Days of Wine and Avatars

Happy New Year. This morning it is 2018. Happy New Year has become a number. We’ll each forget to date correctly on a cheque, or note, until it becomes ‘the year’ proper, when we have forgotten it is new. Happy? Hopefully… Have your resoultions  (I’ll leave that typo!) become reality? Give wishful thinking a chance […]

Soft Robots

Recently, I had the luck to see the new ‘Robots’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London, described as ‘The 500-year quest to make machines human’. I found it fascinating, and often moving. Robots derive from our desire to fulfil and satisfy human needs, whether practical or emotional, and are, perhaps, better contextualised within the […]

If It Was Quiet

My muse at the moment is a masonry drill, interlaced with the robust soundtrack from the bathroom fitter’s radio and power tools. My house is festooned with dustsheets and off-shelf books piled high. Plumber’s materials and boxes of new sanitaryware promise the bathroom of my dreams. If I dreamed of bathrooms, which I do not. […]

Wondrous Worlds of the Imagination

In this last week, we have been shown Pluto’s heart, and have been offered a tantalising hint of a possible ‘sister Earth’ 1400 or so light years distant. The recent announcement of Breakthrough Listen, a massive search initiative from Russian tycoon, Yuri Milner, to detect radio signals from extra-terrestrial intelligence, seems synchronous. Astronomers have now discovered almost […]

A Step Too Bold?

Is there life on Mars? Or Rosetta, Europa, or even Pluto?  A dilettante hand-waving exercise follows. Once upon a time, most of the material that made all of our solar system was gathered from a cloud of gas and dust by gravitational effects, to form our sun and its extensive system of planets, asteroids, comets, fragments […]