The Guardian

Covid-19, Psychology, and the Politics of Life-and-Death Science

[This article appeared in the June 2020 issue of the ‘Irish Psychologist’] As we all know by now, contagion is a matter of behaviour as well as biology. What we do, where we go, and how we think can all help to suppress the invisible enemy. Handwashing is back in […]

Why ‘Inside Out’ is kind of interesting

Metaphors are powerful tools. Similes are like tools. And tools are — well, tools are just tools. Now, of the three statements just made, only the last (‘tools are tools’) is truly indisputable. And yet for many people it will be the least interesting, the least compelling. Such is the […]

Bandwagon latest: ‘Science news’ with tenuous World Cup relevance doing the rounds right now

1. Analyzing John Brooks’ Dream About Scoring the Winning Goal Source: Time.com, ‘HEALTH’ section (17 June) One-line summary:  A US soccer player scored a goal and then says he previously had a dream about doing so. So then, can your dreams predict or influence your future? Scientists say maybe or maybe not. By which they mean: […]

Einstein = Mylie Cyrus squared. Or something

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Here are some tweets… Yes, fans’ favourite Adam Rutherford makes a highly reasonable observation on The Guardian‘s use of media frames to pitch us the theory of special relativity. He’s right, you know. It is just unfair to yoke little old E=mc² to warmongers and Luddites. I […]

Favourites List (24.01.14)

The week in six bits: 1. NASA startled by ‘Jelly Donut’ on Mars. Probably not a doughnut, though. Personally, I’m more startled by how dumbed down USA Today actually managed to make this report. 2. Conflicts of interest. It’s been a noisy week for sugar. Some folks want it taxed, others […]

Sports drink ad fuels complaints, producer ordered to water down claim

It turns out that Lucozade Sport doesn’t hydrate and fuel better than water after all. In the UK, our old friends the ASA have finally told them to quit saying so in their celebrity-laden ads. I guess it always did sound a bit iffy. I don’t think I was alone […]