Cavemen Are Better at Art Than Modern Artists?

I was going to write a post on an interesting paper about genetic variation in the USA but I’ll save it for another day as I found this gem.

A research group in Hungary have found the time to judge who is the best at drawing animals, cavemen or modern artists. Amazingly they found cavemen won the competition! To be fair, what amazes me is that these people came up with this research in the first place. How and why do they have the time to sift through a thousand images and then do a statistical analysis to find which group had the greatest error?

Nevertheless, I’ve learnt something new today. Apparently four legged animals walk in the following way:

The usual succession of the ground-contacting feet of walking quadrupeds, termed as foot-fall formula, is -LH-LF-RH-RF-, where L/R and H/F mean left/right and hind/fore, respectively.

As an illustration the authors provide this figure, follow the (more…)

Impossible Maths and Cows on Holiday

There’s a couple of things that I don’t understand about my 8 months off from the blog. The first one is the impossible math concerning followers. During these 8 months I gained 5 followers, but I wrote nothing. The obvious question is how they found and followed the blog, even when no one was writing anything (nevertheless my thanks goes out for the interest). The second, slightly more fun part, is that this technically gives a ratio of (followers:words written) 5:0. Which may as well be ∞:0. By that logic this blog will be most successful  if I go on a permanent holiday.

It’s a shame I’m in this for the science then…

Oh damn, someone has spilt some form of red ink on top of conveniently related search phrases…

The other odd thing (more…)

Oddity: Cutting Sandwiches With Crowd-Control Methods?

First off I just need to say that I’m so happy the animation further down the post worked! I spent 2 days making that (lots of relearning to do!). Other than that I have to apologise for the use of childish drawings.

Anyway, onto the main topic of this post. The other day I saw an advert for a food programme which I am almost certainly going to watch (If it’s any good I might mention something here!). Within the advert there was a clip of a woman exclaiming something like: “You cut your sandwiches with sound?!?!”. Whilst I’m not (more…)

Questions and Classifications

So I’ve been busy uploading, drafting and styling the site for the last couple of days (list of uploaded pages at the bottom of this post). I’ve had a vague idea of the structures I’d like to put down and they are finally coming into being! However, I have run into a few issues, questions and controversial problems. So I thought I’d post about it. (more…)

Return and Reform!

It’s been a long time but finally I’m back!

A lot’s happened in the past half year or so that’s kept me pretty occupied but I’ve finally managed to find some time to sit down and restart this whole project. That was about a month ago… But I’ve seriously spent that month thinking and mulling over this project.

So I’ve decided I don’t like what I’ve done so far and I’m going to need to make some changes. First things first I’m splitting the site in two. The first part is the Blog (seriously WordPress doesn’t recognise the word blog?). I’m going to reserve this for opinionated stuff and interesting facts! I might also divert it to explain the latest science news or clear up some questions anyone has. I’ll sort that out as I go along.

The second half is the more serious. That is going to be the pages, here I’m going to start work on making a free resource which is referenced and (hopefully) reliable that explains all aspects of science from the most basic level to the highest, much the same as I wanted to do before, but this time with more structure to make it navigable. The second half I’m sure most people will realise is going to take a hell of a lot more work.

Part of this is to make things easier and more directed, but it’s also to make the whole thing a bit more fun and interesting. The blog I hope will be less boring and something people might want in their rss feed, whereas the pages are just something to refer to in times of need!

Other than that I might be making a few style changes and maybe some interactive stuff, if I get really ambitious (and have way too much time) I may even incorporate some animations. We will see how it goes and your feedback, as always, is welcome!


Some of you might have noticed that I haven’t posted in the last couple of weeks.

A lot of stuff is happening at the moment, as I’m in the final run up to final exams, writing my dissertation and expecting the birth of my son.

As a result I’m putting this little project on hiatus for a couple months so I can get everything else finished. When I come back I’m going to try and do a complete restructuring of the site to make past posts more accessible.

Hopefully it’ll mean that this blog can actually be used as an easily navigable resource, rather than a blog that might on occassion make interesting reading.

I have a post or two already half drafted so I might put them out when I have the time, otherwise if anyone wants to throw a guest post this way to keep the site mildly active I would greatly appreciate it.


Thanks everyone for following so far, I’ll see you in a couple months!

Versatile Blogger Award

I’m tempted to copy and paste EvoAnth‘s post (or just reblog it) to make my life easier, but no I might as well do this properly!

I’ve never been completely sure how much worth these awards seem to hold, although I have seen a couple floating around in the blogosphere. Chain blogging isn’t the most attractive of things to do… and I’m sure it doesn’t take a huge amount of work to win one, but people have put effort into sharing, and it’s nice to be recognised by a fellow blogger, so I might as well do the same.

So these are the guidelines:

• Nominate 15 other bloggers
• Inform your nominees
• Share 7 random facts about myself
• Thank the one who nominated you
• Add a picture of the award to this post

Let’s see how well I stick to them. I don’t know if I’m allowed to nominate people that the person who nominated me nominated (lots of nominates…). But I happen to agree with a few of his choices so I might add them if I run out of ideas!

I’ll just quickly add the photo:

Next I would like to thank EvoAnth who, like me, is also a versatile blogger. The recognition is greatly appreciated. And I am also thankful for the posting of my blog URL twice on his award post. If you didn’t mean to do it, you can keep it up there. I don’t mind :).

OK my nominees are:

Two bloggers who have interesting philosophies on how the world works, or should work. Well worth a read:

A couple of science bloggers who give an amusing, but accurate, outlook into the life of a scientist:
Some more science based blogs:

Science and Religion:

And I’m going to steal two from my nominators nominees:

  • Eye on the ICR – Creationist angst, which many will sympathise with, many will disagree with
  • Simian rivalry – two bloggers who hold completely different perspectives over science and religion battling it out over wordpress.

There! 15 blogs nominated. Sorry if some of it comes out in a weirdly small font, WordPress is acting up a bit today for me.

Now the 7 random facts:

  1. I play the piano.
  2. I was in Turkey when this earthquake hit.
  3. I have a slight fascination with all things developmental (especially neuro and psycho).
  4. I have eaten coco pops all my life and still have it almost every day.
  5. I am a lifetime member of the Beano (despite my parents begging me not to make such a commitment as a child).
  6. I’ve been reading a series of Sci-Fi fantasy books by Robert Jordan (the wheel of time) since I was 13. It’s over 10,000 pages long and the guy died before finishing it. so 8 years later I’m still waiting for the final book to come out…
  7. Final random point, and probably the most awesome/scary/crazy thing in my opinion: I’m going to have a son in a few months!

A nice post on the limits of our senses. With a few great illustrations!

First half has a nice explanation of the science. The second half concentrates on other issues, but is still an interesting read!

Cedar's Digest

I don’t often write about gender and science, but I have been thinking and reading about it lately. If you were hoping for my typical aloof lecturing, or overblown (yet intellectual) ranting, just wait a few days (or you could revisit what I think of David Brooks and Larry Summers).

At a wonderful dinner out at the recent Science Online Conference, I found myself explaining why I consider myself a psychologist, even though some people don’t consider the study of visual perception “psychological.” This comes up often in response to the question: “Are you going to use your psychology knowledge to analyze me?” “I’m not that kind of psychologist,” I say. Then, because the food hadn’t come yet, and I had drunk a beer on an empty stomach, I waxed poetic about the color purple. I launched into an explanation of how we perceive color, and how an…

View original post 1,999 more words

What’s Your Favourite Sense?

I’ve added a new poll in the sidebar so people can vote for their favourite sense.

I thought it might be interesting to see which ones people can’t live without. (bear in mind all those who live without some of these senses already)

Just a quick reblog for anyone who still has doubts about evolution. A small recommendation.