Saturday, 29 January 2011

Home-made Aspirin

Enjoyed this photo sent to us by Twitter friend @chrispattillo1

It shows a sample of aspirin he made after being inspired by our recent video.

Always glad to see people replicate our demonstrations - providing they know what they are doing and take all necessary safety precautions, of course!

We definitely wouldn't want to see anyone repeat any of our explosions without plenty of chemistry knowledge and safety equipment.

Chris made his aspirin in a research lab, by all accounts.

Here's the original video we made in which Dr John Moses made a sample of aspirin.

Friday, 28 January 2011

'Should we make something up'

Professor Martyn Poliakoff often says Hassium is his favourite film on The Periodic Table of Videos.

Not because it is full of interesting information... Quite the opposite.

In fact The Professor knew nothing about Hassium, famously asking (with tongue in cheek): "Should we make something up?"

However The Professor recovered... And managed to fudge a minute about the elusive element 108 by discussing the predictive powers of the periodic table.

The original video can be found at

However Professor Poliakoff finally learned something about Hassium when we visited GSI at Darmstadt, Germany in early 2010.

This is the facility where the first atoms of Hassium were created, forged in a giant particle collider.

With footage captured during this visit, I've finally been able to update our Hassium video with some new information (see below).

But as you'll see, I couldn't resist keeping the introduction from the original film.

A YouTube Guide to Trees

Today I posted the latest in a small sub-series about trees.

The videos - part of the bigger Test Tube video project - are presented by Dr Markus Eichhorn.

Here's today's video about the sycamore:

And here is the whole series so far, embedded as a player:

The videos were all filmed in a single afternoon with Markus, and I edit and upload when I have the time.

But I really like them and hope we might film more (because I am running out of videos from our original shoot).

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Public Lecture

I'll be giving a public "lecture" about my work on Thursday, January 27.

It's in Nottingham and free to come along... so please do!

The lecture is part of the Astronomy Public Lecture Series put on by University of Nottingham - but I'll be talking about broader science.

I plan to talk about how and why I make my videos across all projects, including Sixty Symbols, Test Tube and the Periodic Table of Videos (and others).

I'll also include a bit about my experience of science journalism in the mainstream media - and include some special video footage you don't get to see on YouTube!!!

Am currently searching the vaults for my favourite out-takes, mistakes and stuff that hasn't been seen.

Details are:

Internet Stars: The Secret Life of Sixty Symbols
Brady Haran
Thursday 27th January 2011
6-7 pm
Maths & Physics Building (B1)
University Park Campus

More info can be found at this link:

Q and A with Paul

Here's a quick "question and answer" with Paul Eccleston, who is charge of building the MIRI "space camera".

It is essentially bonus footage from the main film I made with him for Backstage Science, which can be seen below.

More from Backstage Science is coming soon.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sad news about Ed Ball

I've returned from a few weeks holiday to the sad news that Ed Ball has passed away.

Ed was an Old Testament lecturer at the University of Nottingham and a key contributor to the Bibledex videos.

I was always astonished by Ed's knowledge and memory - his ability to talk about obscure parts of the Bible without notes or preparation.

It's sad that I will not see him again, but I'm grateful to have met him and recorded some of his contributions for Bibledex.

Below I've embedded just a few of the videos Ed featured in.

He will be greatly missed.