The red-lipped batfish

I’m not saying I’d ever like to have an intimate relationship with a fish, but if I had to, like,  if it was a life-or-death situation, I’d probably choose to kiss a red-lipped batfish.

I’m sure you can see why this particular specimen would be my first choice. I’d smooch that, and give it an eskimo kiss on that big nose too.

Oh, except I wouldn’t, because that’s not actually a nose (DUH IT’S A FISH YOU IDIOT), it’s more of a fishing rod. A lure descends from this head extension in order to lure pray, akin to the  hunting methods of better-known ugly fish, the deep sea anglerfish. The way which the fish uses this lure (which could be mistaken for a dangling bogey if you did believe that head-horn to be a nose) is unclear, but it’s thought to attract pray right into the predator’s face. You can see the red-lipped batfish use its lure in the video below.

Like many creature anomalies, this strange fishy lives in the seas around the Galapagos islands. It’s not even a very good swimmer, and instead sort of walks around the seabed, making it an ever weirder fish which is looking less and less like a fish the more we learn about it.

So there we have it, the red-lipped batfish – the fish with bright red lips, who goes fishing for its dinner, and who walks rather than swims. I SALUTE YOU, WEIRDO.

(p.s. Call me x)



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Dearest readers, I have some vaguely exciting news.

A few days ago I was cycling to work and in between several near-death experiences (my front light has fallen off which makes cycling in the dark difficult, also my brakes don’t really work but my Doc Marten boots provide a fine stopping mechanism so it’s all good, really) I had a revelation.

I spend most of my time working in schools, teaching kids science. So why is my blog only aimed at adults? I use science websites aimed at kids a lot for reference when developing new material, and am always moaning about how crap they often are – the content is usually good, but the majority of children-focused science websites look like they haven’t been updated since 1999. So I thought, hey, I could start a blog aimed at kids, but which would also be a useful resource for parents and teachers.

SO I DID IT. And I would *love* your feedback. The site is called Out of School Science (it was most certainly not my first choice of names but all my favourites were taken).

So please have a look, tell me what you think, etc. I aim to do at least a couple of posts a week on that site. I will still update here occasionally, I guess this is now the X-rated site for things that are inappropriate for OoSS (i.e. penises).


Bad (Kinder) Eggs

In the olden days (i.e. the ’90s) I used to love Kinder Eggs. For me, these chocolatey ovules of joy represented the ultimate confectionery treat – I was only ever allowed one very rarely because they were significantly more expensive than your average chocolate bar, but with significantly less chocolate, a factor which really bothered my dad who has always been a huge advocate of value for money. Another reason I wasn’t allowed Kinder Eggs frequently was because they resulted in my house being cluttered up with all kids of crap, but crap I treasured very dearly, like these turtles:


Let’s face it, to a child, what’s the only thing better than chocolate? Chocolate in the shape of an egg. What’s even better than a chocolate egg? A chocolate egg CONTAINING A TOY!!!

However, now I don’t like Kinder Eggs anymore. Because THIS

kinder eggs



I know I am usually against gendered products aimed at children, but maybe Kinder have a point here. I mean, I remember being a little girl and being so confused and pissed off when I opened my shell to find a toy that was either a vehicle or – even worse – had to be constructed – ew! In such cases I would cry, throw it to my dad and return to brushing Barbie’s hair, hoping that my next egg would contain something pretty, pink and sparkly to reinforce my princess identity. [Note: Sarcasm intended]

Look, these sorts of products are not harmless. They reinforce and push gender stereotypes onto children and this is damaging. Few things anger me more than overhearing a parent say to their child “you don’t want that, that’s for boys/girls!” What if the kid is attracted to that item? What’s wrong with letting them play with or eat exactly the same things as their opposite-sex counterparts? Boys especially are often mocked or teased by their own families for showing an interest in “female” products – what does that do to their self-esteem, and also to their attitude towards females? I hear boys being bullied for being “girl-like” all the time, reinforcing a view that being a female is a Bad Thing, or at the very least a Not As Good As A Boy Thing. This is dangerous. We should not reinforce this. Especially with f*cking confectionery.

I am a disappointed egg.

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