//


January
2012

But is it art?

UPDATE: The expression, as it may not have been clear, is ‘but is it art?’ There’s an expression I grew up with, and which was often chortled, in an appropriate accent, when I was growing up*. It was also widely spoken by the people I hung out with at university (I was generally the only science one – most were working ‘creatives’, or studying such things as film). And, due today to the newest design [...]

F1000 Research (squeee!), Higgs hyping and string theory

Huzzah, more open science news! Plans were released today for the launch of F1000 Research, an F1000 initiative. F1000, for those for whom the name doesn’t ring a bell, are the ‘Faculty of 1000, which release post-publication peer reviews of scientific literature. They often do big metareviews. And they are, at least to my knowledge, rather well respected. The new F1000 Research service, which will begin publishing later this year, aims to “address three major [...]

TOSP Episode 19: January 30th 2012

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Greetings, podcast audience of ours! This week’s podcast was supposed to be slightly shorter than usual, but then Elf and aimee got into a Discussion or two. There may have been some slight ranting :) We cover the human brain connectome (peeeerdy), awesome urchin-like nanospheres, a NZ critter app, the world’s first iridescent mammal, a medical/bioinformative challenge, science and weight loss, ranting discussion on the place [...]

The Internet in Numbers: 2011

Uptime monitoring service Pingdom’s released its ‘internet 2011 in numbers’, and the numbers are, to say the least, pretty interesting! I’ve pulled out a few of my favourites below: Websites The number of websites out there more than doubled in 2011. From 255 million in 2010 to 555 million in 2011. One wonders how many of those are Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ meme websites :P Emails There are 3.146 billion email accounts out there, it [...]

OMG! Earth photography pr0n

Thank you, NASA, for once again providing really beautiful imagery. Fresh off the boat off the orbiting device*, a gorgeous ‘blue marble’ photograph of the little planet upon the surface of which we sail through our ever-expanding universe**. As NASA says: This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth’s surface taken on January 4, 2012. The NPP satellite was renamed ‘Suomi NPP’ on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. [...]

Weirdest comment spam ever

I’ve just received the strangest piece of comment spam ever, over on my Sciblogs blog. I have not approved it, so it will not be appearing anywhere in comments.  But I figured it merited a post :P —– blah blah details of IP addresses (nothing attached to them), etc Comment: Hey There Sciblogs, Very interesting, Here are Mr Saxon’s main policy commitments. Law and order: – 1. 1973 policing methods to be re-introduced. 2. Greater [...]

Open Culture: The (internet) keys to the city, and beyond

I wrote this post for the Retake the Net site, where it first appeared. See the RtN website for more details about our work/projects, and how you can get involved! —– It’s a brand new year, and now that everyone’s back and refreshed, it’s time once again to work on the Open Culture project. Late last year, we got wonderful news.  CityLink, one of the premier providers of internet services in Wellington, would like to [...]

TOSP Episode 18: January 23rd 2012

[Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] Hello and welcome, once again, to another episode of TOSP. This week was anniversary weekend in Wellington, so Elf and aimee recorded the ‘cast on Monday instead of Sunday.  Because it was, well, a long weekend :) And what an interesting ‘cast we think it is!  This week, we feature viewing the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole, mad new nanofluidic mixing control, making multicellular [...]

A very deep-sea chandelier

I am in lust for this chandelier. Don’t get me wrong – I am often in lust for chandeliers.  I am not, as it turns out, without my quirks.  But this one if particularly gorgeous. This piece – Skyphos 1 – was designed by Kateřina Smolíková.  It’s a low-energy glass-and-LED design.  And the reason it looks so ethereally familiar?  Her inspiration were the bioluminescent organisms which inhabit our waters.  This one reminds me particularly of a [...]

Citizen Science – Globe at Night

Ah, citizen science.  How we love you so :) For those not familiar with the concept, citizen science is what we call distributed science projects in which members of the public contribute to the science being done: they help collect the data, for example, or analyse it. Examples include Galaxy Zoo, as well as a host of others. And now there’s a beautiful new project in which to get involved, and it’s far from time-heavy: [...]