Science nerd attempts seduction, fails.

A LOVE LETTER TO THE VICE PRESIDENT*

*COMMISSIONED BY THE VICE PRESIDENT

Oh great one, vice president of vice presidents (but with fewer vices)! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Whenever I am near you I have anaerobic respiration for you take my breath away. You’re so cute you make my zygomaticus muscles contract. You’re hotter than a bunsen burner set to full power.  I want to stick to you like glue-cose.

I wish I were adenine because then I could get paired with U. We would undergo a more energetic reaction than Potassium and water. If you were C6 and I were H12 all we would need is the air we breathe to be sweeter than sugar. You must be the one for me since my selectively permeable membrane let you through. Right now we’re just two RNA, but maybe we could transcribe together and become DNA.

Let me be the phasor to your electron and take you to an excited state. A little more alcohol will help catalyse this reaction. I could fondle you vesicles while you caress my golgi body. I want to work on your leucine zipper with my zinc fingers. Don’t worry, everyone knows it’s not the size of the vector that matters, but the way the force is delivered.

If I were an enzyme, I’d be DNA helicase so I could unzip your genes.

By ScienceGurl4Colley

Too many bees? Or not enough bees?

Too many bees? Or not enough bees?
Sam Jenkins investigates.

Can you have too many bees? Some say yes. Some are wrong! They’re simply not covered in enough bees yet. As a man who’s been covered in bees for nearly several minutes, I can quite easily say that no man, woman, or bee has, or is enough bees. But can it be? Or how could it be if it can be? If ‘you’ and ‘I’ are ‘we’, then surely a ‘bee’ is ‘bee’, but could ‘we’ be ‘bee’? This investigative reporter looked no further than his own memory to answer these very questions (bees).

The great Shakespeare himself wrote “two bee, or not two bee?” And we all remember the answer was two bees, if not more than two bees, and quite possibly a murder. But not every acquisition of bees needs to involve regicide. I myself killed only two dukes and a bee farmer to procure my luscious beard of bees, in addition to my jacket of bees, my pair of glasses of bees, my deck of bees, my car of bees and my pool, made of, and filled with bees. Some might point out that I’m simply trying to swim in a swarm of bees. They are right. But are they covered in harmful stings? No. And that is the difference between us. Those who oppose the idea of having more than zero bees in an area, that is more that not far away from them, simply don’t want to be painfully stung. And in a day and age where we have televisions, the printing press and the future, it is difficult to understand how they don’t see the great amount of innovations that bees have brought us.

Could it be, indubitably, that we see on key, a fallacy, o’ whe’er bees should be, visa-bee, belessed please, be the nee-ds of our minstrbees? Because overbeering beelations beautifully beeseige bee beasting? Beelief bee, it’s true. Beethoven.

In closing, be safe, be sharp, be sharps, sharp bees, harp bees, harpies, bees please, on your bees, the bees are collapsing, beeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

<Inception Sound>

Time Travel for Dummies

TIME TRAVEL for Dummies

Particle physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN have found subatomic neutrino particles to travel faster than the speed of light, disproving over a hundred years of modern physics.

So now that time travel has practically been invented you need to start building your own vehicle of choice to cruise through time and space. Here are some popular examples:

Now that you’re ready for your first trip, here are some of the dangers of which you need to be careful.

Paradoxes:

“If you go back in time,” stated Dr. Steven Hawkins at a press conference held in the Luau Room of the Particle Physics Research Institute and Brothel “you may affect causality in numerous ways; say by killing your parents before they screw you into existence, or rolling your ATV over the sherwlike creatures which gave rise to all modern-day mammals.”

You get the idea. Don’t step on any bugs, don’t stop your parents getting together and don’t try to rectify the reason for building your time machine.

Diseases:

The past is full of pestilence, disease and infections which will probably kill you unless you are a timelord (who is apparently immune to everything).  “It wouldn’t be a pretty death either,” stated Hawkins. “Even the 19th and early 20th Centuries aren’t safe. We advise not venturing back more than a couple of decades if time travel is ever invented. Which it won’t be, because it’s not possible.”

Say you wanted to go back in time to 25 AD and stop the Crucifixion (as you do…).  You would probably die of amoebic dysentery within two days, and be incapacitated before you could prevent the salvation of mankind. Bummer.

“If you have to go back, say to prevent Buddhism or something,” Hawkins said, “it would be best to wear a containment suit that you burn as soon as you return to the present. Of course, you won’t ever do that, because time travel isn’t possible.” The future will probably be safer but unproductive since you will likely be imprisoned and quarantined before you cause a pandemic among the human-sheep hybrids.

Hear that guys? You can safely play around with about 40 years of time. Steven Hawkins approved. But if you do have to go back further, say to stop something as dangerous as Buddhism, all you need is a fully enclosed timesuit. I recommend one that looks like Matt Smith.

Numbers: Their Human Aspects. Perspective from Indigenous Cultures

Presented by the Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST)

Speaker: Dr Helen Verran, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne.

Many people spend a lot of time looking at numbers, or more to the point, looking through numbers at something else.

In this talk, Dr Helen Verran will take a look at numbers as such. How can we ‘see’ numbers? And why would we want to?

Dr Verran will tell of the experience of working with teachers in primary school classrooms in Nigeria. This made Dr Verran recognise that if we are going to understand how science might come to life as a significant cultural element in places like Nigeria, we need a way to see the cultural lives that things like numbers have.

Having done some preliminary thinking with the help of Nigerian primary school children, Dr Verran turned to her experiences of working with Yolngu Aboriginal Australians who own lands in northeast Arnhem Land.

Dr Verran will make a rather surprising analogy which she suggests can help us better understand the sorts of things numbers are.

Dr Helen Verran is a Reader in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. She has a PhD in metabolic biochemistry. For most of the 1980s she worked as a science lecturer in the Institute for Education at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Her book Science and an African Logic (2001) was published out of this experience. Since she returned to Australia she has worked with Yolngu Aboriginal communities in northeast Arnhem Land. An early product of this work was the small book Singing the Land, Signing the Land now available online. The website: http://singing.indigenousknowledge.org/ provides background for her CHAST Lecture.

Free admission, no bookings. All welcome. More info here!

When 8 November 2011, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Where Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney
Cost FREE
RSVP None!! Just turn up!

Aqua Regia Issue 1

Well, the time of year has come and gone for the old regime of Scisoc to be hewn down to make room for the newest one. And guess what readers, the changeover has taken place. We’re very grateful not many people were there to see the horrid, gory scene as last year’s executive was murdered in their prime to make way for others. Because really last year’s top minds were taking far too long to take over the world.

Yes that’s right. The head honchos are being bold as brass about their future plans this time round. Not only do they intend to run the society well, they have an honesty policy so crystal clear you can even admire the depths of the cellars, perusing their magic scrolls of doom-inspiring spells, ancient tomes of devious war machines, and their Hello Kitty memorabilia. Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t tear you limb from limb once the perusing is over.

So let’s go ahead and meet the team. This year’s President of the Science Society is Hari Bhrugubanda, a short fellow willing to cut people off at the knees if they turn out to be bigger than he is. He’s got a good forehand too, so don’t doubt he can do it. His right hand man is James Colley, the new VP, whose razor sharp beard can’t be shaved by any regular means. Only lasers. Ironically, those feature heavily in his plans. Shhhh, don’t tell him I know that.

Your Secretary for this year will be one Isaac Carney. He’s the stealth expert, so much so I haven’t seen him around yet, which isn’t exactly the best thing for a secretary who has to answer phones all day. What? Ninjas have jobs too you know. To temper the balance within the organisation they’ve positioned Tony Cai as this year’s Treasurer. For those of you who don’t know, Tony’s peg leg and parrot make him the perfect man to guard the wooden chests in HQ’s basement. Yep, the one full of Hello Kitty stuff. Don’t stray in the wrong direction when browsing or you’ll get a bellyful of blade.

The dynamic duo has also decided to step up and profess their evil plans this year. Samuel Jenkins and Adam Chalmers are our new Publicity Officers and their PDA (that’s Public Displays of Anarchy, BTW) will take this team to a whole new level of mischief making. Don’t ask me which of them is Batman and which is Robin though. They may just have to try on tights and see.

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz and Zachary Nicholson have unfortunately been left without their evil counterparts. Gid sits in one of the two broken-beer-bottle thrones of Social Coordinator and Zach is the male counterpart of the Interfaculty Sport creepy twins. And really, the empty throne next to Gid just makes him look a little depressed, and Zach isn’t as creepy lurking in the shadows all by himself.

Jarrod Kennedy however seems to be enjoying his position as First Year Officer. The maniacal laughter gets pretty annoying at night, though what is more concerning is the maniacal snoring when he falls asleep. He should go to a sleep deprivation clinic. And our Science Outreach Officer for the year, Jonathan (he doesn’t have a last name, which I find slightly menacing) has already been to a photographer for a few shots of himself crushing a globe in his hands. They’ll look good on his MySpace page, that’s for sure.

We’re currently still looking for a few positions on the executive though, and would greatly appreciate some volunteers. It’s worth a shot to anybody interested. Literally, executive members get injections for immunity to the gases that feature heavily in world domination plans XKCD-722 through SMBC-486. The positions that are open are for a second Social Coordinator, a female Interfaculty Sporting Officer, a Sponsorship Officer because we do need money to take over the world, and an IT Officer. Email us at secretary.scisoc@gmail.com if you’re interested in a position. God speed to you in the impending doom.

Volunteer for the 2012 Science Transition Program!

Mentoring students banner

The Faculty of Science runs the Science Transition Program in order to support commencing science students during their first year at university. One of the best ways to do this is to introduce first year students to people in the know – senior students such as yourself!

If you have had a positive experience during your undergraduate studies and would like to help others do likewise, you can volunteer to become a student mentor. As a mentor you will be instrumental in assisting first year students to build academic and social networks so that they settle more quickly into life as a student and get the most from their time here on campus.

Click here to register!

http://sydney.edu.au/science/cstudent/ug/smlp_mentors

Benefits for mentors:

  • Receive free training and develop desirable professional skills
  • Receive recognition from the Faculty of Science
  • Gain experience in team leadership
  • Widen your networks within the Faculty of Science
  • Help other students (and have fun!)

Week 13 BBQ!

Do you like BBQs?
Do you like Science?
Are you reading these words?

If so, come along to the last Scisoc BBQ of the year!
(Don’t forget your shirt!)

Aqua Regias and delicious goods for all!

BBQ Details!

When 12:00pm-1:30pm, Wednesday, 12th October 2011
Where Lawns Behind Carslaw
Cost Dressed in 2011 SciSoc T-shirt: FREE!
Otherwise: $2 Access/$4 Non-Access
Map

CHAST – 2011 Templeton Lecture: The Emotional Brain

Presented by the Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST)

Speaker: Professor Joseph LeDoux, Center for Neural Science, New York University.

The study of emotion has been hampered by a fixation on feelings. Feelings are important, but not all important. Problems arise when we use feelings, and their semantic labels, as guides to studying brain function in other animals.

Rather than imposing concepts based on human introspective experience to the brains of other creatures, we should attempt to understand how the human brain is similar to the brains of other animals. This then becomes a foundation for understanding differences between humans and other animals.

By reorienting the comparative study of emotions around survival circuit functions, we have the opportunity to understand similarities and differences in emotional functions between humans and other animals.

When 17 October 2011, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Where Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney
Cost FREE
RSVP None!! Just turn up!

Sydney Science Forum: Curious & Curiouser

Australia’s favourite science ‘guy’, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, will present his latest swag of super science stories. If you like your science dished up with a big serving of humour, then don’t miss this opportunity to see Dr Karl live at the University of Sydney. Get the lowdown from Dr Karl, and find out just what keeps him Curious & Curiouser!

At the end of the talk, you’ll have the opportunity to ask Dr Karl those burning science questions that you’ve been pondering for years…

When 5:45pm – 6:45pm, Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Where Eastern Ave Auditorium, University of Sydney
Cost FREE
RSVP science.forum@sydney.edu.au

Week 3 BBQ

Imagine this: It’s Wednesday. It’s 12pm. You’re hungry. You have a grand total of $2 to your name (Those damn textbooks!).

What are you to do?!

But wait, you just caught glance at your attire, in the glass of the Eastern Ave complex – and in your rush to get ready while half asleep because if you don’t leave now, you’ll miss your train – you have discovered you’ve donned your 2011 SciSoc T-Shirt.

Well friends, this is your lucky day! Because it’s week 3! And what does SciSoc’s run in week 3?

Need I say more? Didn’t think so!

When 12:00pm-1:30pm, Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Where Front of Chemistry Building

BBQ Location Map

Cost Dressed in 2011 SciSoc T-shirt: FREE!
Otherwise: $2 Access/$5 Non-Access