From the category archives:

General science

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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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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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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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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Modern Moon Myths

May 14, 2012 Earth and Beyond
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These pop up all the time, the moon has been just a little bit important in human history and we’ve had lots of time to tell myths about it. It would be nice to think that as a group we’ve grown out of werewolves and love spells, except we’re still doing it. There are new moon [...]

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Write it Down

May 7, 2012 General science
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I didn’t start on purpose, but this is turning into a little series on how some of the things we use the most have developed and changed. So far I’ve looked at cheese and milk bottle packaging. I enjoy history and archaeology, and I think the way we use materials and the effects of social changes [...]

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Birds Walk on Their Toes

April 23, 2012 General science
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In fact so do a lot of other animals, this walking on ‘feet’ business isn’t as simple as it seems. If you have a look at this photo something looks distinctly wrong about that bend in the middle. (Photo by Frank Vincentz) And this one, that looks right for a finch, but isn’t it wrong [...]

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