Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dad With A Curious Mind

I’ve had a rebrand! The blog is now Dad With A Curious Mind. But my outlook hasn’t really changed.

I felt increasingly uncomfortable with The Skeptical Dad. I didn’t think it really represented me – I love what some skeptics do and share many values, but I don’t feel integrally part of a ‘skeptical community’ or ‘skeptical movement’. I dip in and out, with various blogs, events and podcasts, but I tend to leave it at that. A bit outside looking in.

So the new name seems to fit me better. I’m just curious about the world. Curious about learning new stuff and being amazed by the natural world. Curious as to how looking at evidence and taking scientific approaches can affect everything we do, including (and especially) parenting. And yes, some may say, just a little curious.

So please keep following, sharing and interacting. I hope there are other curious people out there too.

My feedback for First Great Western trains

Excuse me for deviating from talking about science for a minute, but I need to vent.

I tried to make a complaint to the train company, First Great Western, about the lack of baby changing facilities on their trains. Apparently, my feedback “contains content that may present a security risk” and I was told to “enter more appropriate information” to allow me to submit.

I have absolutely no idea what content was inappropriate and, after 3-4 attempts, had no desire to go through a further lengthy trial-and-error process to push through a simple letter. So I have posted it below. (If anyone can point out the security-threatening content then please do!)

I hope someone from FGW is able to respond:

I took the 0859 to Bath from Brighton (3+ hr journey) on 17th May, with my wife and
2 children (both under 2). I was shocked when I went to change my
10-week old daughter’s nappy, only to be told that there were no baby
changing facilities on board.

It was odd that there were symbols on the toilet doors indicating baby
changing facilities but no such facilities inside. The conductor told
me that FGW had taken them out. I find this utterly incredible.

I had to change my daughter on the dirty floor at the end of a
carriage. The conductor was extremely helpful in the circumstances and
made sure no-one came passed (and gave us £5 for refreshments), but it
was pretty disgraceful I had to do it at all.

It is very family unfriendly and unhygienic, and the decision to take them
OUT seems even more unbelievable. I would love to know the rationale
for this decision.


I guess I can just be thankful my 22-month old son didn’t have a dirty nappy, then they might have had a few more complaints.

P.S. I did tweet @FGW and had this unenlightening exchange:

[View the story “Baby changing facilities on FGW trains” on Storify]

On the 21st Floor

Just a quick note to say that the great folks at the blogging collective, The 21st Floor, got in touch to see whether I was interested in writing some stuff for them. Their site is full of intriguing, intelligent and challenging content relating to scientific and sceptical news and commentary.

My first couple of posts have been re-workings of ones originally posted here: on why homeopathy for babies is wrong and on whether babies ‘start off’ female. I’ll still be posting stuff at The Skeptical Dad, but the pseudoscience-themed posts will probably end up there.

Do check out the rest of the stuff on The 21st Floor – it’s alway interesting! And if you’re wondering where the name comes from:

“Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. I live on the twenty-first floor.” – Alan Sokal

Follow them on Twitter: @the21stFloor or on Facebook:

Pictures of Roo

After battling with the ‘official’ way of embedding photostreams from Flickr (it seems the latest wordpress doesn’t support the code) and facing dead ends with seemingly discontinued plug-ins, I finally found some shortcode to do this (hat-tip to wordpress tips and justjennifer – thanks!).

The pictures can be viewed as a slideshow on a permanent blog page here, and will update as I add photos to Flickr. Here, gratuitously, is one a recent one with which to get going.



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