From the category archives:


Spotted Hyaenas have it tough

June 22, 2012 General science
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Really tough. And that’s not even considering the bad press they have as cowards and cheats. Part of the problem is that their back legs are shorter than their front legs so it looks like they are crouching and cowering even when they’re standing up. They are most closely related to meerkats but they look […]

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Inventing the Wheel

June 11, 2012 Energy and Change
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As part of my series on changes in everyday things my husband suggested tyres, which started me looking at iron rims, rubber and pneumatic tyres. And as a title, the obvious has to be that well-known phrase ‘Re-inventing the wheel.’ Except I hate that phrase so much that I got side tracked, and instead this post […]

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Venus Transit – recovering from yesterday.

June 7, 2012 Earth and Beyond
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Yesterday I live tweeted/instagrammed/blogged/Facebooked the transit of Venus. All that running up and down stairs, stopping the telescope and screen from falling over, searching for the sun, swearing at Telstra as my mobile internet goes out again, and trying to take photos while balancing everything in the wind was exhausting. Thank whatever deity for fast shutter […]

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Wordless Wednesday – Transit of Venus Live!

June 6, 2012 Earth and Beyond
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In my first science live blogging/tweeting/instagramming event I’m attempting to cover today’s transit of Venus. As I get photos I will be adding them here, plus you can follow my tweets. For a slightly more exciting version, I’ve also embedded a video from a live feed from the Exploratorium, but you need Flash to see […]

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The Transit of Venus

June 4, 2012 Earth and Beyond
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Photo of the 2004 transit by Jan Herold. If your social media feeds are anything like mine, they are currently going crazy about the transit of Venus. I have emails, tweets, updates and more tweets reminding me that it’s the last time this century we’ll get to see it. So for those of you for […]

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Spanish Answers

June 1, 2012 General
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Something completely different – what do you know about Spain? Click to see the questions first. 1.     The Way of St James is El Camino de Santiago. Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, and Santiago is Galician for St James. It is the legendary resting place of the […]

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Giant Metal Bubbles

May 28, 2012 Energy and Change
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It’s a bit of a mystery how boats float if you think of them as big lumps of metal or wood. But change the focus and think of them as giant metal bubbles and it’s suddenly clearer. Buoyancy When you have a column of water, the pressure at the bottom is higher than the pressure […]

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Cold and Flu Season

May 25, 2012 Babies
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What I have right now is not the flu. I’m just miserable with a snotty nose, sore throat and cough. Plus not sleeping. I had the flu once, I remember crawling to the bathroom because I couldn’t walk and shivering at the bottom of a scalding shower. But in Australia at the moment, ’tis the season […]

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Koalas are not failures

May 22, 2012 General science
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Photo courtesy of Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. It’s hard to be a biologist without getting into the history of science, at least a little bit. And with a background in Anthropology as well I might be getting a bit boring when I keep saying that some of the things we do tell us just as much  about us than […]

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Mountain Answers

May 18, 2012 Earth and Beyond
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What do you know about mountains? For a look at the questions first, have a look here. 1.     The world’s tallest mountain is a little more complicated than it sounds. Mt Everest is the official highest peak, at 8,848m above sea level. But don’t forget it gets a significant leg up by being […]

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