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Education Wars: the Empire Strikes Back?

One of the difficulties of judging the ways of people is the fact that highly intelligent individuals...

Is this a Huorn?

Those familiar with the Lord of the Rings will remember the Huorns.  According to the Lord...

Palyn- or Palin-?

About ten years ago, what is now the Electron Microscopy Laboratory at the University of Reading...

Is colour helpful?

A couple of days ago, I read this on Real Clear Science:Why Spelling Tests Don’t Help Kids Spell...

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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When I saw this this morning, my first impression was one of a cake produced in a television chefs competition.

But what is it?  Guesses welcome.  I hope to give you the answer by Monday. 


 
 
 

 
Recently on Science Codex there appeared A new fossil species found in Spain, which on reading turns out to be a new Cloudinid, an order of shelled creatures from the late Ediacaran.  Cloudina shells are of interest, showing bore holes made by predators, pointing to an evolutionary arms race which may have driven the great diversification of phyla in the early Cambrian.

A greeting card appropriate to Silchester, about 1500 years ago.

The English is from a little bit later, more likely King Alfred’s time.  However, for the Britons still living there, although surrounded by Saxons, I have to use Modern Welsh, since only a few Ogham inscriptions from that time survive.



Two different ladybirds



In recent years, Britain has been invaded by Harlequin ladybirds, which are threatening our native species.  In this picture, a native seems to be trying to mount a harlequin, although I cannot see any little larvae resulting from this activity!

Diffract and Destroy!

This sounds a bit like a Dalek invasion.  But in fact it’s research from Arizona State University:

Next to Science 2.0, one of my most frequently visited websites is Telegraph Blogs.  Among those issues which most raise the hackles of the readership is that of Climate Change.  Many of them regard Anthropogenic Global Warming as a religion based on spurious science.  It is very tedious even to contend with a single one of them.  The latest thing to arouse their ire is