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saac

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Everything posted by saac

  1. Hello strgzr and a warm welcome to SGL. Jim
  2. That would be incredibly frustrating and demoralising. Jim
  3. I wonder if what we are really missing is perhaps what many of us (in UK at least) grew up with. Where is the weekly programming of science and technology,? Come on BBC a return to the days of Tomorrows World or decent Panorama /Horizon documentaries. I'd hazard a guess that these were the programmes that influenced many to follow into science and engineering. As much as I love watching the "Repair Shop" that doesn't really cut it . Jim
  4. Sorry Whirlwind I didn't mean to come across like that either, so no need to apologise. I get what you were saying and I'd agree if these things were measured just on a remuneration basis. I don't have any experience or knowledge of what real science careers, promotion prospect etc are like (my background for the greater part was engineering) so I'll happily defer to folk like Chris Macavity and yourself. I just wanted to get across that people like Prof Cox really do have a massive impact on attracting youngsters to STEM careers/study. For all that his detractors may berate him, Brian Cox is in my opinion an excellent communicator who talks not only with authority but passion and kids are really good at spotting that. Jim
  5. Nothing romanticised about it whatsoever . I was referring to the possibility that a career in science/ technology can be as equally glamourous and desirable as any other and that is the positive message kids need to and do hear. Wow , "just become a teacher" - there is motivation for you lol. Thankfully, you are wrong about the next generation being put off , certainly has not been my experience . But hey I am "just a teacher" lol . Jim
  6. I'd say his contribution is also several orders of magnitude greater than many of those big buck presenters, but then I'm biased. Jim
  7. Yes Lemaitre is indeed a personal hero of mine. I'm pleased to see that the professional physics community are now making up for the lost opportunity and crediting Lemaitre as he deserved . I think he died just having seen confirmation of the CMBR which hugely supported his theory. Hubble Law's is now being referred to as The Hubble Lemaitre Law. I've just finished reading "The Day Without Yesterday" part of Stuart Clark's The Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy . It's a historically based fictional novel focusing on the relationship between Einstein and Lemaitre. It covers the early years of WWI leading up to their formal meeting where Lemaitre sought Einstein's endorsement of his theory of the "Primordial Egg" , subsequently known of course as The Big Bang Theory. It's largely fictional save for the publicly known details of the meeting and the presentation of the Physics theories and timelines (Solvay conference etc). I thought it a good read and I would recommend it ; the other two parts tell the story of Kepler and then Newton. Jim
  8. There is the incentive for current S6 pupils considering their university options, good to see a real scientist holding their own with the "gliterati" That said, I consider that Cox is underpaid though compared to the other presenters. Jim
  9. Chris I took a group of 6th year pupils out to CERN back in 2011, year before discovery of the Higg's boson. Don't know if you were still working there then , be good to think you were and we may have passed each other - I was the wee guy with a group of teenagers following on trying not to touch everything that said "don't touch" I really was an amazing visit to a thoroughly amazing place - I remember in the canteen saying to the kids "I wonder how many potential Nobel prize winners never mind PhDs are standing in the que before us" I'd go back tomorrow. Jim
  10. I get what you are saying Chris although I must admit I stay well clear of social media ( I don't consider SGL as social media). Einstein was also quietly political, he spoke against Haber (development of chemical warfare WW I), rising German nationalism and he gave tacit public support for the formation of a Jewish state. On the later, I think he was more interested in the establishment of a Jewish university. I don't really have any difficulty with any scientist expressing their political or religious beliefs if asked . Climate change being a case in point , in fact I'd go as far as to say we need to hear from them. As for the celebrity side - well again why not? For years we have bemoaned the poor show science and scientist have traditionally attracted, particularly in the UK. Middle age men in white coats and unruly hair has been an image that has long lingered in popular culture , the same outdated image afflicting engineering as well. So I'm more than happy to see that change on the back of more colourful characters like Brian Cox. If he earns some media money on the back of his science provenance then even better; good to show the kids that it's not just the preserve of ex big brother contestants with bleached teeth and fake tans lol. What I think both you and me are railing against is the lack of respect and dare I say manners that in better days (pre internet , reality TV) would have framed discussion amongst people of different traditions. Social media seems almost designed to propagate ill tempered debate and ready offence. Interestingly, Monseigneur Georges Lemaitre received a very cynical and overtly inquisitorial hearing from Einstein when presenting his theory on the origin of the Universe. Lemaitre had to fight hard to convince Einstein that his theory was solely driven by science and had no theological underpinnings. He, Lamaitre, would later comment that he saw there being more than one path to the truth and that he chose to peruse "both ways". It would be a boring existence indeed if we all saw the world the same way . Jim
  11. To be fair I think Einstein may have set a precedent Chris. His engagement on his public circuits of paid lectures in the USA and Japan rewarded him quite handsomely ! Prof Cox is in good company then Jim
  12. I'm thinking there is a challenge here to bring to the humble planisphere a technical mid life update. I'm thinking an Arduino programmed to display on a small TFT touch screen a list of constellations available for the selected position of the planisphere. An encoder driven by the date selector wheel would communicate its position to the Arduino. A constellation could then be selected from the small touch screen at which the constellation stars would be individually illuminated , backlit via optical fibres. Add a sprinkling of copper flashing and 15 mm copper pipe unions and you have a cool steam punk look to the assembly. Jim
  13. I think I found it, it's up on BBC Sounds now titled Sounds Of The Universe with Brian Cox , Music Inspired by Universe. That 's this week's commute playlist sorted Jim https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0b0yj0m
  14. I'm sure that they said the soundtrack would be made available on BBC Sounds but I still can't find it. Jim
  15. Yeah I'm not so convinced, no where close. My BBC licence fee is £157 per annum or thereabout. Last year BBC Studios alone produced 1352 hours of studio produced content (that's 232 titles). That equates to 12 p per hour , or 48 p for the Universe series; yep I'm more than happy with that Universe will also sell internationally providing investment for further production across the BBC; another "happy with that". I'm not sure how you are measuring or justify the charge of "freeloader", perhaps you would expand. General principle of people being paid for services provided I would assume apply here . Prof Cox is under no obligation to give freely of his time or expertise to the BBC. The BBC commissioned him and paid him as is customary practice, I can't see how that even comes close to "freeloading". I'd happily spend time listening to Cox being paid by the BBC to share his insight than say some reality show or food programme with people sharing photographs of their dinner. I guess it is all down to personal choice, but freeloading , I just can't see that. Jim
  16. Well I thought it was excellent. Visuals were stunning and informative - for those complaining of CGI, maybe pause and think of the ready ease of presenting a Zebra herd in Africa (Blue Planet) compared to a white dwarf, black hole or even a little matter of the birth of the universe. Well I guess they could have used equations instead with Prof Cox sat at a desk rather than on location with stunning scenery and contemplative looks skyward !!!! Balance of technical/generalist content was spot on ; cosmology very quickly gets bogged down in maths which simply would not be accessible for a public broadcast production and to be honest it would be as dull and tedious as sin. I like Cox's poetic narratives, tips hat to Carl Sagan, he makes this material accessible and inspires wonder and awe in the subject matter - job well done. More of this please BBC , perhaps something focusing on James Web telescope covering upcoming launch, mission intent, programme management etc. Jim
  17. That first photograph is absolutely stunning , really enchanting. Well done Jim
  18. I'm pretty sure same stood for CO2 100 years ago . I wasn't actually being serious Xilman Jim
  19. I hope we don't find out ten years down the line that Iodine or any atmospheric compounds it may form are super greenhouse gases Jim
  20. Agreed . The SAS have an unofficial moto "any fool can be uncomfortable" , I think it's quite apt for astronomy as well JIm
  21. Like @Stu mentioned earlier I would also list SGL, in fact I'd put it first on the list because this is where I gained the knowledge of everything that followed so way to go SGL forum. Second would be a permeant setup/obsy, then my PoleMaster (just a brilliant piece of kit) and while I have really yet to use it I'm looking forward to my ASIAIR Pro to the list - it looks promising and I note others have commented on how good it is. Jim
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