Blog Profile / Sciencebase

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:916
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:February 24, 2008

Blog Post Archive

The conspiracy theory conspiracy theory

Climate change denialist Malcolm Roberts told Brian Cox that NASA had fiddled the data on the graph he showed on a TV debate. Cox was dumbfounded, if NASA had fiddled the data than the Australian Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Met Office would all have to be complicit. Of course, nobody has fiddled the … Continue reading "The conspiracy theory conspiracy theory"

What are Olympic medals actually made of?

That Olympic “gold” medal? Mostly silver…just 1.2% gold, plated (6 grams of the half kilo medal), but at least it’s mercury free, which is rare. The silver medal is 100% silver (though actually 92.5% purity, 30% recycled from X-ray plates, mirrors etc), too right. Show More Summary

Green Olympic pool update

The waters are still murky as are the explanations. I stand by my initial diagnosis that it was algae all along despite all the obfuscating claims for chemical levels, alkalinity, inks and the like. An interesting comment on my recent Chemistry World news story about the pool had this to say: An overshock of copper … Continue reading "Green Olympic pool update"

Olympic algal bloom

There’s a lot of debate about how and why the diving pool at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has turned from a lovely, crystal clear blue to a cloudy, murky, uninviting pea/pee green. It’s definitely not an additive they put in to show whether anyone was urinating and it’s definitely not Tom Daley’s moisturiser that’s … Continue reading "Olympic algal bloom"

Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?

The Who’s Pete Townshend was by turns a maestro on the acoustic guitar and a wall-of-sound man on the electric. Stacks of amps and speakers, his windmilling right arm, the leaps and kicks and, of course, the smashing up the guitars and hotel rooms in equal measure, allegedly. On the acoustic there was the high-speed … Continue reading "Classic Chords #14 Who is Townshend?"

Wriggly fly caterpillars

When the man said, “a rose by any other name”…the reverse isn’t necessarily true, giving something nasty a new name doesn’t make it any less nasty…Windscale to Sellafield, global warming to climate change, total and utter economic and...Show More Summary

The thing with no name

A newly discovered Western Australian nudibranch needs a name and just like Boaty McBoatface and that British Airways Olympic aeroplane they’re trying to name, somebody had the bright idea of asking the public to come up with a monicker. Show More Summary

Two fingers to Michael Buerk

Two fingers to Michael Buerk! You may have heard Buerk on BBC R4 Today this morning today trot out that #DeceivedWisdom about the British expletive V-sign (not the Winston Churchill victory version) being something to do with chopping off the fingers of French archers during the Battle of Agincourt. It is #DW = #BS. For … Continue reading "Two fingers to Michael Buerk"

Secret Spectroscopy

A safety initiative at Cambridgeshire’s well-known “Secret Garden Party” music and whatever festival saw the local police collaborating with an organisation called The Loop to test festivalgoers illicit drugs and make sure they were staying safe. Show More Summary

The next war to end all wars, no, really

Just when you were starting to get over it…here’s a thought from Tobias Stone on Medium…most of us have a 50-100 year perspective on history; historians, archaeologists and dinosaur hunters aside. We don’t really think about anyone before...Show More Summary

Vitamin D supplements

We need vitamin D, although exactly what you mean by vitamin D is open to debate, there are several different chemicals that come under the umbrella of that term and you won’t always get the most appropriate from a supplement. Indeed, a given product might not even tell you which form you’ve bought over the … Continue reading "Vitamin D supplements"

Kubrick did not fake the moon landings

Vivian Kubrick recently debunked the conspiracy theory that her father worked with the US government to fake the Moon landings…well, we all know he didn’t and her rationale is spot on. But, my own take on it was that if they had been faked, then surely the director, whoever it was, would’ve made sure there … Continue reading "Kubrick did not fake the moon landings"

Overpriced addictive sludge, or coffee to you and me

The truth about coffee…also comes in pumpkin flavour if you’d prefer that over the wet cigar and boiled asphalt flavour that occurs naturally…you’ll pay anything and let anyone treat you how they like as long as they’re handing you a cup of unregulated psychoactive drug with your misspelled name scrawled on the side. Show More Summary

Sciencebase 17 years old today

Tempus fugit et cetera, it’s 17 years ago to the day that I registered the domain. Although my long-standing and long-sffuering readers will know that its predecessor, the first proto chemistry webzine, blog, “Elemental...Show More Summary

Cambridge conversations

Classic fragment of Cambridge conversation overheard yesterday from male student on a bike cycling alongside female: “Well, when we discover monopoles…” And, then later, different, equally enthusiastic and aspirational pair: “…we’llShow More Summary

Dumbing down your smart phone

If you find your smart phone needs recharging even before the close of business each day, try dumbing down. The battery will last so much longer if you uninstall Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, and disable notifications and disconnect email accounts etc etc etc. Show More Summary

I’ll pass on the blue latte, thanks

If you’ve been taken in by the hype surrounding the algal food supplement spirulina or quaffing blue lattes made with algal powder and no coffee… Stop now. There’s mounting evidence that the neurotoxin BMAA, beta-methylamino-L-alanine...Show More Summary

Photographers’ rights in the UK

Photographers’ rights in the UK: Basically, you can photograph anyone or anything from a public place. Period. 6’19” in on the video. Caveats: Photographing Ministry of Defence (MoD) property might sometimes be in breach of The Official Secrets Act, by which everyone is bound whether or not they have signed it. Show More Summary

The smell of summer rain

The smell of rain, petrichor, is the delightful and earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek, petra, meaning “stone”, and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology, according to Wiki. The actual odour is aerosolised oils from plant material that … Continue reading "The smell of summer rain"

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