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I used to be lots of things, but all people see now is a red man. The universe has gifted me a rare autoimmune skin condition known as erythroderma, or exfoliative dermatitis. The idiopathic version... Read More »


The UN-requested review of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to be
headed by Harold T. Shapiro, former president of Princeton.

Shapiro, along with 11 others, will analyse “IPCC policies and the procedures by which it prepares its assessments of climate change”, in the wake of the so-called ‘climate-gate’ incident where leaked emails from a British researcher were construed to cast doubt on the science of global warming by some.

A new book, just about to be published, has already caused a stir in the blogosphere. “Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think” by Elaine Ecklund, a sociologist from Rice University, claims that scientists are less atheistic than previously thought.

The dustjacket blurb explains:”In the course of her research, Ecklund surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and interviewed 275 of them. She finds that most of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. Nearly 50 percent of them are religious. Many others are what she calls “spiritual entrepreneurs,” seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion…..only a small minority are actively hostile to religion.”
There was a time when kids dreamt of being astronauts - a time when going up to the Moon was sexy and being a spaceman was the coolest job on the planet. As astronauts became global heroes they themselves were only too aware that there were many more heroes whose feet remained firmly on the ground but without whom those Moon missions would never have happened: Guenter Wendt was one of those heroes.
The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science has just opened as a new multi-disciplinary research centre at the University of Sussex. One of their first projects is an investigation into synaesthesia and they are looking for volunteer synaesthetes who would like to take part.

"We are interested in ALL types of synaesthesia, and not just the more common 'coloured letters' variety. If you are unsure whether your experiences are synaesthetic or not, then don't be afraid to get in touch. For some of our research we need to meet you in person and so it is important that you live in the UK or travel through the UK on a fairly regular basis. However, we also have questionnaires and other paper-and-pen tests that could be done by e-mail or post if you live overseas.
The UK has a General Election looming on 6 May, thereby giving newspapers enough hot air to puff up their websites. But what should their science writers talk about during such times? With the launch of Britain's Science Party, science journalists can now also join in the ritual inflation of unlikely promises, although in science's case it is more likely a desperate attempt to be heard at all. Mark Henderson of The Times has, however, launched into this with a certain relish, without forgetting that the science reader also wants some data to bite on.


Apr 25 2010 | comment(s)

This made me laugh, albeit in mirthless recognition of how many human follies this could be applied to.

From the inimitable xkcd.

I don't know why, but it reminded me of politics in Thailand. Today I had a choice of entertainment; 5 minutes walk to the north I could have witnessed this scene:

whereas 10 minutes walk to the south I could have been here: