Monthly Archives: May 2012

Closing our eyes

Les temps sont durs pour les rêveurs. Et les temps sont durs pour les astronomes aussi. The UK has been determined to drop any and all astronomical operations in Hawaii ever since that fateful research repriositisation in 2009. I just … Continue reading

Posted in academia, astronomy, life | Tagged , | 3 Comments


This illustration was made by a marvellous chap named Alan B, and it’s an illustration of a contribution I made to an equally marvellous project going on right now, called Science140. Science140 is a twitter-based project aiming to collate scientific … Continue reading

Posted in art, life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

It burns!

Lots of plants have a set of cleverly contrived natural defences, carefully honed by millenia of evolution to be repulsive to animals which might want to try and eat them. Unfortunately for those plants, human beings are funny creatures who … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, molecular gastronomy | Tagged | 2 Comments

Waltzing behemoths

A supermassive black hole is rather like a gravitational version of the Incredible Hulk. Massive, mean, able to take on anything thrown at it, and virtually unstoppable. While the smaller black holes may form when a massive but otherwise normal … Continue reading

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It’s a small world

So I was wandering around the department where I work a few days ago and I happened to stop by a noticeboard, where I found this. Which made me double take. That particular chaotic ensemble of phenols looked strangely familiar … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, life | Tagged , | 2 Comments


Feast your ears on these curious musical tones:  Those little glissandos you’re hearing are known as whistlers. They’re natural radio signals created in Earth’s atmosphere which occur just at the right frequencies to be converted directly into sounds we can … Continue reading

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Mass Transfer

Welcome to the all new Supernova Condensate! (Now, complete with working domain name!) So I’ve migrated to WordPress. Because really, I’m fed up of Livejournal for a lot of reasons. But I shaln’t whinge. Oh no. In any case, I’m … Continue reading

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Glowing Kitteh!

It’s caturday. So here’s a picture of a glow in the dark kitten. This picture was taken under a blue light, presumably of sufficiently short wavelength to cause the green fluorescent protein in the kitten’s fur to fluoresce. Note that … Continue reading

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Bliss and darkness

Chocolate. Take a minute to think about enjoying a delicious piece of your favourite chocolate, won’t you? That moment when you bite and it snaps into your mouth with a light crunch, and the rich warm flavour of it starts … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, Imported from Livejournal, molecular gastronomy | 4 Comments

Here be Dragons!

Just a quick post, because I’m supposed to be doing something else right now… But it isn’t every day you get to watch history being made, streamed live over the internet. As I type this, the SpaceX Dragon capsule is … Continue reading

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