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I am in one of my favourite places in the world (Scotland) with one of my favourite people in the world (Graham F. Scott). Life is good.

Yesterday we went for a 7 mile hike around Hadrian’s Wall. I was first taught about the Roman invasion of Britain when I was 15 and studying Latin in highschool. I absolutely fell in love with the idea that the Romans could conquer all of Europe, but had to concede defeat (or at least, lose the will to even keep trying) when they encountered a bunch of bastard crazy angry half naked Celts (who probably chucked fly agarics into their brews). But instead of actually conceding defeat, they drew a line in the sand and built a wall to demarcate the Empire’s border.




Oh, and the construction was ordered by Emperor Hadrian, who was one of the first Emperors to sensibly realise when continuing to wage war is a waste of time and energy. Peace > War n’ all that. Oh, and he was openly gay.

Finally – 20 years later – I got to finally see the wall for myself (even though I’ve been to Scotland a dozen times by now).

Thank you Graham. This was worth waiting 20 years for.

Magic. Just magic.


In two hours I will be 35 years old.

I have managed three and a half decades without succumbing to the tattoo bug (as in the infectious desire to ink oneself – not an image of a bug, i.e. my mate Daniel’s demand that I get a tattoo of a tardigrade).

I think now might be the time.

One of my legs is an inch longer than the other, and I’ve been getting cramps n’ crap in one leg for seven years. Whenever I see an acupuncturist about it, they all find the exact same two points on my right leg, and the needles work a goddamned charm.

Think what you like about acupuncture, but five people have independently all picked the exact same two spots to impale. I’ve done this about a dozen times now.


I’ve been thinking… why spent £60-£100 for each visit to have the same two spots pricked when I could just figure out how to do it myself (or get a mate to do it)?

To aid in this endeavour, why not get two small tattoos on those spots so anyone could help me out, save me a fortune and make my leg happy? I’ll gussy it up by getting my genome sequenced and visualised in a circular fashion, comme ca.

Bad idea… or am I a fucking genius? I think the latter.

PS My mother can scream all she likes, but I think this idea has legs. (Cough.)


Every year the BBC generously records and displays almost every gig they can on the iPlayer for people to enjoy for a month. For people who didn’t get to go – and for those of us who went to watch all the gigs we couldn’t see. (Which is almost all of them – the lineup is staggering.)

But. There appears to be no footage from Arcadia at Glasto 2017 on the iPlayer.



A drum n’ bass playing giant spider and NO FOOTAGE? I communed with the spider for hours, how can I get my fix now?!?!

They have every single second of Ed Sheeran’s set and not ONE BIT of Arcadia?!?!?!


I have just recovered from Glastonbury 2017.

There are countless reasons why Burning Man may be an incredible experience – but Glastonbury is my one true love. Aside from the fact that there is no greater lineup of music to be found on earth… it’s the people. As my Facebook “About Me” used to put it: “English people make me laugh.” Find me a group of humans funnier than five thousand people at the Stone Circle on a Saturday night and I’ll eat my goddamned hat.

(Also there’s none of that sanctimonious “gift economy” nonsense. Like really – please.)

Long may you continue, shit faced Brits. You make the world a better place. Who needs to do sit ups when you can laugh this hard for five straight days.

Where else in the world can you find people who carry around signs claiming “Donald Bump”? Nowhere.



Also signs expressing a deep reverence for chicken nuggets.


Never heard of PGAD – persistent genital arousal disorder – have you? I hadn’t until researchers approached me and suggested I write about it.

Here’s my piece in Vice today.

Every solid study estimates 1% of women have this condition. It’s controversial to say they “suffer” from PGAD, as that labels it as disabling, but of the 13 women I interviewed who experience this, “suffer” is very much a fair descriptor.

Anonymous woman, 40: “This is relentless torture and has destroyed my life.”

As one doctor describes it: “There really is no disorder in sexual medicine that causes the bother and distress that this one does – it is the numero uno ‘I’d rather die’ sort of condition.” There are at least half a dozen documented suicides – so doubtless thousands more we don’t know about.

Again – one per cent of women have this. One per cent of the entire human population is also estimated to have schizophrenia – something that is, to say the least, very well known, studied and treated.

Yet PGAD remains an invisible disability, mocked by physicians, ignored by the mainstream establishment (it is not yet included in the DSM), and is hindering or destroying the lives of roughly 70 million women worldwide. Right now. (Sidebar: Men experience this too, but we have no data on how commonly it occurs. Incessant hard-ons and unwanted ejaculations thorughout the day don’t sound like much of a walk in the park, do they.)

You don’t have to read this. But please do. Not just because I worked my bum off on this story – but because it is heart-breakingly important.

Without question: you know somebody who is living with this right now – or maybe you are yourself – and they are suffering in silence.

The Australian podcast and radio show All In The Mind interviewed me at the BBC HQ here in London for a special half hour show about – what else? – sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Link here.


Hats off to the nerds who make this happen, such as Meredith Chivers, Pek van Andel, David Nutt, Robin Carhart-Harris, Amanda Feilding, Mendel Kaelen and so many more people for doing the work they do, crunching the data and producing the actual science so hacks like me can yap about it. Ta.

Everyone who knows me well knows that London is my spiritual home. As my aunt Kel says:

“The place was sending you the homing beacon since you were a toddler – you were always meant to be there.”

This week, The Globe & Mail – my old stomping ground, back in the day when I wrote a column on environmental issues – asked me to write an editorial about the atmosphere in my city post the London Bridge attacks.

I scratched my head and paced in circles. I’m not much an expert on terrorism or its causes – but I am an expert on why this city was worth every penny I spent to come here.

And also why Teresa May is “loathsome”. Being commissioned to describe her in such terms = life goal met.

Anyways, my two cents:

Image of the paper – nice spread if I do say so myself…

Globe - London Attacks


I have a gig with Belvedere Vodka going to conferences for bartenders explaining how monkeys evolved to booze. (Kind of best gig ever.)

If you want to understand how alcohol tickles your synapses and know more about “drinking better”, video of our latest event from Edinburgh’s Tales of the Cocktail here:…/in-depth/guilty-pleasures

With the deeply brilliant Claire Warner of Belvedere, and Jeffrey Kluger, science editor at Time Magazine and author of Apollo 13 (yes, the movie).

As I often say, I’m not really a professional writer – I am a failed pianist. I studied the instrument for a dozen years and hoped to go pro – but I could never ace exams. Stage fright always got the better of me, and I never mastered the art of performance.

But hey – that training gave me a good ear, and I’d like to think I know a thing or two about the instrument.

Haven’t heard of Hauschka have you? You’re welcome:

As I’ve been saying since 2008, in lectures about music and the brain, the evolutionary reason for drugs, the biological mechanism behind shivers down the spine, how chemicals burglar your brain… it often comes down to your friend and mine, tasty tasty dopamine. (Or as my friend Roseanne Wakely calls it, “Dope A Mean”)

Thank you Sarah Barmak, they are fabulous. A new mode of inserting my favourite neurotransmitter into my head…