Accidental hen enrichment

21 11 2017

I did some more work on the chicken house yesterday, since Winter is Coming. I lowered the heat lamp, stuck bubble wrap over the windows, and taped a perfectly-sized insulating polystyrene box lid onto their door which — although very clever and automatic — is thin and metal.

But by lunchtime today the hens had eaten great chunks out of this, thrilled by the little white beebles it spawned. Ooops – now hoping they don’t wake up dead (though they do seem pretty bullet-proof).


Some day this will be me

18 11 2017

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The disaster that is Brexit

17 11 2017

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Oh. And then it happened.

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What would have won

2 11 2017

Forgot to say, this year they same second, THIS would have won though:

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Pumpkins galore

2 11 2017


Hallowe’en saw what could become a tradition: our department’s second annual pumpkin carving competition. Here are Aimee, Miranda and fellow-student Abbie with their strange and complex ‘Lips as red as blood’ featuring a shrunken head made of an apple. Sometimes I think I don’t keep them busy enough…

But it is great that a few years ago, the department suddenly became fun (in part due to a new Graduate Student Council , and a Social Committee led by new prof Eduardo).   So at the start of term – when it still felt blissfully like summer – we had a football match again (Aimee and Miranda are in this photo somewhere I think) and a nice BBQ (here’s me, Alex, and genetics prof Andy Robinson).  Today it sleeted, so this now feels like a distant dream.

Email of the week

2 11 2017

From Lauren, as she does some forensic analyses of our ‘cat faces’ results (one result is odd, and we need to figure out why):

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Makes you feel so safe and protected, no?

Boredom-like states in mink – again!

28 10 2017

Me and Becky’s boredom replicate study, achieved (a while ago now) thanks to Dana and some of her data from her last experiment here. is now out, along with a nice freebie link good ’til Dec. 15th:

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And I should mention this great review paper on boredom too, published by Charlotte Burn a couple of months ago:

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