Archive for the ‘Science & technology’ Category

If you would be interested in tracking in real time accurate data on the spread of coronavirus worldwide, there is a web site that is doing that

March 18th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Amazingly the site has been set up by an American boy of just 17, Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior from Mercer Island outside Seattle. But the site is using reputable sources such as the Word Health Organisation. You can access the site here. As I write this posting, the global number of confirmed cases […]

Posted in British current affairs, Science & technology, World current affairs | Comments (0)

Coronavirus (or Covid-19): where and who was patient zero?

March 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Whenever there is a global pandemic, it is natural to wonder how it all started. We still don’t know for sure where the Black Death of the mid 14th century originated although, in October 2010, medical geneticists suggested that all three of the great waves of the plague originated in China. Similarly there are different […]

Posted in History, Science & technology, World current affairs | Comments (0)

Coronavirus: nine reasons to be reassured

March 11th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The “Guardian” newspapers has pulled together material to show that, while coronavirus is a serious challenge, there are reasons to be reassured: We know what it is. We can test for it. We know that it can be contained (albeit at considerable cost). Catching it is not that that easy (if we are careful) and […]

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Would you like to live to be 100 (or more)?

February 27th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Living to 100 will soon become a routine fact of (long) life. Life expectancies have been rising by up to three months a year since 1840 and although gains in the UK began to slow in 2011, it is still estimated that more than half the babies born in wealthier countries since 2000 may reach […]

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How much of our brain do we really need?

February 20th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Some time ago, I read a fascinating book called “The Brain” by David Eagleman. If there is one clear message from the book, it is that the brain exhibits remarkable plasticity. People talk of the brain as hard-wired, but it is the opposite of that. Eagleman describes some remarkable cases of people recovering from injury […]

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How many people have been into space?

February 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I was born in 1948, so I was a teenager when the so-called Space Race between the USSR and the USA was at its height. It seemed that, every few months, there was a new first: the first satellite in space, the first dog in space, the first man in space, the first woman in […]

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Could the explanation for dark energy be something called massive gravity?

January 25th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Sometimes it’s good to raise our eyes above national and global politics and think about cosmological matters. For instance, why is the universe expanding at an accelerating rate when the known laws of physics suggest that this ballooning should be slowing down? The explanation might be something to do with what scientists have called dark […]

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So what exactly is 20/20 vision?

January 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

It’s 2020 and the new year has led to lots of media references to 20/20 vision. The implication is usually that such vision is perfect, but this is too simplistic. So what exactly is 20/20 vision? The term 20/20 and similar fractions are visual acuity measurements. They also are called Snellen fractions, named after Herman […]

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Why aren’t more consumers engaging with the broadband market?

October 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Recently the consumer organisation Which? published new research – gathering an in-depth understanding of why consumers aren’t engaging in the broadband market.  This behavioural research identifies six key barriers to engagement among disengaged consumers: Consumers have low confidence in assessing what they need and identifying a suitable package Consumers are confused about how pricing works […]

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How far are the eight planets from the Sun?

July 12th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been watching the BBC series “The Planets” presented by Professor Brian Cox. It’s a fascinating series and seems to underline that everything is more complicated that you thought with tremendous changes over time. For instance, the orbits of the planets round the Sun have changed dramatically over billions of years, especially that of Jupiter. […]

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