The worst poem ever

Thinking ape. Credit: Pixel-mixer/pixabay

I’m just a lousy science journalist, writing the worst poem ever.

The metaphorical transparency of responsible media

Credit: dryfish/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

We in India often complain about how the media doesn’t care enough to cover science stories. But when we’re looking back and forward in time, we become blind to the media’s efforts.

TIFR’s superconductor discovery: Where are the reports?

The Meissner effect: a magnet levitating above a superconductor. Credit: Mai-Linh Doan/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Most news publications in India didn’t report on an exciting and significant discovery made by physicists from TIFR, Mumbai. Why not?

Science Quiz – August 4, 2014

Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. But this week’s quiz is a little different. 2014 marks the hundredth year after the start of World War I, a global war that raged from 1914 to 1918. The scale of the conflicts provided an ample stage for the demonstration of the best technology of the time, albeit mostly for destructive purposes. This week’s… Read More

Science Quiz – July 28, 2014

Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. What’s a haboob? American biologists tracked ____ ______ over 15 years. On July 25, they announced that their species could be protected from collisions from ships moving in waters along the western coast of North America, contributing to their long-term survival. Fill in the blanks. In the last last two decades, over 1,500 planets outside… Read More

Science Quiz – July 21, 2014

Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. (This week’s quiz is astronomy-heavy.) July 20, 2014, was the 45th anniversary of a landmark incident in the history of exploration: the ______ __ spaceflight landed the first humans on the moon. Name the NASA spacecraft launched in 2007 to study the two largest asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. In the week of July… Read More

Science Quiz – July 7, 2014

Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. The _______ region of southwest China is some 4.5 km above sea-level. At this altitude, the air is rarefied and makes breathing difficult for humans. However, the _______ people are an exception, according to American and European scientists. On July 2, they said they had found a gene these people had inherited from an extinct human species of humans called the Denisovans that enabled… Read More

Science Quiz – June 30, 2014

Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. A team of Scottish scientists announced the discovery of the world’s oldest animal-built _____ in Africa in the week of June 23. According to them, they were built by small water animals called Cloudina that existed about 548 million years ago. Fill in the blank with the name of a type of build-up of organic material. In fact, today, the world’s largest single… Read More

Science Quiz – June 23, 2014

Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. Although it is geared exclusively at school students, it should be available for adults as well because it’s a great place to find the news packaged plain and simple. The quiz consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. The construction of the world’s biggest optical telescope began on June 19. It’s called the European Extremely Large Telescope, being built by the European Southern Observatory…. Read More

Psych of Science: Hello World

Hello, world. 🙂 I’m filing this post under a new category on Is Nerd called Psych of Science. A dull name but it’ll do. This category will host my personal reflections on the science in the stories I’ve written or read and, more importantly, of the people in those stories. I decided to create this category after the Social Psychology replications incident. While it was not a seminal episode, reading and understanding the kind of issues faced by authors of the original paper and the replicators really got me thinking about the psychology of science. It… Read More

Can science and philosophy mix constructively?

Quantum mechanics can sometimes be very hard to understand, so much so that even thinking about it becomes difficult. This could be because its foundations lay in the action-centric depiction of reality that slowly rejected its origins and assumed a thought-centric one garb. In his 1925 paper on the topic, physicist Werner Heisenberg used only observable quantities to denote physical phenomena. He also pulled up Niels Bohr in that great paper, saying, “It is well known that the formal rules which are used [in Bohr’s 1913 quantum theory] for calculating observable quantities such as… Read More

Can science and philosophy mix constructively?

Quantum mechanics can sometimes be very hard to understand, so much so that even thinking about it becomes difficult. This could be because its foundations lay in the action-centric depiction of reality that slowly rejected its origins and assumed a thought-centric one garb. In his 1925 paper on the topic, physicist Werner Heisenberg used only observable quantities to denote physical phenomena. He also pulled up Niels Bohr in that great paper, saying, “It is well known that the formal rules which are used [in Bohr’s 1913 quantum theory] for calculating observable quantities such as… Read More