Another dissection

Following our enjoyable home dissection of ‘Simon’ the Fish, my daughter and I recently decided to try another. She spotted the perfect subject while on a trip to our local supermarket. Meet Octavia the octopus. This time, my daughter was joined by two of her friends. As you will see from the photographs, we found…

Simon the fish

  A few weeks ago, my daughter and I did an impromptu dissection of a fish (which we called ‘Simon’, which we obtained from the fresh fish counter at our local supermarket). Before we started, we looked at a book and searched online to find out the locations of a fish’s major organs. We took…

I am the Edison Phonograph

I have been fascinated by this 1906 phonograph advertising recording since I first heard it. Just came across it again, and thought I would share it. Click on the play button below to have a listen. Phonograph image courtesy of Norman Bruderhofer, www.cylinder.de.

Happy birthday, Dr Snow

Today (14th March) was Einstein’s birthday (he was born in 1879). It was also pi day – happy pi day (should really be tau day – to understand why, see this great video by the wonderful Vi Hart). But I was most excited because it was the day of publication of my narrative biography of John…

Elements … and cholera

I’m very excited that my new book – The Elements: The New Guide to the Building Blocks of Our Universe – is due to be published in just a few days. I have received some copies, and they look great. On a very different note, I have just finished writing a very different book, my first…

Two new element names and two new books

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) confirmed today the new names for the transuranium elements 114 and 116: flerovium (Fl) and livermorium (Lv). The new names were announced in December 2011, but there followed a statutory period of five months during which chemists had a chance to object to the new names….

A million times smaller?

I don’t know about you, but I always get annoyed with phrases like “a million times smaller”. It has been one of my bugbears for many years. Now you can get annoyed by it, too – and perhaps change the way you do things, if you are a writer too. (Or maybe just get annoyed…

End of the World! (not)

Watch this great, straight-talking, undramatic new video from NASA regarding the claims of the end of the world, which some people have suggested will happen on 21st December 2012.  

Futurecade

Recently, as part of its Talk Science initiative, the Science Museum launched a suite of four online games aimed at teenagers, called Futurecade (the name is a contraction of ‘future’ and ‘arcade’). There are four games, each one based on an aspect of science/technology that is shaping or could shape our future. The Science Museum’s own teacher briefing…

New books

I have been very busy … On 31st January 2012, Chartwell Books published Amazing Weather Facts and Trivia – the latest book from my pen (well, my computer keyboard). It is a companion to Amazing Human Body Facts and Trivia, which was published in the summer 0f 2011. I don’t normally blog about new books, but…