So I found this in an old box today…
I believe this demonstrates how long and how much I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. When I was very young I had my mother make me a ID badge that I could pin to my lab coat (which was just a bath robe) and I would run around the house doing “experiments”.
Incidentally it says “St James Hospital” on it but it’s quite faded, and many years later I would do an internship there. How’s that for foreshadowing?
The Brain Scoop: Where My Ladies At?
This was an incredibly difficult video for me to write and record. I haven’t been this uncomfortable or nervous about an episode since we decided to launch the Wolf series. I did it because I know my fellow female creators are with me: these comments are not easy to ignore, and they do have a negative impact on our desire to make videos and blaze trails.
Things can be said about women being more sensitive than men, or that men deal with these comments too, or that we should just accept that they’re going to happen.. but if I do, I’ll quit. If I accept that this is just part of the deal, this is what it is and always has been, it’s a requirement of my job to toughen up and barrel through, I won’t be able to continue. The remarks are enough to make me want to throw my hands up and retreat to a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere. If the compromise is that I need to become desensitized, I would probably just do something else instead.
Let’s not create that kind of environment for our peers. Let’s be supportive, encouraging. Focus on the content, not the presenter. Ignoring the fact that these comments are uncomfortable is dismissive and counter-productive: let’s have less tolerance for both those comments, and the apathetic attitude attached to how they affect our community.
And, please: check out the women in the video description for more fantastic channels to subscribe to.
It’s difficult to miss the giant RADIOACTIVE label on this specimen of kasolite and curite (named for Marie Curie!). Such samples need to be stored in bags and exposure extremely limited by research staff, who keep Geiger counters handy to frequently check radiation levels in and around these cabinets.
You might not realize it, but antibiotic resistant infections could be the most important medical science issue you will face in your lifetime. You’d be forgiven for not knowing. You’ve grown up during the only time in human history where this wasn’t one of the likely ways you’d die or become ill.
Maryn McKenna has written a fantastic piece about the battle of man vs. microbe at Medium. Read it. She will take you from the 1938 death of a Rockaway Beach firefighter to early warnings by Alexander Fleming (yes, that guy) to the antibiotic-laced farms and feedlots that may constitute ground zero for today’s crisis. What begins as a tale of a life that we had no way of saving ends as a tale of, well, lives we might again have no way of saving.
I don’t mean to scare you, but I absolutely mean to tell you that this is some srs bsns that you need to deeply process, and I guess kind of scare you a bit too, now that I think about it.
To me, this isn’t really a tale about the need for new drugs or other treatments or even a lack of understanding of the inner workings of a particular class of microscopic lifeforms. It’s about a special kind of scientific hubris. Our hubris is not that of Icarus, in which the quest toward elevated knowledge and powerful technology has somehow doomed us to fall *splat* upon the Earth, scolded into a more humble existence by some mystical force in return for daring to control our own biology.
It’s not the ambition that is our problem. It’s our failure to respect the power of evolution. These hands, these minds, these chemical and physical tools that we wield, all are the product of unthinkable time and unfathomable tinkering by the forces of nature. We may never fully map out the journey that has molded us, or uncover the challenges that sparked us to rise above our cousins, or appreciate even a fraction of just how something as awesome as us could come to be.
That story is forever incomplete, but we know that evolution wrote every page. Today, as it has for billions of years, that powerful process plays out in untold numbers of single-celled species, of which every one traces its origin to long before we were a twinkle in Earth’s eye. Microbes are willing to undergo massive death and revolution for the sake of the survival of a few. We are not.
We’re a pretty mighty bunch, us humans. But if we don’t want to live in a future where every skinned knee could be a death sentence, where burn units and kidney dialysis and transplants are risks that medicine can’t afford to take, then we need to invent a solution that respects evolution, and involves it in the solution, rather than ignoring its power.
(image from Maryn McKenna’s story at Medium)
This incredible video captures the life of inner city children on one of the hot summer days of the heatwave just passed in a modern Dublin City.
Why You DON’T “Fucking Love Science”
So you think you love science, do you?
What does that mean to you, exactly?
For most people, I’m guessing it means something like this:
Or perhaps something like this:
That’s not what science is, though.
To John Skylar, we need to talk. To everyone else who “likes” like pretty pictures of what we do, you need to read this.
Come home from an alcohol fuelled adventure and I get approached by a pack of cats and kittens out in le garden looking for my beer.
This morning I wasn’t sure if it was all a dream or what, but look! Pictures!
We need more people like Elon Musk. We need people to help ward off the stagnation and complacency that has crept our societies, into our governments and into our minds. We need dreamers to remind us that what we have now is good but it could be better. With the constant media bombardment of murders, terrorists, wars and economic decline we need to be reminded that the future can be bright if we just dream a little.
Currently Musks hyperloop is only on a 57-page pdf in alpha. I know what my bedtime read is tonight.