Monthly Archives: October 2010

Carbonaceous Wonderland

The most abundant element on Earth’s surface is oxygen. Seriously, oxygen is everywhere. Most of the mass of water comes from oxygen. Plants and animals incorporate oxygen into their tissues; there’s almost as much oxygen in the cellulose that makes … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, Imported from Livejournal | Tagged | 1 Comment

Idiot box

Well, this is intriguing. Apparently, the TV licensing people are being a bit draconian with new students, going so far as sending out threatening sounding letters. So I’m told, they claim that they “know that students watch TV on laptops” … Continue reading

Posted in Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | 3 Comments


Sometimes, I lament living in the inner city. And when I say sometimes, I mean frequently. I stumbled upon this graphic recently on the internet, illustrating the Bortle scale. Originally published in Sky & Telescope magazine, the Bortle scale is … Continue reading

Posted in astronomy, Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Science is Vital

I’m really quite dismayed that the UK government seem determined to cut funding from scientific research. Dismayed and, frankly, disappointed. After all the times in the past when funding has been mercilessly slashed, you’d think they’d be running out of … Continue reading

Posted in academia, Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | Comments Off on Science is Vital

Cuddly molecules

Just what you’ve always wanted! A nice big caffeine molecule to cuddle to sleep. Or… cuddle into wakefulness? Even if you’re a person sensitive to caffeine, there are a host of lovely crocheted molecules for sale at the Prim and … Continue reading

Posted in Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Sunshine: Could you survive a vacuum…?

I’ll make no secret of the fact that I have, in the past, poured scorn on the concept behind the movie Sunshine. I’ll be honest. The central concept of using some kind of a bomb to reignite the dying Sun … Continue reading

Posted in Imported from Livejournal, Sci Fi | Tagged , | 7 Comments

A world between fire and ice

This really is an exciting time for planet hunters. A few weeks ago, the discovery of a system with as many as 7 planets was announced around HD 10180. Now, it’s been announced that a planet around another star, Gliese … Continue reading

Posted in astrobiology, Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | 8 Comments