* Posts by D L Clements

13 posts • joined 2 Aug 2007

Landlocked Bolivia seeks legal route to Pacific

D L Clements


If this goes bad then it'll cause problems for all the astronomy projects in the Atacama desert in Chile. They're all towards the Bolivian border, and there has already been a case of astronomers held at gunpoint, taken into Bolivia, robbed, and then abandoned at night in the high desert to make their own way back.

Herschel 'scope peers into 'truly empty' space hole

D L Clements
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See more on Herschel

There's lots more on Herschel at the mission blog:


and at the UK Herschel website


Boffins spy liquid water on Saturn's moon

D L Clements

Just in time for the UK to quit

Great stuff, but of course this all comes out just at the time the UK is pulling out of Cassini ( see eg. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/02/cassini.shtml). Of course the US knows when it's on to a good thing and has extended the mission until 2017. All the extra science in the years to come will go elsewhere, in spite of the fact that the UK has put a lot of effort into the project and made some fundamentally important contributions.

Nice one Gordon and Peter.

Stop, because that's what's happening to the UK contribution to Cassini.

O2 leaves travellers in the lurch

D L Clements

O2 trouble in the UK

O2 definitely having problems in the UK as well. I can't connect most of the time and when I did, briefly, got a 2 hour old txt.

Fail, because currently O2 seem to be full of it.

Herschel space 'scope flips its lid

D L Clements
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More news on the Herschel blog site

You can get more news on Herschel on the Herschel mission blog:


Herschel and Planck off to meet Lagrange

D L Clements

For more on Herschel and Planck...

See the mission blogs and associated sites:



And wish us good luck for tomorrow!

Euro space 'scopes go for 14 May launch

D L Clements
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Mission Blogs

You can follow more about these missions on their blogs:



which I help maintain.

Google: The Satan Phone cometh

D L Clements
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And the missing items...

As far as I can tell, no GPS (unlike iPhone 3G) and no tethering ('tooth or otherwise, like the iPhone).

I really don't understand why the operators want to block the use of these devices as 3G modems when so many of the phones they already sell do the job very well. It's the dealbreaker for me with the iPhone. I'd hoped Android would be different, but no.

Looks like I'll be staying with Nokia...

Hutton: UK must become world No 1 in nuclear power

D L Clements

Wither the nuclear physicists?

Interesting that the same government that is scaling back research into particle and nuclear physics, with their cuts to STFC, now wants to have more physicists to make the UK more nuclear.

Since 80% of undergraduates in physics cite particle or astrophysics as the motivator for getting them into the subject it sounds as if there'll be no Brits to do the work.

Joined up government or wot?

Jodrell Bank offloaded on eBay

D L Clements
Dead Vulture

Merger of PPARC and CCLRC at fault

When STFC was formed last year it inherited a roughly 80M shortfall from CCLRC. This was meant to be sorted in the CSR but it wasn't. The merger has been botched, thanks to GB, whose idea it was in the first place as Treasurer at the time, and AD who failed to fund it in the CSR, aided and abetted by DIUS who seem to have ignored what warnings came from STFC about the damage from the shortfall.

It's a clusterfuck and while the blame gets passed around real damage is being done. Jodrell is just the start - UKIRT, the ING telescopes, the whole of ground-based Solar Terrestrial Physics and much more are on the line, and there's similar damage to particle and nuclear physics.

Minister calls for boffins to engage with public

D L Clements
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It would be nice if they took advice when it's given...

It now seems that Denham was advised that his chosen settlement for Physics in the spending review <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080116/full/news.2008.446.html">would do severe damage to the subject</a> and that more money was needed to maintain the UK's standing in the field. Perhaps he should reread his own speech and follow the advice he was given by scientists and restore funding. At 80 Million it's peanuts in terms of the rest of government spending.

UK nuke-power plans leak early

D L Clements

Wither the nuclear physicists?

If there is to be a new generation of nuclear power stations who will actually build and work on them? With the recent cuts to physics funding, including nuclear physics and related fields such as particle and astrophysics, there's likely to be a grave shortage of the experts needed for nuclear power.

Perhaps some linked-up thinking is needed here.

The No 10. petition on physics funding is <a href="http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Physics-Funding/"> here</a> if you want to sign.

e-Borders to cost £1.2bn

D L Clements

1000 arrests...

But how many successful prosecutions, which are surely the real judge of whether this system is finding genuine crims.


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