Archive | July 2007

Floods and fires across Europe captured from space

Some quite fascinating (and possibly scary) views of the recent floods across the uk can be found on the [ESA website]

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Today is the [8th Annual System Admin day] so we decided that we would thank our system admin in the astrophysics group at Birmingham with a nice suprise… biggrin.gif

Black Google Would Save Energy

It is believed that an all white computer screen, such as the Google page, uses 74 watts to display, whereas a black screen consumes only 59 watts and so a black version of google, such as would infact save energy! Sounds ok, apart from the eye strain doesn’t it? Well I’m not entirely sure I believe it though as surely this doesn’t apply to LCDs… not sure though, but the Wall Street Journal backs this up here.
Maybe its worth it.. but I think I’d rather not deal with the awkwardness of reading and save energy elsewhere…

Another moon for Saturn..

The Cassini imaging-science team have reported the discovery of S/2007 S 4, a satellite orbiting in the region between Saturn XXXII (Methone) and Saturn XXXIII (Pallene). Preliminary estimates suggest that S/2007 S 4 has a radius of about 1 km. Is a 1km rock really a satellite or just a rock? I’m not sure I know what the IAU definition is of when a rock becomes an orbiting satellite or not… hmmm.

Trip to Jodrell Bank

Today I went up to the home of the UK’s radio astronomy – good old Jodrell Bank. For a British radio astronomer I felt odd saying that this was the first time I had actually been to Jodrell. It is a fantastic site, well worth a trip for anyone interested in astronomy. Since I was actually up for a meeting I forgot to take my camera and you can’t turn your phone on as it causes inteference (so no photos, must be a first for me as of late!). If you fancy a visit take a look [here]. The reason I was up at Jodrell was to find out more about the e-Merlin (Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network ([MERLIN])) legacy projects that will be happening in the not-to-distant future and might well impact on any career I follow after my PhD… it was full of interesting talks and discussion and yes brown dwarfs came up… which got my interest.

iPhone blended!

I bought a blender today, the first time I have ever owned one.. but lets just say if I had an iPhone I would not be putting my blender anywhere near it… unlike this crazy man [Will it blend?] though his ebay auction for the blended bits is currently at $1,000 (US) so looks like he will make a nice profit…

Highlights from my trip to Plymouth

A couple of weeks ago I went on a much needed holiday… to Plymouth cool.gif. Yep I didn’t need the shades as the rain that has blighted the british summer continued, oh well. I still had lots of fun, plus I got to spend 5 days with wonderful Lizzie, I’m sure she might not quite see it that way around… oh I will do these highlights in pictures mostly.
Though there weather was not always great we did get a couple of really nice skies…
One of the first features that came to my eyes was the lighthouse, moved a considerable distance onto the Hoe for protection…
I even went up to the top of it…
As our walk continued I realised I probably should not have taken this…
A rocky beach…
.. but lizzie seemed to enjoy throwing rocks.. well I did anyway laughing.gif
I love this photo, I feel I have captured Lizzie and rocks quite well..
In Devon you have to eat pasties (though we didn’t eat here as lizzie would not pose eating a pasty for me… mad.gif)
What more walking…
The Merchant’s House, a must visit if you want to learn about the history of Plymouth. It has lots of cool stuff inside, including a whole old chemist with the shop front and all…. some wonderful ladies spoke to me and Lizzie in there, giving us probably the best value for money historical site I have ever been in (it cost just £1.40 each)…
We also went around the Elizabethan house which was good fun and there is some nice but not completely inspiring gardens..
..though it did have a water feature…
.. and some interesting stone work.. is this the Mayflower?
We also had a look around the cathedral that was devestated in WWII, it now has some modern stained glass windows, I love stained glass windows…
.. oh and we also went on a boat trip, not quite what Lizzie had in mind but I was more than happy as we went around the docks and we saw the nuclear subs… but I’m not a boat person…
Oh and we did countless other things, but we really can’t forget the National Marine Aquarium it was great fun, with lots of fishes and the deepest shark tank in Europe!
In all it was great fun, many other photos can be found on my flickr account or [here]

Starry-Night epetition reply

In case you haven’t heard recently a bunch of people put together an epetition to the UK Government asking for better legislation in the fight against light pollution. Today the UK government replied (see here). Personally I feel that they are just rehashing what they have said before – suggesting that things are indeed happening, it is a shame not to see any new material but it is a nice overview of the governments stance – lets hope that some action is taken in at least stopping any future light pollution and maybe combating some of the existing problems with better and more energy efficient lighting.

GTA does Coke…

GTA does the coke ad… nah never – well here we are (thanks to Tom for posting the link on facebook – I had to share with more people).


Even the lego men like it…