Blog Profile / Sciencebase

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:983
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:February 24, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Mens Agitat Molem

The “Mens Bar” at Newcastle Uni Student Union still causes ructions apparently, despite the lack of apostrophe and that it’s short for “mens agitat molem”. Protestors suggest that it has patriarchal undertones and should be changed (they could name it The Wilko Bar after guitar-playing alumnus Wilko Johnson if they must). Show More Summary

Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis

The common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) unmistakable at the river bank if you’re quick enough to hear the “pip pip” just before it darts across the water or if you spot on perched on a branch or mooring staring keenly at the surface investigating the depths with speary intent. Numbers seem to be on the rise … Continue reading "Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis"

The key to a long life

There is a whole industry dedicated to anti-ageing lotions and potions. They’re a waste of money. Best thing for longevity is simply to eat less (as well as to avoid lethal infectious diseases and being in the path of a speeding doubledecker bus). This esoteric-seeming paper explains the mechanism at the cellular level and it … Continue reading "The key to a long life"

Cambridge Science Park Goldcrests

I went hunting for waxwings on the Cambridge Science Park today, rumours abound that these Scandinavian/Siberian visitors had reached this part of the world having abandoned their home territory for lack of food. I stepped out of the car and heard a flock of twenty in a tree in the car park. They dispersed and … Continue reading "Cambridge Science Park Goldcrests"

Robin – Erithacus rubecula

The brightly coloured breast of the robin (Erithacus rubecula) is familiar to Brits particularly at Christmas, although both male and female birds have their rusty pectoral plumage throughout the year. Both male and female sing throughout the year although they have an autumnal territorial call and a spring mating call. Show More Summary

Aerial views of the ground

Friend of a friend of a friend turned up with a quadcopter and we took some neat footage of the village, reveals very few rooftops with solar panels. Full story in my latest comment in Materials Today magazine. Music is my song “A flight of fancy” the Mono Stone remix. From my “Push the Button” … Continue reading "Aerial views of the ground"

Black-headed gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) In summer the head bird has a dark, chocolate-brown head, but in winter the dark plumage is relegated to a dark spot on each temple. Looks like this fella is starting to take on more colour in time for the mating season. Show More Summary

Broken City – Another funking rock song

Besides by Dave Bradley Broken City Hide it away, it’s not looking too pretty Running away I want to head for the city And if there’s something I can’t find If it sends me out of my mind Then I’ll know time after time You won’t take any pity I know the dreamers are screaming … Continue reading "Broken City – Another funking rock song"

Shooting more birds

Selected photos of birds I’ve shot recently with a 600mm Sigma on my 6D, allows you to get quite close without disturbing our avian friends, at least until they are startled by the sound of the camera shutter. Click the kingfisher to open my Flickr gallery or visit the Fluidr version of the page here.

Video of another solar system

There is a star in the constellation of Pegasus that is 129 light years from Earth. It’s a young star, a mere 50 million years old (cf the sun is 4.5 billion years old (ish) This star, HR 8799, has planets, hot planets far bigger than Jupiter and Saturn that swing around it in vast … Continue reading "Video of another solar system"

The origins of the cappuccino

I had, without Googling, always assumed that the word cappuccino simply meant “little head” in Italian. Capo being head and the suffix making it a diminutive form. However, my BFF Tim Lihoreau suggested the etymology was more involved,...Show More Summary

Up close and personal with the birds

Silly big zoom lens on my camera lets you get up close and personal with the garden birds…and even a heron that landed on a neighbour’s fish pond:

Fox and pheasant

We took a bracing and frosty walk with the dog on Sunday morning, ended up walking about 5.5 miles (that was Mrs Sciencebase’s plot, I got 5.7 miles), took us about 2.5 hours but lots of stopping to chat to other dogwalkers and friends along the way and to take photographs. Within 20 minutes of … Continue reading "Fox and pheasant"

From Paintshop Pro to Photoshop to and back to PSP

Years ago I used Paintshop Pro as a lightweight alternative to Photoshop, then I got turned to Photoshop (I had a legit copy of version 2!) but later abandoned it for other programs such as Unfortunately, that applicationShow More Summary

Does hotter water freeze faster than cold?

It sounds like #deceivedwisdom, but there are lots of reputable scientists who believe the Mpemba effect wherein hot water freezes faster than cold water is real. Youtube was replete with videos of people fling pans of boiling waterShow More Summary

Winter halo around the moon

There was a gorgeous winter halo around the pre-full moon last night. The near 22° halo is an optical phenomenon occurs as moonlight is refracted by millions of ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. The halo is large with a radius approximately the size of an outstretched hand at arm’s length. As light passes through … Continue reading "Winter halo around the moon"

What Facebook knows about your photos

Have you ever wondered what Facebook thinks of your photos…here’s a simple trick to find out courtesy of my friend Amit Agarwal’s Digital Inspiration blog. First, in the Google Chrome browser, open any photograph on the Facebook website...Show More Summary

Japanese manga STEM girls

Ana Verissimo of the University of Leicester is mashing up her love of Japanese art with a passion for science with the launch of a new series of manga characters. ‘STEM Heroes’ follows the adventures of four high school girls usingShow More Summary

A better year

Is it just me or do you feel it’s been a truly bitter-sweet year, there have been many highs but far too many lows? A Better Year by Dave Bradley A Better Year When life takes a turn for the worse, the worst it could ever be And you yearn for something to quench that … Continue reading "A better year"

Did you get hacked?

The Rayban scam is doing the rounds again, don’t click any friends’ updates where there’s an offer of cheap sunglasses, I mean come on, look at the weather. Some people imagine hackers sitting typing in passwords one after the other until they get into your account, this is not what hackers trying to break into … Continue reading "Did you get hacked?"

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