man, fire, and how we became who we are

An interesting book was just reviewed by Nature (God I'm tired right now), and I want to buy it.


happy birthday to mama Hodges and my auntie

My mom turns 70 today, and my Thia Vivi has her birthday today but I won't disclose her age or she will kill me.  I miss them dearly.  Xronia polla!


give me back my marbles

As the new Acropolis Museum in Athens opens up tonight, I think of the words of our great Melina Mercouri over the Parthenon Marbles that reside in the British Museum.

'What does Shakespeare mean to England, St. Paul's Cathedral? What does the Taj Mahal mean to India? What do the paintings in the Sistine Chapel mean to Italy? The Parthenon Marbles are our pride, they are our identity. They are today's link with Greek excellence, they are creations synonymous with our concepts of democracy and freedom.'

MEGA TV in Greece also made a really interesting documentary on the British Museum's claim to the marbles, and I also found an interesting piece in the NY Times by Christopher Hitchins.

And now I go home to sleep.


my favourite new website

I just discovered the U. of Reading's Food Biosciences Department! Here's a little clip on the effect of food on memory....a diet rich in flavonoids (ie. from blueberries) will keep me more astute. 


chocolate nutella cake courtesy of my friend Abi (and the BBC)

My dear friend and labmate Abi made this cake today for 'cake club'. It was amazing. Orgasmic, really.

175g softened butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp milk
4 rounded tbsp Nutella or own-
brand chocolate hazlenut spread
50g hazelnuts , roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/ fan 160C. Butter and line the base of a 20cm round cake tin.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and milk into a bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes, or with an electric hand mixer for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
2. Tip three quarters of the mixture into the tin, spread it level, then spoon the Nutella on in four blobs. Top with the remaining mixture, swirl a few times with a skewer, then smooth to cover the Nutella.
3. Sprinkle with the nuts. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until risen, nicely browned, feels firm to touch and springs back when lightly pressed (cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly). Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. Wrap tightly in double thick foil to keep fresh for up to a week.

what's up with the row over a chocolate bunny by Lindt?

Sometimes I really like the Wall Street Journal.  Not as much as I like Lindt chocolate. Take a look at this story on the trademark of chocolate bunnies within the EU.