Since leaving my job at the University of Liverpool in late January a rather strange thing has started to happen. I’ve suddenly begun craving knowledge. Now I say strange it isn’t that strange and it isn’t the first time this has happened. When I was young and a student I would find it impossible to go to sleep if I had remembered some fact some bit of information and it hadn’t been processed correctly. To the extent that I would get up and go to my books find the chapter and or section and read it until I was happy then I could go back to sleep. I even started keeping books close to my bed to help limit the walking distance!

Either through the pressure of work or the focus/direction of research I found with time this became less and less of an issue. In fact often I wanted to switch off my brain rather than engage it when I got home. But now there is a knowledge vacuum - now I can go back to reading for fun and not for work I am finding a great hunger for knowledge.

However this is not a great thing, as I now have about five books on the go and I keep finding myself telling myself “no don’t read that until you’ve finished reading this!” Crazy. Then it comes to bed time, I don’t like wasting electricity on lighting so I can’t read paper books in the dark so instead if I haven’t got an electronic book to read I have started to listen to podcasts.

Podcasts are great, especially when you can download and listen wherever and whenever you like. But they are not the entire story because sometimes you have Webinars which are seminars transmitted over the web. These are brilliant. It is like being back in Uni in a lecture or at a conference. The RSC have a series of public lectures webcast which I found myself clapping at the end of the speakers presentation I felt that involved with it. However there are too few. Looking at the RSC schedule there are loads of talks on nearly daily but only one a month is web-active. So frustrating. I can’t afford to travel to London to attend these and there is nothing to compete regionally with the RSC home crowd so I must do without. And now we are back to the podcasts and it would appear the BBC rule the waves on podcasting science and tech. Here is a list of my current podcatcher playlist:

and more but I can’t remember them and or haven’t grabbed the opml file from my podcatcher the above are from memory (and the urls from the internet - I can’t remember all that information and my books and my pin number). There is one downside to listening to podcasts at bedtime and that is I keep falling asleep listening to podcasts and then not knowing if I listened to the end or not. Worse still recently I found that all the BBC science podcasts grab the same headline stories. I swear I listened to Mars, earthworms and bird flu 3 times last week. The only difference being the speakers voice and the running order!