December 27, 2016 - This year has been one long nightmare of bad news, and it can't even let us have a few days off for Christmas. This morning we awoke to the devastating news that Carrie Fisher has died, and this evening news comes that Vera Rubin has also passed away. One inspired us to dream of travelling to a galaxy far,far away, the other worked hard to study and understand them. Both will be missed.

December 27, 2016 - Since I was unable to post my Christmas wishes on my blog this year due to technical glitches, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my friends, family, and followers who have helped me over the past year to achieve so many great things, and to learn so many interesting new skills and lessons. And most important, those who have continued to support me in my life and career. Thank you to all of you, and I wish you all the very best over the holidays and in the coming year! 

December 25, 2016 - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

December 22, 2016 - For some unknown reason the software that maintains my science blog on this website and a couple of other blogs on my personal website has failed, and the tech support at my webhost say they won't get it back online until the new year. As such I won't be able to post the articles that I had drafted out on a couple of current events, nor my popular annual year-in-review posts, but I promise I will post them as soon as possible in the new year.

December 20, 2016 - Another astrophysics paper is making headlines this morning, and unfortunately it is being misinterpreted by much of the media. A team of researchers from the University of Amsterdam has published a paper in which they claim that there is no trace of dark matter in the gamma-ray background. Some people are claiming that this proves that dark matter does not exist. What it actually proves is that a few dark matter models that predict large gamma-ray production have been excluded - but those models were not really serious contenders anyway. Dark matter is still the leading theory to explain the missing mass in the Universe, and this result does nothing to change that.  

December 20, 2016 - Twenty years ago today Carl Sagan died. Looking at the state of the world today and its attitude towards logic and rational thought, this world really need a new one.

December 19, 2016 - An interesting result from the ALPHA experiment has been published today in the journal Nature. For the first time in history, physicists have measured the spectrum of anti-hydrogen atoms. Every atom emits a distinct set of wavelengths (or colours) of light, and scientists can actually measure for the presence of different elements based on the spectrum of light they absorb and re-emit. Until now it was an open question in science whether or not anti-matter atoms have the exact same spectrum. In theory they should, but it is always possible that there is some symmetry breaking between matter and anti-matter that changes their spectra. Now we know that, at least for anti-hydrogen, there is no sign of a difference. It is a most interesting result.

December 15, 2016 - A colleague directed me to this video on Youtube about the Kugelblitz challenge, and I thought it was interesting enough to pass on a link to it. The basic concept is that a hostile alien race has surrounded the Earth and sent pulses of high intensity light towards us. When the shell of light gets close enough to the Earth, it will form a black hole and we will be trapped forever. The planet can build only one defence, and must decide which proposal is more likely to save the world. Either we build a giant sphere to absorb the energy, or we build mirrors and reflect it back. Which option (if either) will save the planet?  

December 11, 2016 - As an early Christmas gift, I won a domain name (technically it was a gift certificate for web hosting, but I used it for a new domain name). I might put new content on it later, but for right now it mirrors this site and my other websites. The new address is, the public parts can also be found at and the family and friends section at

December 8, 2016 - In a rare winter event for my neighbourhood, it has snowed and the roads are too icy to travel right now. As such I won't be meeting with anyone, and would suggest anyone needing to contact me to use email, Skype, or wait until it thaws in a couple of days. 

November 27, 2016 - Some of you having been curious why I haven't published too much this autumn. I assure you that I am still kicking and I am as busy as ever. In fact I have a couple of articles drafted that I hope to post to my science blog in the next two weeks. I also have a couple of other big projects that I am hoping to unveil in 2017, so stay tuned for that!

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