Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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Gun violence & mental illness

Note: this post discusses violence with weapons and death by suicide.

The US has an absurd rate of gun deaths – by accident, deliberate homicide or suicide (again, deliberate or accidental):

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“[we could] expect a country’s rate of gun violence deaths to be based solely on its socioeconomic status. By that measure, the U.S. should only be seeing .79 deaths per 100,000 people — almost five times less than its actual rate of 3.85 deaths per 100,000.”

Whenever a high-profile shooting occurs (and they’re so common, every week if not every day, that we have different categories like where did the shooting happen, who perpetrated it and why, how many victims were there; one, several or tens/a mass, and was there some kind of statement being made) people are very quick to blame something other than the access to weapons: mental illness. 

But I wish people would stop doing this… Continue reading

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Animated Science

One of the best aspects of the the science communication-type roles I’ve had can be the variety.

Depending on where you are and how established the team is (the team ‘me’ was the best!); one day writing articles, the next editing photos/doing some graphic design, web editing, interviews, filming prep, answering questions – or something new.

I’ve been lucky to work on some digital animations with a London-based company, Phospho and will share them here – please note that I don’t own them, however (details in the credits).

I worked with Phospho to write scripts, refine storyboards, and voice these videos – with help from other cancer experts. Happy to answer questions below!
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Incels and taking online misogyny seriously

I am not happy to write this. Not a bit. There is absolutely no joy in “I told you so” when “These people are deadly” is again reality.

It’s sickening that having mentioned one murderer so recently, they been invoked in the killing of another 10 innocent people. Another 10 families inverted as misogynistic hate groups congregate online.

I do think it is our responsibility to pay attention to these elements of hate because ignoring them has never made them go away.

This is a resource for learning about “incels” and associated hate groups of the manosphere – the broiling mess of anti-women communities on the internet. I think it’s important to learn about this, so please take some time if you can.

[Content notes for sexual violence]


A great way is to follow David on Twitter and/or get email updates from We Hunted The Mammoth – a truly heroic group, started by him, that summarises what these people are up to so we don’t have to get close to it.

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The scourge of the “gentleman”

2334277334_9439f3419c_zHow I wish we could stop suggesting men should be “gentlemen”.

Wait, wouldn’t it be great if we all taught boys gentlemanly ways, and we returned to a time of walking canes and hats (admittedly cool things)?

The problem is with imposing what you want to do (or think you should do) on women, rather than listening to what they want or what makes them comfortable; with taking their discomfort, however they express it, as a personal insult instead of a reason/request to behave differently.

Because the dance of the gentleman and the lady is outdated, sexist, and ignores the fact that we’re all individual people with different personalities and backgrounds and needs.

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Can we swap Noel Edmonds off TV?

Replace him with something preferably silent. This is doing the rounds:

  1. You should, because it isn’t
  2. He has apologised (not that it helps as it’s just another push for his quack-machine)
  3. The target of his remarks asks people not to hound Edmonds about it.

Noel is perhaps not an entirely well man, so it would be nice if people stopped interviewing him.

Why would someone even say this in the first place, and does it have any merit at all?

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Thoughts on Marriage

Topic: marrying while female. People start making assumptions and asking questions when this happens, because we still place a lot of societal expectations on women who take this step in a relationship, often without parallels for men.

Turns out I have loads more to say on this than I thought, what a surprise!

None of this post is a dig at anyone who’s done some or all of the things I wish to avoid (that others may find fun or necessary) – freedom is about choice, but choices also have context; that context differs in importance for different people, because we’re individuals. My/our choices and reasons, not necessarily anyone else’s.

If you’ve arrived for advice this might not be it, but my take-home is: never settle. You are not “too picky”. Be picky, being single is not inherently bad, and single is better than unhappy with the wrong person/people.

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Wedding gifts – to Charity!

So I’m getting married tomorrow (!!) and as only a few loved ones can attend in person, and I know so many brilliant people all over the place, we’ve set up some charity fundraising opportunities in lieu of gifts.

We’re very lucky and don’t need anything, and there are loads of great causes, so here are 4 to choose from.

See below the links for more about these choices (Edit: and some totals). Also even if you can’t give anything, a share instead would be much appreciated!  Continue reading