think so

Alison Campbell Aug 26, 2013

At one point the husband had quite an interest in something known as ‘spontaneous human combustion’ (SHC) – the claim that humans can, on occasion & often with no apparent ignition agent, burst spontaneously into flame. What’s more, their bodies may sometimes be totally consumed, & yet it appears the fire doesn’t spread to the rest of the room they’re … Read More

chocolate! & just in time for easter

Alison Campbell Mar 27, 2013

For years the husband has insisted that chocolate is a health food. He’s also spun me the line that eating it is good for the rainforest, as the mature cacao trees apparently grow in mature forest. So he’ll be happy with the Herald‘s story on his sweet treat, which has the enticing title of “Sweet news: chocolate is good for … Read More

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academic olympics fail to gain government support

Alison Campbell Aug 16, 2012

This is a guest post – I’m running it on behalf of my friend & colleague Dr Angela Sharples. Angela is the current chair of OlympiaNZ (the umbrella organisation for the various NZ Olympiad committees) and leads NZ International Biology Olympiad. She received the Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Award in 2011. At a time when we celebrate all things sporting … Read More

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