What Has God Done Lately? Satan, Buddha, Fate, Brown Sauce

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: God’s recent works — What has God done lately? Professionally, much of God’s work these days aims to help humans fly more safely, more efficiently and more profitably. As head of the Institute for Aircraft Cabin Systems […]

Detective Story: The Case of Dimples and ‘Not’ Not Being There

Niels Berg Olsen sent this (fabulously) discerning note: I enjoyed reading your item on Greek cheek in your fabulous book This is Improbable, Too [Printed and bound in Denmark…”]. I notice a difference in the text in the book and in your news item in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2005/jul/05/highereducation.research In the Guardian you wrote: “The report […]

Deep Oesophagus, Snoozing Grumpy Face, Deep Secrets

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Deep Oesophagus — Scientists, as a group, like to think they behave in ways a little distinct from the herd. The herd, as a herd, likes to think so, too. From time to time, Feedback receives furtive […]

A look back at the prize-winning anti-car-jacking flamethrower

Charl Fourie and Michelle Wong were awarded the 1999 Ig Nobel Peace Prize, for inventing an automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower. (Patent WO/1999/032331, “A Security System for a Vehicle“) Now, in 2023, The South African news organization takes a look back at one of South Africa’s most spectacular but least financially rewarding inventions. […]

Sequencing Gregor Mendel and a Pea Plant / Turtles, Elephants, Bottlecaps Down

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Down, with turtles and elephants — The fabled dominance of the hare by the tortoise has an underground counterpart of sorts in a look at turtles and elephants in times gone by. The elephants came out […]

Dogged Hospital Presence, Unpleasant Polygons; Shape and Shapelessness

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Dogged hospital presence  — Dogs should be kept out of human (that is, non-veterinary) hospitals – or, depending on circumstances, welcomed into them. Research papers make the case one way and another.“Towards dog-free hospital campuses in […]

Murderous Twins Paradox, From the Wood, Alumni Decomposition

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Double Jeopardy — … Jane Ridley assesses a tough legal problem in an Insider.com article with an extremely long headline: “Identical college twins were accused of cheating in an exam by signaling. They won $1.5 million […]