Blog Profile / Sciencebase

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:993
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:February 24, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Aegithalos caudatus, the long-tailed tit, undertaking aerobatic manouevres among the bursting buds of hawthorn and the claws of a bramble hedgerow.

Today, the Brexshit hits the fan

Here’s how the Brexit vote last June actually went, simplified for those who don’t like experts explaining stuff (numbers rounded to the nearest millions of people): 51m people had the chance to vote, just 34m of them did. 17m of those voters said they wanted to leave the EU, 16m said they wanted to stay. … Continue reading "Today, the Brexshit hits the fan"

Hull and back was Holy Holy

Last night we saw the final night of the homecoming of The Spiders from Mars in Hull City Hall. Bowie drummer Woody Woodmansey with producer/bassist Tony Visconti, Heaven 17’s Glen Gregory on lead vocals Visconti’s daughter Jessica Lee...Show More Summary

Pause for thought – a comma

It’s an odd name…for a butterfly…a comma. Formally known as Polygonia c-album. Raggedy edged wings with a little white fleck on the underside resembling a punctuation mark, hence the name. Not to be confused with an Oxford comma, a point...Show More Summary

Collared dove continuity error

You wouldn’t have heard the plaintive and ubiquitous sound of an English summer, the incessant “coo-coo-coooh” of a collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) here until 1953, when they first began to settle and breed. According to Wikipedia: The collared dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive. Show More Summary

Bridges (Crossed and Burned) – A song

Tuesday night, three-hour demo from first idea (the line “embedded with waifs and strays” which sprung unbidden into my head) and two evolutions of the chord progression, lots of lyrical ad libbing in various takes, played it “live”Show More Summary

Protection racket for your contactless cards

My astro news friend Paul Sutherland recently described how to make a simple protector for your wallet if your wont is to carry those new-fangled contactless debit and credit cards. The protection involves cutting a sheet of tin foil...Show More Summary

Tim Lihoreau’s Musical Treasury

Laugh-out-loud new book from ClassicFM’s award-winning breakfast DJ and Cottenham resident Tim Lihoreau out now from all good books shops, amazon etc. In his latest tome, Tim uses odd British place names to help him define missing and...Show More Summary

Three birds in one

Three birds in one: lapwing, peewit (pewit), green plover (Vanellus vanellus)…actually also known as a tuit (tew-it), so four birds in one. The fact that its scientific binomial (colloquially known as a species’ “Latin name” is in this species case a tautonym (both parts are the same word), this indicates that this species is the … Continue reading "Three birds in one"

The Sir James Knott Anti-aircraft flats

The “Sir James Knott Memorial Flats” in Tynemouth, commonly known as Knott’s Flats (although they have also been known locally as Colditz), were built when war clouds were gathering over Europe in the 1930s, ironically enough. They had...Show More Summary

Great spotted woodpecker – Dendrocopos major

Pleased to see this great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) clinging to a vertical branch at the top of a tall-ish ash tree in the local woodland (on 6th February 2017), as is their wont. Usually, they’ll manoeuvre themselves to...Show More Summary

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.

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