Musical portmanteau – portmantunes
Meanwhile, on a deadline and so needless to say, distracted by a twitter game a guy called Geoff on twitter triggered… He started it with: “Woke up, fell out of bed Dragged a comb across my head, My shaving razor’s cold, And it stings.” A Daydream Believer In The Life Which I think would work better as “In the life of a daydream believer”… That made me come back with: “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a highway to hell” — LedC/DeeC and “Ground control to Rocket man” — Elton Bowie and “...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - July 7, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Music Source Type: blogs

That ’ s okay, tonight
Sometimes a guitar lick comes out of nowhere…just morphs from neurons to muscular movements and takes on a life of its own. I noodled about on the guitar with one such riff recently. Simple stuff really, the basic chords were a few majors and a minor, but working up the neck rather than standard first positions. Then a repeat of that but ending with a turnaround taking it back down. It was reminiscent of a hit song by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons which we sing with bigMouth occasionally. Classic song, Northern Soul style. I left it for a while, I couldn’t just write a new version of The Night. A couple ...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - July 5, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Music Source Type: blogs

Screenie – a Zoom selfie
Not sure whether anyone else has used this term, but a screengrab, screenshot, captured during a video conference, whether Teams, Zoom, Skype, Jitsi or whatever might be called a screenie in a word akin to a selfie. I tweeted the word here in this context on 3rd July 2020 for the sake of provenance.   (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - July 5, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly
We visited Somerset in the summer of 2019 despite neither of us being fans of cider. We stayed on a beautiful part of the county’s north coast and did a lot of walking and visited a few nature reserves in the hope of seeing bird and insect species we might not commonly see in Cambridge where we live. The Silver-washed Fritillary, Argynnis paphia, was one of the Lepidoptera I hoped to photograph. The species is widespread over the South West and Ireland (see here) and we saw several on flowers in the gardens of a cafe we visited after a five-mile walk. Spotted them only after I’d taken off my walking boots to c...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - July 4, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

Coming out of Covid lockdown, I don ’ t think so …
Fundamentally, we are still riding (just) the first wave of the global Covid-19 pandemic. If there are sudden spikes now, that’s still part of the first wave. Nothing has changed for the virus except that some people have been avoiding contact with other people, so the rates of infection in some places have slowed giving health services a bit of space to mop up and treated those seriously ill with the virus. But, at the time of writing half a million people, at least, have died from Covid-19. I don’t really know how I feel about this coming out of lockdown, to be honest. I suspect that having asthma and being i...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - July 2, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

RSPB Snettisham and beach
Thursday, 25th June…I believe it was the hottest day of the year, so far. So, as lockdown eased somewhat and we are allowed to cautiously travel away from our homes, we headed for the beach. Not Bournemouth nor Lulworth Cove…North Norfolk and specifically Snettisham. We saw barely another soul other than an RSPB Warden who was reminding people not to walk on the areas of the beach and shoreline where birds are nesting. Cock Linnet We also saw a handful of other birders and a dogwalker or two and nodded to each from at least 20 metres rather than the requisite two. The virus hasn’t gone away, governments...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 29, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Photography Source Type: blogs

Lepidopteral Garden Safari – Part 96vii/d
Obviously, it’s not really Part 96vii/d (that’s just one of my perennial jokes). I think it’s probably the thirtieth or so post of moth garden safaris though…these are some of the varied species that made an appearance in the garden last night, drawn to the ultraviolet lure. My garden list is almost at 350 different species, there are some 1800 species in the British Isles overall, so still a long way to go and some species will never been seen in this little corner of England. Three Privet Hawk-moths, UK’s largest moth Gold Triangle, one of the smaller moths A dark, but not 100% melanic form...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 27, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Nemophora metallica – the Brassy Longhorn
Again today, just seemed to be two Brassy Longhorns, Nemophora metallica, dining on the Field Scabious on the Cottenham Lode today. There are dining partners in several of the shots Thankfully the people who have mowed the upper part of the bank (for some unknown reason) didn’t trim the scabious… (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

Lepidopteral update
Sciencebase readers who also partake of my Imaging Storm website will know already that the moth season has taken off. Night-flying leps are coming to the ultraviolet lure at a rate of knots now; 120 specimens of 60 different species last night (night of 23rd June 2020, logged on the morning of the 24th, many of them NFY (new for the year) and some even NFM (new for me, or as some moth-ers do ‘ave it, NFG, new for garden). Latticed Heath, NFY 24 Jun 2020 Acrobasis repandana, NFM 24 Jun 2020 Green Silver-lines, NFY 24 Jun 2020 Varied Coronet, NFM 24 Jun 2020 Red-barred Tortrix, NFM 24 Jun 2020 Double-striped Pug Cloud...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

Green Silver-lines moth
Some moth names are just so obvious. This member of the Lepidoptera is mostly green and has silvery lines on its wings, hence Green Silver-lines. It’s scientific binomial is a little more cryptic, Pseudoips prasinana. Side view of Green Silver-lines, Latticed Heath moth in the background Conventional aerial view of Green Silver-lines Face-on view of Green Silver-lines (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

All masked up and nowhere to go
With my blessing, the marvellous Mrs Sciencebase took one of my gig shirts and cut it into pieces, found a PPE mask template online folded and stitched, embedded a layer of silk and created a pocket for an additional filter. I can’t feel my breath through this when breathing hard so I assume it would work to reduce outflow of any viral-laden particles should I ever go out in public again. Incidentally, it’s a good idea to make your mask with two different types of fabric, a tightly-woven cotton layer will catch most wannabe aerosol droplets from nose or mouth and they will be soaked up into the fabric. A synth...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 23, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

PondLife update
Regular Sciencebase readers have probably been wondering what happened to our newly re-dug pond, which I did in April 2019 after a twenty year filled in dry spell. Well, it has thrived and become quite the wildlife haven, attended frequently by garden birds for bathing and drinking. We have at least five frogs (I saw five sitting around the perimeter one evening early in the Covid-19 lockdown). There are endless aquatic snails now, they multiplied very quickly. Lots of plants, which are also thriving, and lots of invertebrates attracted including Common Blue Damselfly. We had mimulus in bloom and yellow flag iris, I did me...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 21, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: PondLife Source Type: blogs

Moths in the extreme
This is the largest of the resident Lepidoptera of The British Isles: the Privet Hawk-moth, Sphinx ligustri. As its scientific name suggests, this is one of what are commonly known as Sphinx moths in the US and elsewhere. This species can have a wingspan of up to 120 millimetres when its wings are full extended. At the other extreme of size scale is the Satin Grass-veneer, Crambus perlella, is one of the smaller of our moths, oh not the smallest by a long chalk. It is by definition a micro moth, but the division between micro and macro moths (such as the Privet Hawk-moth above) isn’t, as one might assume, about size...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Shooting the Skipper
Large Skipper, Ochlodes sylvanus, in flight. My old Canon 6D full-frame digital SLR would never have locked focus quickly enough to get a shot like this. This was taken from about 3 or 4 metres away with a 600mm zoom on a Canon 7D mkii. f/6.3, 1/1600s, ISO 500. I should’ve used a faster shutter speed to freeze the wings as they flap very quickly in this skippy little butterfly. The 2/3rds cropped sensor of this camera gives the Sigma lens the equivalent “reach” of a 900mm lens, i.e. nominally 50 percent longer focal length. This is an arbitrary fact really, it’s not optical zoom, it’s equival...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

The pyramidal orchid
A friend tipped me off that he’d spotted an unusual plant species, Anacamptis pyramidalis, the pyramidal orchid, in our local woodland. It’s in a very prominent spot where lots of people walk their dogs so was unlikely to last long. I headed there this morning to do my first botanical “twitch”. Pyramidal Orchid Took a Canon 6D and a Tamron 90mm macro with a tripod and a flash to try and get a decent close-up or two. I didn’t even think to sniff it, but apparently it has a “foxy” scent. Hoverfly on Pyramidal orchid   (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Size really doesn ’ t matter when it comes to micro and macro moths
In the past, when I’m lecturing a friend at the pub (remember those?) about the moths I’ve photographed, the terms micro and macro come up and the inevitable question: “Oh, are the micros just the small ones, then?”. As a relative newbie moth-er I’ve struggled to offer a definitive answer. Some moths referred to as micro moths are a lot bigger than some of the smaller macros and some of the macro moths like the “footman” moths and pugs are smaller than some of the micros. Mothing experts have pointed me to papers and articles about identification and one contact suggest that the di...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 15, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

Lighting up green for Grenfell in a mad world
The Tears for Fears song “Mad World” seemed rather poignant to perform on the evening of 14th June 2020 as it was to be a third anniversary memorial of the Grenfell Tower disaster. It seems even more apt given the violence, death, and disease we are seeing at the moment. Hello teacher, tell me what’s my lesson… (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Red-footed Falcon
The red-footed falcon, Falco vespertinus, is usually found in eastern Europe and Asia but its numbers are falling because of habitat loss (what a surprise) and hunting (ditto). It is usually migrates south to Africa in the Winter. Occasionally vagrants are seen in western Europe in the summer. Interestingly, one has been hanging around this last week or so at RSPB Fen Drayton, which is close to a village not far from us here in Cottenham. It’s apparently a first-year female so obviously not the same bird that has been seen on the same patch in previous years. We paid a visit to the reserve today and although light le...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Statuesque
Angel of the North MLK Jr at Newcastle Uni   Remembrance Memorial (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 11, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Flash diffuser
I just made the least flash flash diffuser imaginable. I cut a hole in an old, plastic ostrich-burger box we have used to store Xmas tree baubles in for the last seventeen years and fitted it to the camera with a redundant ring flash adapter. I switched away from ringflash earlier this year as it’s simply not good enough for decent entomological macro shots. Mimulus #PondLife Viper’s Bugloss Periwinkle Red Valerian Poppy Cornflower Ceanothus fruit Yarrow flower buds Anyway, been testing the ad hoc diffuser with some random macro shots of flowers in the garden – Mimulus (#PondLife), cornflower, wet poppy,...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 5, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

The search for life on Mars
Later in the summer of 2020, NASA will launch its latest Mars rover, Perseverance. To coincide with that important scientific occasion, Elizabeth Howell, PhD and Nicholas Booth have told the greatest scientific detective story of all time in The Search for Life on Mars. Their approach and style are unique, they break many a convention of the scientific history books to make this truly accessible read with none of the bluff and bluster of so many so-called popular-science books and all of the guts and glory of a gripping wannabe bestseller. The world next door, otherwise known as the Red Planet, has intrigued humanity for ...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 3, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Lepidopteral diversity
A few more moth species from the actinic lure showing the great diversity of shapes and forms and markings Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha (Hufnagel, 1766) Buff-tip Phalera bucephala (Linnaeus, 1758) Thistle Ermine Myelois circumvoluta (Fourcroy, 1785) The Shark Cucullia umbratica (Linnaeus, 1758)   Small Dusty Wave Idaea seriata (Schrank, 1802) (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 2, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Goat milk and kefir probiotic nonsense
An advert persistently appears selling goat’s milk fermented with granules of a yeast-like product called kefir. It claims to “protect your immune system” and the advert details all the benefits to your gut microbes of so-called pro-biotics. Trouble is, you can’t eat or drink something to “protect your immune system” and as far as I can tell from a search of the scientific literature there is no strong evidence based in human trials that suggests any benefits for healthy people whatsoever to eating or drinking probiotics to “balance” gut microbes either. Most of the so-called...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 2, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Health and Medicine Source Type: blogs

Startling Starlings
Just a few shots of the juvenile startling starlings fighting for fatballs. The adults have fledged about eight noisy juveniles into our garden so far, I estimate. (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - June 1, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Cummings and Goings
I have written a letter to our Member of Parliament, asking him to call for the resignation of government advisor Dominic Cummings. Needles to say, our Tory Twat of an MP is supporting Cummings. This is the approximate text of my letter, with family details redacted. I am, to say the least, disgusted by the recent debacle concerning the government aide, Mr Dominic Cummings, and his obvious breach not only of lockdown rules, his driving offences, and his breach of the trust of the British people. Despite the well-crafted defence he presented from Number 10, which was so obviously written by lawyers, he offered nothing to th...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 30, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Was Covid-19 lockdown the right thing to do?
What do Sciencebase readers make of the view that there will far more long-term excess deaths and misery caused by the global lockdowns than there would have been had we let this coronavirus run free? This question is about estimating the serious long-term effects rather than giving those covidiots who fancy a trip to the beach or Barnard Castle an excuse to run wild and party. It is being discussed widely by many lockdown skeptics, including very well-respected scientists such as Mark Changizi. Obviously allowing the virus to run free would have meant overwhelming our healthcare services and there’d have been many m...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 30, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Curlew for you
Random selection of Curlew photos I’ve taken over the years, none of them anywhere near Barnard Castle, but some on the coast in the North East, others in Norfolk and Suffolk. (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 25, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

With misery and lockdown comes creativity
We’ve had a not-too-bad time of it, so far, to be fair, physically if not so much mentally. Other than not being able to get to a beach or legitimately visit a nature reserve, and putting holiday plans on hold, and cancelling all C5 the Band gigs for the summer and not being able to rehearse with those lovely people nor the lovely people of the TyrannoChorus, and not being able to take that nature holiday nor go camping, and having to work under the stress of a full house again having been almost empty-nesters for several months, and Mrs Sciencebase not being able to do either of her part-time work activities, the do...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 25, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

The biodiversity of Lepidoptera #MothsMatter
People often talk of liking butterflies but disliking moths. Butterflies are to all intents and purposes scientifically speaking, a sub-group within the moths. Arguments about flying at night, about clubbed antennae, and regarding wing posture are moot. There are both moths and butterflies that are diurnal and others that are nocturnal. Indeed, there is sexual dimorphism in some species, e.g. Emperor moth, which looks “like a butterfly” and the males fly during the day and the females at night. There are examples of clubbed antennae in moths and hooked antennae in butterflies (Skippers for example, which are bo...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

Dominic caalls hyem
Working undercover with a northern lass called Leanne, I’ve managed to acquire the wiretap tape of a conversation between a bloke called Dom and his Mam in the North East… Ring, ring Dom’s Mam: Hellooo…0191 24242424 Dom: Hello Mother it’s me Dom. How are you, I mean, Y’areet Mam, hope you’re not feverish or coughing or anything Dom’s Mam: Eeh, hello our Dominic, pet, lovely to hear your voice, I know you’re busy with all that eugenies stuff, so I won’t keep you Dom: Narrh, it’s alreet, I rang you, didn’t I? Anyway, you’re birthday’s comi...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Dominic calls hyem
Ring, ring Dom’s Mam: Hellooo…0191 2520134 Dom: Hello Mother it’s me Dom. How are you, I mean, Y’areet Mam, hope you’re not feverish or coughing or anything Dom’s Mam: Eeh, hello our Dominic, pet, lovely to hear your voice, I know you’re busy with all that eugenies stuff, so I won’t keep you Dom: Narrh, it’s alreet, I rang you, didn’t I? Anyway, you’re birthday’s coming up…shall we bring the bairn up to see you? Dom’s Mam: Eeeh, that’d be lovely pet, but what aboot the lockdown rules and that covfefe virus, like though? Dom: Aah, di...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 24, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Flattering photography
Always nice when someone notices you got a nice sharp and detailed photo. Happened this morning with a snap of a Figure of Eighty moth that was drawn to the actinic lure last night. The final “developed” image This Figure of Eighty moth was shot with a 90mm Tamron 1:1 lens on a Canon 6D digital SLR. Importantly, on a tripod with a shutter release wire, using Live View (on the rear screen, the camera’s mirror is raised) rather than allowing the mirror-raise to cause vibration as happens with a viewfinder shot. Obligingly, the moth lay flat and spread its wings, usually it curls them around its body to make...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 22, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Not corn-cockle – Wilding an English country garden
UPDATE: The corn-cockle is yet to grow in our garden, the pictures are of another species entirely, something Borage like, apols. Part of “wilding” involves scattering seeds from wildflowers…and hoping they’ll germinate and grow, flower, be pollinated, and set seed for next year. I borrowed some corn-cockle seed from a fellow #AllotmentLife person, and it’s now in bloom with invertebrates constantly in and out of the flowers. This wildflower species, Agrostemma githago, was thought to be extinct in the British Isles until a specimen was spotted in Sunderland of all places by a National Trust ...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 21, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Corn-cockle – Wilding an English country garden
UPDATE: The corn-cockle is yet to grow in our garden, the pictures are of another species entirely, something Borage like, apols. Part of “wilding” involves scattering seeds from wildflowers…and hoping they’ll germinate and grow, flower, be pollinated, and set seed for next year. I borrowed some corn-cockle seed from a fellow #AllotmentLife person, and it’s now in bloom with invertebrates constantly in and out of the flowers. This wildflower species, Agrostemma githago, was thought to be extinct in the British Isles until a specimen was spotted in Sunderland of all places by a National Trust ...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 21, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Covid-19 Reuters Q & A with William Haseltine
I live-tweeted a fascinating and perhaps rather depressing meeting with William Haseltine via a Reuters Newsmaker Broadcast. His talk was upbeat but the message does not offer a positive outlook unless we can collaborate internationally to identify, trace, and isolate and go back to early antivirals to treat people urgently. A vaccine will probably never be found, we must stay on top of this virus when we get communities under control. Moreover, we must recognise that another emergent pathogen could appear any time. These are essentially my notes from Haseltines’s talk. Might we ever achieve herd immunity? There is n...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Covid-19 Reuters Newsmaker Broadcast with William Haseltine
I live-tweeted a fascinating and perhaps rather depressing meeting with William Haseltine via a Reuters Newsmaker Broadcast. His talk was upbeat but the message does not offer a positive outlook unless we can collaborate internationally to identify, trace, and isolate and go back to early antivirals to treat people urgently. A vaccine will probably never be found, we must stay on top of this virus when we get communities under control. Moreover, we must recognise that another emergent pathogen could appear any time. These are essentially my notes from Haseltines’s talk. Might we ever achieve herd immunity? There is n...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 20, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Floral colour schemes in the garden pond
I planted up some aquatic plants in #PondLife as regular readers will know. Among them a few Mimulus in a pot. They’re in full bloom right now. Big, buttery yellow horn-shaped flowers with patches of burgundy red and ruddy spots leading into the flower. Original mimulus bloom Now, at some point early in Covid lockdown, I plucked some of the shoots protruding from the basket of Mimulus and planted them in another basket-pot in the pond with some nutrient-depleted aquatic compost (as I had with the initial bunch). The new shoots took well and one of them bloomed a week or so ago. Same horn-shaped flowers, same colours,...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: PondLife Source Type: blogs

Adverse effects of hydroxychloroquine
In case you were ever stupid enough to follow Trump’s lead you would have already injected ultraviolets in your eyeballs by now to save you from Covid and maybe bathed in Domestos or sulfuric acid or both! Anyway, his latest bullshine claim is that he’s been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to keep Covid at bay. Well, for starters there is no evidence that this drug acts as a prophylactic against infection with SARS CoV-2 or indeed any pathogen other than the causative agent of otherwise drug-resistant malaria. It’s primary use is in treating lupus. There was some testing done weeks ago to...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Health and Medicine Source Type: blogs

Pine Hawk-moth in the garden
I have written about the Hawk-moths (Sphingidadae) several times during my short time mothing with an actinic lure in our back garden. We have seen a fair selection of the species present in the British Isles. My photos are in the HM section of my Mothematical Gallery. So far in 2020, Lime HM, Eyed HM, and Poplar HM have made appearances. Morning of 19 May 2020, a new one for the garden – Pine Hawk-moth,  Sphinx pinastri (Linnaeus, 1758). Pine Hawk-moth from above Pine Hawk-moth from the side Pine Hawk-moth face-on Grey/Dark Dagger agg with Pine HM. The Dagger is about 18mm long (Source: David Bradley Sciencebas...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 19, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

Handgel and hot cars
There’s some deceived wisdom doing the rounds about not leaving bottles of 60% alcohol hand sanitizer in your car when it’s hot because it could spontaneously burst into flames. There are pictures of the damage apparently caused by the hand gel burning through the dashboard. This is not at all likely to happen at the temperatures you’re like to reach in the passenger compartment of a car. Moreover, if the interior of your car were to reach the necessary temperature for spontaneous combustion of hand sanitizer, that little bottle of gel is the least of your worries. The flashpoint for 60% ethanol in water,...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 18, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Bombus pratorum on Cynoglossum officinale
This is an “Early Bumblebee”, Bombus pratorum, feeding on a kind of borage (Boraginaceae) but with puce flowers, Cynoglossum officinale, on the flood plain of the Old West River, a couple of miles North of Cottenham. It’s growing wild and free and in abundance there. The plant has several common, folk, or vernacular, names among them houndstongue, houndstooth, dog’s tongue, gypsy flower, and “rats and mice” due to its odour). Also sighted there this morning, first Common Blue butterfly of the year for me, a male Polyommatus icarus. Lots of the white-flowered wildflower around, but not e...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 17, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Biology Source Type: blogs

Zoom burnout
, they’re calling it. We’ve probably all experienced it by now, that feeling of exhaustion and of having Zoomed too far, joined one two many “webinars”, Whatsapped a bit too much with the family, argued over the quiz results, and drank far too much “at” far too many friends on House Party. You’ve logged in and fiddled with mic and cam settings until everyone in the video-chat can see and hear you. You’ve waited, sometimes minutes, for the host to show up and let you all in. You’ve put up with the audio feedback issues when two of you are in the same room and in the sam...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 16, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Lockdown in Wonder
Did a down and dirty arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t she lovely?” on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Took half a dozen takes to get through it without my snood slipping. Overdubbed the guitar solo, obvs. (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 14, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Quanfusion – Confused quarantine jazz fusion
Delirious jazz noodlings with an ES335 copy, a Telecaster, a Yamaha bass, and a few drum loops. (Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science)
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 12, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Everybody ’ s free (to wear a facemask)
Back in the late ’90s I did a pastiche of the “Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)” hit by Baz Lurhmann, but for chemists on the original ChemWeb site, no less, I was their original weekly columnist, so I kind of had a captive audience for many a year over there. Anyway, it was entitled “Everybody’s free (to wear goggles)“. Hilarious, yeah…I know, haha! Now, I hear there’s a new release from Lez Burham of Strictly Rouge and The Moulin Ballroom fame, this time redone for The Covid Age… …it’s called Everybody’s free (to wear a facemask). I know...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 11, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Another night ’ s mothing in time of covfefevirus
Not quite as active a night in nor around the actinic lure as it gradually got windier. But, still a reasonable number of specimens seen and a couple more NFYs. Of interest a leucistic male Muslin, Tawn/Marbled Minor agg (NFY), Willow Beauty (NFY). Also showing up Flame Shoulder, Common Pug(2), Bee Moth, Waved Umber, H&D, SSD, and non-aberrant male Muslin. Pale Prominent Willow Beauty Tawny/Marbled Minor agg. Leucistic male Muslin I tried to get an open-wing shot of the Pale Prominent sat on my stone staging, but it hopped off quickly and disappeared. Saw it on my office carpet a couple of hours later, let it fly to th...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 10, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Mothing in the time of Covid
Thank goodness for mothing…it’s certainly a distraction from the bleak outlook and political bullshine of the coronavirus, Covid-19 debacle. Thing is for much of this year, there haven’t been many moths drawn to actinic light lures that I’ve heard off. Lepidopterists on the various lep Facebook groups and around our county here have been reporting low number and low diversity. Cream-bordered Green Pea Bee Moth However, that changed somewhat for my lure on the night of the 75th Anniversary of VE-Day. I’d spent much of the time handling virtual online events, such as my #FEVEG20, but by the eve...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 10, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Lepidoptera Source Type: blogs

VE-Day Go-as-you-please
I have spent the last week organising another virtual “open mic” session, this one as part of our lockdown, social isolation VE Day celebrations in the village. I persuaded several local musicians to contribute a song or two. The Fen Edge VE-day Go-as-you-please (#FEVEG) features Barbara “Daphne” Duckworth, Ms Grice (via Nadina Grice), Lucy Maynard, Danielle Padley, Chloe “Clarissa” Watson, David Bradley, Patrick Coughlan, Will Hall (via Stephanie Louise Hall, Julian Lerway. The D&C  sequence is by Georgia Duckworth. It premiered at 08h00 prompt on the 75th anniversary of VE Da...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - May 8, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Weave your antiviral facemask from cotton and silk
If you’re wondering what materials to use to stitch together your antiviral mask, it seems it could be that you need a couple of different fabrics for it to work best – woven cotton and a piece of silk or chiffon… Tightly woven cotton acts as a physical barrier to viral particles and droplets carrying the virus. Silk and chiffon can both build up quite a static charge and this will help trap viral particles electrostatically. Together the materials will reduce the risk of the wearer shedding virus from nose or mouth into the environment and on to other people or surfaces that others might touch. Convers...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - April 29, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs

Do not mix, drink, nor inject disinfectants, cleaning agents and bleach
Before the Covid-19 lockdown I was working with my Editor at Chemistry World on a feature article on the hazards of handling, and specifically not mixing, different cleaning agents, such as ammonia, acids, bleaches etc. The article was written and edited, then Covid-19 hit hard and other materials took priority in the final editing queue. However, last week reports came in that showed that accidental poisonings in the USA had risen dramatically during the Covid-19 lockdown compared with the same period last year. Indeed, they are up 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Moreover, th...
Source: David Bradley Sciencebase - Songs, Snaps, Science - April 28, 2020 Category: Science Authors: David Bradley Tags: Sciencebase Source Type: blogs