Archive | July, 2010

Some stuff what I read, innit.

25 Jul

Originally posted at Three Blog Night.

The Thursday before last, I attended an event in London called “Talkfest”. Organised by the wonderful Alice Bell and Beck Smith, it was a science blogging event that was attended by some genuinely excellent people. I was quite over-awed by the whole thing; I was in a room full of incredibly talented and knowledgeable people, many of whose blogs I read, but who I’d never met or interacted with before. I’d known before I went that I was likely to feel out of my depth, and I certainly did, but it was good to be able put faces to names (or twit-monikers) and, despite my embarrassing inability to contribute anything to the evening myself, I do feel that I gained a significant amount from going and look forward to perhaps embarrassing myself further at future events!

Alice Bell ended by urging all of those in attendance to blog their thoughts of and inspired by the evening, and I’m not going to do that – I didn’t attend with the idea that I might be able to add to the discussion, but rather that I could learn from the views and experiences offered by those who were there. If you’re interested, there have been some excellent blog posts on the event that offer far more insight than I possibly could by Jon Butterworth, Noodlemaz, Shane McCracken, Alice Sheppard, Andy Russell, Vivienne Raper, Paula Salgado, Stephen Curry & Andrew Jaffe.

As much as I might have confidence only in my own lack of ability, however, I think it’s difficult, when you spend an evening in the company of experienced and effective communicators that care deeply about what they do and the importance of what and how they write, to not find yourself enthused. I came away from that evening with an overwhelming desire to try writing. I mentioned in my introductory post that I enjoy writing, but that I’m just not very good at it. The advice, almost resoundingly, that I gleaned from those that I spoke to on Thursday was: just do it. Try.

Inspired, then, by last week, I felt that a good place to start might be to to compile a list of some of my favourite blogs. I’ll probably keep updating this, at least until I can figure out whether there’s some way of setting up a blogroll without implying that the rest of the guys writing here are as unashamedly nerdy as I am.

Animal Review
Bad Science
Confessions of a (former) lab rat
Exquisite Life
Extravagant Nonsense
Leaves on the Line
Life and Physics
Mark Watson’s blog
Michael Legge’s Blog
Mind Hacks
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Reciprocal Space
Save Your Breath For Running Ponies
Tetrapod Zoology
The Science Vote
Warming Up
Why Evolution Is True

I’m pretty sure I must’ve at least thought about having friends once.


I frickin’ hate moths.

10 Jul

Originally posted at Three Blog Night.


The other 3 guys wrote their introductions here about a month ago, so I’m characteristically late to the party. And WHAT A PARTY, eh internet? EH?

I should probably write a bit about myself first, because that seems to be the done thing here: like the other guys, I’m a student. I’ve just successfully, to my genuine surprise and bemusement, completed my first year as a biology undergraduate at Oxford. And I have no idea how the hell I ended up there; I spent half of my childhood on benefits, so I think they just needed a token poor for the Tory youths to beat periodically and have shine their shoes. I also quite like comedy, I think that science is awesome, and I tend to spend quite a lot of time fucking around on the internet (mostly, reading about science).

Writing, though. I like writing. And I have always liked the idea of writing. But I’m not very good at it. Writing, that is. And not only that, but I am horrendously non-committal. (JUST ASK MY EX-WIFE! Ha ha HA!) So one of the reasons that I like the idea of 3BN is that I think that I’ll be bullied into writing fairly regularly by my 3 superiors. And that is a good thing, I reckon.

As for what I’m going to write about here: I thought about deciding on a Thing for this blog, and writing exclusively about that Thing, but I don’t feel confident enough in my knowledge about anyThing. So, for now at least, I’ll probably use this as an opportunity to muck around and practise turning my thoughts into something that’s vaguely coherent. And possibly maybe interesting or entertaining to read, maybe.

I am going to stop writing now because a moth just landed on my face.

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