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Blog Profile / Sciencebase

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:1223
Posts / Week:3.5
Archived Since:February 24, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Who was Gerry Mander?

Moving the political goalposts – Gerrymandering is the deliberate design of voting districts to achieve a specific outcome other than fair representation in a governmental election. It is named for US Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts,...Show More Summary

Spiders on drugs

Back in the day, when I was freelancing regularly for New Scientist, the magazine covered the story of the errant webs created by spiders that had been exposed to (THC) from marijuana, LSD, speed and various other drugs including caffeine and alcohol. Show More Summary

Liquid energy

My latest news story for Chemistry World is on the topic of stationary energy storage and a rather unique concept – liquid metal batteries. Researchers at MIT have developed such a device, which could allow electricity generated by intermittent, but renewable sources, such as wind, solar and wave power. Show More Summary

A simple flowchart for trolls

The end of all name-calling arguments during childhood is often the intervention of an adult with a phrase such as: “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. If only we could apply parental rule #4.6/d to the childish online, the twitter trolls, the youtube haters, the blog spammers and others. Show More Summary

Did you fake your password?

It’s an evergreen news story in the tech world: the top 25 idiotic passwords we use. Every tech magazine reports it and trumpets our global stupidity in the face of hackers. The articles usually beseech us to think about security, to...Show More Summary

A brief word about tomatoes and prostate cancer

At least 20 years ago I wrote a news story in my rookie days about how the natural red pigment in tomatoes, the antioxidant lycopene, could somehow protect men against prostate cancer. Nothing was ever proven and the latest news which...Show More Summary

Lodestar Festival 2014 Extras

I got rather too many photos from the 2014 Lodestar Festival, the top bunch are in my Flickr gallery and Facebook gallery. This little lot are ones I’ve plucked out from the folders that didn’t jump out at me first time through but are...Show More Summary

The Dark Net – Jamie Bartlett

From the blurb: “Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit – a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon – lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. Show More Summary

When Google comes to town

UPDATE: Daughter returning from school having collected her excellent GSCE results says there was an RAC van with the Google car, he’d actually just broken down, which would explain the driver’s surliness. Mrs Sciencebase out and about...Show More Summary

Anticancer Aspirin? Not so fast

The news was full of the discovery that taking some aspirin every day for ten years could somehow reduce your risk of getting cancer, particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The stomach bleeding side-effect (for some) and...Show More Summary

Virtual Art Conservation

This tweet showing a partially restored painting where 500 years of grime, varnish and earlier conservation efforts got me thinking. We usually see all these fabulous old paintings through a patina of filth and there are people trying...Show More Summary

Sciencebase Fifteenth Anniversary

It was 20th July 1999 when I first registered the domain name and transferred my old Elemental Discoveries websites from various ISP and freenet type hosts to this super hub of science. Don’t the years just fly by? At...Show More Summary

The Real David Bradley

I’d feel awfully guilty calling myself “the real David Bradley” now that I’ve met the actor who played Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films and William Hartnell alongside actor Brian Cox in the BBC Dr Who period drama “An Adventure in Space and Time”. Show More Summary

Just a moderate bee sting

When the garden lawn is covered in blooming clover (Trifolium) and the last few honeybees (Apis mellifera) that haven’t yet succumbed to colony collapse disorder are busy about their floral business, it’s probably a good idea to notShow More Summary

Grow crops from open-source seed

The three bullet points: Many poor farmers use low-quality local seed rather than expensive patented ones The Open Source Seed Initiative is offering 36 types of 14 food crops All seed packets contain a pledge stating that the seed can be used freely ‘Open-source’ seed released to nurture patent-free food – SciDev.Net. Show More Summary

A five-step plan for nano

A five-stage, and very demanding protocol, for taking a nanoscience discovery to a consumer nanotechnology product has been outlined by engineer Michael Kelly of the University of Cambridge. Kelly, who is also based at the MacDiarmid...Show More Summary

Mars Rover – To the tune of…

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) is an ongoing robotic space mission involving two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which headed for the planet Mars back in 2003 and reached their destination in January 2004. Spirit is quiet...Show More Summary

Sciencebase Newsfeed

We were using Feedburner, but will be moving away from that defunct service, so if you’re an RSS subscriber, please update your reader with the following newsfeed link – to stay up to date with Sciencebase news. Show More Summary

Anal cancer in women

Many readers will probably be aware that actress and model Farrah Fawcett died in 2009 of anal cancer. But a recent update from Cancer Research UK revealed that anal cancer rates in the UK have increased by nearly 300% over the last 40 years. Show More Summary

100% Faith Free

I don’t like that red, upper case “A” that so many people wear on their web and social media presence as some kind of skeptical badge of honour. But, the atheist tag has just too much baggage (thank you Prof Dawkins and others) and implies too much about one’s philosophy that might not apply. Show More Summary

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