This article is specific to the context of the Cape Town drought, but the concepts can be applied in any water-scarce situation where there is the potential to harvest rainwater.As you’ve probably heard, over and over if you live in Cape Town, dam levels are low. At 31% capacity, water storage levels are 25% lower than they were this time last year. Although there are talks of shipping water from upcountry, and building a desalination plant, perhaps we should be looking to the skies – which deliver fresh water right into our backyard.
It’s winter in the Cape, and although I’ve enjoyed having a longer period of warm sunny days this year, even I have to admit that I’ve been hoping for a good wet winter after the drought. For a city right next to the sea, it’s amazing how we can be so affected by a drought season. But here we are, and as we look for ways to use less water, many are turning to greywater recycling. While this is great, greywater cannot be handled in the same way as municipal water, and health risks can arise from simple mistakes. If you’ve wondered about that smell as you water the lawn, or the colour of the water you’ve been storing, you may be doing something wrong with how you use greywater. Continue reading
There was the email: I would like to invite you to our July event Getting Cozy with Catastrophe: Superbugs, Drug Resistance … When I received an invitation to a talk on antibiotic resistance, I have to admit, I was initially a little bit uninspired by the topic. If you’ve been in a biological field for long enough, you kinda know the antibiotic resistance story. But then I looked a little closer at the write-up. Superbugs, Drug Resistance … and the Power of Long Term Thinking. “Ah,” I thought. “Maybe there will be something new to bring to the table.” And so it was that when on July 5th, Women in Tech Cape Town hosted a TechTalk with drug resistance scientist Dr Imogen Wright as the speaker, I was sitting in the audience, with my pen at the ready. Continue reading
A bit of a frivolous post, as I take a teatime break, and muse at the science of everyday. Milk first? Milk at all? Sugar? How long should I leave the tea-bag in for? Green or black or red or white? Herbal – does that still class as tea? The science of tea is clearly important to our everyday lives. However you take your tea, the evidence points in favour of the humble tea break! Continue reading
Crowd funding projects has become a common phenomenon in today’s world, but crowd sourced science? What does that even mean?! This means that the public can contribute to scientific research – through the form of both data and ideas for advancements. It is commonly called citizen science, with the people doing it dubbed citizen scientists. With the rise of technological advancements, this is becoming more prevalent in our world today, and will likely play an integral role in the way that science progresses in the future. Continue reading
“One of the great problems in the world today is undoubtedly this problem of not being able to talk to scientists, because we don’t understand science. They can’t talk to us because they don’t understand anything else, poor dears.” ~Flanders and Swann
You’ll have seen this quote on my title page. Why? Because it’s the reason that I’m starting a blog. You see, I’ve never been much of one for social media, so the idea of blogging kind of scares me – putting myself out there like this. But at the same time, I Continue reading