I just finished reading The Ghost Map and am profoundly reminded of Edwin Chadwick's claims that dumping sewage into the Thames would be good for fish and field, because after all farmers used manure to nourish their fields. Logically, the argument went, in repeating the experiment on a larger scale London's waste… » 10/06/14 12:03pm 10/06/14 12:03pm

The effect was also replicated by presenting the bedding of strange male mice - given that the colony of the lab I work in shares a room with colonies belonging to four other labs... Whoops? Also weird is that the strength of the response seems to depend on the mouse's sex. » 4/29/14 7:35am 4/29/14 7:35am

What really makes this thing weird to me is the finding that the presence of any male animal, with the exception of cage mates, increased stress levels. How the hell are you supposed to control for that? Particularly since the default mouse for in vivo work is male? (This once lead to shenanigans in which the lab… » 4/29/14 10:14am 4/29/14 10:14am

I do that too! I start mimicking the person I'm talking to, and the next thing I know I'm speaking with a drawl or a lilt that wasn't there before. It was useful for learning the right way to pronounce things in high school Spanish class, but that's about it. » 4/03/14 2:40pm 4/03/14 2:40pm

The mother of a friend of mine had much the same thing happen for her third pregnancy. Her labor went incredibly fast and they called 911 to try and get her to the hospital. The firefighters got there first and realized it was too late to move her because Baby was Coming Right Now. The fireman who delivered my… » 3/04/14 10:59am 3/04/14 10:59am

I normally eat my lunch in a glass-walled atrium on the south side of my building. If it's sunny, there's something of a greenhouse effect and the space is a good five to ten degrees higher than the rest of the building. It's the only time I'm properly warm all day. » 2/28/14 11:36am 2/28/14 11:36am