Blog Profile / Sciencebase

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:894
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:February 24, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Cottenham Balloon Terror

A Virgin hot-air balloon was looming low over Cottenham, just North of Cambridge City on the evening of 22nd June. Drinkers enjoying the sun and the ale outside The Chequers pub were stunned to see the enormous inflatable bobbing low over houses opposite. The pilot seemed desperately trying to gain height and had the burner … Continue reading "Cottenham Balloon Terror"

Classic Chords #13 – Purple Smoke in Japan

Almost every budding axe hero of a certain age used to play the seminal heavy rock riff that opens “Smoke on the Water”, from Deep Purple’s 1972 album Machine Head and the more exciting live version from Made in Japan. Almost every budding axe hero played it wrong. Show More Summary

Classic Chords #12 – Message in a Bottle

The Police were a post-punk, new wave band, but the power pop trio all had jazz backgrounds. It’s not surprise then, that they used motifs from that world in their pop songs. ‘Message in a Bottle’ from the band’s second album, 1979’s...Show More Summary

Bee orchid – Ophrys apifera

Apparently, we have a bee orchid, Ophrys apifera, growing on the margin of our front garden. This is, according to a neighbour, a rare(ish) wildflower. Aside from being rather pretty and having flowers that attract bees as pollenators, the chemistry of their pigments is intriguing. Show More Summary

Roundup: forming hydrogen, butterfly effect, arsenic and photonic mixtures

Forming hydrogen – The gas can be released efficiently from liquid formic acid for use in fuel-cell powered vehicles. Proof of principle utilised nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to follow the catalytic chemistry involved in the process. Show More Summary

My journey so far in three little words

I began life in upon voice wink but spent my first few months in brains dock bumpy before the family moved to the coast, the little fishing village of pepper assets slides. I went to school there and then attended penny tribe facing university. Show More Summary

Things I will never say

I once made a tagcloud of BS that included Reiki, homeopathy, antivax rhetoric and much more besides, but in the spirit of inverted positive thinking, here’s a short distillation of things you will never hear me say: “Congratulations,...Show More Summary

Three Word Addresses

A new addressing system that maps every point on earth to a unique triple of just three words could make house number, street names and postal codes a thing of the past, According to Josh Howgego on Twitter, Mongolia is already adopting the system. This is very curious, I found our house address and its three words, … Continue reading "Three Word Addresses"

Classic Chords #12 – Brass in Pocket

UPDATE: I’ve had some Twitter debate with Richard Perkins of Bath Guitar School who half tongue-in-cheek points out that this chord might more formally be called an Aadd9. The note B is second and ninth in the scale of A major and personally, if I’d been playing a C major chord with an added D not on … Continue reading "Classic Chords #12 – Brass in Pocket"

Sodium and water, explosive video

Yet again somebody is throwing a chunk of sodium metal into a waterway and cause quite the viral explosion with their “hilarious” video. What is particular amusing to the “experimenters”, one has to assume, is not only the sound and fury, but the murder of myriad aquatic creatures. Show More Summary

Todo list: Fly jets, fix Hubble, sing Drowning Pool

Back in the 90s, John Hetlinger helped fix the Hubble Space Telescope…but now, aged 82, the highlight of all his various careers as fighter pilot, engineer and more, is, apparently, to sing for Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent. And, what a song choice! Drowning Pool’s “Bodies”. Show More Summary

Before they were famous

A clip from US TV from 1978 reporting on the “Rocky Horror” craze features a young Michael Stipe in drag. Stipe later of R.E.M fame, of course. Stipe is not the first celebrity to have pre-empted their fame with a media appearance. Others include Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page playing guitar in a skiffle band on a […]

New chemical elements

The four recently discovered chemical elements that fill some of the gaps in the Periodic Table have been assigned provisional names by IUPAC, the names are now up for public consultation. There is no lemiu, no bowium, no woganium, no princium. Instead, we have nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson. Nihonium and symbol Nh, for the […]

Classic Chords #11 – Mad Punk

My band C5 rehearsing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” last night and trying to get that Nile Style guitar part as close as possible to the original song. Basically, the chords are Bm, D, F#m, E, with the usual Chic cleverness of not playing whole chords and doing something neat with the transitions, so there’s a […]

Web hosts should secure the web

There are millions of sites that are not encrypted. It is, after all, an additional expense and quite a painful process to implement security certificates on a website and unless you’re Paypal, Amazon or whatever you might not think it worth it. But, having an https:// address as opposed to an http:// not only makes […]

Beryllium at ground zero

The alkaline earth metal, beryllium (Be) sits at the top of Group 2 of the chemical elements in the Periodic Table above magnesium (Mg) and alongside Group 1 alkali metal, lithium (Li). It is usually thought of as a divalent metal, bonding to two other atoms and is rarely found in any other form, it […]

Matching collar and cuffs – A short Italian love story

Back in the day, I went InterRailing around Europe, I got robbed In France, got blind drunk on the train to Belgrade and ended up sleeping on the floor outside the toilets because the seats were all taken and the corridors crammed. On the journey home, I was kicked awake by a police horse outside […]

Strawberry in Mono

A few of my photos from Cambridge’s Strawberry Fair 2016 get the monochrome treatment More photos and the colour snaps of strawbs out and about at the Fair in my Flickr Gallery.

Classic Chords #9 All Right Now

“All Right Now” was the big 1970 hit from the blues-rock band Free with one of the most recognisable but easy to fluff guitar riffs of all time. Unfortunately, for the budding axe hero, Paul Kossoff was not playing anything particularly simple on a single guitar in this song by bassist Andy Fraser and singer […]

Strawberry Fair 2016

Memories of a free festival, Strawberry Fair, Cambridge Saturday, 4th June 2016. I have lots more photos in the sciencebase Flickr gallery but here’s a sample montaged against an instrumental of mine called El Canalla.

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