Monthly Archives: March 2010

YYZ (slight return)

My plan to visit Toronto now accomplished, I can tell you something of what I did in that great city. Toronto, yesterday (no, really). I had been invited by the students and faculty of the University of Toronto Mississauga to … Continue reading

Posted in Apparitions, Research | 11 Comments

Safe Sex

News has reached mes oreilles of a ruling whereby pharmacists can refuse to dispense various items by reasons of conscience. By ‘various items’ one of course means contraceptives. There is a let-out, apparently – pharmacists might be obliged to tell … Continue reading

Posted in Politicrox, Silliness | 6 Comments

When I See An Elephant Fly

I was once lucky enough to share a lunch table with the elegant Eugenie Scott and the very cuddly P. Z. Myers. We were talking about science and religion, you know, as you do, and I asked Paul why his … Continue reading

Posted in Politicrox | 39 Comments


I am deluged by an eructation in the twitterverse in which we are encouraged to reminisce on what we think the word ‘bonobo’ means, and where we first heard it. I think you need to respond as follows: (HT Ed … Continue reading

Posted in Silliness, Writing & Reading | 7 Comments

Mercurial Me

I have been deluged with this Periodic Table, in which, if you look closely, you’ll see that many of the elephants girrafes elements relate to science bloggers or science websites (thanks to Bob O’Hara for alerting me to this and … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Silliness | 4 Comments

The Videography at the Maison Des Girrafes

It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that I held my first daughter in my arms as the sun streamed through the delivery suite at 09:33 one hopeful spring morning. My daughter opened one eye, very carefully, looked … Continue reading

Posted in Cromer | Comments Off

The Future Starts Here

As many of you know, Nature publishes a column called Futures – a regular weekly page of original science fiction. I’m proud to have devised it, and continue to edit it. It started on 4 November 1999 (Nature‘s 130th birthday) … Continue reading

Posted in Writing & Reading | 2 Comments

Down With Yanqui Cultural Imperialism

All over Facebook like a rash is the meme that it’s ‘Pi Day‘. No, not Apple Pi, or Chicken and Mushroom Pi, or even Four And Twenty Blackbirds Baked In A Pi, but Pi, as in The Life Of Pi, … Continue reading

Posted in Politicrox | 17 Comments

Gorgeous, Young, Scarcely-Clad Blonde Emerges from Sea

No, not this or even this but this. So, if that manky old tennis ball is a conch, then I must be Sean Connery.

Posted in Cromer | 1 Comment

A Museum of Mysteries

As everyone knows, I love beachcombing. I enjoy finding some strange object – perhaps a fragment of something larger, but itself too small to reveal much, or something so weathered and distorted that identification is a real challenge. Perhaps being … Continue reading

Posted in Blogkeeping, Research | Comments Off