Pick & Mix 40 – An early Christmas present

A history of the use of holly

Kissing under the mistletoe – why do we do it?

Advent botany – plants used to celebrate Christmas around the world

More advent botany – this time from Jeanne Osnas

At this time of year you are quite likely to find butterflies in the house – this is what you should do with them

Fascinating video about the evolution of humans with a haunting soundtrack

Turns out we can’t blame Jimi Hendrix or Katherine Hepburn for the UK’s parakeets 🙂  If you want to read the scientific version it it is here

Turning science into fiction – check it out

Why don’t modern day scientists write like Darwin?

Long live the apostrophe – we need them desperately




Filed under Pick and mix

5 responses to “Pick & Mix 40 – An early Christmas present

  1. Hi Simon. You’re link to James Wong goes to my blog, not his. Just letting you know. Merry Christmas!


  2. im Kirby

    At the risk of starting another urban myth I have noticed a group of elms all of which have now died after about 12-15 years of growth getting to about 10-15 height. All that is except two which are within a foot or two of a very tarry telegraph pole which may also have baron rods in it.
    Both trees are getting to the height of the pole. Could it be that tar or whatever may have had an affect ?


    Jim Kirby


  3. Jonathan Wallace

    It seems to be a popular idea that scientific papers are too dry and formulaic in their layout and consequently are ineffective tools for communication but I think this view is misguided. Of course it is possible to write more or less elegantly within the confines of a scientific paper but I think there is a risk of losing clarity if the suggestion of introducing “more descriptive, story-like science reporting” into papers is taken up.
    Scientists have lots of fora in which they can communicate their work to a wider audience and blogs, magazine articles, tv programmes, talks and so on all provide the opportunity to explain their results to non-technical readers, to outline the significance and implications of these results and to convey the excitement of discovery. Scientific journal papers have the specific function of allowing other specialists in the field to evaluate the evidence for the results presented and seeking to make them also vehicles for popular communication of the work risks undermining this.

    Liked by 1 person

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