The seminal Myles Allen

[This one for James, of course.]

I do so love the word “seminal”, it brings back my public school days. Anyway, Nurture writes: Oxford climatologist Myles Allen and collaborators, who, in April this year, published two seminal papers in Nature…, which were Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne and Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C. I’d say both are mere headline-grabbers of little scientific novelty and doomed to be rapidly forgotten.

And do you know, as I was driving in this morning, I was thinking to myself ” you know I really ought to try to be nicer and more positive about things”.

Ash-man and Teslathon

DSC_3091-ash-man-and-witch_crop_resize Halloween. I went as the Spirit of the Night though Patrick thought I was Ash Man. It came off, fortunately.

Sunday was wet, so over the new bridge to the Museum of Technology which is a rather odd place, housed in the former sewage pumping works and city rubbish burner, now housing a miscellaneous collection of engines pumps and random electical items from Cambrdige’s industrial heritage; and run by a collection of enthusiasts. Its great failing (compared, say, with the FitzWilliam) is that it doesn’t have a decent cafe, or indeed a cafe at all really (though they will sell you a coffee at the ticket kiosk)).

DSC_3106 They were hosting a Teslathon which was an occaision for an even odder bunch of enthusiasts to gather and mostly show each other their endeavours, though incidentally the public too. I later find some stuff on wiki about this, and find I’d guessed some of it right – the spark-gaps are to generate AC but the hair-dryer isn’t there to cool it down, it affects the frequency. On guy had managed the trick of getting them to play music, and had a version that would rotate round as the sparks exited. The bigger machines were very very noisy – the spark gap I think. Sadly they didn’t have much in the way of explanation available on site.

Daniel thought that the rock crushing machine was the best. DSC_3124-rock-crushing

Incidentally: from the Rubaiyat:

Ah, fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW, and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!

– why does this make sense? Why not “unborn yesterday and dead tomorrow”? Someone explain it to me. [Update: Sidd has done so; my thanks. Unborn/Dead refer to the days, not to the people. La! -W]

[Update: http://picasaweb.google.com/thouky/CambridgeTeslathon2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCMHLkJO254G_LQ&feat=directlink# too -W]