Science Cookies!

Hat tip to PZ.

These look like some very easy to make and fun cookies. Periodic Table squares, Gel Electrophoresis cookies, atomic cookies, and my favorite: Streaked Petri Plate cookies!

Well I know what kind of cookies I’m making next. Move over chocolate chip, time to make room for a new friend!


No more pipetting late at night!

I can’t believe I haven’t embedded this video in my blog yet. This goes out to all you lab rats out there up all night making PCR plates until your thumbs ache.

Okay, so it’s an ad for a pipetting machine made by Eppendorf… but with this production quality I can’t help but be a part of their viral marketing campaign.

I should make a music video about plant breeding…

Large Hadron Collider goes online

Today marks the day that the Large Hadron Collider has finally switched on and is running its first tests. Sending subatomic particles around in circles to smash them into one another, ah, the exciting life of physicists! They are looking to test String Theory, settle a $100 bet between physicists, oh yeah, and look into the nature of the Universe immediately after the Big Bang. Heavy stuff.

But, some people didn’t want it to happen. First, you have the people who bring up the cost of the project. Then you have the people that thought that the Collider must be stopped because its going to gobble up the Earth by making a black hole. Now, I read, someone else has chimed in and believes that these particle physicists must be stopped because…. Continue reading Large Hadron Collider goes online

We’re splicing!

A chill breeze from the mountaintops
can freeze the purest streams.
As ice expands within the rock,
It splits upon its seams.

The removal of schistostic stone
erects a talus in the vale,
exposing igneous plutons that
in time shall also fail.

The forces of wind and water
and the quakes from underneath,
will rend the very monuments
that my love for you will leave.

But they who only seek to carve
A canyon between us each,
will never know the heat that boils
where shivers never reach.

For far beneath the crust upwells
a heat that none can quench.
It turns their water into steam
when leaks attempt to drench.

The spires my magma builds for you
will fault and fall someday,
but this burning love will build anew
a stone that won’t give way.

Together we will touch the stars
where clouds will never go,
and let our love build mountaintops
that winds will never know.

Alexander Courage dies

Composer Alexander Courage died on May 15, 2008. He worked on several television series, but is best known for composing the theme music for the original Star Trek. He stopped working for Gene Roddenberry after Roddenberry took 50% of the royalties from the theme song for himself. Would the quality of music have been better had Courage stayed on during the series?

Each Star Trek incarnation develops its own musical pattern, but pays homage to the original theme created by Courage. Either in the opening moments of the main theme, used as a baseline to come back to in the closing theme, or mixed somewhere into the score. Deep Space Nine and Voyager didn’t seem to obviously use the original theme, but still borrow some of the style and mood. Enterprise totally abandoned the style and went with Where my Heart Will Take Me, which, if you ask me, was half the reason why Enterprise failed. (The other half was the lack of relevance)

Later this year, as Star Trek XI comes out in theaters, Alexander Courage’s memorable musical phrasing is sure to be a part of the score. It will continue in the ST franchise, and continue to influence science fiction music. And he didn’t even like science fiction!

ALERT! Karl on the radio Monday

I’m currently preparing to go on the radio tomorrow morning for a little spot on a classical music show. The radio station is WORT 89.9 fm, and the show is called Other Voices. It’s a show that focuses on women in classical music. Then why the heck am I going to be on it?

Well, my extensive science fiction soundtrack collection has shown me consistent patterns and themes running throughout the SciFi film/TV genre. Not only have my ears picked these things out, but my lady-love Ariela has been sprinkling musicology terms in my midst and it’s hard not to think about them. Consequently, I have come to notice and understand the pervasive influence of Gustav Holst’s The Planets in science fiction music.

So Monday the 28th of April, I’ll be talking about Holst and SciFi music and the composers that wrote that music. All men. On a show about women. Actually, the feminine focus of this portion of this week’s show will be Continue reading ALERT! Karl on the radio Monday