I have tūī in my back garden. Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae to scientists. There are at least three, possibly more, which live in the area and drop in every so often to snack on harakeke (flax) nectar. They also squabble and sing. Loudly. And all of that that is a great luxury to have in the back … More An ode to the humble tui
Picture the scene: you’re standing on an ice-shelf in Antaractica circa 1940 and suddenly spot a huge orange-red vehicle approaching on just four 10-foot high balloon tyres. It’s got a small aircraft on its back. And it’s absolutely enormous: 16 feet high, 20 feet wide and 55 feet long – a giant of a vehicle … More Going totally dieselpunk with the Antarctic Snow Cruiser
I got a new piece of astronomy software the other day, letting me run simulations according to the laws of physics, however implausible the scenario. I thought it might be fun to see what would happen if a rogue orange-tinted dwarf star – smaller than the average star, but not excessively so – was cut … More The Tangerine Peril destroys the Earth!
As part of a series of posts marking Apollo 11’s fiftieth I thought I’d re-post something I penned way back in 2013 on the REAL moon conspiracy – the Russian cover-up of their own failures. I posted a while back about the claims that NASA faked the Apollo programme. This idea is so stupid it doesn’t … More The truth behind the moon landing conspiracy – the real hoax was Soviet
I have never yet successfully watched Avatar, and this despite the fact that it was filmed in the city where I live, and its 3,862 sequels are being developed here right now. I tried watching it. Twice. And fell asleep both times. You can guess that I didn’t think too much of the movie. It … More Why I won’t be watching the Avatar sequels
I was intrigued by reports last week on the discovery of a previously unknown extinct human species, Homo luzonensis, in a cave in the Phillipines. It’s the fourth new human species – genus Homo – discovered in the past twenty years. All are extinct, and much clearly remains to be revealed, but it’s nonetheless clear … More Another species of human discovered – and what it means for us
It’s been a hot week for science. Thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope, an algorithm created by 29-year old PhD graduate Katie Bouman, and a lot of hard work, humanity got its first photo of a black hole – M87 in the galaxy Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away. It wasn’t made with visible … More The science behind the awesome black hole photograph