Blog Profile / Sciencebase

Filed Under:Academics / General Science
Posts on Regator:907
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:February 24, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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"

Prevailing Wind

I grew up on the North East coast of England and feel endlessly drawn to the sea although I live, here in Cambridge, almost as far away from any coast as you can get in England. Oh well. It’s always inspirational to see the whitecaps on any visit and to spend time at the shorelines … Continue reading "Prevailing Wind"

Poppies: Wave at Lincoln Castle

Part of our recent wet-and-dry whirlwind tour of some interesting places in England took in the city of Lincoln, its cathedral, castle and the Poppies Wave installation, which has also been touring the country since its inauguration at the Tower of London in 2014 as Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Show More Summary

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

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