Betelgeuse, Gamow, and a Big Red Horse

There has been a lot of talk recently of Betelgeuse possibly going supernova this century or not...

Climate Change, the Walrus and the Carpenter

I have recently watched two videos on climate change by Sabine Hossenfelder.  The first one...

A Very Large Hadron Collider?

Frontpage image: Illustration of spherical explosion (kilonova) of two neutron stars (AT2017gfo/GW170817)...

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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Says our UK Education Minister, Jim Knight:

If we get it right, the lessons learned at school will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Although Euclidean geometry and the dates of the English civil war may fade from memory, the knowledge of how to practise safe sex will not.
This is from a Westminster Hall debate over government plans to extend Sex Education in Primary Schools.  Well, naturally politicians don't want a numerate populace who can see that their promises don't add up, or who can look back on history and see that they're following a course that led to crisis last time...
I gets weary, and sick of trying … the words almost taken from Ol' Man River.  But weary of what?  Trying to persuade the physics world from harping too much on about celebrity physicists.  This they do (at least in my reading) to an extent grossly exceeding that of mathematicians and chemists.  “How will we discover the African Einstein?” they ask, to which I reply that a wilderness of Einsteins would do Africa no good at all, whereas a widespread knowledge of basic physics might help the continent somewhat.  Even if Mariah Carey’s new album E=MC² inspires some to take up physics, most will fall exhausted before reaching such high levels.
So says a Daily Telegraph news item, reporting on a recent article in Journal of Clinical Nursing [1].  This brought to mind a programme from 2004 on Channel 4 (nicate?) called Sex Before 16: How the Law Is Failing,  in which the journalist Miranda Sawyer argued that the age of consent in the UK be reduced.  I still remember my reaction to this, particularly because I see science an
is all over my face when I read the following in an article on UK MSN:

Five-year-old finds dinosaur bone

A five-year-old girl has found fossilised bones from an Ice Age rhinoceros on a day out with her family at a water park.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A case of bad science awareness among our "meejer", as we call them in England.  A case for a polite feedback letter, if only they gave us the facility.

Does your office lighting make you feel weary and dreary?  The cure may be at hand!  Recently, Professor Derk-Jan Dijk of the Surrey Sleep Centre has led a team testing out new bulbs with a colour temperature of 17,000 Kelvin and found that they increase alertness as compared with more traditional types of lighting. But this sounds rather alarming.  17,000 Kelvin would be the temperature of a star close to B3 in the main sequence, somewhere between Alkaid and Regulus in properties.  The luminance of these stars is largely in the ultravio
I have been reading a blog entitled (wouldya believe it?)

Catholic bishops back sex education for primary school children.

Now it's not the blog itself, but a couple of the comments have set me a-thinking.  One says:
Sure Start will be made nationwide and ultimately the plans of Ed Balls
is that children are educated from the age of two in such places
because inequalities and values can be established before the age of 5.