To see a meteorite land would be pretty astonishing today (if anyone out there has, I’d love to hear about it) but imagine the effect it must have had on people living thousands of years ago. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at a study suggesting the ancient Egyptians believed iron from meteorites had magical […]
Earlier this week I wrote a blog post for the Guardian, explaining why I chose to give birth to my second child at home under independent care. I had been accused – as women who give birth at home often are – of endangering my baby’s life for my own birth experience. Critics of home […]
To accompany its 2013 science writing awards, the Wellcome Trust is running a series of Q&As on science writing. My contribution is posted today, on the Wellcome Trust website and on the Guardian science blog. I get asked to discuss “how to write about science” fairly regularly, and I find it so daunting. Even though […]
I love studies on mummies for the intimate details they give into people’s lives thousands of years ago – from the healing tattoos sported by ancient Peruvians, to the Tyrolean Iceman’s last meal (venison) to the fact that ancient Egyptian high priestess Maatkere was buried with her pet baboon. Although I find them fascinating, such […]
Scientists are studying a small crystal discovered on a sunken Elizabethan warship, to see whether it might have been used as an optical compass. In theory such a stone could have helped sailors to navigate during cloudy skies, particularly if their magnetic compasses were deflected by the huge metal cannons on board.
The first thing I heard when I woke up this morning was the news that eighteen tourists have died after the hot air balloon they were riding in crashed near Luxor in Egypt. It’s an awful, tragic accident and my heart goes out to those – mostly in Hong Kong but also in Japan and […]