Archive for November, 2011

Ascent of a guru

Posted on November 14th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Ascent of a guru

 As a communicator of science, I have tried to evangelise the ‘good news’ of science whereever I could. That’s why I was pleased to hear of a new online science magazine called Guru,  “a regular magazine that mixes the entertainment of lifestyle writing with the authoritativeness of a science periodical.”  I have written for them a number of times now, and am pleased to announce I have been elevated to the status of ‘Evolution Guru’. You can now expect regular articles from me, all naturally selected to have interesting insights into the world of evolution.  A short (embarrasing) interview with me is now on…

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Robot spider terrorises office floor

Posted on November 7th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Robot spider terrorises office floor

  Yes, I know its only got 4 legs, but you can’t say it doesn’t look a little bit spidery. Built by scientists from the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, this quadruped robot scans and analyses its immediate surroundings. Like a daredevil rockclimber, each surface is scrutinised for the potential to be the next foot or handhold. While one wrong move could mean certain death for a climber 1000ft up, the robot’s actions are a little less hardcore. In the video above, you can see it traversing a not-so-dangerous world full of stacks of paper. By tilting its body, and reaching…

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Silk stockings get lady spiders in the mood

Posted on November 4th 2011 in Blog with 2 comments

  Animal behaviours can sometimes jump out at you by their similarity to the kinds of things humans do. Most recently, I came across this video of golden orb-web spiders. Dominating the picture is a large speckled black and white female, confidently waiting for her next unsuspecting meal to arrive. What might not be so obvious is the weedy orange male, running scurrilously on her back. Not exactly a very human-like behaviour, I hear you say. Well, I answer back, you don’t know what he’s doing there. What he is doing, is wrapping her body in the finest silks his…

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