Category Archives: Things that make me smile

Releasing Blue Iguanas into the wild

Many visitors to this blog arrive looking for information about the terrible conservation tragedy that occurred on Grand Cayman a few years ago, in which several rare blue iguanas were murdered It’s a sad entry, but also reminds us of the amazing work being done to breed the Blue Iguana in captivity and then release them into nature reserves.

Here’s a video of the happy part. This footage is from last year, when eight blue iguanas were released into the Salina Reserve. You can see they are left in little wooden structures. These provide shelter and security for the animal as it makes the transition from captivity to life in the Salina Reserve.

blue iguanaconservationGrand Cayman

ARRGH MY EYES! The Ugly Animal Preservation Society

Update: My animal won! The night was a sell-out and fantastic fun, thanks to all who came along! It was great to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and to make some new ones. The other acts were hilarious (and hideous), and Simon was a fantastic compere! My animal was Promachoteuthis sulcus, which isn’t very well known so doesn’t even have a common name. At the event, I proposed the “human-gobbed squid” or “gob-faced squid” to a large crowd. It was agreed at this event and at the Festival of the Spoken Nerd event on Friday that the animal should be known as the gob-faced squid. With several hundred people from these events now referring to it as the gob-faced squid, it’s the most common name it has as a relatively unknown creature! I’m happy and strangely proud that my animal won the evening. Here is the new mascot for the Scottish branch of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society:

 P sulcus

This is a message for all the amazing people who have come to the brilliant Edinburgh International Science Festival. If you’re up for some shenanigans, and don’t have a weak stomach, come along to see us at the Ugly Animal Preservation Society! If comedy and nasty ugly are your things, you’ll be in a disgusting heaven!

As well as myself, you’ll see performers including Helen Arney (Uncaged Monkeys, Festival of the Spoken Nerd), Simon Watt (Inside Nature’s Giants), Steve Cross (Science Showoff), the guys from Punk Science, and more! It will be funny, interesting, and horrific in equal measure.

It’s on Wednesday night, 9pm-11pm. You can get all the details here!

This. Is. AWESOME.

WITCHCRAFT! No, this is actually real. The following video is a demonstration of Ultra-Ever Dry in action.

I describe this as magical water repellent, but apparently…

“Ultra-Ever Dry is a superhydrophobic (water) and oleophobic (hydrocarbons) coating that will completely repel almost any liquid. Ultra-Ever Dry uses proprietary nanotechnology to coat an object and create a barrier of air on its surface. This barrier repels water, oil and other liquids unlike any coating seen before. The other breakthrough associated with Ultra-Ever Dry is the superior coating adherence and abrasion resistance allowing it to be used in all kinds of applications where durability is required.”

There are many demonstrations in the video, and my favourite was probably coating the border but not centre of an object so that the liquid gathered in the middle. But what I really want to know is what happens when liquid is put in a container coated with this stuff… The liquid in those demonstrations usually had a way out. What happens if I coat my bath? Or a drinking glass? How will the water behave? Also, what if we coat the underside of a boat, or a whole submarine? Faster? Slower? No difference?


HydrophobicI think drinking this would be a bad ideaOleophobicUltra-Ever DryWITCHCRAFT