News

May 1, 2015 - I have very mixed thoughts tonight - someone showed me a cool new online widget that takes an uploaded photo and guesses the subjects age. I love the technology, except it guessed my age as 77!

April 30, 2015 - Proof that even rocket scientists can crash a vehicle - after eleven years in space and four years of orbiting Mercury, the MESSENGER probe crashed into the planet's surface today. It was expected, since the orbit was never meant to be stable forever (in fact the plan was always a single year of orbiting instead of four years), and the mission did return a lot of amazing new data on the planet's surface, but it is still a sad end. Here is the NASA press release with more details and links to photos and information.

April 27, 2015 - A quick reminder to those living in the Victoria,BC area that the director of the LHC, Rolf Heuer, will be giving a free public lecture at the University of Victoria tonight. For those who cannot make it, they are also going to try to livestream at uvic.ca/astbury.

April 24, 2015 - Happy 25th Anniversary to everyone's favorite telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope! It was 25 years ago today that it was launched from the Discovery shuttle into its orbit, and started collecting some of the most amazing photos and data mankind has ever had access to. Let us hope it can do amazing things for another 25!

April 21, 2015 - For those of you interested in tinkering with energy efficient sensors, DARPA is currently seeking proposals for long lasting, low energy, remote sensor systems under their N-ZERO program. There is a review of the project provided by BotMag, and formal details can be found here.

April 16, 2015 - And yet another interesting result in astrophysics, as the AMS experiment on the International Space Station has reported higher than expected quantities of antiprotons in higher energy cosmic rays, as well as other unexpected properties in their energy distribution. The first direct evidence of dark matter?

April 9, 2015 - There is an interesting article in Nature today about the ALMA telescope array. They are claiming to have discovered complex organic molecules in the protoplanetary disc around a star 455ly away. In laymen's terms, that means another solar system could be forming planets that will one day evolve life. Perhaps we are not as alone as we thought...

April 7, 2015 - Today marks National Caregiver's Day, when we recognize the hard work of the over six million people who are forced to balance their fulltime employment or education with the constant demands of looking after someone who is disabled in some way. I know from painful personal experience how difficult and damaging it can be, and I hope that this day will raise awareness of this under-appreciated role that many people are forced into. 

April 5, 2015 - Today is the day when the greatest we have ever known been resurrected from the dead, to bring us into a bright new world and new understanding. That's right - the Large Hadron Collider has been successfully restarted after a two year upgrade, and is once more ready to explore the world of subatomic particle physics!

April 5, 2015 - HAPPY EASTER!!

April 3, 2015 - In response to a number of requests, I have now posted the PHP code for my colour coded geo-hit counter widget. Details can be found here.

April 1, 2015 - A reminder that this is also the start of the Ape-ril fundraising campaign, encouraging people to unleash their inner ape to raise money for orangutan rescue and habitat.


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