Monthly Archives: May 2012

Help the USA into the 21st century (even if you’re not American)

[This is cross-posted from my other blog, Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week. I never cross-post: this is, as far as I remember, literally the first time I have done it. But this issue is so important and so urgent that I am making an exception. Please, please: sign the petition, upvote the Reddit and Hacker News submissions, blog about it, tweet about it, tell your friends.]


Good news! If you want to read research that was funded by the U.S. National Instututes of Health (NIH), you can. Their public access policy means that papers published on their dime become universally accessible in PubMed Central.

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Mike’s bang-up-to-date review of The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

[A revised and improved version of this essay appears in my book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who.]

It’s taken five months, but tonight we finally all sat down and watched Doctor Who‘s 2012 Christmas special again.  So I can finally expand on my extremely brief initial remarks.

Unfortunately, this is going to be a very tedious excuse for a review, because once again, I’m going to be overwhelmingly positive.  I was very disappointed by the final episode of Series 6, and remarked that “Next up will be the Christmas special — a presumably stand-alone story in which I hope we will see that Moffat has not misplaced his mojo”.  And indeed we did.

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Has Apple gone too far with its iBrick?

I am a big fan of Apple’s minimalist design aesthetic, but I think they may have gone too far with their new iBrick:

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Mushroom soup

Following on from the mushroom pasta recipe last time, here is a very simple but delicious mushroom soup that I’ve been making a lot recently.


  • One large onion
  • A good-sized knob of butter
  • Plenty of mushrooms — I use one or two complete 250g tubs.
  • Flour — maybe about four heaped teaspoons
  • About two litres of real chicken stock, simmered from a carcass.
  • A dash of cream — maybe 50 ml or so
  • Salt and pepper

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