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Old English “Leech” Against MRSA?

Are ancient remedies any good?  In scholarly circles the middle of the 20th Century, they...

Carbon Nitride and Salmon Sperm

Two things that have caught my attention recently. The first concerns trapping solar energy. ...

Whale Or Dinosaur At The Natural History Museum?

News that will disappoint loads of children:...

Binary Gender — Mud across the Atlantic

I have recently been enjoying a bit of cross-Atlantic mud-slinging with some of our most prolific...

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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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Sub chases, films giant squid going to Pacific abyss


Scientists from the Japan National Museum and broadcasters from NHK and the U.S. Discovery Channel , said (Monday Jan 7th) they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid deep in the North Pacific that may have been up to 8 metres long before losing its two long tentacles.



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!