Category Archives: Life

Testing Times – Methods of Dating the Geological Past

A spiral-shaped drawing illustrating the Earth history through the ages, since the Big Bang and the birth of our Solar System.Cross-Referencing Geological Time

At the beginning of the 20th century, the discovery of the radiometric “clock” revolutionised our understanding of the Earth’s deep history, confirming what geologists had been claiming for decades.  Nevertheless, newer and more accurate dating methods posed further problems in themselves.  After all, how do we know our Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and not a mere few thousands of years as suggested by the Bible?  Continue reading Testing Times – Methods of Dating the Geological Past

Little Tin Soldiers of Indonesia

A photograph showing a young child labouring at an Indonesian tin mine.Does exactly What It Says on the…

Tin – an important element for the electronics industry.  Tin is in high demand to manufacture devices like smartphones and tablets.  In Indonesia and elsewhere, people work in mines to dig tin ore out of the ground.  A dangerous job is made even more unsafe where the mine is being run illegally.  And it is not just the adults who take risks.  Children in Indonesia are working in brutal conditions to collect the materials used in our cool gadgets.  The manufacturers are complicit.  Do you really feel like buying that brand new mobile phone now?  Continue reading Little Tin Soldiers of Indonesia

Earth Creation – The Story So Far…

An artist's impression showing two hands touching on a cloudy night sky background, inspired by Michelangelo's famous scene of Genesis on the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The moment of Earth creation?Earth is Born

Our planet has existed for 4.5 billion years, and it has been a busy lifetime.  From amazing leaps and bounds forward into evolution to devastating asteroid impacts and other episodic extinctions, here are the biggest milestones in Earth’s history – the eventful journey that shaped our World today.  Continue reading Earth Creation – The Story So Far…

Don’t Shoot, I Just Blog Here! – I Am Charlie.

A Charlie Hebdo cartoon by Cabu, showing three violent extremist of different religious backgrounds. The caption reads: "Dieu N'Existe Pas..." (God Doesn't Exist.) "Si!" (Yes!) is the answer of the terrorist.Je Suis Charlie.  Let’s Talk!

I don’t do politics – much.  I just blog here…  I have an honest opinion.  Mostly, I tend to disagree with all those who try to suppress opinions, ideas, and attempt to stifle creativity and common sense… whoever they may be.  Unfortunately, once in a while, events are so traumatic that I simply forget that I don’t do politics…  Voilà!

I am not sure how many of you out there actually knew those Charlie Hebdo cartoons, but if you’re easily offended…  DON’T read further!! Continue reading Don’t Shoot, I Just Blog Here! – I Am Charlie.

The Craic about “Fracking” – Technical Facts on Hydraulic Fracturing

A photograph illustrating the phenomenon of natural hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking'.The Industry Term is ‘Fracturing’

Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly referred to as “fracking” in the media, is the fracturing of rock by a pressurised liquid.  Some hydraulic fractures form naturally – certain veins or dikes are examples.  However, induced hydraulic fracturing or hydro-fracturing is also a long tried-and-tested mining technique that has been most controversial recently…  But let’s not panic!  Continue reading The Craic about “Fracking” – Technical Facts on Hydraulic Fracturing

Friends or Fourth Cousins

A photograph of a group of friends hugging each other. Friends or Fourth Cousins.Do your Friends have Similar Genomes?

Do you know who your fourth cousins are?  The chances are you don’t.  But do you know who your friends are?  Of course, you know that much.  But did you ever stop and think why or how your friends are your friends?  Could your friends actually share part of your DNA, to the same extent a distant family member does? 

Continue reading Friends or Fourth Cousins

Winning at Rock-Paper-Scissors… Lizard-Spock!

A picture representing the traditional game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.A Little Game Theory

What is the ultimate strategy for winning at rock-paper-scissors?  According to three physicists in China, the answer does not lie in having absolutely no strategy and ensure that your choice of weapon is completely random, unlike previously thought.  If that strategy seemed obvious, perhaps you haven’t played the game enough to delude yourself into thinking that this might be a winning strategy…  Continue reading Winning at Rock-Paper-Scissors… Lizard-Spock!

Quantum Physicists in Disguise…

A photographic collage showing a number of Quantum celebrities, including Charlotte Church, Will I. Am, Tiger Woods, Anne Hathaway and Mark Everett. Image: NaturPhilosophieCelebrities you Thought you Knew Everything About

This blog isn’t really “trendy”…  “Physicists aren’t cool, and you never meet them anywhere anyway because they are all lesser known characters, some of them shady, who spend all their time toiling in obscurity on things no one does understand.”  Continue reading Quantum Physicists in Disguise… – The Matrix is Everywhere…

A photograph showing an old-fashioned computer screen showing a lot of data in green font type on the black screen background and the words "The Matrix has you..." is displayed in the centre.What is RoboEarth?

A world wide web for robots to learn from each other and share information is being unveiled for the first time.  The eventual aim of the system is that both robots and humans will be able to upload information to the cloud-based database, which would act as a kind of common brain for machines.  Continue reading – The Matrix is Everywhere…

CSI Scotland: Murder by the Loch – Studying the Forensics…

A colour drawing of Ross Priory - an early 19th-century country house, located west of Gartocharn, West Dunbartonshire, on the south shore of Loch Lomond, Scotland. The scene of the crime? Forensic science and murder meet by the Loch.Can you Solve the Murder by the Loch?

Well, you can try…  I love a gothic mystery, don’t you?  😉

You have six weeks to do it – and a staged murder at Strathclyde University’s Ross Priory house – using the techniques of forensic science.  Starting NOW.  Continue reading CSI Scotland: Murder by the Loch – Studying the Forensics…