I’ve been dealing with a spot of blog writer’s block, hence the lateness of this post. I’d forgotten that these monthly instalments were initially intended to be extended status updates, with a spot of backyard philosophy every so often. Trying to come up with worthwhile backyard philosophy every week is just plain hard. This week I’m going for half a status update along with a list of possibly interesting sciencey tidbits.
I’ve spent days writing this post in my head, and now it’s taken more than two weeks to get done. It’s not that I have something complicated or difficult to tell you, it’s just that I was privy to three absolutely awesome weeks of vacation in an undisclosed location to the very far south of my current coordinates, during which I attained ultimate levels of relaxation that caused my brain to shut-down large parts of itself.
I recently came across this hauntingly beatiful time-lapse view of Earth made from the ISS (the International Space Station! Yes, we have one!): Watching this, my nostalgia flared up. You see, I’ve been addicted to science fiction ever since I can remember. It started with Buck Rogers, and the original Star Trek, and only got much worse when I discovered Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Douglas Hill.
I completely lack the genes that usually cause human males to have a thing for cars, but I do love Top Gear. This trailer for a fictional 60s detective show, made by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, encapsulates many of the reasons why: Moustaches, guns, girls, cars and Hammond karate-chopping the porter at Playboy Club London for absolutely no reason whatsoever at 41 seconds can be nothing but 100% pure AWESOME.
Make sure you won’t be disturbed for the next 2 minutes and 57 seconds, and then focus your full attention on this marvelous YouTube clip: Yes people, there are apparently some brilliant human beings, the pinnacle of our society you might say, who took the time to construct a giant slingshot with which they then proceeded to shoot each other through the blue summer sky. This is the sign that we, the human race, must be doing something right.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this, the sixtieth edition of the Weekly Head Voices! I know that I’m terribly late, so I imagine that you’ve probably missed my incoherent babbling. To try to make up for this, allow me to present you with this YouTube clip of me babbling almost coherently for 20 minutes! In week 41 I had the privilege of giving an invited talk to an audience of 100+ medical imaging geniuses at the yearly symposium of the Netherlands Forum for Biomedical Imaging in Leiden, and the whole thing was recorded by the artist formerly known as fpixel:
We kick off this week’s edition of the WHV with Ben Goldacre giving his TED talk on “Battling bad science” at 180 km/h: He’s fabulous, isn’t he? If you haven’t done so already, you should really read his book “Bad Science” too, and don’t forget to hand a copy to anyone in your neighbourhood that might be confused about homeopathy, accupuncture, any other forms of alternative medicine, or anything by Patrick Holford, vitamin-peddler of note.
The title is pretty close to pure gobbledygook, but that’s what you get when the foundations of physics seem to have been rattled every so slightly. Let’s first take a gander at this gentleman, pointed out to me by TNR, as he rattles the foundations of absolutely insane facial expressions. He really gets going at about 23 seconds into the video: The insane asylum soundtrack accompanying this artwork belongs to the music genre called Dubstep, music that is notoriously hard to dance well to.
Yes boys and girls, I was keeping back writing that Rebecca Black post, but now it’s 4 days later and I can let ‘er rip again, like I promised. This week’s post sort of reflects my week 37: Chock-full of super-dense life nuggets. Hmmm, sounds like a brilliant new high energy meta-physical chocolate bar that would probably be immediately declared illegal by the current conservative and non-thinking (excuse the tautology) batch of spineless politicians (excuse the tautology).
Probably the most brainless song on the whole of YouTube must be “Friday” (don’t click that link, please) by Rebecca Black. At one stage, she’s seriously singing about leaving home and going to the bus stop on Friday. As if that’s not mentally taxing enough for her, her friends arrive in a car, and, wait for it, SHE HAS TO DECIDE IN WHICH SEAT TO SIT. Heavens. Talk about broody teenager angst.