Category Archives: Fun
Update: My animal won! The night was a sell-out and fantastic fun, thanks to all who came along! It was great to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and to make some new ones. The other acts were hilarious (and hideous), and Simon was a fantastic compere! My animal was Promachoteuthis sulcus, which isn’t very well known so doesn’t even have a common name. At the event, I proposed the “human-gobbed squid” or “gob-faced squid” to a large crowd. It was agreed at this event and at the Festival of the Spoken Nerd event on Friday that the animal should be known as the gob-faced squid. With several hundred people from these events now referring to it as the gob-faced squid, it’s the most common name it has as a relatively unknown creature! I’m happy and strangely proud that my animal won the evening. Here is the new mascot for the Scottish branch of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society:
This is a message for all the amazing people who have come to the brilliant Edinburgh International Science Festival. If you’re up for some shenanigans, and don’t have a weak stomach, come along to see us at the Ugly Animal Preservation Society! If comedy and nasty ugly are your things, you’ll be in a disgusting heaven!
As well as myself, you’ll see performers including Helen Arney (Uncaged Monkeys, Festival of the Spoken Nerd), Simon Watt (Inside Nature’s Giants), Steve Cross (Science Showoff), the guys from Punk Science, and more! It will be funny, interesting, and horrific in equal measure.
It’s on Wednesday night, 9pm-11pm. You can get all the details here!
Throughout modern history, scientists have had to create countless names for the litany of natural phenomena discovered. Naming systems have been required for galaxies, planets, rocks, molecules, plants, diseases, and some scientists have built careers around classifications and naming what we observe around us. Classification plays an important role in science, allowing us to keep track of what is known, and organize this knowledge in such a way that makes sense. As vital as classification and naming systems are for scientific knowledge, they are also hated by school children throughout the world. When asking people (especially children) what they dislike about science, the response I often receive is; “having to remember all the boring names”. But are they all boring?
A towel is among the most useful objects in the entire universe… and tomorrow we can celebrate this fact. One of my favourite days of the year, Towel Day, takes place on the 25th of May as a tribute to Douglas Adams.
I’m happy to let Dunbar introduce the book himself:
Book one in a three-part series, “BANG!” explains the scientific theories regarding the origin of the universe with captivating illustrations and whimsical rhymes.
From the beginning of existence to the birth of galaxies, you’ll learn how matter was created, why stars shine and where we fit in this wild and crazy universe.
This book is intended for all ages. If you don’t understand everything, don’t worry, no one does! That’s why I made it rhyme and added lots of pictures.
Last month I challenged my readers to identify an awesome scientist from just a photograph. The scientist was a hero of mine, Sir Cyril Astley Clarke. Nobody was able to guess who it was though, despite some brilliantly imaginative attempts at answering. Maybe it will be easier this time. Without further ado, here is the next awesome scientist!
Last week I challenged people to identify the individual in this image:
I got various answers on Twitter and Facebook, and even caught someone fishing for answers on a forum (very naughty, I’m watching you). I got some fantastic answers sent in. Some were very intelligent guesses, others were just hilarious. Some people suggested respected scientists such as Ernst Mary and Karl Landsteiner, while others went with musicians and film stars. Personally, my favourite answer was “the dad from chitty chitty bang bang”. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the correct answer. Read the rest of this entry