Archive | September 2012

Wandering around Glasgow

I recently went up to Scotland for one of my close friends stag dos. I have to say the evening were lots of fun and full of dancing and good beer but the thing I’ll take away more is the fantastic Victorian buildings of Glasgow. Apart from the general walking around to get to places I managed to get an early morning stroll in before I had to head back to Brum…

One of the places that stood out the most to me was St. Andrews in the Square:

St Andrews in the Square

There were some lovely clocktowers around the Merchant City area too:

Merchant City clock tower

Probably the thing that surprised me the most was walking back to the hostel and seeing the little Caffe Nero building:

Former railway building, St. Enoch Caffe Nero

I really have to say I had a great time in Glasgow and will have to go back for a longer and a more detailed (and probably a bit more culture) visit.

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Quarry Bank Mill

On our way back from Morecambe the other day we decided to break our journey up by stopping at Quarry Bank Mill. This is now operated by the National Trust and it was really nice to go to an industrial NT place after going around a lot of fancy old homes. The Mill was just huge with loads to see. We started off by taking a walk around the gardens, which if the top part hadn’t have been shut off due to a landslide we could have been going around for hours. We then had an interested, but fairly grim, tour around the apprentice house. I’m sure at the time it was fantastic that these children had food and some education but the conditions and hours they worked just sounded very grim.

Quarry Bank Mill

We then went and looked around the main mill which was a myriad of rooms telling you all about the cotton industry. The process of making cotton fabric still goes on at the mill and we were giving a demonstration of how this works with some turn of the last century-esq machines. They were loud, very loud and that was only 2 at a time – there would have been many more in the room.

Quarry Bank Mill

Once you get to the bottom of the Mill you get to see the cool big bits and pieces seing Europe’s largest water mill and then a bunch of lovely steam engines – all of which are providing power for the machines higher up the building.

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Yet another great National Trust place to visit and somewhere that I feel we would go back to as there is just so much to see and we just didn’t have time to pop up to the dam etc.

Whipple Museum

We finally made it down to the Whipple Museum of the History of Science the other day. The collection includes scientific instruments, apparatus, models and lots of other bits and pieces related to the history of science.

If you are interested iIMAG0931n old pieces of kit or science in general then its really worth taking a look around. They have a microscope that Darwin used for example. They also have a huge collection of old calculators which really gave me a flash back to using big old bulky devices. I think the most impressive thing in there was the number of really cool optics and the orrerys – including one that you could put a pound into and it moved. I think this museum is often forgotten in Cambridge as it just doesn’t stand out much and is only open on weekdays in the afternoon. If you are in Cambridge though its really worth a trip down to Freeschool lane – and plus you get to see the old Cavendish lab building too. Its also free – so very much worth the trip.

 

Last day at Cambridge

Today is my final day of work at the University of Cambridge. I’ve been here just over a year – its been fun but I’ve grown weary of the academic job security – time to move on.. and on to being a science teacher. I still had a bit of time to make a cool antenna movie though:

This shows an antenna changing with time as the sky changed above its head. This is meant to be a simulation of a LOFAR antenna but its a bit early to say anything interesting… ¬†all I can say is I’ve had quite a bit of fun playing with OSKAR2 over the past few month.s