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A collaborative, crowd-sourced blog covering a variety of science topics targeted toward a general reader.

Stuart Farrimond
20 posts

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  • March 14, 2014
  • 11:43 AM
  • 422 views

Do other animals experience pleasurable female orgasms?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Yes, other species experience pleasurable female orgasms, or at least it appears that way. It is hard, after all, to ask the female chimp after her artificial ‘stimulation’ in the lab how it felt. But the signs are all there […]The post Do other animals experience pleasurable female orgasms? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • March 13, 2014
  • 01:35 PM
  • 730 views

I gained two stone in weight since stopping smoking 10 months ago – why?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Gaining weight is one of the most feared consequences to stopping smoking. So firstly, good on you for kicking the cigarettes. The majority of people will gain some weight after stopping smoking. On average, ex-smokers put on a couple of […]The post I gained two stone in weight since stopping smoking 10 months ago – why? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 05:11 PM
  • 185 views

Why did doctors prescribe Guinness to pregnant women?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Back in the day when real men smoked and doctors wore white coats, prescribing beer to pregnant women was an acceptable thing to do. They don’t do that sort of thing anymore. But for many people, the question of the […]The post Why did doctors prescribe Guinness to pregnant women? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • January 29, 2014
  • 12:04 PM
  • 139 views

The direction a dog’s tail wags says what it’s thinking

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

In show business, they say that you should never work with animals or small children. The reasons are obvious: they are both unpredictable and you never know exactly what they are thinking. Children grow up and learn to communicate via […]The post The direction a dog’s tail wags says what it’s thinking appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • January 15, 2014
  • 06:43 AM
  • 153 views

Why do women stop losing their hair when pregnant?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Want thicker, shinier hair? Just try nature’s solution – get pregnant! During pregnancy, hair falls out less and many women say it looks incredible. The reason: hormones. When expecting, levels of the hormone oestrogen (US: estrogen) steadily increase. This, alongside […]The post Why do women stop losing their hair when pregnant? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • March 13, 2013
  • 05:14 AM
  • 798 views

Why do Zebras have stripes? Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

We’ll get to the eternal question of whether zebras are black with white stripes or white with black stripes in just a little bit.  Let’s focus in on why they have the stripes in the first place! There are five main theories as to why zebras are striped:  camouflage, confusion, recognition, cooling, and repellant… 1. [...]... Read more »

  • March 6, 2013
  • 12:07 AM
  • 412 views

‘Cancer Free’? What kind of Cancer did Hugo Chavez really have?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Did the Venezuelan president really die of cancer? Rumours started in July 2011 that the Venezuelan ‘dictator was’ unwell. Officials vociferously denied it. Now it is known that Hugo Chavez had been suffering from cancer, underwent chemotherapy, and initially survived kidney failure. It seems impossible to imagine that some form of cancer hasn’t led to [...]... Read more »

  • March 5, 2013
  • 06:27 AM
  • 460 views

Does watching the news make you feel more miserable than not watching it?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

That’s a really great question. Whether we watch, read, or listen to the news, I’m sure we have all had the feeling of being sick about it; be it the story itself or how it is presented.  A huge proportion of our news seems to be negatively biased – but why? The answer has, in [...]... Read more »

  • January 16, 2013
  • 11:11 AM
  • 391 views

Do men get ‘phantom limb’ feelings after gender reassignment?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

If a man has gender reassignment surgery will he suffer ‘phantom limb’ type feelings? Asked by @christomill via twitter Phantom limb syndrome is the sensation of a body part being present even after it has been amputated. A most peculiar condition, for the amputee the absent limb can feel very real and even as that [...]... Read more »

  • January 11, 2013
  • 09:11 AM
  • 2,825 views

Q: Why does skin lose its elasticity as we get old?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Asked by Sam Whiley via Facebook Before we even jump to the answer, let’s define what elasticity actually is.  It’s not really the “stretchiness” of your skin as many people tend to think it is; that’s only half the definition.  If elasticity were to be defined as only how stretchy something can be, then your [...]... Read more »

  • January 4, 2013
  • 05:04 AM
  • 370 views

Is it possible to classify animal mental health disorders?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Is there an equivalent in the animal kingdom to the DSM IV that’s used to diagnose mental health problems in humans? Is there animal psychiatry, or is it just classed as behavioural? Asked by Nicky Sewell via Facebook Psychologist, psychiatrist, and “just plain old doctor” –  a veterinary behaviorist has to be all three in [...]... Read more »

  • January 3, 2013
  • 12:41 PM
  • 485 views

How many calories do you burn by coughing?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Q: Do you burn calories by coughing and does it help to build ‘ab’ muscles?! I have to be getting some kind of workout out of this damned cold… Asked by Suzanne Butler via Facebook Your question is surprisingly difficult to answer. Energy expenditure has been measured in a variety of ways, but to do [...]... Read more »

  • January 1, 2013
  • 08:36 AM
  • 318 views

The Science of New Year’s Resolutions: making them work

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

New Year’s Resolutions: Just what is the point? I used to hate the idea of resolving to do something good just because it was a new year. And yet there seems to be something magical about the stroke of midnight on December 31st: Many of us pledge to get fit, save money or stop smoking. [...]... Read more »

  • August 10, 2012
  • 06:30 AM
  • 466 views

How a brain bug that may spell hope for those with Alzheimer’s

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

What links mind-altering parasites, rat mazes, and sartorially-challenged cat owners – and what have they all to do with treating diseases of the brain? Guest contributor Kathryn Lougheed discovers the answer. Have you ever had an impromptu Facebook session when you should have been working? Or have you experienced a lapse of concentration and ended [...]... Read more »

  • March 13, 2012
  • 06:56 PM
  • 566 views

5 things CSI gets right

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

For Brits, this week sees the return of everybody’s favourite team of armed Police/crime scene/forensic scientist hybrids: the night shift of the Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigation dpt. (UK Channel 5, Tuesdays 9PM). Now entering its 12th season – it’s even been around since ‘seasons’ were called ‘series’ – CSI is the most watched TV [...]... Read more »

Durnal, E. (2010) Crime scene investigation (as seen on TV). Forensic Science International, 199(1-3), 1-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.02.015  

  • January 1, 2012
  • 10:02 AM
  • 596 views

New Year’s Resolutions – Doomed to fail?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

New Year’s Resolutions: Do they work? What’s so magical about the stroke of midnight on December 31st? Many of us pledge to get fit, save money or stop smoking. Many of us also know how often these attempts end in failure. Perhaps Oscar Wilde had it right: Resolutions are “pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil”. Oscar [...]... Read more »

  • December 19, 2011
  • 03:05 AM
  • 529 views

Laugh yourself to health! Possibly the funniest Mr Bean video ever…

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

On the sixth day of Christmas, my Guru gave to me… laughter! We’ve all heard that laughter is good medicine. It’s not a new idea (even the Old Testament Bible prescribes it) but does it really have a tangible benefit? Proving the health benefits of laughter is tricky. Throughout nearly every sphere of medicine, there [...]... Read more »

Strean WB. (2009) Laughter prescription. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 55(10), 965-7. PMID: 19826144  

  • December 16, 2011
  • 04:06 AM
  • 4,547 views

All I want for Christmas is… Youth. The Truth and Lies about Anti-ageing products.

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

On the third day of Christmas, my Guru gave to me… The truth about beauty products! With Christmas just around the corner, everyone is making final preparations for the holiday season. The social calendar is full, what with office parties, friend’s get-togethers, families to visit and a lot of shopping to do – unless you [...]... Read more »

Watson, R., Ogden, S., Cotterell, L., Bowden, J., Bastrilles, J., Long, S., & Griffiths, C. (2009) A cosmetic ‘anti-ageing’ product improves photoaged skin: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Dermatology, 161(2), 419-426. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09216.x  

  • November 26, 2011
  • 05:02 AM
  • 855 views

The stupid things Scientists say: What the jargon really means…

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Don’t scientists talk a load of old prattle? Put an academic in front of a TV camera, and it’s odd how many of the world’s top brains seem unable to communicate what they mean. Of course there are the exceptions, and often they are scooped up by news agencies and media outlets. I remember being [...]... Read more »

Somerville, R., & Hassol, S. (2011) Communicating the science of climate change. Physics Today, 64(10), 48. DOI: 10.1063/PT.3.1296  

  • October 28, 2011
  • 10:07 AM
  • 557 views

‘Cancer Free’? What kind of Cancer does Chavez really have?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Is the Venezuelan president really ‘cancer free’? Rumours started in July 2011 that the Venezuelan ‘dictator was’ unwell. Officials vociferously denied it. Now it is known that Hugo Chavez has been suffering from cancer, has undergone chemotherapy, and survived kidney failure. But the true nature of his illness remains shrouded in mystery. Enthusiatically claiming he [...]... Read more »

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