Purely a figment of your imagination

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


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Friendly book review: genes and brains

I am lucky to have met some amazing people over the last decade and a significant number of them are writers of various sorts – some journalists, bloggers, freelance writers and indeed authors.

booksigns

It definitely was worth it, Dean! Trying to enjoy the ride, Kat x

It seems it’s the time for book-writing so naturally I have picked up some of these labours of love (and occasionally deep resentment, inevitably) and will share my non-spoilery thoughts about a couple of them with you. Continue reading

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America’s romanticised assault – the kiss and the statue

Read the full piece at The Malcontent

Yesterday I learned about this sculpture in the States, titled “Unconditional Surrender” by Seward Johnson, via a photography group on Facebook that I’m a member of (and has shut down the discussion I had about it, due to it apparently not being the “proper platform” for a discussion of what art represents or emotions it elicits – partly due to admins noting the hostility in comments on other pieces written about this incident).

A photographer who captured this statue in black & white said, after I raised the issue of this being an assault [edited for spelling etc],

The first part of what this commenter said in response to my pointing out it’s assault to grab people and force kisses on them?

“I am a believer in the rights of women and they should be protected at all costs and I am very much against violence against women and would put all such men in jail and throw away the key but…”

But, indeed.

Head over to The Malcontent to read some more of my words on this – hoping to post there more often and keep my pages here a bit more diverse than just feminist ranting!

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Seattle Down

This June I made my way over to the Pacific North-West to see a dear friend of mine who had to move away from London last year.

I had THE BEST TIME so here’s a series of photos of me enthusiastically pointing at cool stuff, in an homage to another friend, the now world-famous (or at least in Canada) James O’Malley, who pointed at all the Canadian things.

I didn’t want to do a video, so you’ll have to make do with this! I’ll write some stuff at the end for those who are interested but first, pictures…

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Life of Pi

I’ve moved this book/film review over from my Posterous space because, well, Twitter bought them and it’s closing down. Boo!

Towards the end of 2012 I picked up, read and passed on my copy of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

I wanted to read it before I went to see the film, because generally I prefer to compare film adaptations to books than the other way around. Once you see a film, you have your visuals and you carry them over to the book. I quite like to let my imagination (and the author’s words) do the work first time around.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book; it’s bite-sized compared to most of the 1000-odd page fantasy tomes I tend to wade through. It is at times amusing, upsetting, magical – there were some poignant lines I noticed and should have made a note of as I went along.

Before seeing the film, my impression of the story was that it was one of interpretation. The reader is left with questions and decisions to make by the end and I suppose the conclusions you come to are probably guided by the kind of person you are and the values you hold.

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‘Living Medical Traditions’

Another update to the Science Wooseum story.

I took some time to document more of the exhibit, which is indeed tucked away on the top floor, sandwiched between two very good (and bigger) displays relating to the development of modern medicine. Some really amazing pieces in there. I’ve made a web album of the photos.

The Living Medical Traditions section is definitely worrying. It has a completely different feel.

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A “Media Tart” Case Study

I recently went to a course run by some ex-BBC journalists, Media Players International, on how to engage with the media regarding your research. They encouraged us to become the Media Tarts of the future, so here I (vaguely…) recall some of Dr Armand Leroi‘s lecture to postgrads at my institute from way back in the Summer, which was on that very topic.

I’ve enjoyed Armand’s telly programmes and was fortunate to have a pint and a chat with him at the very first London Skeptics in the Pub I went to (having been apprehensive about knowing no-one beforehand!).

Probably most famous for his science best-seller, Mutants, Armand has a great passion for his subject – evolutionary biology – which I very nearly pursued after university myself (and still sometimes wish I had!).

My Life As A Media Tart

Guest lecture to School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Postgradute Day.

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One Year On: Libel Reform Update

December 2nd 2010 at the Free Word Centre: an update on the progress of the Libel Reform

all-important refreshments

campaign.

Hosted by Jonathan Haewood of English Pen, John Kampfner of Index on Censorship and Tracey Brown of Sense About Science.

English pen have their photos from the evening on Flickr; I managed to avoid being in any of them this time!

From the literature distributed at the event:

The One Year On event follows weeks of further revelations of the impacts of the libel laws:

– Plastic surgeon Dr Dalia Nield was threatened with libel action by the manufacturer of a ‘Boob Job’ cream for saying she was concerned the product was potentially dangerous*

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