Social media and science communication

The following article was originally intended for an Indian publication but I withdrew from the commission because I couldn’t rework the piece according to changes they required, mostly for lack of focus. I thank Karnika Kohli and Shruti Muralidhar for their inputs. Since the mid-20th century, the news-publishing industry has wielded the most influence on …

Ending 2019

This blog achieved multiple minor but personally enjoyable milestones in 2019: It was read by people in 143 counties, the highest in a single year since 2008 (when I started blogging)It was the second busiest year by traffic (after 2015)It was the year with the highest post engagement (as 'likes' on WordPress and shares/comments on …

The Star Wars dynasty

The latest 'Star Wars' movie, The Rise of Skywalker, is worth a watch if you're a committed fan interested in staying up to date with the franchise. Otherwise, all you're missing is a movie unsure of what it's supposed to do, and ends up doing too many things as a result. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD One …

Poor Sanskrit

'BJP MP Says Speaking Sanskrit Beats Diabetes, Boosts Nervous System', The Wire, December 13, 2019: In a debate in the Lok Sabha on December 12 about the Sanskrit University Bill, Ganesh Singh, the BJP MP from Satna, Madhya Pradesh, cited studies conducted by some American research institution to claim speaking Sanskrit every day “boosts the …

A why of how we wear what we wear

There are many major industries operating around the world commonly perceived to be big drivers of climate change. Plastic, steel and concrete manufacturing come immediately to mind – but fashion doesn't, even though, materially speaking, its many inefficiencies represent something increasingly worse than an indulgence in times so fraught by economic inequality and the dividends …

A windier world

A new paper in Nature Climate Change reports a reversal in "terrestrial stilling" since 2010 – i.e. global wind speeds, thought to be in decline thanks to deforestation and real estate development, actually stopped slowing around 2010 and have been climbing since. The paper's authors, a group of researchers from China, France, Singapore, Spain, the …