bob投注平台 - bob投注平台,bob游戏手机版 // Science | Snaps | Songs Fri, 05 Jun 2020 16:58:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Flash diffuser // Fri, 05 Jun 2020 16:58:51 +0000 // Continue reading "Flash diffuser"]]> I just made the least flash flash diffuser imaginable. I cut a hole in an old, plastic ostrich-burger box we have used to store Xmas tree baubles in for the last seventeen years and fitted it to the camera with a redundant ring flash adapter. I switched away from ringflash earlier this year as it’s simply not good enough for decent entomological macro shots.

Mimulus #PondLife
Viper’s Bugloss
Red Valerian
Ceanothus fruit
Yarrow flower buds

Anyway, been testing the ad hoc diffuser with some random macro shots of flowers in the garden – Mimulus (#PondLife), cornflower, wet poppy, red valerian, periwinkle, viper’s bugloss, yarrow buds, ceanothus fruit, and fading yellow wildflower…

It seems to work quite well…considering

The diffuser attached to the macro lens
The search for life on Mars // Wed, 03 Jun 2020 15:47:41 +0000 // Continue reading "The search for life on Mars"]]> Later in the summer of 2020, NASA will launch its latest Mars rover, Perseverance. To coincide with that important scientific occasion, Elizabeth Howell, PhD and Nicholas Booth have told the greatest scientific detective story of all time in The Search for Life on Mars. Their approach and style are unique, they break many a convention of the scientific history books to make this truly accessible read with none of the bluff and bluster of so many so-called popular-science books and all of the guts and glory of a gripping wannabe bestseller.

The world next door, otherwise known as the Red Planet, has intrigued humanity for centuries. From ancient astronomical observations to the science fiction of the modern era HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds to Andy Weir’s The Martian and to the amazing photography of the robotic rovers Curiosity and Opportunity.

For the first time in forty years, the missions heading to Mars – from the USA and China – will look for signs of ancient life. This is the latest chapter in the story of the Red Planet where fact is stranger than fiction, myths and false starts abound while red herrings and bizarre coincidences astound. Here are the triumphs and the heartbreaking failures.

This is the definitive story of how life’s extraterrestrial discovery has eluded us to date and how it will be found somewhere and sometime this century. The Search for Life on Mars is based on more than a hundred interviews with experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and elsewhere, who share their insights and stories.

The Search for Life on Mars: The Greatest Scientific Detective Story of All Time by Elizabeth Howell, PhD and Nicholas Booth, Arcade Publishing; On sale: 23rd June 2020 | ISBN: 9781950691395 US edition here | UK edition here

If you came looking for my cover version of Life on Mars, the Bowie song, you can find it here.

Lepidopteral diversity // Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:54:31 +0000 // A few more moth species from the actinic lure showing the great diversity of shapes and forms and markings

Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha (Hufnagel, 1766)
Buff-tip Phalera bucephala (Linnaeus, 1758)
Thistle Ermine Myelois circumvoluta (Fourcroy, 1785)
The Shark Cucullia umbratica (Linnaeus, 1758)


Small Dusty Wave Idaea seriata (Schrank, 1802)
Goat milk and kefir probiotic nonsense // Tue, 02 Jun 2020 07:29:21 +0000 // Continue reading "Goat milk and kefir probiotic nonsense"]]> An advert persistently appears selling goat’s milk fermented with granules of a yeast-like product called kefir. It claims to “protect your immune system” and the advert details all the benefits to your gut microbes of so-called pro-biotics.

Trouble is, you can’t eat or drink something to “protect your immune system” and as far as I can tell from a search of the scientific literature there is no strong evidence based in human trials that suggests any benefits for healthy people whatsoever to eating or drinking probiotics to “balance” gut microbes either. Most of the so-called evidence comes from poorly designed, poorly controlled, and often downright biased tests. Moreover, there is growing evidence of detrimental effects of taking probiotics as outlined here.

Startling Starlings // Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:18:40 +0000 // Just a few shots of the juvenile startling starlings fighting for fatballs. The adults have fledged about eight noisy juveniles into our garden so far, I estimate.

Cummings and Goings // Sat, 30 May 2020 09:06:00 +0000 // Continue reading "Cummings and Goings"]]> I have written a letter to our Member of Parliament, asking him to call for the resignation of government advisor Dominic Cummings. Needles to say, our Tory Twat of an MP is supporting Cummings.

This is the approximate text of my letter, with family details redacted.

I am, to say the least, disgusted by the recent debacle concerning the government aide, Mr Dominic Cummings, and his obvious breach not only of lockdown rules, his driving offences, and his breach of the trust of the British people.

Despite the well-crafted defence he presented from Number 10, which was so obviously written by lawyers, he offered nothing to the public to make them feel in any way that their suffering, and there has been considerable suffering, mental, economic, and healthwise for many, was worthy of an apology for his actions.

His actions were inappropriate, presumably illegal, and anything but in the spirit with which most honest citizens have seen the lockdown.

I, personally, am in the moderately vulnerable group, with various health conditions, including asthma, and have endeavoured to avoid all face-to-face contact with anyone but my family within my home. I am self-employed and work from home and in healthy times I maintain my sanity through playing with a band, singing with a choir, travelling to nature reserves, and general socialising. All of these activities are entirely off-limits to me and have been throughout the lockdown. Other people are in a similar situation.

We are muddling through but all, and I especially, feel massively aggrieved by Cummings’ flouting of the rules and the law.

It is obvious to everyone but his supporters that the circumstances that led him to drive such an inordinate distance, allegedly for childcare do not fit with the facts of the case. Was he ill with Covid, was he not? If both he and his wife were ill, the Government’s website states that the whole household should self-isolate. If they were “throwing up” as he so pleasantly put it, then neither of them were in a sufficiently healthy state to drive. If they were fit to drive, then there was no need for them to go to Northumberland at all.

His explanation for the detour to Barnard Castle is the most ludicrous of claims. If one is ill and feels one’s eyesight is failing, the last thing any sensible person does is put the family they were claiming to protect into their car and drive for thirty miles. That is illegal. If he woke that morning and his eyesight was imperfect, he should have stayed put. If it was fine to drive, then there was no need to take the detour at all.

As details emerged, it was apparent, that his mother and wife both had birthdays in the period of the trip and to the innocent bystander, this would suggest that the whole trip was in some way made as a celebration of those two events. It was wholly unnecessary and entirely in breach of all the lockdown rules by which decent citizens have been abiding for many weeks.

We are not happy that this person is still in their advisory position. It is time he resigned and the PM offer a formal and complete apology, preferably accompanied by his own resignation given his obvious gullibility when faced with such claims and excuses.

Thank you for your time in reading this. I hope you will support the views of your constituents in this matter and call for Mr Cummings’ summary resignation in the strongest terms at the earliest opportunity, if you have not done so already.

Was Covid-19 lockdown the right thing to do? // Sat, 30 May 2020 08:21:32 +0000 // Continue reading "Was Covid-19 lockdown the right thing to do?"]]> What do Sciencebase readers make of the view that there will far more long-term excess deaths and misery caused by the global lockdowns than there would have been had we let this coronavirus run free? This question is about estimating the serious long-term effects rather than giving those covidiots who fancy a trip to the beach or Barnard Castle an excuse to run wild and party. It is being discussed widely by many lockdown skeptics, including very well-respected scientists such as Mark Changizi.

Obviously allowing the virus to run free would have meant overwhelming our healthcare services and there’d have been many more acute tragedies around the world. But, in the long-term the economic and social damage will ultimately lead to greater levels of suffering on a much wider scale. Ultimately, there will be many more excess deaths some argue*. This will be partly due to delayed diagnosis and treatments that will be available to everyone “after” Covid-19. It will also be partly due to mental health problems that emerge leading to an increased suicide rate caused by the loss of employment, companies collapsing, and the general negative effects of the “new normal”.

*News in today suggests that the death rate in France is the lowest it’s been for several years even when compared to a bad flu year.

Personally, I believe lockdown is the right thing to do for the sake of the more vulnerable and to avoid that overwhelming of the healthcare systems. We can try to face the issues that emerge post-Covid as they arise.

Curlew for you // Mon, 25 May 2020 10:32:35 +0000 // Random selection of Curlew photos I’ve taken over the years, none of them anywhere near Barnard Castle, but some on the coast in the North East, others in Norfolk and Suffolk.

With misery and lockdown comes creativity // Mon, 25 May 2020 09:39:03 +0000 // Continue reading "With misery and lockdown comes creativity"]]> We’ve had a not-too-bad time of it, so far, to be fair, physically if not so much mentally. Other than not being able to get to a beach or legitimately visit a nature reserve, and putting holiday plans on hold, and cancelling all C5 the Band gigs for the summer and not being able to rehearse with those lovely people nor the lovely people of the TyrannoChorus, and not being able to take that nature holiday nor go camping, and having to work under the stress of a full house again having been almost empty-nesters for several months, and Mrs Sciencebase not being able to do either of her part-time work activities, the dog getting old and a bit lame, and not being able to visit family and friends, and…well, woe is me…but woe is millions of others who are suffering far worse, it’s been fine really.

I still wake far too early after tormented nights of viral existential anxiety, which does seem to have displaced the more mundane “worrying about death” kind of anxiety, but the getting up early at this time of year is critical for a moth-er, anyway. So there are pros.

So, I plough on through my usual writing deadlines, all of which are still ever-present (thankfully), but in between I seem to have taken on a village role of sharing interesting and entertaining online stuff, un-Events, you might call them. I morphed my Fen Edge Events group to do that at the start of lockdown and it’s still going strong; came up with several ideas for alternatives to local events that can no longer happen in the real world.

In among that I seem to have piled in with what I think is some creative activities, although others may disagree: Saturday Night No-Fever dancing in the living room with masks and nitrile glove, PondWatch, LawnWatch, RockWatch, and LogWatch. There was the dancing cookathon of Rock-around-the-Wok with DJ Bethan Fettermean, a virtual open mic session and a VEDay75 musical montage, several spoof phone calls, messages from Trunt and de Pfecking Johnson, our so-called Leader, and a wiretap acquisition of a call between some bloke called Dom and his Mam in the North East. I’ve done a spoof radio show based on my BFF’s More bob投注平台 Breakfast on ClassicFM. I’ve written and recorded several new songs and instrumentals around the viral anxiety theme, although none of them are as depressing as that sounds.

There are also the endless moth, bird, and wildlife photos too.

Feels like a creative time and I’ve certainly seen a lot of creativity out there now that some many people are in lockdown, with the exception it seems, of that gadgy called Dom. But, to be honest, other than the travel restrictions, we’re lucky, not a lot has really changed, part of the advantage of having worked for myself from home for so long, I suppose.

Anyway, to you stay well. Stay home.

The biodiversity of Lepidoptera #MothsMatter // Sun, 24 May 2020 20:12:27 +0000 // Continue reading "The biodiversity of Lepidoptera #MothsMatter"]]> People often talk of liking butterflies but disliking moths. Butterflies are to all intents and purposes scientifically speaking, a sub-group within the moths. Arguments about flying at night, about clubbed antennae, and regarding wing posture are moot.

There are both moths and butterflies that are diurnal and others that are nocturnal. Indeed, there is sexual dimorphism in some species, e.g. Emperor moth, which looks “like a butterfly” and the males fly during the day and the females at night.

There are examples of clubbed antennae in moths and hooked antennae in butterflies (Skippers for example, which are borderline between moth and butterfly in the broadest descriptions).

There are countless moths that lie flat and many that fold their wings like butterflies purportedly do but there are butterflies that lie flat too.

The distinction is fundamentally one of linguistics in that English has Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots and so often has duel words for everyday things (mushrooms & toadstools, frogs & toads, tortoises and turtles), whereas in non-dualling languages on the continent from whence the Romans and the Saxons came, there’s no such distinction.

Anyway, words are words, these are beautiful living creatures worth our respect and given that there are 1800 different species of Lepidoptera (scaly-winged insects) in the British Isles, there’s a lot of diversity.

Common Swift
Pseudoswammerdamia combinella
Spruce Carpet

Marbled Minor agg. One of three species indistinguishable unless dissected
Foxglove Pug

Angle Shades
Small Emerald