Last couple of weeks had a few exciting things happening: got exam results back, got a research internship offer in Switzerland, had humanities exam…..
But the one thing I want to share with everyone is a result of a great teamwork and creative spirit!!! And that thing is the video that a group of us made for The Science Challenge competition.
The video category required to explain a scientific concept in a 3min movie. It was almost an accident that we decided to do it and due to certain circumstances we only had one day to finish it. So the video you will see is basically a 24-hour nonstop work with energy supplied by munching on muesli and strawberries all night.
I have not coloured so much since the primary school but it was worth every second of it!
If you want to see the video right away then scroll down the page, otherwise, here are some picks from the creative process in progress….
And the result is here, judge for yourselves if it’s good or not. Full video is made of a bit more then 500 photos.
At least someone did think that the video was worth something and we actually have won the first place. We had a reception at the House of Lords and got to see a bit of the building (no pictures were allowed). I conclude: it’s a very very posh place with more restaurants in it then one would expect!
I had great fun making the video. It was also a challenge to present it in a way that a nonscientists would understand because when you talk about certain concepts every day you take for granted what is basic knowledge and what actually needs explaining…Well, I hope it’s not the last time that I get to do this sort of thing!!!
Today I visited Welcome Trust Museum to the “Death- Self portrait” exhibition.
Overall the exhibition basically is a collection of many sculptures and drawings of skulls and skeletons, memento mori inscriptions and various Danse Macabre portraits. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that it’s a bad exhibition it’s just that I prefer to celebrate life while I can- Dum vivimus, vivamus.
Having said that, there definitely were a few interesting things in it.J But I wasn’t allowed to take pictures so I had to just pick pictures from internet to show you my two favorites:
Plasticine skull by Argentinian Mondongo Collective (notice the packman in the background)
Ironically metaphorical postcards
There was also another exhibition called Medicine Man and it contained a number of objects from Henry Wellcome’s personal collection. The few curiosities in it were:
- Napoleon Bonaparte’s toothbrush
- Snow goggles (no idea what you can see from those tiny slits…)
- Some other stylish goggles (wouldn’t be surprised if they come back into fashion one day)
- Charles Darwin’s walking stick (I would never have thought that Darwin would have a walking stick with green-eyed skull on it)
- Identification kit- to make bracelets for newborns so that they wouldn’t be mixed up in hospitals
This weekend I escaped from London to go to Robogals meeting in Manchester.
I found out about Robogals at Imperial accidentally seeing a notice on Imperial webpage. To sum up it’s basically an organization that tries to introduce the discipline of engineering to the young girls. The problem is that most of engineering students and working professionals are usually males (Imperial students will confirm), which is appalling because girls can be as good at it as boys!!! So Robogals invites schoolgirls to workshops were they can build and program LEGO mindstorms robots and in this way encourages and develops their interest in engineering. The meeting we had in Manchester was basically a discussion how to spread a word about Robogals and, in general, deal with other problems that occur while organizing events. So, before I go on I would like to invite any volunteers to come and help to run the workshops. You don’t have to be an engineer, a girl or have ever programmed before, the only thing you have to do is like playing with LEGO+ like robots+ want to do something good for society (and lets face it who doesn’t?!). So if you are interested please leave a comment or send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org . ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!!
So, back to Manchester. It was my first try at programming and it was fun fun fun!!! Here is our first try J And the only thing I can think of is how to get a hold of one of these robots… I NEED TO HAVE IT!!!
Apart from having lots of discussions we also visited Manchester city stadium and although I’m absolutely not interested in football there were a few interesting things to see. Bellow in the pictures you’ll see the fancy racing car chairs in home team’s changing rooms (apparently there’s a wooden bench in visiting team’s changing room). The button on the comfy blue chair is for heating it; apparently you don’t even need a coat if it’s snowing. I didn’t know how much care goes into looking after the lawn. The big lamps are set to allow constant photosynthesis, which improves thelushness of the grass. The man responsible for looking after the lawn even has an app on his phone so that he could turn on the sprinkles at any time, from anywhere he is in the world. The best players in the team earn 200,000£ per week (in my opinion this is a big nonsense)!
1. A cloud of 1km3 weights around 1000 tons.
2. Writer Ernest Hemmingway has survived two successive plane crashes in 1954. The first was meant to be a sightseeing flight during which the plane struck an abandoned utility pole. On the next day when he was going to travel to another city to get a proper medical help the plane exploded during the take off.
3. Luigi Bezzerra invented the first espresso machine in 1901 for the purpose of reducing the time coffee brakes in Italy’s factories during the Industrial Revolution.
4. An area the size of a grain of sand in the sky would contain around 10,000 galaxies (and each galaxy can have anywhere from 10 million to 1000 billion stars in it).
5. The guy who invented and patented Pringles packaging (and the method of stacking the chips in them) actually has some of his ashes buried in Pringles can at his request.
6. Pringles can might or might not be the fanciest place for your remains but I definitely know what I would consider- leaving in style. Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto in 1930, has a small part of his remains loaded on to the New Horizons space probe, which is at the moment (or at least as I checked on 27-01-2013 20:00 UTC) 26.24 AU away from Earth (3 925 448 126.9km). New Horizons is heading towards Pluto and should reach it in 2015.
A short comment on the weather:
It’s so funny how a third of reports on bbc are now about the <severe weather> in UK. From a foreigners point of view this looks really ridiculous, especially so, because I’m from “up North”. In Lithuania we never close schools because of snow, no matter how heavy it is! Moreover, students don’t have to go to school only if it’s more than -25C°…chi chi chi… And, from all what is on the news now, it looks like Britain has never seen snow before! Come-on it’s just a bit of snow!!! Personally I prefer snow to the constant rain, you don’t get wet and can have lots of fun in it
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…
I’ve got this small book about viruses for Christmas from a friend and it starts with a this very nice poem. The last two lines are spot on!!!
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen-
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so….
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!
By Hilaire Belloc
I haven’t written in a few weeks- that’s because of the exams and revision that I had … I promise to write something properly soon!!! In the mean time some more fun facts.
1. Bread was used as an eraser before erasers were invented. First rubber eraser was invented by E. Nairne in 1770 who accidentaly picked up a piece of rubber instead of bread to erase something and discovered rubber’s erasing properties.
2. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign was inspired by the last words of Gary M. Gilmore who was executed for the two murders he committed in 1977 in US.
3. The shape of the doughnut is called toroid and more precisely a type of toroid called torus.
4. All A size papers have ratio of √2 between the length of the longer and the shorter edges. This is the only paper measure that has same ratio across all of its types (the largest being A0 with an area of 1m2).
5. The Pythagorean cult, although, had thought of some awesome mathematical and philosophical ideas, it also had quite a few interesting/strange believes. These are a few rules that Pythagoras set for his followers: “Abstain from beans. Eat only the flesh of animals that may be sacrificed. Do not step over the beam of a balance. On rising, straighten the bedclothes and smooth out the place where you lay. Spit on your hair clippings and nail parings. Destroy the marks of a pot in the ashes. Do not piss towards the sun. Do not use a pine-torch to wipe a chair clean. Do not look in a mirror by lamplight. On a journey do not turn around at the border, for the Furies are following you. Do not make a detour on your way to the temple, for the god should not come second. Do not help a person to unload, only to load up. Do not dip your hand into holy water. Do not kill a louse in the temple. Do not stir the fire with a knife. One should not have children by a woman who wears gold jewellery. One should put on the right shoe first, but when washing do the left foot first. One should not pass by where an ass is lying.”
6. Some birds display anting behaviour, were they sit on top of an ant hill and apply ants all over their bodies. This is thought to be the way in which birds get rid of the parasite because ants secrete formic acid which although, is the thing that makes ant bite so itchy to us, also has insecticide and bactericide properties. Interestingly, some scientists suggest that anting can be addictive to birds just as cigarettes are to humans. These anting-addicts literally spend hours sitting on the ant hill while ants bite them!
YES, the term is finished!!!
Going home and so looking forward to it
Lots of revision ahead but as long as the subject is interesting I have no problem with that.
Went to the Winter Wonderland with some friends last week. It was fun but I must say that it looks like organizers are trying to copy Christmas markets in Germany with it, as the place it is all full of German Christmas decorations with English signs on them. However, it’s nowhere near the proper German Christmas market…. Still it was fun. We went on a ride that had very unstable security on it but I guess that’s what made it more interesting!
1. This is very interesting video about déjà-vu, which has always fascinated me. And I never new that such thing as -hypnagogic jerk- existed but I sure have had one quite a few times ;0. This also includes info about other “vu-s’ : Presque vu and Jamais vu. Vu… vu…. vu… vu…. It always surprises me that our brain is still basically a big black-box on our heads .
2. The cinnamon challenge. Have you ever tried swallowing a teaspoon of cinnamon? If you have than you would know it’s almost impossible, if you haven’t than go to YouTube and you can see many people trying to do it (just don’t try to do it yourself, it’s quite dangerous). What usually happens is that a person just spews out all the cinnamon- and there’s a scientific reason why! Because cinnamon is made from the bark of tree it’s mostly cellulose which is an insoluble compound. Once a spoon of cinnamon goes into your mouth it basically coats the inside of your mouth, this dries it out and it becomes difficult to swallow the cinnamon and because you can’t swallow it cinnamon then produces a very unpleasant burning sensation. Of course, you still need to breath and as you inhale the cinnamon powder gets into your throat and lungs basically blocking the air passages. In the first three months of this year there have been more than a 100 reports of teenage cinnamon ‘poisoning’ in US.
3. Before the late 15th century signs ‘-’ and ‘+’ were referred to as M (or m̄) and P (or p̄) , respectively. Luca Pacioli first used ‘+’ as a short hand for Latin ’et’ and ‘–’ probably came from the tilde on m̄. Sign ‘=’ was created by Welsh physician Robert Recorde in 1557.