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The Golden Wheel Spider and the Cartwheel Spider

The Golden Wheel Spider and the Cartwheel Spider

I have a confession to make; even though I am a zoologist, I am frightened of large, hairy spiders. I’ve always had this theory is was the way they walk … and now I know this is the truth of the matter. There are two African spiders that can cartwheel or roll in certain situations, […]

The World Ceres

The World Ceres

It is times like this that I wish Isaac Asimov was still alive; I imagine he would be a sprightly and mentally vigorous 95. He would have been excited, stimulated, and thoroughly engaged in the adventures of NASA’s Dawn Probe. The Dawn, a remarkable space vehicle propelled by three xenon ion thrusters, has completed an […]

Serendipity

Serendipity

Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. In the field of Science, serendipity was a key factor in some discoveries.  Luck plays its part, but the real good fortune was the presence of a trained mind to take notice of the results of the lucky accident. Penicillin  You would have been taught in […]

Science as Hero and Villain

Science as Hero and Villain

A real scientist sees and considers all the facts…whereas a bad scientist deliberately ignores the facts that don’t support his or her theory.  Lynne Lumsden Green Bad Science. Bad science infuriates me because it is so often used by Pseudoscientists to back up their pet theories. It is easy to make statements that sound valid […]

The Anatomy of Squee

The Anatomy of Squee

What triggers the ‘squee’ response? What makes an image or physical entity so sweet that you automatically want to hug them?  What is the evolutionary advantage in finding some things ‘cute’? The famous ethologist, Konrad Lorenz,  created the theory of baby schema, known as Kindchenschema, in which he defines a set of facial and body […]