A recent Nature article has slated STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) activities to engage with young people, calling it a “Fool’s errand”. It’s author, Colin Macilwain, was an engineer but for the past 17 years has spent his life working for the dark-side (i.e. Nature and science policy think tanks).
“What no one [...]
I’ve been trying to migrate from using Subversion to Git for my version control. If you need to keep track of the different stages in the development of some work (this usually refers to code but could easily be a paper), you should be using version control.
I’ve been using SVN (often called [...]
During the middle ages if you were to look up at the night sky you would see something very different to the view you see when looking at the sky today. This is partly because the skies are now much bright because of street lights in all but the remote places, but mostly because our [...]
Have you ever had a Cadbury’s Double Decker? For the uninitiated it is a chocolate bar with a layer of nougat (is that pronounced ‘nugget’ or ‘noogar’?) on the top and a layer of rice crispy balls on the bottom, smothered in chocolate. When I get just over half way through one I always experience, [...]
Making words out of Periodic Table elements – We’ve all done it (well a certain subset of us have at any rate). Its a bit like making words on your calculator – you write a couple of them (‘goggles’ and ‘blobs’ were some of the words that had us school boys tittering) and then [...]
This has been an exciting week of planning. You don’t tend to think of planning as being an exciting process, but this was. I traveled to Leiden in the Netherlands to visit the world famous Pedro Russo. If you were involved in any part of the International Year of astronomy in 2009, you [...]
In August 2010, Haley and I had decided to take 2 weeks off. Haley was just about ready to chew a lump out of her computer and throw undergraduates through her 3rd floor office window, so a break was very necessary. We phoned a variety of travel agents but because it was all done in [...]
Yesterday was the most terrifying Halloween I’ve had for many a long year. It was finally my time to do stand-up comedy at the Bright Club Wales. I had tentatively agreed to do it way back in April when I saw a colleague, Peter Coles, doing a turn. I have [...]
Most of us talk with our hands. I do. Particularly when I’m trying to explain a difficult concept in physics. The first, and most lasting, recollection that one of my best friends has of me is waving my hands around trying to explain some long forgotten point about astronomy.
This is a quick blog response to Amanda (famous for her Astropixie blog). She is currently observing at the AAT (Anglo-Australian Telescope) and because the weather is exceedingly inclement, they are spending the long, starless nights doing Tim Tam Slams. While I was a PhD student I became a little bit obsessed with [...]