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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Santa – the Scientist?!

Article by Tiffany Taylor, posted on December 13, 2010 on Science Oxford Online (see original article here:http://www.scienceoxfordonline.com/santa-the-scientist)

Christmas is here, and magic is in the air. On December the 24th children will be asleep in their beds hoping they’ve been good enough to have earned a visit from jolly old St. Nicholas – and this got me thinking about Santa Claus and his mystical existence. After much deliberating, I have come to a rather bizarre conclusion: Santa’s main occupation is not a magical delivery man, but a superb scientist. And his elves? They’re top notch research assistants, working away until Christmas day, to ensure every boy and girl around the world receive something special to make them smile. Of course, the sophisticated research and development programme behind Santa’s Christmas eve antics are top secret – but using a little scientific logic, I propose a few hypotheses of how Santa, and his faithful crew, might just do it.

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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Biology, Physics

 

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A Whole Host of Horrors

Article by Tiffany Taylor, posted  October 26, 2010 on Science Oxford Online (see original article here: http://www.scienceoxfordonline.com/a-whole-host-of-horrors)

It’s Halloween: time to turn down the lights, and gather round for a horrific tale of what waits for you in the shadows… luring you into its lair… creatures capable of turning ordinary souls into monsters… and beasts that can control your mind to carry out their evil bidding. This is a true story of some unpleasant parasites that might just be coming, for you.

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“Big Brother is Watching You”: A Biological Approach to the Evolution of Honesty and the Psychology of Giving

Article by Tiffany Taylor, posted on September 15, 2010 on Science Oxford Online (see original article here: http://www.scienceoxfordonline.com/big-brother-is-watching-you)

The reign of Big Brother may have come to an end, but relatively recent craze of reality TV shows have allowed us to become bystanders to the lives of strangers, and the increasing usage of surveillance technology means there are few places we are completely “off the radar”. But can the knowledge of being watched change our perception of decency? And perhaps, could it be used to create a more honest and generous society?

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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Evolution, Psychology, Sociality

 

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The Curse of the Pharaoh… A Mummy with a Message?

Article by Tiffany Taylor, posted August 24, 2010 on Science Oxford Online (see original article here: http://www.scienceoxfordonline.com/the-curse-of-the-pharaoh-a-mummy-with-a-message)

In Egypt there are stories of supernatural activities surrounding the tombs of ancient kings. It is said that the hieroglyphics etched into tomb walls frequently carry warnings of ‘Pharanoic hexes’ for those who may wish to steal from or disturb the resting king. So when a number of people present at the excavation of Tutankhamen’s tomb died under mysterious circumstances, was it down to black magic, bad luck or biological bugs?

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