Friday, 2 January 2009

Pig-headed scientists

"Scientists, especially when they leave the particular field in which they have specialized, are just as ordinary, pig-headed and unreasonable as anybody else, and their unusually high intelligence only makes their prejudices all the more dangerous..."

Eysenck, H.J. (1957) Sense and nonsense in psychology. Penguin.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Heavens above

I found this website where you can track the location of the International Space Station, and the numerous communication satellites whirling around the globe. One network of around 80 satellites, known as Iridium, is for satellite phones. Apparently, the mirrors on these satellites catch the sun and reflect it down to us, at certain points in their orbits. These are visible to the naked eye as bright flare of light, known as an Iridium flare. In this website you can enter your location, and it will then provide you with forecasts about where and when you can catch sight of the International Space Station, the Iridium flares and even, if you have some binoculars, the toolbag dropped from the International Space Station by an astronaut. Let me know if you see any of these things. Click here

(Photo courtesy of Ideonexus)

Monday, 29 December 2008

Persepolis (2007)

Persepolis is a cartoon movie about a young girl growing up in Iran through the Islamic revolution and subsequently the war with Iraq. It is a brilliant film, providing a really powerful account of how the impact of huge political change on ordinary people. It is remarkable to see how much of what has happened in this part of the world was brought about by interference of the UK and the West. Apart from the questions that it raises about what it means to be a civilized society, this film is a very moving autobiography. See it if you can.

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Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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