Well. Here we are then.

They say that the key to successful blogging lies, in part, to keeping some kind of schedule or regularity to your postings. Therefore, if one was to attribute to me a keen desire and aptitude towards keeping a successful blog, the only conclusion that could be drawn is that my particular schedule is an annual one.

The fallacy in this, of course, is that desire is not binary: we all have many desires, and in order to achieve our goals we must preference some desires above others. Except for in exceptional cases, to fail to prioritize is to eventually be paralysed with indecision or run into a mental block.

In other words: sorry about the blog, but life got in the way.

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Temporary un-hiatus for Podblack…

For more information, head on over to PodBlack Cat.

A really quite temporary blogging hiatus…

So I suppose I ought to give an explanation for this, right? Well, here goes…

Like most things, I feel this will be easier with the aid of a chart:

Right now, I’m somewhere to the south of ‘Stressing balls’. On top of the nice, manageable, regular amount of stress that comes from doing a research project, running a club, and sitting on the executive of another club, I’ve now got the added stress of trying to find a place to live before February 10th.

As you might expect, that pretty much tops my list of priorities.

Obviously I haven’t been posting much of anything substantial recently anyway, for all of the above reasons. By putting this post out, though, I feel like I can safely shelve the blog at the back of my mind until things are settled. Do away with the persistent voice in my head that keeps reminding me, “You know, you really ought to write something for the blog…”

For those of you who just can’t do without a regular fix of little ol’ me (i.e. all of you, if you know what’s good for you), I’ll still be appearing on episodes of The Pseudo Scientists, as well as writing forĀ The Skeptic (note to self: looming deadline). For the rest of you: I’ll see you all on the other side of the house hunt. Expect a regular return to blogging sometime in late February/early March.

– Richard

The Pseudo Scientists Episode 27: SUPERAWESOMEEDITION

The latest edition of theĀ Pseudo Scientists is up now on iTunes and over on the Young Australian Skeptics website. If you’ve not heard the podcast before, this is the one you should jump in on (and if you have heard it before, get on with yo’ downloading).

The show features two of my favourite interviews from the Australian Amazing Meeting: First up, a chat with Kylie Sturgess about skepticism and education, and the future of skepticism; then Dr Paul Willis (best known from the science show Catalyst) shares some of his thoughts about science communication, and skepticism in the media.

On top of that, there’s plenty of news, an On The Street, and just the general joy of streaming Elliot, Jason and me straight into your ear-holes. Get on it!

I approve of this, heartily.

For some reason, Podblack Cat thought the following video might cheer me up.

I gotta say, she hit the nail on the head. Ain’t nothing says ‘pick me up’ like an Irish 90s punk band.

The It Gets Better project is still kicking along.

I think one of the best things about this campaign (to raise awareness of gay teen suicide, and reach out to gay teens) is the variety of responses it has provoked. Some are touching, some are funny, some — such as this one — are insanely creative and talented. Stick around for the message at the end of the video.

The ol’ “hole in the sheet method”…

Oh, SMBC — you slay me!

Seriously though…would it be wrong per se to act out this scene for future potential offspring? I’d set them right, like, an hour later — promise!

Amazing Math Communication

I discovered Vi Hart’s YouTube page initially (I think) via Velociranga. Sadly, we both promptly forgot to remember both the URL and her name, so for the next few weeks I was desperately trying to punch in keywords that seemed relevant to what she did in an attempt to track her down.

It’s probably best if you see what it is she does rather than have me try to explain it, so I’ll just say this: She does basically everything right. She has a way of distilling mathematical concepts into extremely intuitive and beautiful doodles and diagrams, and stories. I gotta say — I’m a teeny bit jealous.

I just…don’t get the Japanese.

The future isn’t here yet…

I’ve often thought that there would be a market in the scientific community for an intellectual analog to the deplorable Girls Gone Wild phenomenon. Called Researchers Gone Weird it would be an examination of times when generally good or excellent scientists have fallen off the rails. In my dream world, this show would be hosted by Kary Mullis and the ghost of Linus Pauling. Read more »