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The turring, purring turtle dove

I should perhaps have saved this bird for the Christmas edition given its pride of place in the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” the familiar gift accumulation song of 1780, thought to be French in origin that has the generous benefactor...Show More Summary

Two cuckoos flew over no nest

Early evening walk (31st May 2017, farmland south of Rampton, Cambridge, relatively close to the Guided Busway), hoping to catch sight of our local fen edge barn owl (Tyto alba), but could hear a cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) in a field beyond a hedgerow…call seemed to be getting closer…at which point two males flew over our … Continue reading "Two cuckoos flew over no nest"

Classic Chord #20 – Brown Sugar

For the 20th rock Classic Chord in the series, I thought I’d go for Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones. Now, as you guitarists will mostly likely know, “Keef” (as in Keith Richards) does not play in standard EADGBE tuning, he (usually) plays in open G tuning, (D)GBDGD. The parentheses around his bottom string, because … Continue reading "Classic Chord #20 – Brown Sugar"

Close to the sedge (warbler)

We often take a walk through RSPB North Warren, the bird and nature reserve immediately north of the Suffolk town of Aldeburgh. There is a fresh water marsh there with quite an array of little egrets, duck, geese and on a recent visit a pair of spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia). Heading from the hide nearest Maggi … Continue reading "Close to the sedge (warbler)"

Defining the sound of summer

Squealing swifts, the double vocalisations of the song thrush, the romantic ruminations of the robin, the chiff-chaff of the chiffchaff, the yaffling of the green woodpecker, the startled stutterings of the starlings, the warblings of the warblers, the cuckolding cuckoo. Show More Summary

Prelude to Chemistry: Images from the Alchemy Collection

In order to write four influential books on the history of chemistry, St Andrews’ Professor John Read (1884-1963) assembled a remarkable collection of primary sources. Read, a brilliant organic chemist […]

Classic Chords #17 – Yes, Würm turns

The classic Yes track Starship Trooper (from 1971’s The Yes Album) comes in several parts just as any good prog rock and/or classical music should. Parts i-iii  are “Life Seeker,” “Disillusion” and “Würm.” It is that latter section that is the focus of my latest Classic Chord on Sciencebase.com. Show More Summary

Wheatear, corn bunting, and tits

Flying visit to Ma-in-law-on-Sea – Needed an ornithological escape on a flying visit to South-Kens-on-Sea to visit ma-in-law. Thankfully, there’s a bird hide overlooking the marshes not 10 minutes walk from ma-in-law, just up the Thorpe Road past the (in)famous Scallop sculpture on the shingle shore. Show More Summary

Classic Chords #17 – The Würm that likes to say Yes

The classic Yes track Starship Trooper (from 1971’s The Yes Album) comes in several parts just as any good prog rock and/or classical music should. Parts i-iii  are “Life Seeker,” “Disillusion” and “Würm.” It is that latter section that is the focus of my latest Classic Chord on Sciencebase.com. Show More Summary

Episode 9: How To Get The Best From Your Team

This is Episode 9 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here.…

Lost songs of Holocaust survivors found

Lost recordings made just after World War II of Holocaust survivors singing songs have been rediscovered at the University of Akron. These recordings were part of a project by Dr. David Boder, a Latvian Jewish psychologist who had settled in the United States in the 1920s and quickly made a name for himself in academia [...]

Bus announcements in Okinawa

Travis Seifman noticed something interesting about the announcements on certain public bus lines in Okinawa: the pronunciation of Japanese / Okinawan place names in the English-language announcements is way off. Your browser does not support the audio element. Your browser does not support the audio element. Although the quality of these two recordings may not […]

Big-league metaphors: the role of sports language in American politics

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining fellow Language Logger Barbara Partee on Josh Chetwynd's KGNU radio show, "The Real Deal in Sports." Josh is the author of The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors, and he spoke to Barbara and me about how the metaphorical language of sports pervades American politics (especially in the latest presidential campaign). […]

Episode 8: Can We Trust Psychological Studies?

Is it safe to apply psychology findings to everyday life? We speak to Brian Earp for Episode 8 of PsychCrunch. Presented by Christian Jarrett

Classic Chords #16 – Writing is on Oasis Wonderwall

Perhaps one of the most reviled of busker songs is the 1995 Oasis hit “Wonderwall” from the album  (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? The song is namechecked by Scottish band Travis in their first single “Writing to reach you” when singer...Show More Summary

You Have the Right to Remain Silent Even if You Use Encryption

The Third Circuit last week held oral arguments on whether an individual can be forced to decrypt a drive with incriminating information on it. The Fifth Amendment prohibits any person from bring “compelled in any criminal case to be...Show More Summary

Classic Chords #15 – Shining Floyd

I grew up on Pink Floyd…well I say that, not sure anyone who spends their time obsessing over music and guitar chords has ever really grown up. Either way, I used to obsessively listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” and worry about that line “then one day you find, ten years have got behind … Continue reading "Classic Chords #15 – Shining Floyd"

Claimed from Stationers’ Hall: St Andrews Copyright Music Collection

Since October 2015, I’ve visited the University of St Andrews regularly, to consult the historic Copyright Music Collection. Playfair Terrace is on my route to the research facility at Martyrs […]

Episode 7: Use Psychology To Compete Like An Olympian

  This is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can…

Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?

The Who’s Pete Townshend was by turns a maestro on the acoustic guitar and a wall-of-sound man on the electric. Stacks of amps and speakers, his windmilling right arm, the leaps and kicks and, of course, the smashing up the guitars and hotel rooms in equal measure, allegedly. On the acoustic there was the high-speed … Continue reading "Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?"

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