How Music Works

An amazing series of videos from BBC 4 grouped together by Maria Popova  at Brain Pickings >>>.

I could hardly imagine life without music, it would be flat, lifeless almost. But how well do we understand music, why it does what it does and the other way around.

How well do we understand its emotional hold on our brains?How Music Works, a fascinating program from BBC4 (the same folks who brought us The End of God?: A Horizon Guide to Science and Religion), explores just that.

Composer Howard Goodall takes us on a journey into music’s underbelly, examining the four basic elements that make it work: Melody, rhythm, harmony and bass.

Go check it out here >>> sit back and relax, and learn more about music in this fantastic series of videos.

What are you going to have for diner: Eating to Starve Cancer

When reading through my emails I came across a link to this TED talk by William Li of the Angiogenesis foundation.

In short and as describe on the website:

Angiogenesis, the growth of new capillary blood vessels in the body, is an important natural process in the body used for healing and reproduction. The body controls angiogenesis by producing a precise balance of growth and inhibitory factors in healthy tissues.When this balance is disturbed, the result is either too much or too little angiogenesis. Abnormal blood vessel growth, either excessive or insufficient, is now recognized as a “common denominator” underlying many deadly and debilitating conditions, including cancer, skin diseases, age-related blindness, diabetic ulcers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and many others. The list of diseases that have angiogenesis as an underlying mechanism grows longer every year.

From the talk it further transpires that besides angiogenesis based medicine, our diet may well be an important factor in the prevention of many life threatening diseases.

Furthermore a list of products was identified on the TED blog of antiangiogenic products. Now have a look and don’t you agree that this makes a good list of tasty meal ingredients?

With this in mind? What are you going to have for diner tonight. I for one will stop complaining about the excessive use of tomato sauce of my boys and will add a little extra garlic to whatever’s for diner tonight.

M0re information can be found on the site of the Angiogenesis Foundation here >>>


Science Media Centre » Blog Archive » Climate scientist on recommended IPCC overhaul

Last month in New York, an independent report was released which recommended a major overhaul of procedures and management of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

IPCC-reviewThe report, undertaken by a 12 person team from the InterAcademy Council which represents the world’s major science academies, outlines some sweeping changes, such as the installation of an executive committee for the panel to give it stronger leadership, a “rigorous conflict of interest policy” for that leadership and more rigorous review processes to deal with “grey literature” – material from non peer-reviewed sources.

The report can be downloaded here. Videos of the press conferences held to launch the IAC report are available here.

“The key points in this report are that governments should now reform the IPCC management structure and that assessment of the science does need to meet very high standards because climate change has major implications.”

Read the rest via Science Media Centre » Blog Archive » Climate scientist on recommended IPCC overhaul.


Given the recent incidents I think this is a report to be taken serious. What a cool site

I stumbled upon this site and wow what a great bunch of articles in a wide variety of scientific subjects. For those that want to keep up with what’s happening in scientific New Zealand this is a definite recommended site. It has an impressive team of bloggers maintaining a blog on a wide variety of subjects.

Sciblogs claims to bring(New Zealand) on one website, creating a hub for scientific analysis and discussion and facilitating reader interaction.

The website is for scientists who want to reach out to a general audience to explain their science and how it relates to society. Some Sciblog contributors spend most of their time in the lab or buried in research. Others are authors or entrepreneurs. All of them know what they are talking about and have an interest in engaging in discussion on the big science-related issues facing society.

You can easily keep an eye on new Sciblogs posts by subscribing via RSS or email or by following our Twitter feed.  Alternatively, there is a Facebook page as well as a Facebook group.

Sciblogs is edited and managed by Peter Griffin, manager of the Science Media Centre and former Technology Editor of the New Zealand Herald.

Sciblogs is an initiative of the Science Media Centre, an independent source of expert comment and information for journalists covering science and technology in New Zealand.

Its aim is to promote accurate, bias-free reporting on science and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community.

The Science Media Centre was set up in June 2008 by the Royal Society of New Zealand with funding from the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

Go check it out at

Did Morton Smith Forge ‘Secret Mark’? A Handwriting Expert Weighs In – Biblical Archaeology Review

secret mark doc

Did Columbia University professor Morton Smith forge the famous Clement letter containing two passages from a secret and different copy of the Gospel of Mark?

A number of scholars have concluded, on inadequate grounds in our view, that Smith was a forger.

In a four-part treatment, including contributions by eminent New Testament scholars Helmut Koester and Charles Hedrick, BAR concluded that Smith, now dead, was innocent.*

Oddly enough, despite the scores of articles and books that have been written on the subject, no one has bothered to consult a handwriting expert in the language in which the alleged forged letter is written: Greek.

BAR has now done so.

Venetia Anastasopoulou is a prominent handwriting expert living in Athens who has frequently testified in Greek courts.

Read the full article and download the report of Venetia Anastaspoulou at Did Morton Smith Forge ‘Secret Mark’? A Handwriting Expert Weighs In – Biblical Archaeology Review.

As a bit of background:

In 1973, when Morton Smith presented to the world the Clement letter and an unknown “secret” gospel of Mark, was he revealing an amazing Biblical manuscript discovery or attempting a risky scholarly stunt? With the help of the experts, our four-part treatment sets the scene of the find at Mar Saba monastery in the Judean Desert (“Secret Mark”: An Amazing Discovery)<!– (p. 44)–>, presents the case for forgery (“Secret Mark”: Morton Smith—Forger)<!– (p. 49)–>, examines the textual tradition that could indicate authenticity (“Secret Mark”: Was Morton Smith a Great Thespian and I a Complete Fool?)<!– (p. 54)–> and offers BAR’s unique editorial assessment to sum up the evidence (“Secret Mark”: Restoring a Dead Scholar’s Reputation.)

Source: BAR