sciencepunk

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August 5, 2013
I'm long overdue saying this, but SciencePunk has evolved once again, and diversified to the point where not a tremendous amount gets published here anymore. Some very exciting projects including a return to freelancing and a new gig at Medium called Futures Exchange is consuming most of my time,…
June 28, 2013
Before James Lovelock conceptualised the world as a single organism (the Gaia hypothesis), he would spend his lab hours freezing hamsters into solid blocks of ice before reanimating them. Image from The physiology of induced hypothermia: proceedings of a symposium, 28-29 October 1955
June 25, 2013
Sci-fi and fantasy author Richard Matheson has passed away aged 87, leaving behind a legacy of books, TV and film. Even if you don't recognise his name, you will probably have seen his work on screen. Many of his stories were adapted for film, including I Am Legend, Duel, and A Stir of Echoes, and…
June 17, 2013
Those still sitting on the fence over whether to buy this month's best pop science debut about zombies can read a review by the kind folks at Arc magazine here, and read an extract from the book in Salon magazine, entitled: Russians Who Raised the Dead: Bryukhonenko had heard about Kuliabko’s…
June 10, 2013
I stumbled across this image by Wikipedia contributor Tauʻolunga whilst researching constellations for a tattoo I'm musing upon. It shows Sun's apparent path across the heavens. I think it would look great as a ring or a bracelet! Wikimedia Commons
June 9, 2013
The Weburbanist has  a nice spot on French artist Mathieu Tremblin, who explores the boundary between digital and real world art. Mathieu Tremblin - http://www.demodetouslesjours.eu/ I adored this huge rendering of the Getty Images watermark across a car park wall. As Weburbanist points out, the…
June 5, 2013
At long last, my book on zombies is out! Without doubt the maddest thing I ever did on a whim   You can purchase How to Make a Zombie at all good bookstores in the UK and USA, or online.  I'm indebted to a whole host of people for the book ever reaching the light of day, foremost my agent Peter…
June 5, 2013
Move over, Rotwang: this femme-domme-themed mad scientist magazine by artist Sardax got a chuckle out of me. Why should mad scientists always be male, pale and stale? Credit: Sardax.com Hat tip Mika Tan
April 11, 2013
In the age of life-casting offered by Google Glass, you'll need to pick your friends wisely. As the first of Google's goggles are dispatched, we're starting to see serious conversations arise about the implications of always-on feeds beaming every moment onto the cloud.  I've seen a few articles…
April 3, 2013
When I was pitching my book back in 2010, quite a few publishers said that vampires were hot, and zombies were not. Muahahahaha. (How to Make a Zombie is out in June from OneWorld)
March 31, 2013
There's been quite a lot of coverage in the press about Google's street-mapping of the tsunami-damaged Fukushima district in Japan, still derelict two years since the disaster. I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons, The first is the use of Google's Street View as a journalism. The…
March 25, 2013
Source: Oak Ridge Associated Universities Moscow police officers have detained a schoolteacher after 14 kg of radioactive material was discovered in his garage. The police cited the man as saying that he had used the substances to “irradiate” a friend who wanted to become immortal. He reportedly…
March 24, 2013
A couple of surprising images from the medical literature - two patients with chopsticks buried deep in their skulls.  The first belongs to a 38-year-old woman who was dancing at a wedding while eating with chopsticks. Someone accidentally pushed into her from behind, causing the woman to fall…
March 20, 2013
Last month I visited Amsterdam to take part in Sonic Acts, an art festival with a keen love of the scientific. Amid music woven out of the electromagnetic ether and artists painting geomagnetic storms, I took part in a panel convened by Arc editor Simon Ings to discuss the ‘futures of science and…
March 20, 2013
Written over a year ago, but only just coming to my attention, is Google engineer Jean-Baptiste Quéru's wonderful essay describing how no single person alive understands entirely what's going on in the machines we use daily. You just pressed a key on your keyboard. Simple, isn't it? What just…
March 19, 2013
From the annals of dystopian architecture: the New York Times reports on a trend in US communities to build nominal parks to drive out sex offenders. The parks are often too small to be of any use to local children - instead, they exist to force out nearby paroled sex offenders, who are  required…
March 18, 2013
This is an adaptation of my shortlisted entry to the 2013 Future of Money Design Award. The brief was to design a crime that would exist in a cashless economy. The judging took place at the Consult Hyperion  Tomorrow's Transaction conference. I didn't win, but I enjoyed working on the idea and it…
March 13, 2013
You had your chance. A while back I chanced across a post by Carla Sinclair at BoingBoing, recounting a recent TED talk that proposed reviving extinct species: Stewart Brand began his TED talk today with the statement, “Biotechnology is about to liberate conservation.” Before I had a chance to…
March 11, 2013
So last summer I ran a quiz at the Secret Garden Party festival in Cambridgeshire. For the picture round, teams had to submit their best drawing of  hearthrob scientist Professor Brian Cox. Here are some of the entries.   Like Samson   "I have a drem"   Pie chart face: 50% smile   I think…
March 11, 2013
Credit: Wikimedia Commons A whimsical thing: the Oxford Electric Bell, pictured here, is a battery-powered device that has been running (almost!) continuously since it was built in 1840. A clapper on a pendulum rocks from side to side between two metal spheres, driven by electrostatic forces.…
March 1, 2013
I'm rather taken by Tim Biskup's work, especially his skulls. I think this design appeared on a limited edition Poketo wallet (the only type I buy) some years back, but I missed out on getting one. For shame. Artist:: Tim Biskup For more of his latest work, see the Design Collector blog.
February 26, 2013
During the First World War, an enterprising British field medic named Sgt James Shearer unveiled a machine that promised to revolutionise medicine. Shearer’s “Delineator” was a small wooden box that had an aperture at one end and a crank on the side. Clicking the shutter and winding the arm…
February 19, 2013
Researchers  at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the University of Tübingen have restored vision in blind patients using tiny retinal implants embedded in the eye. Nine patients were chosen because they had all suffered hereditary diseases where the retina had degenerated to the point of…
February 17, 2013
Recently, I noticed something strange about the postage stamps on my mail. They have a glossy coat that can only be seen at certain angles. Written in this glossy ink are the words ROYAL MAIL over and over again, like a watermark. But there's something wrong. Can you spot it? Look at the second…
February 15, 2013
Pretty wild news this morning - a meteor shower over the Central Russian cities of Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk has caused hundreds of injuries and damaged buildings. It is not connected with tonight's (very!) near-pass of asteroid 2012 DA14. Thanks to the prevalence of dashboard cams in Russia,…
February 12, 2013
Following some conversations with fellow writers over the weekend, I've been thinking critically about writing - both my own and that of others. When I first started writing about science, it naturally stemmed from reading the work of very good science writers, and true to form my first steps were…
February 11, 2013
Witchcraft! It reminds me of the "plasma polymer" coating developed some years ago by DSTL, Britain's defence research organisation. I wonder if the technologies are  related?
January 26, 2013
"The problem with the London sci-comm crowd," a friend once smiled to me, "is that they can't invite their mates to the pub without giving it a title and calling it outreach". That jest has been on my mind lately, as many among us fret over the future of the UK's oldest science outreach…
January 12, 2013
So, as I've said before, my mind is often occupied with how I might develop writing in new ways. For a while I've been working on an anti-blog that specifically contravenes all supposed user-interface rules (no comments, no archives, no title), which should hopefully launch soon. I've also started…
January 6, 2013
Director Jilli Rose has made a short animated documentary about everyone's favourite back-from-the-dead, hiding-on-an-impenetrable-Pacific-island-fortress tree lobster. Jilli says: So many conservation stories are grim and worrying, it's easy to feel hopeless in the face of them. I want to drop a…