I know a guy who doesn’t have a birthday. Andy* was born in the Moroccan desert. His parents were nomads. There were no smartphones in the 1960s and a nomadic tribe didn’t have much use for the Gregorian calendar. And when it came to recalling the exact day and month of Andy’s birth, there were […]

The dark crystal

The electronics of the future could be made of a material you leave in your toilet. If you’re up on your electronics of the future, you’ll recall that they were supposed to be made of graphene. Remember graphene? It was supposed to be better than silicon, because it lets electrons go really fast. That’s great, […]

The myth of the breastfeeding diet

Breastfeeding is often sold to new mothers as a bulletproof way to lose the baby weight. The promise is the same whether you’re getting advice from lactation experts, mummy blogs, Unicef, midwives, or official medical sites such as the NHS in the UK and the National Institutes of Medicine in the US: feed your baby […]

Poo Detective

I don’t remember where I heard this story. A mincey woman and her Very Small Dog were walking through an airport when the dog dropped a No. 2. The woman pulled a tissue out of her bag, crouched down… and wiped the dog’s butt. The twosome clacked off, leaving the little brown pile (and the tissue) […]

Survey Says

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “very much”, how much has the sight of this question made you die inside? You’re not alone. Surveys are dreadful; often badly-worded, usually tedious, always demanding more of your time than they deserve. Yet they’re a pillar on which a […]

The Best Science to Write About and the Worst

As of yesterday, May 20, LWON has been alive for five years. LWON is a little surprised at this and pretty pleased with itself.  In celebration, two of our brilliant alumni wrote guest posts listing the Top Five Things They Wanted to List the Top Five Of.  Today, Five People of LWON announce the best […]

The trolley and the psychopath

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A trolley carrying five school children is headed for a cliff. You happen to be standing at the switch, and you could save their lives by diverting the trolley to another track. But there he is – an innocent fat man, picking daisies on that second track, oblivious […]

Plan UVB

You may have read last week that you should start wearing sunscreen at night. This was bad news for me: I’m already a hopeless victim of sunscreen marketing, slathering the stuff in rain or shine, in London fog, at dusk. I just can’t stop, despite mounting evidence that regular sunscreen may be less protective than […]