When making a pot of tea, I tend to add teabags and sugar at the same time; once the tea has brewed, I give it a stir, remove the teabags, add milk, and then with the aid of a knitted tea-cosy I get several hot mugs of tea in succession and can keep working without the need to return to the kitchen.
However, when I do return to the kitchen a recurring question bounces around my head: how much sugar is absorbed by the teabag before it is removed from the pot? i.e. exactly how much is the taste affected and how much energy is lost? Continue reading
If you’re going to do something where you have just one shot, then you have to get it right first time, there can be no deviation. This is a very different requirement to just getting it right every time after a short teething period . Space exploration is full of one-shot right first time problems. For special problems you need special people. Continue reading
Picture this: it’s a sunny day at the seaside and you’re enjoying an icecream. The human predilection to follow scripted conversation formats is such that you cannot fail to overhear somebody appreciatively inhale before joyously proclaiming “mmmmm, smell that sea air!”, to which a companion will invariably offer a helpfully informative “ah yes, that’s ozone“. Continue reading
SchrÃ¶dinger’s cat, bless it’s little white paws, had a pretty tough time of it; what with being locked in an imaginary box, and having to share that space with only a decaying radioactive isotope. At the end of the experiment, when the box is opened and the cat is observed, it’s probability wave collapses into either a live cat or a dead cat. It’s not exactly an easy life (or death). Continue reading
Nuclear Energy is neither carbon-free, nor is it a secure energy, yet our government representatives appear to be drinking in everthing the Nuclear Industry offers them.
This morning on the BBC’s Breakfast Television programme we were treated to an interview with Alan Johnson MP, the Trade and Industry Secretary. The interview follows coverage of the the announcement that the government has ordered the Health and Safety Executive to assess all UK nuclear reactors. Continue reading
For me, the arguments against nuclear power-plants in their current form are overwhelming; the most significant of these being the collapse of the “nuclear is clean” argument (because of the apparent hidden CO2 costs of preparing the enriched uranium). Continue reading
I’ve been intermittently toying with the idea of fitting an Anti-Limescale device to the water supply in our home. Continue reading
Science is not the private playground of people in white coats with clipboards. Popular Science is a good thing. The problem, however, with popular science is that it can introduce all kinds of misconceptions. Take, for example, this story, in which the BBC quotes Professor Frenk FRS as follows:
We are now able, using the biggest, fastest supercomputers in the world, to recreate the whole of cosmic history.