Monthly Archives: August 2009

Dental fun

Chlorhexidine. Also known as N,N’-hexane-1,6-diylbis[N-(4-chlorophenyl)(imidodicarbonimidic diamide)]. Chemical antiseptic. Bactericidal to both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, as well as having bacteriostatic action. It also tastes bloody awful. Unfortunately, I have a dental cavity and couldn’t get a dentist’s appointment until tomorrow … Continue reading

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Ia! Ia! Chthonian Ftagn!

Chthonian planets are an interesting little concept. I’m not talking about the planet Vhoorl, either, despite any similarities to the name of a certain “Great Old One”. Instead, chthonian planets (a name coined by the authors of this paper) bear … Continue reading

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Beware! Comets ☄

Comets, let’s face it, have rather a bad name. Traditionally, they’re been seen as bad omens. Harbingers of doom, fortelling disaster. So ingrained into our consciousness is this line of thought, that the very word “disaster” stems from words meaning … Continue reading

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T Tauri Stars

Out in the deep dark recesses of interstellar space lie vast sprawling clouds of molecular gas and dust. You can actually think of them a little bit like rainclouds. As they get denser, they scatter more light. Eventually light becomes … Continue reading

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The Space Tools’ Re-entry

Earth orbit is not a good place to drop your tools. And I have to say, I feel rather sorry for astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, who did exactly that during an EVA during the STS-126 service mission to the space station. … Continue reading

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On the Curious Clouds of Planet Venus

Evidently, Venus has once again managed to flummox experts across the planet with its latest stunt — the appearance of a bright spot amongst the clouds in its southern hemisphere. An awful lot of people are talking about it, but … Continue reading

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Mmmm… Rocket Candy

As any schoolkid who’s into pyrotechnics will tell you, mixing an oxidising agent with any form of carbohydrate will usually get you a dramatic reaction. Trust me. I used to be one of those schoolkids. Several of the so-called “explosives” … Continue reading

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