Archive | August 2014

The worst neurobollocks infographics on the web


Regardless what you think of infographics (and personally, I think they’re largely a pustulent, suppurating boil on the bloated arse of the internet) there are some good, useful ones out there. However, these are vastly outweighed by the thousands of utterly ghastly, misleading, poorly-referenced and pointless ones.

Because I’ve been on holiday for the last week, my levels of rage and misanthropy have dropped somewhat from their usual DEFCON-1-global-thermonuclear-war-the-only-winning-move-is-not-to-play levels, so I thought trying to find the absolute worst neuroscience-related infographics on the web might be a good way to top the vital bile reserves back up again. And oh boy, was I right. There are some doozies.

First up is this purple and blue monstrosity titled ’15 things you didn’t know about the brain.’ Here we learn (amongst other howlers) that the capacity of the brain is 4 terabytes, men process information on the left side while women use…

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The Diplodocus seen around the world

Such a wonderful sight when you enter the natural history museum.


1st cast in spot of honor The first cast of the Carnegie Diplodocus holds court at London’s Natural History Museum. Source

The story of Andrew Carnegie’s Diplodocus will surely be well known to most readers. As the legend goes, Carnegie the millionaire philanthropist saw a cartoon in the November 1898 New York Journal depicting a sauropod dinosaur peering into the window of a skyscraper. He immediately contacted the paleontology department at the newly established Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, and offered ample funding to find a sauropod skeleton for display. So began a frantic competition among the United States’ large urban museums to be the first to collect and mount a sauropod – the bigger the better.

The American Museum of Natural History was first across the finish line, unveiling their composite “Brontosaurus” in February of 1905. By that time, the Carnegie team had already found a sauropod skeleton of their own, a Diplodocus

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Flickr Astronomy: Comet Jacques


Flickr photo

The green nebulous object is a comet!

Flickr Astronomy: Eta Carinae


Wiki Link  Flickr photo

I spend quite a lot of time looking at fantastic photos of the night sky on Flickr on the bus to and from my school. I thought I should use my blog to share some of my favourite ones.

Thinktank Planetarium


Henry enjoyed his first visit to the the think tank planetarium.

Dual booting is fun!

Why not dual boot linux and windows? I’ve been doing this happily for years however my recent upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04  has meant a change to how the bootloader works, yes I was running a very old version of Ubuntu. I like stability. Anyway, I got annoyed that I had to build a simple pack from source as the repo didn’t exist so upgraded. I found that Grub2 was a bit different to edit and continuing the laziness I found an excellent tool to alter this. I want windows to boot my default as I’ll be using this more at school than home.

Anyway grub-customizer is the way to go:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer


Shugborough estate


We had a lovely time at Shugborough estate. Though I have to say it wasn’t quite up to normal national trust standards. This was not helped by us having to pay an extra £7.50 on our normal NT membership. We were already aware of this but of course it makes a disjointed place feel even more like a let down. Don’t get me wrong we had a lovely time but I expect that was as much to do with our lunch and just being out in the countryside (especially whilst being sunny). Of course we could have just got into the house and gardens for free as NT members. That’s what we would do if we returned but that’s assuming we bother keeping our membership. Not sure we are getting great value out of it at the moment.