The Monthly Round Up: Svalbard Seeds, SophTalksScience and Stuff You Should Know

The Monthly Round Up

February is always a blink and you’ll miss it kinda month for me. This month was a busy one as I had a little holiday to Italy and came back with a cold which put me out of action writing wise. But I’ve also had two blogs come out on TheWoodlandTrust website which you can read here and here! Anyway here are what I’ve been loving in February!

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February

Favourite Science News Story Of The Month:

The Global Seed Bank now has just over 1 million packets of seeds! If you didn’t know about the global seed bank it is an initiative to collect as many seeds from as many plants as possible to stop plants becoming extinct. The vault is in Norway and keeps the seeds at an incredibly low temperature to preserve them. Read more about it here.

Favourite Blog I’ve read this Month:

The wonderful Sophie from Soph Talks Science has been absolutely killing it with her scicomm this month. I found it so difficult to pick a favourite of hers but I’ve landed on 10 Reasons why lab life is actually awesome. I miss being in a lab so much and all the fun times and this blog reminded me of that. It’s also a really uplifting blog if you’re feeling a little down about your life. Sophie is such a big inspiration for my own writing so please do go and check her out!

Favourite Scientific Fact I’ve Learnt This Month:

I think my favourite scientific fact I learnt about was all about how Bees get it on, you can read all about it in my Love in the Animal Kingdom blog!

Favourite Social Media I’ve Followed This Month:

Instagram – Ecoceanic

This is a brand that I absolutely love and their message of improving the worlds oceans is so inspirational! They have a fantastic instagram that you should really follow just for the posts about things you can do to improve the environment.

Twitter – TeaTime Science

This is a collection of phd students posting about their work which I absolutely love, their instagram is also fabulous!

Books I’ve Been Reading:

I took a little holiday to Rome this month and spent some time reading some cheery “chicklit” fiction books. This included  Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher and now I’m reading The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond.

Podcasts I’ve Been Listening To:

Stuff You Should Know – HowStuffWorks

I’ve recently been listening to some of the extensive backlog of this podcast they have such a wide topic range but all of the podcasts are really well researched and have balanced arguments. I would really recommend the episode where they compare whether marijuana or alcohol is worse for you.

I’d love to know your answers to these questions so please let me know in the comments or on twitter!

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The 2017 Business Meeting

Miscellaneous

So here we are at the end of another year on ThatBiologist, I have written two of these in the past to summarise how the past year on ThatBiologist has gone.

I am incredibly proud of this years series of posts, it’s definitely been a huge year for change as I have now finished my masters degree and started my first postgrad job! My main series that I was proud of this year had to be my Becoming A Master series. I’m really proud that I was able to document almost every week on my masters course and I feel like I gave a fair view on how hard masters degrees can be.

As with every year I am making room for new series which means old series are becoming archived. This includes my Mini Wiki series, obviously Becoming A Master has finished, The Monthly species and finally Fairyology. However I am very excited to be showcasing some new stuff next year and doing a revival of one special series!

Three Most Popular Blogs

My three most popular blogs in terms of views were all episodes of conservation conversations! These were for Nina Seale, Clayton Lamb and Holly Langridge.

But the three most popular blogs that weren’t from that series were The Disney Effect, Why aren’t all plant’s green? and July’s episode of the Monthly species!

My Three Favourite Blogs

Now I have written an awful lot this year so it does make it difficult to pick out my favourite blogs of the year. However, all of my favourite blog posts have been from my series Becoming A Master. It was fun to think of new topics and to write not months in advance! I would like to try and bring it back in a way so maybe watch this space:

In third goes to A chat about big game hunting. It’s a tricky conversation but one I enjoyed writing about.

In second goes to a week in the life just because I thought it gave an accurate representation of life in my masters.

In first goes to GIS: The Good The Bad and the Downright Ugly, if you were following my journey you know that I took a module in Environmental GIS it was one of my favourite skills I learnt but I did have a love hate relationship with it.

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My best 9 photos over on instagram of this year! Come follow me I’m @thatbiologist there!

Thank you for all your support with the blogs over this year. I can’t wait to start again in the new year and produce even more content for you! I hope you all have a wonderful and restful winter break!

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Becoming A Master – A Week In The Life

BAM

Week 31

Hello everyone, this week has been a busy one and instead of writing this on a Sunday and reflecting on the week just gone I’ve written a little each day. Hopefully this will show you that in my life currently there is no daily routine and every day is a little different.

Monday: Today I’ve been running a few errands, getting the shopping in and such as well as catching up on the emails I missed from being at home. I also spent a lot of today researching and writing for The Woodland Trust. I really love the volunteering I do for them as I just learn so much! If you’d like to see the work I do for them here are a few links:

Wild Orchids in the UK

Why Do Nettles Sting?

How to forage wild garlic!

Tuesday: Today I’ve been running through my statistics focusing on finding statistically significant results. These are important as when something is statistically significant you can say with more confidence that one thing is affecting another. This can be difficult to show in ecology as there are lots of variables out in the outside world!

Wednesday: Today I’ve been continuing with my work on Tuesday but also developing my reasons why I’m finding certain results. Stats can sometimes leave you with more questions than answers! I’ve been developing theories and working out what I want to say with my dissertation. This has somewhat left me with a few moments of yelling into a pillow when I don’t know which way is best! – All the fun of a masters I guess!

Thursday: The statistics continued today and I managed to answer some questions that I had from yesterday. I also collated all the work I’ve done so far for my meeting tomorrow.

Friday: Today I had a meeting with my supervisor for my dissertation. He gave me lots of ideas about how to use all the data analysis I’ve doing to create a succinct and convincing story. Which is great because I have a lot of editing to do!

After my meeting I went to go and give blood for the first time! I’ve always wanted to do this because I have no reason why I cant do it and every time someone gives blood they can save three different lives. It’s an incredible thing to do so go and do it if you can. It didn’t hurt nearly as much as how I’d built it up in my head and the nurses were totally lovely!

Saturday: So today I wrote up everything from my meeting and got to some planning. Although I did spend the afternoon on the sims… everyone needs a break!

Sunday:  I’m currently writing this just before I’m about to head out to spend some time with friends and my wonderful other half. We’re heading to the pottermore pop up shop in London and I am so excited! If you are also a potter fan let me know in the comments!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this update!

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Thumbelina: A True Story!

Fairyology

“Let me be your wings!”

Fairyology: Episode 4

Image result for thumbelinaHello! It’s been far too long since last I posted a fairyology. It’s one of my favourite series to write. So for this episode I thought I would continue on my theme from last weeks BAM and this one is also about little things. I thought I would tell you the true story of the fairy tale Thumbelina!

Now for those who might not know the tale this is the story of Thumbelina. There once was  a lonely old woman. Who was given a seed, and when the plant grew it flowered and out comes Thumbelina. A very small girl the size of a thumb who slept in a walnut shell. She became lonely because she was the only person her size. She then gets stolen by a mother toad to become one of her sons wife. She’s rescued by a fairy prince who just so happens to be the same size as her and then they fall madly in love. When they get married she sprouts wings and then they live happily ever after (1). This one is an ultra cute story. I used to watch the movie a lot when I was a kid.

So as for Thumbelina, unfortunately there aren’t any cases of little people growing wings and becoming fairy’s. Believe me I checked! However there are many cases of very little people. So for this round of fairyology I thought I could tell you about three little people.

Person 1 = Caroline Crachami – The Sicilian Fairy

Caroline is on record as being one of the smallest humans ever. She only lived to the age of 9 and died in 1824. She was recorded as being around 50cm at death but when she was born she was only 20 cm tall. It is presumed she had primordial dwarfism. Unfortunatly during her life she was a source of entertainment and spent most of her life in different exhibits being shown off by a man who pretended to be her father. When she died her real father tried to stop her autopsy and to bring her back to be burried at home but by the time he arrived her body had already been moved (2). Now her skeleton is in the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons in London (3).

Person 2 – Chandra Bahadur Dangi

Another primordial dwarf, Dangi grew to 54.6cm. He was considered the shortest man in recorded history and earned his place in the Guiness World Records in 2012. He unlike Caroline lived to the ripe old age of 75 and died just last year. Prior to 2012 he had never left his home village in Nepal but his world record led him to travel all over the world which was a dream of his (4).

Person 3 – Pauline Musters – Princess Pauline

Musters is the smallest adult woman ever recorded. She was recorded as 58 cm tall and lived to the age of 19. She died in 1895 from pneumonia in New York. Although during those 19 years she packed in a lot constantly on tours and exhibitions, she earned the title of Princess Pauline. She stole the hearts of the people she saw and was known for wearing extravagant gowns (5).

Although these three aren’t quite as small as thumbelina, they all certainly made their mark on the world. Hope you’ve enjoyed this little blog! If you have any future suggestions for more fairyology feel free to drop me a comment or tell me on my social medias, I’m all over the internet!

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Sources

(1) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111419/synopsis?ref_=ttpl_pl_syn

(2) – http://www.thehumanmarvels.com/caroline-crachami-the-sicilian-fairy/

(3) – http://thelondondead.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/caroline-crachami-sicilian-fairy.html

(4) – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11228351/Worlds-tallest-man-comes-eye-to-eye-with-worlds-smallest-man-for-Guinness-World-Records-Day.html

(5) – http://www.thehumanmarvels.com/pauline-musters-the-little-princess/