30 May 2007

Here from the internet




























I do hope Mr XKCD doesn't mind the stealage, and oh, I do love his cartoons so.

16 May 2007

And the prize for the week's most media friendly scientific paper goes to...

'When Two and Two is Not Equal to Four' by Rao and Haipeng Chen of the University of Miami.

Essentially they've found that people can't add up when it comes to price discounts - wishful thinking seems to make the discount bigger.

Make your own calculations.

7 May 2007

Doctor Who - not ENTIRELY accurate...

Don't get me wrong, I love Doctor Who (and Torchwood - who doesn't love Captain Jack?), but I've got a creeping suspicion it isn't doing much for the old PUS. If that's an alien concept to you, PUS stands for Public Understanding of Science. Although come to think of it, any movement that calls itself PUS isn't doing much for its own public image.

So last night, the Doctor comes up against some crazed Dr Strangelove-style scientist who manages to hack into his own genome, turning his body clock back 30 years. Then, the mad geneticist proceeds to munch up the local inhabitants to satisfy the needs of his mutating genes, which will otherwise transform him into a 20 foot tail-thrashing monster.

Oh, I know, I know, it's science fiction. But where do you think people are getting their ideas about modern day genetics? Precisely. Jurassic Park and Gattaca.

3 May 2007

Run, get thin. Keep running, stay thin. Not rocket science.

Am I going mad?

Some scientists have spent actual money... (As opposed to what - Monopoly money? I don't know. Look it's late, get on with it. And stop talking to yourself.) Clearly I am going mad, but that doesn't alter the fact that these scientists have spent real money on working out that if you run for your whole life you'll stay thin. Well, obviously not constantly for your entire life. Because that would make you very thin indeed, possibly skeleton-like. You'd have to stop for some grub every now and again. A salad leaf or two maybe.

Anyway, we're getting sidetracked again.

Apparently these scientists got through 8,000 people before it hit them. Exercise = burning energy = losing weight = being thin. Therefore, constant exercise = being thin forever. Really thinking outside the box there.

According to Paul Williams of the US Dept of Energy (so this guy knows his stuff when it comes to energy... allegedly), "Getting people to commit to a vigorously active lifestyle while young and lean will go a long way to reducing the obesity epidemic."

It really makes you wonder sometimes doesn't it?

Give me several thousand pounds worth of research money (or several hundred thousand) and I'll do something much more useful with it, like buying 8,000 fat people a skipping rope each.

Check it out for yourself.