Review by Friderun Ankel-Simons, Duke University author of the text “Primate Anatomy”
Item reviewed: ‘New pelvic thrusts in a fishy world’ by Robin and the Honey Badger

"Here is a wonderfully instructive and well written view of the fascinating morphological variety among fish with a special view of their extraordinary pelvic girdles. This essay is not only highly intriguing for the interested layperson but also for any curious biologist.

Robin and the Honey Badger are unconventionally comparing the human pelvic girdle – that is so unique among mammals and even primates – and its function to the various astonishing positions and functions of the 'fishy' pelvic girdle. A fun and mesmerizing read."

Review by David Noël, graduate of University of Cambridge
Item reviewed: ‘I am Casuarina’ by Robin and the Honey Badger

"Your Casuarina essay deserves 5 stars.

The "I Am Casuarina" essay in the "Exploring The Bioedge" series looks at one of the most fascinating and underused tree families on the planet.

Commonly called "sheoaks" or "beefwood" in Australia, in other parts of the world these trees are sometimes called "Australian Pines", because their foliage has a superficial resemblance to pine needles. In fact, the Casuarinas are totally unrelated to the pines, and may not even fall into the same major plant division, the Conifers.

This essay explores the various parts of Casuarinas in a pleasant conversational style, and in so doing reveals a wealth of fascinating facts about a plant group which is totally out of the general run. With an intricately-engineered root system, a trunkwood-development method quite unique in the tree world, and a very different approach to capture of light, the Casuarinas have evolved an unbeatable array of armaments to succeed in the tough world of Australian climates. Their powerful nitrogen-fixing system allows them to prosper under minimum-nutrition conditions which would defeat most other plants."

Review by Jon Richfield, regular contributor to The Last Word, New Scientist Items reviewed: several e-essays by Robin and the Honey Badger

"Science is the endless adventure; whether it is abstract science or applied in the form of technology, whether new or old, easy or hard, science is thrilling because every single mountain top, once one has scaled it, offers many new vistas to explore. Few non-scientists truly appreciate such realities, and sound-bites rule, insipid and sterile; sweeties for the munchkins.

This series of essays presents a bold attempt to lure lively minds on to the hard stuff. They begin with apparently innocuous chattiness that belie the sheer range of themes that they introduce, let alone the competence of the material; there is real meat there. In fact, I was quite startled at the depth and breadth of the topics that they broached. The next thing to notice is that each non-obvious point, each throw-away remark, leads to a footnote that can be followed and expanded either in the literature, or better still if one is reading the essay on an electronic medium, in on-line resources such as Google and Wikipedia. Never before in human history could we follow such vast themes so smoothly and quickly. Long live the link and the click!

I certainly wish the authors all the best in this initiative and I advise any readers, especially youngsters who are not yet hooked and wired, to visit the material more than once; I guarantee that after any one pass you will find that you have missed more than you realised, and that the facts and the bald statements are just the beginning; the connections and the questions are what matter. If you have the guts, enjoy.

Another thing that I hope is that these essays can form the core of some blog-based forums in which many of the themes can be discussed. The excitement of science grows on ideas feeding on ideas, and so does one's personal development, mental insights, and intellectual connections.

Einstein said: "an idea is so rare!" And he, more than most, demonstrated how marvellously one can share and follow what at first looks like a stupidly simple idea, to the really great things; great both for the single mind and for humanity. Don't waste opportunities like this."


Dear readers,

We would greatly appreciate your reviews of our new postings at Exploring the Bio-edge. Please email reviews of bio-bullets, blog-posts or e-essays to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yours sincerely,

Robin and the Honey Badger