As Britain unveils a new pound coin, we put to rest once and for all the question of whether falling change can, in fact, be lethal
Urban Myths: Can a coin dropped from a skyscraper kill you?
Online games offer trove of brain data
Study of 35 million users of brain-training software finds alcohol and sleep linked to cognitive performance.
Gene switches make prairie voles fall in love
Epigenetic changes affect neurotransmitters that lead to pair-bond formation.
Starfish sacrifice arms to beat the heat
You can tell when a starfish is too hot – it loses an arm.
I will be in Edinburgh at the International Science Festival tonight talking about the science of hedonism in the Sin Academy! Stoked to go back to Scotland. Also, turns out all I had to do to get a PhD was appear in the Daily Mail with my name spelled wrong.
The Brain Banquet
For three nights, Guerilla Science converted a derelict WW2 bunker in East London into an incarnation of the brain, culminating in a five course dining experience featuring real calf brains. Check out all the pics of the Brain Banquet here, more about the event in Jen Wong’s post in The Guardian here, and coverage in Wired and Time Out!
At Burning Man there are no spectators. So my friends built a giant set of sports stadium seating on the back of a flat bed truck so we could drive around… being spectators. Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Bleachers, the most brilliant art car on the playa. I must have done something pretty amazing in a past life to deserve these people for friends.
So you’ve seen an academic give a lecture at Hay-On-Wye, or something? That’s nice. With Guerilla Science I worked with neuroscientists, architects and carpenters to build a giant maze in the middle of Shangri-La and fill it with giant rat scientists, conducting real olfactory experiments on the citizens of Glastonbury – in the middle of the Hell field. See more about Lab Rats here and all the photos here.
The Curtains of Love
The very first magazine story I ever wrote, for Shameless magazine, was about a touchy subject: vaginal plastic surgery. I discovered then that some men, in fact, prefer long labia. Their term of endearment – “the curtains of love” – always stuck with me. Eight years later, I had the unparalleled privilege of bringing the idea to life, creating a sultry, silken shrine to the vulva as part of the Secret Cinema’s homage to Brazil. The centrepiece: a spectacular patchwork quilt of hand-made vulva – including several knitted models fashioned by 91-year-old women. Read all about the Curtains Of Love on the GS website here.