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The Transit of Venus May 26, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in News, Science, Teaching.
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On the 5th and 6th of June, Venus will travel on her orbital path between the Earth and Sun.

Why is this news? Good question! The next time this event will occur it will be 2117! So now is the time to test theories and add to our ever-increasing knowledge of the universe. 

Why is this of astronomical importance? The atmosphere of planets or exoplanets cause the light from the star(Sun) to bend. Compounds and elements that are present in this atmosphere can be detected.

When can I see this rare sight? In the UK the transit of Venus can be view on dawn the 6th June.

For more information look at the Astronomy.co.uk website.


May 21, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Science.
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This post was written by Mellavora. I agree with the comparison


Scientist or pirate? They have more in common than you might think.

  1. Leadership positions (professor, PI), assume and confer substantial autonomy, even in an institutional context.
  2. Research is often state sponsored, but not state controlled.
  3. A lab operates on merit. The “crew” (Ph.D. students, post-docs) choose their own captain to follow. Advancement through the ranks is actively encouraged.
  4. Spoils of victory (these being glory and honor in science) are shared. I have seen several first year Ph.D. students get first authorship of Nature papers.
  5. Both operate in waters which may be known to them but distant from mainstream society.
  6. Get to play with dangerous toys.
  7. Specialized vocabulary.
  8. There are many interesting characters in science.
  9. Bad clothes.

Pirate science!

yes, yes I can count. You figure it out.

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Hints from the wise: part 3 May 12, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Lifestyle.
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Hello all! It’s been a while since my last post. I apologise most profusely.

In this post I’d like to share a conversation I had with a friend.

Netball: A women’s netball game had been planned. Sounds riveting. However,when I saw the list of organisers I thought, “Ugh, young kids – so not going”

That weekend I shared my views with one of my good friends.

“So?” she replied, her voice tinted with disapproval, “you talk to me and I’m a lot older than you.”

“That’s because I’m different.” I grinned but believed my statement was true, “young girls freak me out.”

“That’s your first problem. View these girls as young women and not as a set or group. I know some of them would like to get to know you.”

I didn’t respond with a promise to go but that netball night I was at the park.

It was fun! I am a bad player but didn’t care. There was a range of girls and ladies. Between games I chatted with a young lady about exercise and college.

It was an important life lesson. Does anyone have similar stories to share?