Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Google is well known for its fancy replacement logos. And recently they honoured Harry Kroto, Rick Smalley et al for their discovery of buckminsterfullerene, which apparently happened 25 years ago.
As far as I am aware, buckminsterfullerene was merely hinted at 25 years ago and was pretty much a theoretical construct until the early 1990s when Wolfgang Kraetschmer and colleagues published its mass spectrum in Nature, closely followed by Kroto et al (in my alma mater Chemical Communications, no less. We tried our best to beat Nature to print, but rigid pre-online publishing rules at the time prevented us from fast-tracking the Kroto paper, sadly).
Anyway, Google has another doodle today, which gave the Daily Telegraph the opportunity to mention the Bucky Google again:
"Last weekend Google marked the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the "buckyball", a spherical dome of exotic molecules of carbon, with a special moving design."
So buckminsterfullerene is a spherical dome of exotic molecules of carbon? First, how can a dome be spherical? But more importantly, what on earth do they mean by exotic molecules of carbon? Such piffle would never have been published in Roger Highfield's day, I can tell you!
Posted by David Bradley at 9/07/2010 02:06:00 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Sciencetext is now its own independent blog and so I have resurrected Significant Figures in its original form dating back to January 2005, albeit with a new them and renewed vigour in seeking out ludicrous statistics, shoddy significant figures, and inappropriate conversions and much more...watch this space.
Posted by David Bradley at 9/02/2010 02:30:00 AM
I transferred the Significant Figures Blogspot blog to its own domain name three and a half years ago and gradually transformed it from a vaguely amusing pisstake of the nonsense that passes for journalism in some outlets into a repository for my tech tips and the solutions I personally use in my day-to-day computing and thence into a fully-fledged technology news and views site. You can visit Sciencetext Tech Talk (as it's now known) here.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
A British cabbie has been slapped with a speeding ticket for driving his Vauxhall (GM) Cavalier at 420 miles per hour, according to UK tabloid The Sun. Tom Matthews was snapped by a speed camera in his 12-year-old diesel car doing 390 over the speed limit and received notice of a £60 fine and three penalty points on his license. Almost beats Brainiac and Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond's fast-stop trip in a dragster.
Posted by David Bradley at 1/04/2007 11:19:00 AM
Monday, December 04, 2006
According to the BBC, A contact of Alexander Litvinenko who tested positive for the same substance found in the Russian's body has shown no evidence of "radiation toxicity". Mario Scaramella is doing well and showing no signs of illness due to polonium-210. That said, it was reported at lunchtime that he'd received "five times the lethal dose" of this radioactive element. Five times the lethal dose? Presumably, that's enough 210Po to kill five people, so how come he's not been affected. Perhaps they meant to say "five times the safe dose"? Who knows? Typical of the BBC to be frank. It would be nice if their non-science journalists could occasionally ask their science journalists just to check over the facts and figures before they blurt out such statements...
Posted by David Bradley at 12/04/2006 08:16:00 AM