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Grim New World?

Are we heading for a Grim New World?  It looks like it, from two short articles that I have...

Of Badgers, Cattle, And Bovine TB

In recent years in Britain, we have heard much about bovine tuberculosis, which affects a wide...

A Post-Truth Society?

As some of you may be aware, even on the western seaboard of the Atlantic, Theresa May is shortly...

Obama, Ancestry, and DNA

On the 23rd of April, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America (fanfare!) issued...

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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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I have recently been enjoying a bit of cross-Atlantic mud-slinging with some of our most prolific writers, most recently on the subject of which is the true and authentic version of Football.

However, there are occasions where the urge to do this must be resisted.  Recently, through the agency of Real Clear Science or one of its sister sites, I came across an article

Yesterday (8th) I took this photograph of Venus and Mercury from the grounds of Reading University.
 
In the photograph, Mercury is about two moon-breadths down and to the right of Venus.  Over the next two days Mercury will follow the arrow relative to the much brighter Venus, moving up and closer to Venus, and then move off to the right.
 
For folks in the USA, you should get a slightly better view as the angles will be tilted a few degrees clockwise, and near the Equator the two planets will appear to sit directly over the brightest part of the sky where the sun is directly below the horizon.



Good viewing!



A news release from Heidelberg, In Search of the Origin of Our Brain, treats us to these two pictures:

Will the medicines you take make their way back into your food?  They might, especially of you take your cue from an old Yorkshire song which deals with human recycling in the food chain, via worms and ducks.  Now, research [1] from the university of York (where else?) has studied one step of this process in detail.

We have over the years read of paintings by chimpanzees, but could they be art critics also?

A recent article has appeared, outlining evidence that many cognitive tasks the we take to be a function of our human intelligence can be performed just as well (or even better) by chimpanzees.  Here are links to two versions of the article: