SciBlogs

ncea & university entrance – numbers & interpretations Alison Campbell Jan 29

January has again been a very busy month those of us involved in the student enrolment process. This year we noticed that a reasonably large number of students hadn’t achieved university entrance, and while there are very definitely options…

just a big ball of water falling from the sky Alison Campbell Jan 29

Here in Hamilton it's hot, And DRY – I'm guessing we'll be up to 'water alert level 3' (ie no sprinklers) any day now. So I watched this video (link) from ScienceAlert with a mix of fascination & wistfulness…

should food containing dna be labelled? Alison Campbell Jan 20

Apparently 80% of people in the USA think so, according to a Washington Post article that's been all over Facebook in the last few days. That is, 80% of those polled in the regular Food Demand Survey (by Oklahoma State…

it’s the season for ‘best-of’ science compilations… Alison Campbell Dec 17

… and so here are a couple of compilations. The first is Sciencealert’s top 10 animal videos for this year. They include a lone porcupine seeing off a pride of 17 (!) lions; an octopus ‘walking’ on land (which…

are ‘alternative medicines’ really free of side effects? Alison Campbell Dec 16

Not necessarily. OK, most homeopathy’s just water (or sugar pills), but if a non-self-limiting disease goes untreated because someone is relying on homeopathy then, yes, this ‘remedy’ could be said to have side effects. Similarly, using powdered rhinoceros horn…

cows and physics and urban myths Alison Campbell Dec 15

In which we encounter – cow-tipping! This is apparently the focus of both myth & mirth in the US: the idea that cows, asleep on their feet, are regularly tipped over by tipsy youths. Now, apart from the inconvenient…

engraving by homo erectus – art? or doodling? Alison Campbell Dec 11

Why is it that practically every time there’s a new discovery relating to the evolution of our own species, there is a headline saying that this finding ‘could rewrite human history’? Because, bingo! At least one newspaper report1, of…

from small beauties to a big one Alison Campbell Dec 07

Is it a peacock? Is it a turkey? Another in the occasional series of gorgeous creatures: the ocellated turkey :) Image credit: backyardchickens.com Over on Tetrapod Zoology, Darren Naish provides the detailed story of this species' biology & evolution. Apparently they…

the beauty of tiny things Alison Campbell Dec 05

I loved playing with kaleideoscopes when I was (much) younger, but the images they produce have nothing on what Victorian microscopists achieved using diatoms. Diatoms are single-celled photosynthetic organisms, and one of the things that really makes them stand…

some seasonal fun (with the spice of science) Alison Campbell Dec 03

When I was a kid – & we're talking a looong time ago now! – we had a gorgeous Advent calendar that was designed to look like a renaissance-era painting. At least, that's how I remember it. And there…

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