Towards a radioactive urine substitute

“14C is one of the radionuclides for which the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has developed performance testing programmes (PTPs). During the PTP exercises, clients receive samples of natural urine containing spiked radionuclides, for testing. In these programmes, urine has disadvantages. These include (1) slow collection times from donors, (2) unpleasant smell and (3) potential to […]

Another British tea innovation

Britain gave the world many things. Among those are deadpan delivery,  Heath Robinson, and a fascination for detailed methods of brewing tea. Those three gifts are combined in the “revolutionary approach to the gentle art of making tea” announced recently by a firm called Cambridge Consultants. Behold their demonstrative video: (Thanks to investigator Robinj for […]

A shorts course in cooking, inspired by neutrinos

Len Fisher [pictured here], who was awarded the 1999 Ig Nobel Prize in physics for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit, has advice for a scientist who is confident to his very shorts that the neutrinos-travel-faster-than-light reports will turn out to be in error. Dr. Fisher wrote a letter that’s published in The Guardian (on Nov 25): If […]

Teabagging in the Name of Science

Political teabagging and sexual teabagging have attracted lots of controversy recently, but a lesser-known variety — research teabagging — has much to recommend it. In case you have not encountered the word “teabagging”, here’s some linguistic background. Political teabagging takes its name from a twisted, angry dip into American/British history: the “Boston Tea Party” anti-tax […]