Science

Pi Day

Forget those people who complained about explaining gay marriage to their kids. That’s really not that difficult (Dave and Derek love each other very much, just like mummy and daddy, Susan and Jeremy from down the road, and Uncle Chris and that pillow with a Japanese cartoon girl on it). But how do you, as a British parent, explain Pi Day of all things to a child?

“Well Stevie, Pi is the number 3.14 that doesn’t change and is used with circles, and America is a backwards country who do dates backwards so they call today, 14/3, Pi Day, and being American use the day as an excuse less to do mathematics and more to eat pie, and not proper pie like steak and kidney but dessert pies like pumkin pie.”

You might have guessed, I don’t like pie day because I think it’s dumb.

Reading the label

Image: foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have noticed recently just how useless the information on the outside of medication is. The adverts invariably say “always read the label” but compared to the leaflet inside (which sometimes amounts to a full book) the label is often uselessly vague.

Take, for instance, the antibiotics I’m taking now. On the front it tells me to avoid milk at the same time as taking the medication. It doesn’t tell me why, it just leaves me to assume that my stomach will explode should tablet and milk mix at any point. It also doesn’t offer any guidance on what exactly constitutes “the same time” – does in mean in the same mouthful, or do I have to wait thirty minutes, an hour, or three hours after taking the pill before I can have milk? Nor does it really elaborate on what it terms as ‘milk’ – is yoghurt okay? Cream? Should I avoid milk chocolate? (more…)

Quiet protest

We have what can only really be described as bible boasters coming down my way next week for a week-long conference. A whole week on biblical literature. Sounds about as exciting as watching the X-Factor whilst listening to paint dry. Which, I suppose, is better than watching paint dry whilst listening to the X-Factor.

Still, I have found the perfect lapel pin to wear for the week to let people know how I feel: