Friday Favourites 15 May

A round up of the best things that I have discovered online this week. Covering everything from posts on public engagement with research, how we use social media and other good stuff.

I posted this week about PhD students and their use of social media. Are they really as 'switched on' as people seem to think? You can read it here.

1) LIFESAVING TOOL: TRIPIT  This app is incredible if you travel quite a lot. It can; collate your itineraries, automatically plans routes from place a to b (e.g. if you arrive at Airport X and staying at Hotel Y it plans a route between them), sync with your diary and can include meeting details and locations. By far the best bit about this app is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO INPUT ANY INFORMATION!! You can either forward booking confirmation emails to Tripit or give Tripit access to your email account and then TA-DA!, you have a list of where you are going, how you are traveling, the times and your ticket details all in one place. PERFECT. I haven't used it on the road yet but for planning a complex trip like my Churchill Fellowship it has worked a treat.
2) ARTICLE: Here's what baboons can teach us about social media by Robert John Young, Professor of Wildlife Conservation at University of Salford. A great short article on how we form cliques and tend to stick with what we know even when we have access to a global population. A reminder that only looking to your friends and people that are similar to you limits your access information.  

3) BLOG: How to be a super productive blogger by Rosalilium. I don't often read posts like this but I did thought this post contained some really useful tips and advice for someone who is looking to start blogging or develop their existing blog.

4) EVENT: Do zoos have a role to play in polar bear conservation?
I attended this event at the University of Aberdeen Sir Duncan Rice Library on Thursday night. I learnt that there are 19 different subpopulations of polar bears and that the zoo community over the last 20 years have helped reintroduce a number of extinct animal species to the wild. Polar bears have a real struggle on their hands at the moment due to climate change and so maintaining a captive population in zoos with a view to reintroduction in the future is seen as important to make sure they don't go extinct. I didn't really have a true appreciation of this.

The talk was delivered by Douglas Richardson from the Highland Wildlife Park. They've spent time creating a park with enclosures suitable for their animals. I've never visited the park but the talk has made me want to see more. This talk was linked to an exhibition currently taking place in the library all about the Far North: Frozen stars, Shifting Ice and the Silence Beyond. The exhibition is running until the 20th of September.  

5) VIDEO: From Buzzfeed UK 8 Water Tricks to wow your friends

6) OFFLINE: BREAKOUTGAMES Aberdeen FUN! A friend from work (shout out to @sci_fun) organised for us to try out the new Breakout Games in Aberdeen this week. We had to solve clues around the room to unlock various padlocks and doors. It was science themed and awesome fun. We completed it in 45 minutes which we thought was pretty good (we didn't quite beat the top score of 24 minutes!) I think these games are popping up all over now. I would highly recommend checking them out.
Other than that I've had a productive week rattling through lots of lists of 'things to do' that I have had to put off over the last few months due to lots of work. It feels good to be able to get those completed. I'm hoping the weather is nice this weekend so I can get stuck in to my allotment!

7) PHOTO: Breakoutgames fun!

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