Topic Archives: Science

SDO: Coronal hole Feb 2017

Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… more…

640px-FullExtractCannabisOil

Cannabis Oil; An idiot’s guide

Patrick, 84 this year, is nothing short of a minor miracle.  A bright, intelligent and curious man, had he not been such a heavy and committed drinker, his life might have been very different.  He has always lived in the street where he grew up in the pitiful poverty of the 1930s.  In spite of more…

Stormont

#SluggerReport: … and #AE17 South Antrim and North Belfast

Two items this morning, before the profiles. One was largely a reprise of yesterday’s story on the odd position the SF Health Minister now finds herself in, and then the odd news that the Attorney General is considering suing the Dept of the Economy for not (in the first place) bringing the RHI to the more…

Earth and Moon from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

A bit of perspective…

…with this stunning composite image of the Earth and its moon, courtesy of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona] From the associated text This composite image of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars, combines the best Earth image with the best moon image more…

pills

How should we deal with pharmacists who make mistakes?

  On 6th February 2014, Mrs Ethna Walsh, a 67-year-old grandmother, was prescribed Prednisolone Tablets 5mg by her doctor.  Having taken the first dose of 8 tablets she became ill, collapsed, was rushed to hospital and was dead within two hours.  She had been dispensed propranolol 40mg tablets by mistake. Martin White, her pharmacist, fully more…

NI Festival of Social Science: From the Lecture Theatre to the Black Box

“I think the people of this country have had enough of experts.” It was perhaps one of the most memorable – and controversial – lines from recent political discourse. Agree or disagree with this particular view of the former Justice Secretary, one thing cannot be ignored: quite a few people agree with him. Perhaps the more…

Mercury Transit 2016 via SDO

Mercury in motion

If you missed yesterday’s rare Mercury transit across the Sun – the last was in 2006, the next in 2019 – then where were you! [Busy… – Ed]  But even if you were paying attention you’re unlikely to have had as wondrous a view as that of Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. They’ve helpfully released a stunning time-lapse video more…

Another view…

Vote… don’t vote…  In the meantime, here’s another in an occasional series of wondrous views from the International Space Station, via the Nasa Crew Earth Observations videos – Sunglint over the Ocean.  [Video courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center] This video was taken by the Expedition 47 crew more…

Torture_Inquisition

Torture and Cognitive Dissonance

When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir? —JM Keynes A couple of recent, unrelated articles caught my eye. The New Scientist carried a review of ‘Why Torture doesn’t work’, a forthcoming book by Shane O’Mara, an academic at Trinity, Dublin. The scientific answer is that torture doesn’t work, in more…

Colum Eastwood MLA

Who is Colum Eastwood?

Colum Eastwood, you may not know that much about him, but he is the man set to take on the sitting SDLP leader, Alasdair McDonnell. If memory serves me right, I think he is the first person to challenge a sitting SDLP leader. I know Patsy McGlone was preparing to challenge Ritchie in 2011 but more…

“The point all this misses is that the Conservatives won…”

Ah, one more wee gem (literally) in the wake of the Corbyn effect as Simon Wren Lewis was finishing Can Labour Win?: Perhaps part of the problem is that a great deal of this analysis comes from Labour party people who are, quite rightly, really interested in policy. So all the analysis is about which policies more…

North Korea is adopting a new time zone.

A Brief History of Time

In what is claimed to be a blow against one of the last remnants of Japanese Imperialism, North Korea will move to a new time zone on 15 August, the 70th Anniversary of the surrender of Japanese forces on the Peninsula at the end of World War Two. Clocks will move back by half an more…

New Horizons Charon

New Horizons: Live Briefing

Having survived yesterday’s fly-by, follow the live-briefing from the Nasa New Horizons mission to Pluto as they reveal the first hi-resolution images from the dwarf planet system nearly 5 billion km away. Adds The big news is that Pluto, and Charon, may still be geologically active. There are 3,500metre (11,000feet) high water-ice mountains on the more…

New Horizons Pluto 11 July 2015

New Horizons: Countdown to Pluto

Nasa’s New Horizons mission spacecraft is now within two days journey time to the dwarf planet Pluto and its complex system of 5 moons.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)]   Travelling at 14km/s, New Horizons’ swift fly-by of the dwarf planet is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 14 July, at more…