A hydrophobic oil absorbing marshmallow

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via +Cheryl Hurkett is this video demon­strat­ing a marshmallow-like mac­ro­por­ous gel that could be used for sep­ar­at­ing oil and water. Like the accom­pa­ny­ing press release says, this is obvi­ously use­ful for mar­ine oil spills, but there are many more applications.

http://​www​.rsc​.org/​c​h​e​m​i​s​t​r​y​w​o​r​l​d​/​2​0​1​3​/​0​1​/​m​a​r​s​h​m​a​l​l​o​w​-​a​e​r​o​g​e​l​-​m​o​p​s​-​oil

#twt   #chem­istry  

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My head has just exploded

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Rockabye Baby have a lul­laby ver­sion of Lullaby by The Cure. If you’ve not heard of Rockabye Baby they’re repack­aged ver­sions of hits slowed down to more som­no­lent pace.

Except for the ver­sions of Coldplay songs obviously.

If you haven’t heard any of them there’s plenty to choose from by search­ing YouTube for Rockabye Baby. My favour­ites include:
Queen Under Pressure Rockabye Baby! Under Pressure Queen
Smashing Pumpkins Today Rockabye Baby! — Lullaby Renditions of Smashing Pumpkins — Today
and Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions of Nirvana — Smells Like Teens Spirit which will give babies night­mares to scar them for the rest of their lives.

Other bands covered include U2, Metallica, the Smiths and Guns ‘n’ Roses.

and I’m not jok­ing about Coldplay not being slowed down. Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Coldplay — Clocks

#music  

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Phases of the Moon Pro

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I’ve finally added my review of Phases of the Moon Pro to the Play store. This brings my total of Play reviews up to… umm… one.

I’ve been using it on my Galaxy Note 2, but I’ve just seen on the Virtual Star Party (as I type this) that it’s avail­able on iOS. It looks like it’s bet­ter on a Nexus 7 or iPad.

It’s a simple thing really, you start it up and it shows the moon phase. But it’s done very well. You can put your fin­ger on the moon and sweep it to increase or decrease the phase, set it to full and then see when that is. Or sweep it on or back to new and get a time for that phase.

The app name is a little bit mis­lead­ing now. You can use two fin­gers to zoom into the moon and craters, seas and Apollo land­ing sites get labelled. You need to pan two fin­gers round to move the image on the screen once you’ve zoomed in.

This week’s +Virtual Star Party is a good one too, with more moon than usual. Virtual Star Party — Jan. 20, 2013

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Quote of the day

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For non-Welsh people, Merthyr Tydfil is town half an hour or so inland.

We don’t get a lot of sharks around here, so he did very well.”

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Paul Marshallsea drags Bronze whaler shark away from Noosa beach
A BRITISH hol­i­day­maker grabbed a six-foot shark by its tail and dragged it away from a group of tod­dlers as they played in shal­low water off the coast of Queensland.

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Hysteria as a response to snow

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As with many things Charlie Brooker was there first. The video below was from three years ago. #Snowmageddon has become a staple story in the UK with the first winter snow.

What might be inter­est­ing is what snow ter­ror tells us about cli­mate change.

There’s an inter­est­ing news story from 2000, with an awful head­line but a couple of inter­est­ing quotes.
http://​www​.inde​pend​ent​.co​.uk/​e​n​v​i​r​o​n​m​e​n​t​/​s​n​o​w​f​a​l​l​s​-​a​r​e​-​n​o​w​-​j​u​s​t​-​a​-​t​h​i​n​g​-​o​f​-​t​h​e​-​p​a​s​t​-​7​2​4​0​1​7​.​h​tml

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research sci­ent­ist at the cli­matic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snow­fall will become “a very rare and excit­ing event”.

Heavy snow will return occa­sion­ally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unpre­pared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will prob­ably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

So apart from the quotes com­pletely dis­agree­ing with the head­line in the story, has Dr Viner’s pre­dic­tion come true? Does global warm­ing mean we’ll freak out when snow comes?

In the Telegraph Boris Johnson has just pos­ted: It’s snow­ing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age.
http://​www​.tele​graph​.co​.uk/​c​o​m​m​e​n​t​/​c​o​l​u​m​n​i​s​t​s​/​b​o​r​i​s​j​o​h​n​s​o​n​/​9​8​1​4​6​1​8​/​I​t​s​-​s​n​o​w​i​n​g​-​a​n​d​-​i​t​-​r​e​a​l​l​y​-​f​e​e​l​s​-​l​i​k​e​-​t​h​e​-​s​t​a​r​t​-​o​f​-​a​-​m​i​n​i​-​i​c​e​-​a​g​e​.​h​tml

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