Category Archives: Matinee

Mimicry Maxima



Edit: Found this old post collecting dust in my archives so I thought I would publish it despite being written 2 years ago since I haven’t updated this website for awhile.

The Great Ape Trust of Iowa are finding that primates have a more flexible audio repertoire than previously believed. On the other side of the world, Japan found a way to show that Bengal finches get excited over grammatical syntax. Yet neither of these have caused as much a stir in me as the Lyre Bird.

Sometimes the things you see on the Flintsones are not so far away from the truth!

Cancer Caviar



Made famous by Adria’s fruit caviar (El Bulli of Spain), scientists are now using this molecular gastronomy technique to study cancer cells. This is a video posted by New Scientist showing the congealing process close-up and in slow-mo.

This blog excellently explains how the fruit caviar is made. Just imagine the grapefruit juice is cancer cells and you have your technique!

The New Scientist link

Note: I tried looking for more information about using the sodium alginate/calcium chloride interaction for cancer research but the 5 mins I spent on it didn’t show any results so who knows how accurate NS was in stating the cancer research part. *shrug*



Oh hello! I am back in the blogosphere after my eye laser. Sadly, I totally missed the Perseids (which peaked last night/this morning) due to being blind so I found this video to watch instead. It was shot in 2009 when there was a reported average of 173 meteors/hour – more than most recorded years. A little something for the rest of you who missed it too  🙂

The Mitochondriac


“…the cells were not actually dying during this period of time without oxygen..they weren’t happy…but they weren’t dead so it was clear that death was being accelerated by reperfusion [of oxygen].”

Your killer or your saviour may lie within you.

This 6 min section of a documentary speaks more about a ‘centre for death’ within your cells:

Chopin Change in the Brain


I couldn’t embed the video so I’ll just post the link.

It shows the areas of the brain which gets activated when the subject listens to Chopin. Note particularly the increase of activity in the region called the ‘Broca’s area’ when the music starts to get exciting. Broca’s area is thought to be linked to linguistic function and, more importantly, a person’s ability to empathise or identify with others.

The New York Times Science section has actually produced quite a few articles on music and it’s links with emotions/expressiveness. Check them out here. There is also an interactive feature (a quiz or experiment) for you test out your response to how expressive human vs mechanically played music is.