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Archive for December, 2006

I should be doing a spot of science writing, but my goodness this is too delicious not to share. From Vlastos’ Plato’s Universe (OUP Clarendon 1975 edition, from p. 1; I’ve naughtily screen-captured the amazon scan with GIMP, but we all know I could have typed it by hand):

On the meaning of ‘cosmos’

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Her Brittanic Majesty’s Broadcasting Commission purports to have Geoffrey Boycott lamenting that:

…England are being let down by both their batting and bowling.

Well that sounds like an easy fix; so much for the stiff upper lip. The United Kingdom does tend to go into unofficial national mourning when the colonies show the boys how it’s done, but today’s displays of collective self-pity are most unedifying, ma’am.

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Courtesy of the village-paper-hits-the-big-time Manchester Evening News:

Free broadband link-up for everyone

MORE than 2.2m people in Greater Manchester would have access to a free wireless internet service under an ambitious council plan.

Manchester council wants to launch Europe’s largest wireless network, giving access to the internet at any point over an area of up to 400 square miles.

It would put the city at the forefront of the digital age and provide a major boost to businesses and households.

And so on. Good for Manchester, says I. Among those who have used the Internet for anything more than sending email is the growing suspicion that the web constitutes the starkest transformation of the human environment since we demarcated towns and cities. (more…)

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It’s been a while but finally I’ve got my first post together. It’s a little long, but stick with me! 

Attempting to separate the disciplines of science and engineering, deciding on a definition for each, is a tricky thing to do. Just trying to define what science is alone is an unsolved problem in itself. In vague terms science tries to find how the universe works and the causes for the things we can observe while engineering tries to implement what science has discovered and turn that knowledge into useful technology. So for instance, science discovered quantum physics and engineers took that knowledge and made transistors, allowing computers and all the rest to be built.

 Things are not always so simple however. It was two engineers who first discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, which is the most important piece of observational evidence in modern Cosmology, the study of the Universe. (more…)

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