Saturday, October 31, 2009

Riechling erklärt Relativitätstheorie

Matthias Riechling is a very good cabaretist in german television.
In this video, he 'is' Albert Einstein and explainsgeneral relativity. It's german, it's funny and worth watching.
I am posting this because today, I will be running around as Albert Einstein at the Space Day at Nottingham Castle. That should be a laugh. In case somebody asks awkward questions, I will just answer in german :D

Happy Halloween and dressing up!

Embedding is disabled, so you'll have to watch it here:
Matthias Riechling erklärt Relativitätstheorie

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Gigagalaxy Zoom

Being an astronomer in the end, I thought, I should post something astronomical as a change.
This link leads to a project done by ESO.

It's called the 'Giga Galaxy Zoom', and basically, it is a huge zoomable image. Of you go there, click on the 'zoom' button and use the java application to zoom around in the milkyway. It's a stunning picture and has been taken with a rather small telescope (well, for todays professional comparison, that is), a 2.2 meter mirror telescope at La Silla in Chile, using the Wide Field Imager, which was incidently also used to get data for the Combo-17 survey, one of the surveys that I am using for my science. It's kind of the 'motherÄ project of bith GEMS and STAGES which are the actual data I'm using to examine how galaxies evolve over time. Combo-17 determined the colors of galaxies very acurately and was able to derive redshifts (distances or 'ages') of the galaxies we look at. It's a cool instrument with a rather big field of view, which is why ESO chose it for this project.

Here are some small example pictures. They are only tiny cutouts from the project, but give a good impression of the quality.

Go on, have a look on

You can download some pictures (25 MB files, but not the 800 MB full resolution data, though) here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Feynman thoughts

Referring to an older post a few days/weeks ago, I have found more oldies and goodies by Richard Feynman. Both of these videos are again the starting points of a series of videos that you can watch on youtube. Again, he explains the world and science in the Feynman-tpical way. I'd like to get there at some point, but I think that will be an illusion, that way might be too long.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mr. Bean, invisible drum kit and piano

Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is such a great mime. In these movies, he's playing an invisible drumkit or piano, respectivly. I wonder whether he actually played the drum for real, he looks very professional in miming it. The piano is not as good, but still great to watch.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


There is a giant hexagonal structure at the pole of Saturn. It was first detected by the Voyager spacecraft in 1969, and it is still there! It's similar to the 'vortec' a wind around the poles that we can also find on earth, but it not hexagonal here, neither is it that stable. Weird!

Check it out:

Manthy Python meets Star Trek

I found this completely by accidents, following links from the Carl Sagan video, but isn't it amazing how it works together? Star Trek and Monthy Python!? A fantastic idea!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Cosmos Remixed)

Yes, I know, this has been on many blogs before, even some of friends (who told me they are not territorial about their content), so I thought I'd pass it on. It's a brilliant little astronomy song.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Feynmans fun

This is the sixth part of a longer series. It's an interview with Richard Feynman, the brilliant physicist. He explains why an mirror does change left and right, but not up and down. Isn't it cute what physicist can be amused about?
If you want to see the complete series, please start here. It's worth it, and everybody can learn a lot. He's got a very nice and clean way of describing things. THe only reason, I am not posting all of them is because it's 12 parts and it would be a bit long.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Micky Universe Song

Mickys Universe Song. Puts things in a perspective. No more word needed.

Films/movies, clichees and weird facts!

A great article (in german!) about (true) clischees in movies. Things that are always done the same way. It's quite an eye-opener and actually hillarious to read:

Spiegel Eines Tages

Some examples:
- If the hero fights against a whole army, they always attack him one after the other, never all at once.
- Animals always make a sound when they enter the scene. Never does a cat just silently walk in.
- The cars of the bad guys always explode when the have an accident. The car of the heros can have the worst crash ever, they will never explode.
- The bad guys never run downstairs when they are chased, they always take the staircase upwards. That just makes the better fight on the rooftop.
- There is always a stand with vegetables on the streets that can be demolished in a car chase.
- All secret services seem to store their most important data (e.g. codes for nuclear weapons) on CDs that get lost.
- There is always a way INTO a house, but never an open escape route. Then suddenly all the doors are locked.
- Ships always sink at night, people always reach the lonely islands by day.

Related to movies, this is the story of a very famous sound file, the Wilhelm scream. It appears in thousand of films and when you watch this you will never be able to see one of them without noticing. Promise!

And a small compilation of the Wilhelm scream in movies. Amazing. I have never noticed before that everybody screams the same way ;-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thunderstorm over Frankfurt

Here's another video from a thunderstorm. This time it's in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
Still awesome, I like thunderstorms as long as I don't stand exposed to the flashes ;-)

If you printed the Internet!

This is what you would need and get if you were mad enough to actually print the internet. I think that's interesting. Interesting enough to post it. I wonder how you'd print youtube, though? I guess, you wold only print the texts from webpages and ignore the pictures and videos.
(Found on

In the end, I am quite happy nobody tries to do that!


It's mean, but it's interesting. This is a test in which children are given a marshmallow and they are told that they can either eat it immediately, or they can wait and will then get another marshmallow in a few minutes time in case they did NOT eat the first one. It is SO mean to see them struggle, you can really see them thinking about what to do. All in all, I think they are doing quite well.

Here's the link, I cannot embed it unfortunately.

Link: Marshmallow test