Pam Carter - “Western Isles”
The 9th Watch
It’s not a Doctor Who episode. It’s not a metal band. It’s your chance to be a part scientific history.
You have the chance to witness something that no one has ever seen, and make scientific history in the process: The fall of the ninth pitch drop.
The Pitch Drop experiment at the University of Queensland is perhaps the longest-running science experiment in the world. Pitch is a viscous, black substance that is brittle when struck with a hammer, but flows like a liquid when given enough time. And I mean a LOT of time.
A similar experiment in Ireland recently dropped, but the Australian version is the granddaddy of slow science. That one has only dropped eight times in its 86 year history, and no one’s ever been around to see it. Even John Mainstone, who watched over the experiment for more than half a century, sadly passed away this year without ever being present for a drop.
Queensland set up The Ninth Watch website to give people around the world a chance to log on, watch live, and “be there” when the big event happens. It could be any day now. So if you don’t have anywhere to be, head on over, log on and watch. It beats TV, right? For science.
Learn more about the pitch drop experiment with "Never Quite Now" from Radiolab.
Last weekend I challenged myself to make 100 collages/drawings in a day again (see my last one here http://edwardcheverton.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/yesterday-i-set-myself-challenge-to-do.html). I’ve picked out some of my favourite pieces from the session. It’s something I want to do again soon, preferably with other people so I don’t go crazy from the isolation.
Eastern Spadefoot Toad (by Photo Nature)
Joseph Vaughan, Nelson’s New Drawing Course. Drawing, design and manual occupations: Teacher’s Handbook, Edinburgh, 1903.
Nature photographer Kjell Bloch Sandved has amassed a massive collection of butterfly and moth wings, capturing a host of unusual patterns. Using those patterns, he has assembled entire butterfly alphabets.
This is just one of Sandved’s alphabets; he has a second butterfly alphabet and a more varied nature alphabet. He has posters of the alphabets available on his website, but he also sells custom prints that let you spell out names or messages in butterfly wings.
Some of my favourite Railway Locomotives. Edward Cheverton
Friedrich Seidenstücker: Girls Playing with Rubble, 1946