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A Tale of Two Mushrooms

In 1986, an expedition off the South-East coast of Australia near Tasmania, from depths of between...

Many Species Or One?

I’ve often wondered about the Scopes trial, and wanted to read a good account of it.  I...

Women and Authority

A recent article by Nury Vittachi, Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s...

Carbon, Oxygen, And Stars

Recently this headline on Real Clear Science caught my eye: Carbon-12 Nucleus Shaped Like Equilateral...

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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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Boxing has been in the news lately, what with this young lady (Nicola Adams) becoming the world’s first female Olympic boxing champion.  So when I saw claws like the ones in the next picture two days ago, I immediately thought they might be used for combat, like the outsize claw of the male fiddler crab. 


 
 
 
 
 

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: