An introduction to molecular cancer biology

This is something I wrote years and years ago, but which slipped through the great blog reorganisation a couple of years ago, back when I thought I’d be able to find the time for a whole blog about cancer biology. So I’ll dump it here for safe keeping… This post may be a little inelegantly […]


Subluxations and Subpoenas – Prologue

Here’s a thing I wrote in July 2009, back when British alternative medicine was simultaneously trying to silence critics in court and complaining that there was a powerful conspiracy against it. It disappeared in blog reorganisations and possibly was just about amusing enough to deserve saving… So I was rummaging around in my desk draw […]


In which The Independent jumps the shark

A couple of weeks ago Oliver Wright of The Independent ran a hatchet job, both horrible and nonsensical, about the head of the RCGP, Clare Gerada — the tireless and currently ubiquitous critic of the NHS privatisation Health and Social Care Bill. You may remember Ben Goldacre wrote about Oliver Wright’s awful story. He mentioned […]


Lies, Damned Lies, and Tissue Culture

I originally wrote this in Feb 2008, and later updated it for the old Lay Science. While making sure that this website was up-to-date, it occurred to me that this post would have disappeared with the rest of the Lay Science site. I have forgotten what updates I made when it made the move, and […]


AWWTM: Democratising mobility

Shortly before parliament rose for the summer, an unusually large audience tuned in to the entertaining spectacle of Prime-Minister’s Question Time in a week when a scandal-rag had sunk in its own great scandal. I don’t suppose anybody noticed the interruption of David Ward, the hon. member for Bradford East. Ward, a Liberal Democrat backbencher […]


AWWTM: Cycling abuse

I stumbled upon an article in The Lancet, volume 138, issue 3554, of the 10th October 1891, which it seems has been overlooked by the internet so far. It celebrates the rise of the bicycle, but warns against its abuse — addiction, even. It has a message that James Cracknell might like to ponder before […]


AWWTM: You can do better than this

The Cycling Embassy has a manifesto and a set of demands. But it needs something shiny, a pretty picture to grab the attention of the people who need to read that manifesto and meet those demands. We’re looking for poster and postcard design ideas. Something that sums up the problem and the solution: the fact […]


AWWTM: Pickles peddles pointless parking press release

This week, the Department for Communities and Local Government put out a press release about town centre parking. Unlike last time, they didn’t even have to announce that Pickles is ending The War On The Motorist™. On that point, their work was done for them, by 36 newspapers and the Daily Express. Aren’t they well […]


Cotch: Flashride for Blackfriars

In 2000, London’s previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, began the process of fixing forty years of mistakes that had been made in the pursuit of the impossible — the comfortable accommodation of mass motor vehicle use in a dense city centre. He recognised that cities are supposed to be places for people and returned key locations […]


AWWTM: Smoothing the flow: pushing more kids into cars

We know that Boris Johnson’s fantasy of “smoothing traffic flow” will act as an incentive for people to get into their cars and, even more so, for businesses to move more stuff around. In a city like London there is much more potential demand for road space than could ever be supplied, because individuals and […]


AWWTM: Delivering excellence

In a post about designing ever increasing amounts of truck and van dependence into business models, I mentioned that an “Edgar’s Cool Water” had followed me on twitter and had justified their business with the argument that some people in London and the South East need water deliveries because their workplaces do not have plumbing. […]


Genesis on genetics

This is another archival report, originally written for the old blog in 2008. Here’s an interesting one: Genesis chapter 30. If you think Darwin got inheritance wrong, try the Bible. 30:28 And he [Laban] said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it. 30:29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have […]


AWWTM: Friday photo: Ribblehead

As in so many of the things that the Europeans do better than us, the model by which our railways came about is shared with the Americans rather than our continent. When the railways arrived in the middle of the 19th century, most European governments saw the need for their own guidance in planning the […]


AWWTM: Once more unto the bridge, dear friends, once more

After the Conservative group of the London Assembly walked out on the first attempt to discuss Jenny Jones’s Blackfriars Bridge motion, the members redeemed themselves somewhat by voting unanimously — all parties, all members — against making Blackfriars Bridge and the Blackfriars Station road junction even worse for cyclists and pedestrians. Boris has refused their […]


AWWTM: Won’t somebody please think of the children?

In December 2005, an article of massive importance was published in the British Medical Journal. Doctors counted up the number of children being admitted to A&E with musculoskeletal injuries (breaks and sprains — many of which would have been caused by bicycle-related incidents) on summer weekends  and discovered a startling pattern. A new preventative intervention […]