Astronomers discovered a huge star in a nearby galaxy last week. R136a1, part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, is estimated to have a mass 265 times more than the sun and to shine around a million times more brightly. More
Two scientists have collaborated in a study that suggests that the size of a bird’s beak is linked to the temperature of its natural environment.
We already know that a bird’s beak is adapted for the food it eats and sometimes to attract a mate, but now it looks like it is also a good way of regulating temperature. More
For those of you who are football fans, many of the results from the group stages of the World Cup such as past winners Italy and France exiting from the competition at this early stage will have come as a surprise. Other countries (including England) have not lived up to the promise of the qualifying matches. For those of you who couldn’t care less – maybe you could be persuaded to ponder if the reason is scientific. More
With Glastonbury commencing on Wednesday, the festival season is well and truly underway. In this post I will attempt to use the famous music festival as a way of connecting exothermic reactions to Ozzy Osbourne (not literally).
Music festivals generally involve camping and camping involves heating food over naked flames next to a highly flammable nylon tent. More
Nope, not a CD of the latest repetitive football anthem but the vuvezela – a plastic horn that gets blown by South African football fans at matches. This instrument/weapon of torture is fast becoming one of the most talked about subjects in this year’s World Cup.
The reason for the scientific interest is that it can be loud – very loud. More
The video above shows the amazing gravity-defying optical illusion that won the 2010 Best Illusion of the Year Contest earlier this week.
Using optical illusions in science lessons never fails to amaze students. This particular one could be used as an engaging starter to any lesson on forces. More
Smart materials are those that respond to external stimuli such as changes in temperature, pressure and movement.
Getting celebrities involved is sure to give momentum to the use of the technology, and the recent appearance of the singer Katy Perry in a light-up dress at a recent awards ceremony will do wonders for the sale of wearable technology. More
I’m always on the lookout for new toys and gadgets that can demonstrate science in a fun way. The latest one to catch my eye is the Firewinder. The helical structure catches the wind, and the turning affect creates electricity which is used to light the LED bulbs embedded in its surface. It’s a bit like a wind turbine, only looks nicer in the dark. More