Has anyone seen our Universe?

Bob Nichol
Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway.

Last night we went to Cafe Scientifque and heard Bob Nichol talking about cosmology.

It was quite a complex subject to talk about but Bob Nichol was excellent, very engaging, enthusiastic and able to explain things to those of us who haven’t studied science in over 20 years. I’m still too baffled to consider either the supernova that will cause earth to vapourise, or the fact that there might be 11 dimensions. It was also the biggest crowd I’ve seen at a Cafe Sci since it moved to the Branch Tavern from the Terraces.

It was also good to catch up Dom, Sophie and Tom.

Fabrica: Beneath the Strides of Giants

See no evil
Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway.

We popped into Fabrica yesterday to see what was on display at the moment and found Beneath the Stride of Giants by Brian Griffiths. It is a wooden boat, made from other people’s junk.

Fabrica is such a lovely place to stop, it’s always peaceful and cool and its often hard to remember it is in such a busy location.

It may be fake

It may be fake, but this weekend The Guardian printed
an article on global warming (Sat 4 April, p. 26) which I like very much. Of course, liking it doesn’t make it right….

The gist of the article is this: there’s a lot of worry about global warming, and the cause, but “Earth’s resources are finite; the planet is doomed to die […] and the solution is clear: we must seek other planets to colonise. Earth may be good for 10,000 years or so; then it will be time to find a new home, or homes—a literal New World.”

Original? No. I first heard this from the mouth of Bart Simpson: ” Aw, recycling’s useless Lis. Once the Sun burns out, this planet is doomed. You’re just making sure we spend our last days using inferior products.”

Anyway, the thing about new worlds that troubles me is this: pretty much any planet that’s habitable is going to be inhabited, because life’s like that. So any new world we colonize is going to be one of those SF moves here the aliens come to take over the Earth, except, we’re the bad aliens. More funding for terraforming, I say.


Here’s an example of why I like the writing in 2600 magazine: “We all love 2600 for its highfalutin articles on port knocking, Caller ID spoofing, Walmart self-checkout hacks, etc., but sometimes we lose sight of the obvious stuff. Sooner or later, the North Koreans or Iranians are going to bomb us. When that happens, how are you going to pay for doughnuts and beer from the 7-11?” (from the Winter 2007 issue, which goes on to describe how to hide things inside a cut out book).

Temporary shutdown message

Temporary Shutdown
Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway.

When doing a recent check on all the blogs at Brighton Bloggers, I spotted this message at the Brighton and Hove councillors site. Amongst other things it says
During the six week period prior to local and general elections, there is a ban in place on publicising the work of councillors to unfairly influence votes. Because of this, all of the pages and councillor blogs on this website are to be temporarily suspended until after the elections have finished.

Bouldering in Hove Park

Bouldering in Hove Park
Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway.

Since Jim broke his wrist, I haven’t been to the climbing wall, and I’ve missed it. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across information that there is a boulder park in Hove Park, and so today we went for a cycle ride to take a look.

It is about 3 metres high and probably about 12 metres long with areas ranging from scramble, to slight overhangs. We spent half an hour there climbing, traversing and doing the odd scramble. I am really impressed to have something like this so close, and available for free. I’m hoping to start visiting on a weekly basis to have a play.