Monthly Archives: May 2012


Your step-by-step guide to the perfect sandwich

Posted 29 May 2012 by Pete Etchells

I’m an avid eater of sandwiches – some might say I’m a connoisseur. If you blindfold me and give me a tuna mayo on white and a ham on brown, and I’ll tell you the difference straight away. If only You Bet was still on television. So, you’ll believe me when I say that I was absolutely ecstatic, chuffed, relieved, verb, when I found out that scientists – sorry, ‘boffins’ – have found the formula for making a perfect sandwich:... Read more

Is it helpful to accuse parents of neglect when it comes to technology use?

Posted 22 May 2012 by Pete Etchells

In mid-March, I attended a debate held at the Royal Institution, on how journalists and scientists can better work together in order to avoid erroneous reporting on scientific issues. One of the take-home messages of the debate was a call for scientists to more rigorously watch their own neighbourhood, and highlight problem articles. A number of news media outlets have picked up on a story today from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child health annual conference in Glasgow, with... Read more

Get Ur Geek On

Posted 15 May 2012 by Pete Etchells

There was a time, in the (embarrassingly) not-too-distant past, when being called a geek was a slur. If you were a geek, you were socially inept. You spent all your time doing technology-, science-, or maths-based hobbies. You might have been shy and retiring. You were not cool. Not any more. No longer is it synonymous with a drive to do science and science alone. It’s a way of thinking objectively about things, about taking a step back, assessing the... Read more

Problems in the neurozone

Posted 8 May 2012 by Pete Etchells

Having a scan of your brain is a uniquely odd experience. I had one done once. I was loaded, torpedo-like, into a claustrophobia-inducing, cocoon-like chamber for nearly an hour, the first few terrifying minutes of which I spent desperately trying to recall whether I had actually passed that metal ball-bearing I swallowed when I was a kid. The machines themselves are pretty damn loud, but something about repetitive clunking noises seems to lull me into a state of relaxation, so... Read more

94 elements

Posted 1 May 2012 by Pete Etchells

Hydrogen. In its most abundant form, one proton, one electron. The lightest and most plentiful element that there is. When we think of the elements, we think of them objectively – something that is studied in science lessons, whose structures we reduce to simple lines and curves. There’s a deeper story to the elements, though, one that permeates our very being. It’s not just that we ourselves are created from them; everything that it means to be human, from our... Read more