Reset – Day 302 – Memories

I’ve been listening to radiolab (listen here) and they were talking about memory and how scientists have determined that the more you recall a memory the further the memory gets from what actually happened (because each time you remember something you change it a bit). 

I thought about him everyday. He left when I was 7. I remembered everything, him pushing me on the swings, buying me ice cream, taking me to the movies. It hurt to remember but I couldn’t stop. He’d been so good to me. I was constantly wondering why he left and trying to track him down. I could only assume I’d done something wrong, been a bad child. Why else would he leave?

After years of searching for him, I heard that the more you remembered something the less true that memory was. I felt cheated, I must have thought of those memories millions of times. I didn’t want to lose what little I had of him.

I wanted to press reset on my memories, so I decided that I would reconstruct them while I waited to find him. I tracked down all the people that I remembered were there, at the swing, the ice cream shop, the movies. Their memories would be clearer. I was going to press reset.

But when I found them, it wasn’t what I was expecting. My childhood friend from the park told me he only remembered me falling off the swing and my dad telling me to get back on despite my tears. The corner shop owner told me she gave us the ice creams for free because he’d spend our money on cigarettes, and the ticket checker said she only remembered us because he left me alone in the cinema to go the pub.

I stopped looking for him after that.


Party inside the cardinalfish – Day 298 – Glowing fish science (Adrian)

Adrian linked me to this see-through fish spitting a bunch on microscopic bioluminescent crustacea and suggested the title.

glowy fish

and here’s what the little glowing crustacea look like:

I went to the people’s march for climate action today and I think it really filtered into my brain. So here’s the story:

Long have the crustacea been eaten and oppressed by the cardinalfish. This party is a seaweedroots movement for the crustacea by the crustacea. Please join us for our national day of action against the cardinalfish, where we will be occupying local cardinalfish and glowing inside them. This will alert the other fish to their unjust crustacea eating ways and demonstrate the solution to the issue. Glowing is a little known way of surviving these attacks and we need to spread the word. Lets show glow as one and show them the light!

Imprisoned – Day 297 – Egg in A Milk Bottle Experiment (Geoff)

Geoff says he’s always liked the egg in a milk bottle experiment. Basically you put a lit match in a milk bottle and it creates a vacuum which suck the boiled egg inside like so:

Brian teaches the other kids at school how to suck an egg into a milk bottle. They don’t seem too interested. At lunch they lock him in the toilet. He looks at the egg in the bottle.

“You and me both eh egg?” 

Blue Blood – Day 296 – Horseshoe Crab Blood (Erin)

Erin told me about Horseshoe Crab blood which is blue! It is harvested for it’s bacteria detecting abilities.

“Harvesting horseshoe crab blood involves collecting and bleeding the animals, and then releasing them back into the sea. Most of the animals survive the process; mortality is correlated with both the amount of blood extracted from an individual animal, and the stress experienced during handling and transportation. Estimates of mortality rates following blood harvesting vary from 3-15%to 10-30%”

Blue blood. A man says it’s royal but we are lined up like cattle, being bled for all we’re worth. Drip drip drip. I wonder why they needed it so much. I’d never seen my blood before. No idea it was valuable.

When they unlock us and take us back to sea I feel lucky. I can go home and take care of my sick little crab once more.

Every night I dream of those white coats and the drip of my own blood. Most other crabs try to block it out but I can’t.

I start doing my own tests. Bleed once more. Blue ink on the sand. Most crabs call me crazy but I keep doing it. One day I discover it. We have medicine in our blood.

My little crab is well again now, and I’m feeling lucky once more but I never forget that drip drip drip.

Under the Surface – Day 294 – Surface Tension (Myra)

It’s science week and today: Surface Tension! This suggestion comes from Myra. I google imaged it and this picture is what came up:

There’d been a lot of tension bubbling under the surface in our colony lately. Our Queen was teaching us how to walk on water and roll droplets, but she was cruel. She would patronise us antlings. Always telling us we were stupid no good worker ants. So we decided to teach her a lesson, now she knows we understand the power of surface tension.

Print my Breast – Day 293 – Mia Woodruff

Today I bumped into Mia who I met at TEDxQUT and it reminded me that she is doing some truly awesome science! I remember her telling me that in the future her team might be able to PRINT A BOOB! I know- if  that doesn’t blow your mind- watch her whole talk above. Breast cancer patients would be able to have their breasts scanned and then replace the tissue exactly with a 3D printer- rather than replacing it with something only vaguely similar like silicone. Also if you are born with something like a bone defect, they could scan the area and make a little organic scaffold that fits the area exactly and promoted healthy bone to grow there. This has inspired today’s story.

I watched them print my breast. It reminded me of the way my grandmother used to weave cloth, adding stem cells like a new colour into the pattern. I’d never really likes my breasts, they were small and lopsided. But watching the machine precisely recreating the shape of the tissue was beautiful. It made me appreciate how unique they were, they were so special they had to be replicated exactly. After the operation I felt like a walking work of art. Like I’d been drawn into life.

Laughing Rats – Day 292 – Infinite Monkey Cage

Today at work I’ve been listening to a podcast called the Infinite Monkey Cage (with Brian Cox!) all about science. It’s made me reflect on how awesome science is- and that I could incorporate it more. There are thousands of sciency stories to tell. Today’s is just short though- based on a study of rat laughter. I learnt that most mammals laugh and that it is learnt through social situations (particularly tickling). In the study there were scientists whose job it was to be “rat ticklers.”

Rita the rat never laughed. She grew up alone, and when she finally found other rats she didn’t know what the noise was. It wasn’t something she’d learnt. The others called her a freak, so she began to practice the noise in private, never really understanding the true joy of laughing. It never sounded right, so now she is a successful comedirat. She tours the sewers, creating laughter wherever she goes with her famous deadpan act.