From AlpineKat, who brought you the Large Hadron Rap, is this video on how the Large Hadron Collider would not create Earth-eating black holes when it was turned on. I have to admit, I’ve not followed the story, so I don’t know if the world ended or not.Google+
If you want to amaze/annoy your friends this party season then you should be following the Quirkology channel on YouTube. Not only will Richard Wiseman’s videos mess with your mind, here he shows how to mess with your friends’ minds.Google+
I like Michael Shermer’s book Why People Believe Weird Things. There has to be a better explanation for why people believe weird things than “they’re stupid” or “it’s about the money”. This talk is a reminder that there are good evolutionary reasons why you might make mistakes. It also has a finish with Katie Melua who was on yesterday.Google+
This was the last entry to be chosen. I knew something was missing but couldn’t work out what. Then I realised I left out the best Christmas song ever. There’s a good chance you’re already sick of it, so this is a slightly different version. It is the Pogues, but it’s the Pogues as they were in 1987, but as they were 20 years later.Google+
The Periodic Videos team produced a Chemistry Christmas tree last year. They have a YouTube channel and if you haven’t seen it you should go there right now. There’s plenty of time to browse their videos before the festival of Sol Invictus starts.Google+
This is the longest video in the advent calendar by a looooooong way. It’s Douglas Adams talking about his best book Last Chance to See. It’s a stunningly good book. The follow up for the TV series 20 years later, also called Last Chance to See, isn’t quite as good, but it’s still better than the vast majority of books you can buy on Amazon.Google+
The first song of the calendar, this one is a reminder of how extraordinarily unlikely you are.Google+
This is from the BBC Series “It’s only a Theory” which aims to reduce the number of unnecessary theories. This section, following one on the role of smell in attracting mates, explains what Chaos is.Google+
Inspired by Robin Ince’s Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, I’ve decided to put together an advent calendar of songs, sermons and science for the Yuletide season. Like all good advent calendars it’ll end on the eve of Mithras’s birthday. I’m mixing my mythologies, but I’m being inclusive.
The first choice is Jacob Bronowski on Science and Dogma from his series The Ascent of Man. I don’t know if it’s simply that I’m becoming older, or if the season is becoming more bitter. This is reminder that humanity really should be all on the same side instead of certain in their opposition to the Others.Google+
Project SOAR is a rethink of what student reading lists mean. My contribution to has been fiddling with the code. Some of it has been adapting the layout and some o it is behind the scenes like tying entries on books to other sites and plugging in the review system. It’s been a good project to work on. Partly because Alan Cann has interesting ideas about what can be done with reading lists. More practically he’s also been very clear on what he wants done with the site, so I’ve never felt like I’ve been aiming at a moving target.
It’s also been very fast. My role was scheduled to start November 1. I actually started as soon as I heard funding had been approved, but even so it’s been a short project with a clear goal. Because it’s his project, you can read more about it at his site.Google+