Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Actions you can take to register your disaffection with Brexit

I'd like to call this post 'Actions you can take to stop Brexit' but that would be a bit naive so the weasel-worded version will have to stand for now.

Petitions you might like to sign
Demand a people's vote
https://www.peoples-vote.uk/

If there is no agreement to leave the EU then brexit must be stopped
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/219905 - at time of writing 109,189 signatures
 
Stop Brexit - at time of writing 21,448 signatures
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/226509

List of open petitions about Brexit (pro and anti) to Parliament
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions?q=Brexit&state=open

Urge amendment to secure a people's vote - 3,721 signatures
https://www.change.org/p/members-of-parliament-urgent-amendment-to-secure-a-people-s-vote

Brexit.. a second referendum -143,404 signatures
https://www.change.org/p/the-prime-minister-brexit-a-second-referendum?recruiter=574276334

Keep permanent EU citizenship even in event of Brexit
https://eci.ec.europa.eu/002/public/#/initiative
This requires not just UK folk to sign but a minimum number of people from each EU member country. More info from an earlier post from me.

Write to your MP
You can do this via WriteToThem and People's Vote has a pre-filled letter (you need to vary the text) letter to send. I sent something via that link but completely changed the text, a copy of that is here. Also you can do this via Not Buying It.



Sunday, 11 November 2018

I've written to my MP asking him to support a People's Vote

I've written the following to my MP and as it was sent via an online form I've learned to capture a copy of the text before sending as there's no guarantee that the form will automatically CC me. Normally I just send a copy of the email to myself but I thought others might like to see it.

As far as I'm aware my MP accepts that Brexit is happening and is supporting it. I wish I'd added in my email some info about the fact that so many people seem to have changed their mind and the latest sampling evidence suggests that the narrow gap between Remain and Leave has widened considerably, in favour of Remain.

-----
https://www.peoples-vote.uk/write_this_wrong

Dear Matthew (Greenwich, but the geography is pretty irrelevant here)

Had the 2016 Referendum returned a vote of 70:30 or even 60:40 I probably wouldn't be writing to you to ask you to support a People's Vote. Such a close-run thing of 52:48 doesn't suggest a 'slam dunk' in favour of Britain leaving Europe.

Admittedly I've tried to avoid the endless minutiae of the Brexit rumblings but it now seems clear that information given before the Referendum was not clear and in some cases quite untrue. It also seems that I cannot avoid hearing about some new iffy thing the Leave campaign has perpetrated, whether it's financial or behavioural.

And then there's the equally unavoidable impression that 'Brexiting' is not going particularly well, either the discussions or the fact that so many organisations have highlighted potential future damage.
All this - an unconvincing Referendum result, suspicious campaigning activity from the Leave team, the gloomy predictions and the problems already at our door - makes me wonder what we're letting ourselves in for.

The public now has much greater information about what Brexit actually means, with more concrete examples.

Please, when considering the next deal, give us a chance to consider it too by letting us have a public vote, thank you.

I am happy to receive any reply by email to save paper / costs.

[Form has automated 'Yours sincerely' sign-off in place]




Friday, 12 October 2018

A lovely evening #scicomm event at the Royal Geographical Society, marking Galapagos Day

Thanks to a post published to psci-com (a mailing list I run for people involved in public engagement with science / science communication) I went along to an absolutely brilliant event last night (Wed 10 Oct 2018) at the Royal Geographical Society in South Kensington. It was organised by the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the talks were audio recorded (whether they'll be made publicly available I don't know).


Other than Charles Darwin's visit and 'rather big tortoises' it had never occurred to me quite how clueless I was about the Galapagos Islands (didn't really know where* they were, didn't know people lived there but about 25,000 do) so this was a useful crash course in getting a sense of the place and what's being done to protect it. I'm a big fan of the Shipfinder app (see also, FlightRadar24 for aircraft) which lets you 'see' where marine vessels are at any given time - they're using something similar to monitor ships visiting the coastal areas and using the data (velocity, direction) along with videocameras to predict possible activity. Jorge Carrion's team at the Galapagos National Park have used this method to catch a few dodgy ships undertaking illegal fishing. His talk was live-translated from Spanish to English, which was quite a remarkable thing to witness.



(In the picture above Jorge is on the left and the translator is relaying his talk into the lectern mic)

Ellie Mackay pointed out that the ratio of 'time taken for something to be used' to the 'time it take to break down' highlights that single-use plastic cups are incredibly inefficient (I think she said that cotton can break down in a couple of months whereas plastic is still around decades later). Sadly the ocean seems to be pretty full of plastic and polystyrene and with every tide it's tipping some of this onto the beaches around the world, including those of the Galapagos. She's been using drones to take aerial shots of beaches (much more efficient than trudging many kilometres of beach). The photos can then be analysed by humans (Zooniverse citizen science) and machine-learning magic to spot what's plastic and what isn't. We saw a nice little video of the 'pilot study' of a drone in action collecting images.



I also learned that despite being a couple of hundred kilos Giant Tortoises are surprisingly migratory throughout the year making their way from the lowlands to the higher volcanic bits (if the volcano's likely to erupt the tortoises might get airlifted out to safety!) for a change of seasonal food. Migration activity is an indicator of health and GPS trackers are letting Diego Ellis-Soto and colleagues use the International Space Station (in particular the Icarus antenna attached to it earlier this year) to monitor them remotely. Apparently the antenna "can receive data from more than 15 million transmitters worldwide, anywhere on Earth" so it's probably kept quite busy!



Ellie had a rather brilliant suggestion in response to a question about what can tourists do to help which was that perhaps a plastic 'exit visa' could be implemented - when you want to leave the islands you have to 'pay' with a kilogram of collected plastic waste from the beaches!

*having no sense of direction I don't really know where anything is ;)

Speakers
Dr Jorge Carrion, Director of the Galapagos National Park
Ellie Mackay, Mission Director of The Plastic Tide
Diego Ellis Soto, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, who works with the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme (GTMEP)

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Christmas 2018: How to watch #Elf in London this December

Elf (2003), best Christmas film ever. Rarely seen on regular UK terrestrial television now, due to Sky buying the rights to it in 2013 and now even Sky have lost permission from the studio to screen it as of 2017 (links to The Sun newspaper). Fortunately it is in plentiful supply in cinemas throughout the UK and there are many screenings in London over the Christmas 2018 season.



Table of Contents
  1. Film listings for Elf (this gets added to over next few months) - by date
  2. Organisations / venues screening this year
  3. ...that have previously screened Elf in London
  4. Film listings for Elf - by venue
  5. Previous posts in this series
1. Film listings for Elf
Saturday screenings are in bold. Any errors or omissions? Please let @JoBrodie know, thanks! Also if you're just interested in the current week's and the following week (when the Elf season starts!) look at LondonNet's listings for Elf.

Note that some of these screenings are events and so time may be event starting time rather than screening time, check venue homepage if in doubt.
 

NOV/DEC 2018
    1. Friday 23 November, 11.30am - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    2. Friday 23 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    3. Sunday 25 November, 12.30pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] family-friendly 
    4. Monday 26 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    5. Thursday 29 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
    6. Friday 30 November, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    7. Friday 30 November, 5.10pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    8. Friday 30 November, 8pm - The Vaults, Waterloo [info]
    9. Saturday 1 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info]  
    10. Saturday 1 December, 1pm - Age Exchange, Blackheath [info - buy tickets in shop]
    11. Saturday 1 December, 3.40pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    12. Saturday 1 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
    13. Sunday 2 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    14. Sunday 2 December,  4.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info]
    15. Monday 3 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    16. Monday 3 December, 6.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info
    17. Monday 3 December, 7pm - St Katharine Docks [info]
    18. Tuesday 4 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    19. Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info
    20. Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm (film 8pm) - Cinema Museum [info] (charity screening from South London Cares)
    21. Wednesday 5 December, 1.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    22. Thursday 6 December, 6.40pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info
    23. Thursday 6 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
    24. Friday 7 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    25. Friday 7 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    26. Friday 7 December, 9pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    27. Saturday 8 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info]  
    28. Saturday 8 December, 2pm - Screen25, South Norwood + winter craft workshop [info]
    29. Saturday 8 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
    30. Saturday 8 December, 6pm - Charlotte Street Hotel [info]
    31. Saturday 8 December, 8pm - The Vaults, Waterloo [info] 
    32. Sunday 9 December, 1.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    33. Sunday 9 December 3.15pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    34. Sunday 9 December, 6.30pm - Hush Mayfair [info
    35. Sunday 9 December - 7pm, Camden Rooftop Cinema, FEST Camden [info]
    36. Monday 10 Decmber, 3.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
    37. Monday 10 December, 4pm - Luna Cinema, Alexandra Palace Victorian Theatre [info]
    38. Monday 10 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
    39. Monday 10 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
    40. Tuesday 11 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    41. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue North Finchley][info] - SOLD OUT
    42. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Finchley Road][info] - SOLD OUT
    43. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Fulham Broadway][info] - SOLD OUT
    44. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Harrow][info] - SOLD OUT
    45. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Islington][info] - SOLD OUT
    46. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Piccadilly][info] - SOLD OUT
    47. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Shepherd's Bush][info] - SOLD OUT
    48. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Wood Green][info] - SOLD OUT
    49. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Croydon Purley Way][info] - SOLD OUT
    50. Tuesday 11 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Vue Watford][info] - SOLD OUT
    51. Tuesday 11 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
    52. Wednesday 12 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Odeon Streatham][info] - SOLD OUT
    53. Wednesday 12 December, 6.30pm - Ourscreen/Co-op [Odeon Wimbledon][info] - SOLD OUT
    54. Wednesday 12 December, 7.45pm - Screen25, South Norwood [info]
    55. Wednesday 12 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
    56. Wednesday 12 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
    57. Wednesday 12 December 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    58. Wednesday 12 December, 8.45pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    59. Thursday 13 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    60. Thursday 13 December, 6.25pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    61. Thursday 13 December, 7pm - Where is the Nomad? [Citypoint] [info]
    62. Thursday 13 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
    63. Thursday 13 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
    64. Friday 14 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    65. Friday 14 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
    66. Friday 14 December, 5pm - Rivoli Ballroom, Crofton Park [info]
    67. Friday 14 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens, Hackney Downs Studio [info]
    68. Saturday 15 December, 11.30am - Regent Street Cinema [info]
    69. Saturday 15 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info
    70. Saturday 15 December, 3.30pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    71. Saturday 15 December, 6.30pm - Clapham Grand, 'elf-a-long' [info
    72. Saturday 15 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    73. Saturday 15 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens, Hackney Downs Studio [info]
    74. Saturday 15 December, 9pm - part of all-nighter - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    75. Sunday 16 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info] appears to be cancelled
    76. Sunday 16 December, 10.30am to 1.30pm (film at noon + activities) - Soho Hotel, Children's Film Club [info]  
    77. Sunday 16 December, 4.30pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] over 18s
    78. Sunday 16 December, 5pm - Pop Up Screens, Hackney Downs Studio [info]
    79. Sunday 16 December, 6pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    80. Sunday 16 December, 6.30pm - Exhibit, Balham [info
    81. Sunday 16 December, 7pm - Charlotte Street Hotel [info]
    82. Sunday 16 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
    83. Monday 17 December, 3.45pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    84. Monday 17 December, 6.05pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    85. Tuesday 18 December, 1.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
    86. Tuesday 18 December, 4.30pm - Luna Cinema [Hackney] [info]
    87. Wednesday 19 December, 5pm - Luna Cinema [Kensington Palace] [info
    88. Wednesday 19 December, 5pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info]  
    89. Wednesday 19 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    90. Wednesday 19 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens, Hackney Downs Studio [info]
    91. Wednesday 19 December, 9pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    92. Thursday 20 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    93. Thursday 20 December, 4.10pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    94. Thursday 20 December, 7.45pm - Luna Cinema [Hackney] [info]
    95. Friday 21 December, 7pm - Where is the Nomad? [Citypoint] [info]
    96. Friday 21 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    97. Friday 21 December, 8.30pm - Luna Cinema [Kensington Palace] [info]
    98. Saturday 22 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info]  
    99. Saturday 22 December, 2.30pm - The Vaults, Waterloo [info]
    100. Saturday 22 December, 3.15pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    101. Saturday 22 December, 5pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info]
    102. Saturday 22 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
    103. Saturday 22 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens, Hackney Downs Studio [info]
    104. Sunday 23 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
    105. Sunday 23 December, 5pm - Pop Up Screens, Hackney Downs Studio [info]
    106. Sunday 23 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
    107. Sunday 23 December, 8.30pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] over 18s
    108. Monday 24 December, 3.25pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info
    More to come as others publish their listings, meanwhile see the likely venues below.


    2. Organisations / venues screening this year


      3. Organisations / venues that have previously screened Elf in London
      • The Berkeley - hotel, Knightsbridge - this year they're showing The Nutcracker (1968) and the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947).
      • Electric Cinema - Portobello and Shoreditch
      • Electric Theatre Cinema, Peckham - Winter Film Club 
      • Time Out - Lost Rivers Elephant, Elephant Road, Elephant & Castle London, SE17 1LB
      • Rooftop Film Club - Kensington Roof Gardens
      • St Swithun's Church Hall, SE13 6QE

      4. Film listings for Elf - by venue

      Saturday 1 December, 1pm - Age Exchange, Blackheath [info - buy tickets in shop] 

      Friday 23 November, 11.30am - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Friday 23 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Monday 26 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Thursday 29 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
      Friday 30 November, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Saturday 1 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
      Thursday 6 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
      Friday 7 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Saturday 8 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Wednesday 12 December 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
      Thursday 13 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Friday 14 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Saturday 15 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Wednesday 19 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
      Thursday 20 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Friday 21 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
      Saturday 22 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]

      Sunday 9 December - 7pm, Camden Rooftop Cinema, FEST Camden [info]

      Saturday 8 December, 6pm - Charlotte Street Hotel [info]
      Sunday 16 December, 7pm - Charlotte Street Hotel [info]

      Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm (film 8pm) - Cinema Museum [info] (charity screening from South London Cares)

      Saturday 15 December, 6.30pm - Clapham Grand, elf-a-long [info

      Monday 10 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
      Tuesday 11 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
      Wednesday 12 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
      Thursday 13 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
      Sunday 16 December, 6.30pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
      Sunday 16 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]

      Monday 10 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
      Wednesday 12 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
      Thursday 13 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]

      Saturday 1 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info
      Saturday 8 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info]  
      Saturday 15 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info
      Saturday 22 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info

      Sunday 9 December, 6.30pm - Hush Mayfair [info]

      Tuesday 18 December, 4.30pm - Luna Cinema [Hackney] [info]
      Wednesday 19 December, 5pm - Luna Cinema [Kensington Palace] [info
      Thursday 20 December, 7.45pm - Luna Cinema [Hackney] [info]
      Friday 21 December, 8.30pm - Luna Cinema [Kensington Palace] [info]

      Sunday 25 November, 12.30pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] family-friendly
      Sunday 16 December, 4.30pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] over 18s
      Wednesday 19 December, 5pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] <-- br="" homepage="" listed="" not="" on="">
      Saturday 22 December, 5pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info]
      Sunday 23 December, 8.30pm - Neighbourhood Cinema Frozen Island [info] over 18s

      Sunday 2 December,  4.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info]
      Monday 3 December, 6.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info
      Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info

      Friday 30 November, 5.10pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 2 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Monday 3 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Wednesday 5 December, 1.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Friday 7 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 9 December, 1.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Monday 10 Decmber, 3.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
      Friday 14 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Saturday 15 December, 9pm - part of all-nighter - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 16 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info] appears to be cancelled
      Monday 17 December, 3.45pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Tuesday 18 December, 1.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
      Thursday 20 December, 4.10pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 23 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info

      Saturday 1 December, 3.40pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Tuesday 4 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Thursday 6 December, 6.40pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info
      Friday 7 December, 9pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 9 December 3.15pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Tuesday 11 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Wednesday 12 December, 8.45pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Thursday 13 December, 6.25pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Saturday 15 December, 3.30pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 16 December, 6pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Monday 17 December, 6.05pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Wednesday 19 December, 9pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Saturday 22 December, 3.15pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Sunday 23 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
      Monday 24 December, 3.25pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info

      Friday 14 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
      Saturday 15 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
      Sunday 16 December, 5pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
      Wednesday 19 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
      Saturday 22 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
      Sunday 23 December, 5pm - Pop Up Screens [info]

      Saturday 15 December, 11.30am - Regent Street Cinema [info

      Sunday 16 December, 10.30am to 1.30pm (film at noon + activities) - Soho Hotel, Children's Film Club [info]

      Monday 3 December, 7pm - St Katharine Docks [info

      Friday 21 December, 7pm - Where is the Nomad? [Citypoint] [info

      Friday 30 November, 8pm - The Vaults, Waterloo [info]
      Saturday 8 December, 8pm - The Vaults, Waterloo [info]
      Saturday 22 December, 2.30pm - The Vaults, Waterloo [info]

      5. Previous posts in this series




      Friday, 28 September 2018

      How my mum taught me to read when I was about three

      Given that I was 'about three' at the time my memories of this are not particularly strong 45 years on, so take this with a pinch of salt. This is what my mum told me, sadly she died in 2010 so I can't double-check anything (nor with dad who died in 2016).

      Despite my early reading skills I showed no other flashes of competence (I was 19 months before I bothered with walking, my mum said she thought I probably had worked out how to do it before that - but also that I'd worked out that if I didn't walk I'd get ferried around more!) and despite my primary school thinking I was Oxbridge material I turned out to be not very inspiring academically as time went on and any success is more due to luck than hard work. Anyway, revenons à nos moutons as my mother used to say...

      My mum was a stay-at-home mum and I was an inquisitive kid. At some point I must have noticed her or my dad reading books or newspapers, or possibly reacting to signs when out and about. Reportedly I'd often ask her "what does that say / mean?" and she'd tell me, I presume my dad did too if I asked him but the learning-to-read thing always seemed to be a mum thing.

      She bought a little blackboard easel and some chalks and did what I suppose would be something like phonics with clusters of letters. To start with it would be oo words like look, book, cook and ee words like bee and see. At some point this must have expanded to include the full range of letters and by the time I was three and a half I was able to read simple books.

      I went to school at four and a half by which time I could read with ease. I do have a vague memory of something along the lines of either seeing my name on the class register and pointing to it or being given a card and my mum asked to write my name on it (but I wrote it) and this causing a bit of a small stir but that was short-lived.

      Most of the first couple of days involved plasticine-craft so I'm not sure at exactly what point it became obvious that I definitely could read independently but my mum told me that she'd picked me up from school one day and the teacher had almost challenged her with "You didn't tell us she could read" to which my mum replied "Well, you didn't ask me." I don't think she or dad thought what I was doing was particularly notable.

      It was seen as notable in school though. I remember we read books that had numbers and letters like 4a, 4b and 4c (no idea what they were, possibly Janet and John). I was reading in the 7s and 8s. I have much stronger memories of being taken off upstairs to the staff room and made to read long lists of words to the other teachers (I don't think I had any idea what any of the words would have meant). No idea if my parents had approved this absence from class though to be honest if it was a reading class I pretty much had that down anyway. As far as I'm aware the rest of the class soon caught up and by the time we were five I think everyone could read perfectly well.

      I don't think I have or had hyperlexia nor do I think I'm on the autism spectrum and I don't have any other particular skills. Fairly poor at arithmetic (not bad at maths and abstraction though), utterly useless at reading a map or locating where I am in space*. These days I'm not even much of a reader - it's like my eyes are on a train track and they keep jumping off every time a thought occurs to me. I can read a paragraph of a book and it will usually remind me of something interesting or spark an idea which will then occupy me as I daydream about it. Consequently I am more of an article reader than book reader ;) Good with reading long words though.

      *Hopeless sense of direction: stuff like if I'm walking along a familiar road and enter a shop then when I exit, instead of continuing in the intended direction, I discover I've unwittingly walked backwards without noticing // the sheer amount of effort involved in navigating an unfamiliar place (I have to keep turning backwards to see what it will look like on the return journey as otherwise it will look like a place I've never seen before). Redoing the same mistaken journey: if I've taken it once and see the route again I tend to remember that I've been down that path before, so I walk that route again before realising. Having no idea how the map I'm looking at matches where I'm standing. Regularly having to start walking without knowing whether it's the right direction just so that I can see the direction the small blue 'me' dot on CityMapper is travelling in, and continue or course-correct based on a second reading.




      Thursday, 27 September 2018

      A homeopath has done a rap dissing skeptics :)

      This must have seemed like a good idea at the time ;)



      You can enjoy the full thing on YouTube, lyrics below the player. Not exactly the high watermark of homeopathic discourse...



      Lyrics
      Well the skeptics reckon it’s placebo
      Is Homeopathy – but what do they know?
      They’re bound to go extinct just like the dodo
      They need to get back out in the gazebo
      See them as they strut they think they’re well hard
      Arnica won’t help them if their bed’s hard
      I think it’s time they put their feet up backayard
      Someone do us a favour and give 'em a mouthguard

      All they ever says is it’s placebo
      All they ever says - it’s placebo
      Denialists attracting all the dweebos
      See me now we’re givin you the heave-ho

      We’re s'posed to disagree but be agreeable
      Well that ain't gonna happen in the foreseeable
      Cos all I hear you chatting is so feeble
      "There’s no evidence, it’s totally unbelievable"
      Seeing as you’re dying of pneumonia
      Don’t come begging me for no bryonia
      That homeopathic helpline ain’t gonna phone ya
      You’ll be lying there alone and getting lonelier

      All you ever says is it’s placeboAll you ever says - it’s placebo
      Denialists attracting all the dweebos
      See me now we’re givin you the heave-ho

      They talk like that and I’m not even joking
      If I was their mum I’d ask what they’d been smoking
      Denialists – they need a damn good poking
      What I want to know - who even let that bloke in?
      Wastemen getting bankrolled by big pharma
      I pity them next life that’s heavy karma
      Don’t call them coconuts – call them bananas
      They're pure haters and they love to stir up dramas

      Well stir it up come on, make us famous
      Homeopathy is nothing - but it’s dangerous?
      I think you’re in a muddle now - don’t blame us
      Just make your mind up boys you’re sounding brainless

      Cos all you ever says is it’s placebo
      All they ever says - it’s placebo
      Denialists attracting all the dweebos
      See me now we’re givin you the heave-ho

      Them makin out it’s snake oil and we bought it
      Tell me it’s placebo and I just ‘thought it’
      Get down off your high horse and start to walk it
      Listen up and we can start to sort it
      There’s many a path and many a way to trek
      So fix yourselves up and start to show respect
      If all you can do is spread your toxic texts
      See an Osteopath cos you’re a serious pain in the neck

      Cos all you ever says is it’s placeboAll they ever says - it’s placebo
      Denialists attracting all the dweebos
      See me now we’re givin you the heave-ho

      So listen up you all here’s what we think
      It’s time you drew your pension - index linked
      But tell us why you want to cause a stink
      And who is paying you to pen and ink?

      This medicine that’s permanent and gentle
      Including physical, emotional and mental
      Sustainable and so environmental
      Homeopathy brings health that’s incremental
      But maybe that won't profit all your cronies
      GSK and Astrazeneca phonies
      Your emperor’s new medicine’s balonies
      You’re tellin more lies than mr blair – that’s Tony
      So fix yourselves up and face the final answers
      Your dirty game is up – you dodgy chancers
      I’m not being funny but you’re at the end of your run sirs
      You’re gravestones will say "all just back up dancers!"

      So there’s our rap to the gradgrind skeptic band
      Methinks they do protest too much eh fam?
      That muggle medicine will soon run out of sand
      We’re here to help but till then just talk to the hand.




      Scientific talks in London - the 2018/2019 edition

      by @JoBrodie, brodiesnotes.blogspot.com.
      • Interesting Talks in London (not just science), also Interesting Talks in Oxford
      • Blackheath Scientific Society
        FRIDAY LECTURES AT 7.45pm on the THIRD FRIDAY of every month from September to May, unless otherwise indicated. MYCENAE HOUSE, 90 MYCENAE  ROAD, SE3 7SE
        Visitors are welcome at all meetings, and are requested to donate £3 to the Society.
      • Chelsea Physic Garden (Thursday Supper talks)
        Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HS. Talk - £17, Talk + Supper £34: supper sittings: 5.45pm or 8.30pm - talk is 7.00-8.15pm
      • Gresham College (lectures on a variety of topics, including science, medicine, tech)
      • Hampstead Scientific Society
        Lecture Meetings will be held at The Crypt Room, St John's Church, Church Row, Hampstead, London NW3 6UU. All meetings are on THURSDAYS at 8:15pm. Coffee and biscuits will be available during the evening for a small charge. Members of the public are invited.
      • Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution - Lectures / Events
        Lectures from 8.00-9.30pm
      • Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS) - Information page (PDF) @Kewlectures)
        Mondays 6pm, Jodrell Lecture Theatre, RBG Kew £2.50 entry (excl. fundraising lectures which are individually priced). Schedule subject to change. Please arrive by 5:45pm.
      • Linnean Society
        Burlington House, Piccadilly
      • Richmond Scientific Society
        Monthly at 8pm on Wednesdays in the VESTRY HOUSE, 21 Paradise Rd TW9 1SA
        (opposite the top of Eton St). Paradise Road CAR PARK is nearby, approached only from the Sheen Rd / Church Rd end. Visitors are welcome at all our meetings.
        Annual Membership: Adult £10. Visitors (per lecture): £2. 
      • Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
        1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR
      • Royal Institution
      • Royal Society
      • Worshipful Society of Apothecaries - lectures free, booking advisable, time varies

      November 2018
      Thursday 1 November 2018 - Chelsea Physic Gardens, Supper talks
      Katrina van Grouw, author and illustrator
      Unnatural selection
      When Charles Darwin contemplated how best to introduce his controversial new theory of evolution to the general public, he chose to compare it with the selective breeding of domesticated animals, continuously shaped and moulded at the hand of man, and a subject increasingly popular in Victorian England. In her new book, Unnatural Selection, marking the 150th anniversary year of Darwin’s great work on domesticated animals, author and illustrator Katrina van Grouw explains why this analogy was more appropriate than even Darwin had realised.
      Artificial selection is, in fact, more than just an analogy for natural selection – it’s the perfect example of evolution in action.


      Monday 5 November 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Ana Oliveira (Kew Diploma student)
      Japanese Historic Gardens and the Art of Slowing Down

      Luke Senior (Kew Diploma student)
      Honduras: Land Use and its effects on Flora

      Friday 9 November 2018 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Drugs, Trade & Empire 1650-1950 – Symposium [NOT FREE, £50 symposium]   
      Faculty of the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy & The British Society for the History of Pharmacy present a joint Symposium

      Monday 12 November 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Robbie Blackhall-Miles (Conservationist & Plantsman)
      Hunting Shapeshifters

      Thursday 15 November 2018 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Prof. Nicholas Achilleos (University College London)
      Space Missions to Giant Planets

      Tuesday 13 November 2018 - Highgate Literary & Scientific Society
      Jo Marchant, science journalist and author
      Cure: a journey into the science of mind over body   
      Science journalist Jo Marchant explores the links between our minds and bodies – and shares how we can use this new knowledge to improve our health and enhance our lives.

      In recent years, scientists have uncovered startling evidence about how our mental state plays a crucial role in our physical symptoms, biological responses, immune systems and recovery rates. In her talk, Jo Marchant will cover some of the latest research, including how our beliefs can create some of the same physical changes as drugs; how virtual reality is banishing the worst pain in medicine; and how organ transplant doctors are training their patients’ immune systems using taste and smell.

      Dr Jo Marchant is an award-winning science journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Cure: A journey into the science of mind over body (2016). She has a PhD in genetics and has worked as an editor at the science publications New Scientist and Nature.


      Friday 16 November 2018 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      TBD

      Monday 19 November 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Ashley Leiman OBE (Founder, Orangutan Foundation)
      Saving The Orangutan’s World


      Thursday 22 November 2018 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Dr Emma Spary talks on Parisian apothecaries who pursued different way of raising the status of their art.
      Apothecaries, Advertisement and Antidotes in the Sun King’s Paris

        
      Monday 26 November 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Ken Cox (Plant Hunter & Breeder, Glendoick Gardens)
      Woodland Gardening


      Wednesday 28 November 2018 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Alex Jones, National Physical Laboratory  
      Quantum Biology: From animal migration to future cell therapies    

      Thursday 29 November 2018 - Royal Geographical Society
      Liz Bonnin
      Drowning in plastic (7.00-8.30pm), £8

      December 2018
      Monday 3 December 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Kathryn Bray (Kew Diploma student)
      On Foot Through Bear Country: An introduction to the ecology of the Yukon


      Tristan Agates (Kew Diploma student)
      Greening the Urban Landscape in Singapore

      Monday 10 December 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Peter Wohlleben (Author & Forester)
      The Hidden Life of Trees (Fundraising Lecture)


      Thursday 13 December 2018 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Prof. Nick Lane (University College London) 
      How Energy Flow Shapes the Evolution of Life

      Friday 14 December 2018 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      AGM and talks by Members

      Wednesday 19 December 2018 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Andrés Muñiz Piniella, C4AD CIC  
      Scanning Probe Microscopy: measurements in the nanoscale
      (Christmas meeting with wine and nibbles)

      January 2019
      Monday 7 January 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Monty Don OBE (Writer, Gardener & TV Presenter)
      Paradise Gardens: The World’s Most Beautiful Islamic Gardens
      (Fundraising Lecture)


      Monday 14 January 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Trevor Nicholson (Head Gardener, Harewood House)
      The Gardens of Harewood House; Past Present and Future

      Wednesday 16 January 2019 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Dr Paul Driscoll, The Francis Crick Institute  
      NMR in DNA Cells 

      Thursday 17 January 2019 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Dr Georgina Meakin MCSFS FHEA (University College London) 
      Forensic Science – DNA Evidence

      Friday 18 January 2019 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      TBD

      Monday 21 January 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Dan Pearson (Landscape & Garden Designer)
      Journey of a Plantsman (Fundraising Lecture)

      Monday 28 January 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Alex Little (Kew Diploma student)
      The Lost Botanic Garden of the Usambara Mountains & Selous Game Reserve

      Elisa Biondi (Botanical Horticulturist, RBG Kew)
      Kew Orchid Festival

      February 2019
      Monday 4 February 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Allison Legg & Andrea Topalovic-Arthan (Kew Diploma students)
      Kyrgyzstan: Flora along the Silk Road

      Monday 11 February 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Troy Scott Smith (Head Gardener, Sissinghurst)
      Revitalising Vita at Sissinghurst

      Wednesday 13 February 2019 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Fiona Auty, National Physical Laboratory
      Things we have measured at the NPL 

      Friday 15 February 2019 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      Process Intensification in the Chemical Industry: Prof. Asterios Gavriilidis, University College London
      Historically most chemical reactions have been performed in large reactors or in large continuous plants. Micro-reactors are a recent development where the reaction takes place in a very small reactive zone allowing precise temperature control, excellent mixing, high pressures and substantial reducing of risk for highly exothermic reactions. The design of such reactions is a chemical engineering challenge requiring new fabrication techniques and a thorough understanding of fluid mechanics. 

      Monday 18 February 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Alfonso Montiel (CEO, Lemon Tree Trust)
      Waiting for Trees: How garden competitions in refugee camps are transforming the landscape.

      Wednesday 20 February 2019 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Thomas Morris will be talking on the era cardiac surgery began in 1986.
      Incursions into the Citadel of Life: The Origins of Heart Surgery in Britain

      Thursday 21 February 2019 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Mike Howgate (Amateur Geological Society) 
      101 Theories of Dinosaur Extinction

      Monday 25 February 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Kit Strange (Botanical Horticulturist, RBG Kew)
      Azerbaijan: The Jewel in the Caspian

      March 2019
      Monday 4 March 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Dr Michael Chester (RBG Kew Science)
      The Elusive Role of the Chromosome in Plant Evolution

      Monday 11 March 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Jinny Blom (Landscape & Garden Designer)
      Landscape Pragmatist: Landscape Gardening Against the Odds

      Wednesday 13 March 2019 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Ann Sylph, Zoological Society of London
      Women in Zoology
       
      Friday 15 March 2019 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      Dr Elinor Thompson, University of Greenwich
      More Alike than unlike - Studying Biology Across Kingdoms
      Some aspects of cell biology are seen in all organisms.  The talk will highlight some discoveries and techniques that are relevant in biomedicine from work mostly based on studies in plants and microbes.

      Monday 18 March 2019 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Hugh Fletcher (Kew Diploma student)
      Nut Culture and Cultivation in the Southern Appalachians

      Richard Choksey (Kew Diploma student)
      Paths to Redemption: The decolonisation of botanic gardens in the North Eastern United States

      Thursday 21 March 2019 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Dr. Richard Stein (Hampstead Scientific Society)
      The Roman Water Pump

      April 2019
      Wednesday 10 April 2019 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Dr Georgina Meakin MCFSF FHEA, University College, London
      Forensic Science - DNA Evidence 

      Thursday 11 April 2019 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Prof. Andrew Stockman (University College London)
      Human Colour Vision

      Tuesday 16 April 2019 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Mark Geller talks on the ancient Babylonian medicine and ancient drugs lists.
      The Simple and the Complex: the Assyrian Apothecary at Work

      Friday 19 April 2018 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      Dr Joseph Fabian, Imperial College
      In the natural world there are unique products and technologies that can be used directly or slightly modified to benefit mankind.  Some of these discoveries will be discussed including the 'strain-gauges present in dragonfly wings' which allow superb manoeuverability, and the adhesive produced by a frog that adheres strongly to wet surfaces and could find applications in medicine

      May 2019
      Wednesday 15 May 2019 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Dr Rob Feneck, Consultant Anaesthetist
      The Heart, Ancient and Modern

      Thursday 16 May 2019 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Dr. Elizabeth Liddle (University of Nottingham)
      Brain Oscillations and Mental Health

      Friday 17 May 2019 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      Dr Lindsay J Hall, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich Research Park
      Gut Bacteria
      There are more bacteria than cells in the human body and these live primarily in the digestive system.  They provide a critical role in digestion, the immune function and weight regulation.  Their role and mechanisms will be presented in this talk.

      June 2019
      Thursday 20 June 2019 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      8pm  (note time change)
      AGM: Wine & Cheese £zzz + scientific entertainment

          
      Monday 17 June 2019 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Professor Mary Dixon-Woods talks on health systems worldwide who are challenged in delivering high quality care.
      Why is Improving Quality and Safety in Healthcare so Hard?


      -----------------
      Talks since completed

      September 2018
      Wednesday 12 September 2018 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Dr Gordon Hunter, Kingston University
      Applying Maths in Medical Imaging:Assisting the diagnosis of liver cancers from ultrasound videos 

      Thursday 20 September 2018 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      Dr Joel Davis (Natural History Museum)
      The Story of Water on Mar

      Friday 21 September 2018 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      Mission to Jupiter's Ice Giant Moons: Dr Adam Masters, Imperial College
      The mission is to study Ganymede, Calisto and Europa - all likely to have sub-surface oceans of water, be geologically active, and which could support forms of life.

      October 2018
      Wednesday 3 October 2018 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser
      Medical Emergencies of Global Concern (6.30-7.30pm)

      Thursday 4 October 2018 - Chelsea Physic Gardens, Supper talks
      Pieter van der Merwe, Greenwich Curator Emeritus, National Maritime Museum
      Captain Bligh and the Breadfruit
      While most people have heard of the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789, relatively few will know that William Bligh fulfilled the mission – to transplant breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies – on a second voyage, with two ships, in 1791-93. This talk will explain the project, its problems, and the differing outcomes of these two remarkable Pacific voyages.

      Monday 8 October 2018 - Royal Institution
      Black History Month: balancing the equation 7-8.30pm (£16/10 and you can also donate the cost of a ticket!) 
      Lisa Kennedy, Segun Fatumo and Riham Satti are having a panel discussion chaired by Alex Lathbridge.

      Tuesday 9 October 2018 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Dr Tina Matthews, Consultant Cellular Pathologist, Epsom & St Helier University Hospital NHS Trust
      Medical Professionalism, Public Institutions and the Alder Hey Children’s Organs Scandal
      The First Sydney Selwyn Lecture, this talk is based upon the Dissertation submitted as part of that examination (6-7pm)

      Tuesday 9 October 2018 - Kew Gardens, Jodrell Lecture Theatre
      Dr. Łukasz Łuczaj (Botany Department, University of Rzeszow
      Annual Distinguished Ethnobotanist Lecture 2018
      ‘Discovering new wild edible plants in Europe: from 19th century famine potherb to 21st century hipster food’

      Wednesday 10 October 2018 - Richmond Scientific Society
      Dr Emma Wooliams, National Physical Laboratory
      Measuring the Earth from Space - and being a woman in science
      Preceded by the Annual General Meeting. Wine & nibbles after the talk.    

      Monday 15 October 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Jon Drori CBE (Prof. Author & Conservationist)
      The Secret Life of Trees: Around the World in 80 Trees

      Thursday 18 October 2018 - Hampstead Scientific Society
      David Smart (University College London)
      The Hampstead Storm 1975
       
      Friday 19 October 2018 - Blackheath Scientific Society
      Recent Advances in Forensic Science: Dr Leon Barron, King's College 
      Many major advances in Forensic science have resulted from improvements in analytical methods. Dr Barron will describe recent work in tracing the manufacturing location of illicit drugs and explosives and getting fingerprints from porous surfaces (e.g. Ivory tusks).

      Monday 22 October 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Aaron Bertelsen (Vegetable Gardener, Great Dixter)
      The Great Dixter Vegetable Garden Through The Year

      Wednesday 24 October 2018 - Richmond Scientific Society
      David Warrilow, Royal Meteorological Society 
      Climate Change: Science, Policy and Opinion  

      Wednesday 24 October 2018 - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
      Wendy Moore talks about Elliotson’s staged demonstrations on his patients at UCH.
      How Society Physician John Elliotson held Victorian Britain Spellbound (6-7pm)

      Thursday 25 October 2018 - Highgate Literary & Scientific Society
      Dr Greg Hunt, Imperial College
      Science Meeting: The Cassini Mission


      Monday 29 October 2018 - Kew Mutual Improvement Society
      Dr Michael Heinrich (Prof. & Head of Pharmacy, UCL)
      Ethnopharmacology: more than just the search for new drugs?