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Enamorado de Madrid June 6, 2009

Posted by Sarah in me, random.
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Those who follow me on Twitter may know that I’ve spent the past week in Madrid, and that things didn’t go so well at the start: I spent the first 2 1/2 days in my hotel room battling a nasty cold, while outside the sun was shining and my colleagues were getting lots of interesting work done.

Such trips have a habit of redeeming themselves though  – there’s nothing that puts me in a better mood than realising that I’m not sick anymore. This one was no different, and I discovered again why Madrid is one of my favourite cities. Although proper Spanish food is not exactly the model of the “healthy Mediterranean diet”, it is delicious, and I happily let my meat and bread consumption increase by 500% for the time that I spend there: cerdo iberico FTW. The big airy boulevards, brilliant museums, efficient public transport and the friendliness of the Madrileños totally make up for what Madrid lacks in grace and mystery compared with, say, Barcelona. (more…)

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Watch Men save the planet March 17, 2009

Posted by Sarah in random, women.
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I saw the film Watchmen last week, the adaption of a classic in the graphic novel genre with the same title by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It’s pretty enjoyable, especially if you’re in the mood for some great visual effects and gore. Lots of blood and bone-crunching. I’ve never been a big comic or graphic novel fan but I decided to read the book and in fact it’s really good! The drawings are beautiful and the writing is very imaginative with lots of depth. So if you want to know what the hype is all about but aren’t a fan of severed limbs and arteries then I recommend the book. I do want to say something about the female characters though.

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Le Grand Jacques February 6, 2009

Posted by Sarah in random.
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The Guardian today has a nice article about a new Jacques Brel album recently released with the Belgian legend’s earlier songs from the 1950s – aptly named Jacques Brel in the 50s: The Birth of a Genius. The article has some great quotes from other musical legends like David Bowie about Brel.

Brel is one of my favourite musicians – one of many that I will sadly never get to see. But I never get tired of his music, and here is one of my favourites, Amsterdam. And did I mention he’s from Belgium?

Methane on Mars: The fall-out January 19, 2009

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I mentioned The Sun’s bizarre and, well, inaccurate coverage of the Mars methane story before. Quite a bit has been said and blogged about the way the media dealt with the story and I just wanted to post some links with people’s thoughts on the matter.

Bad Astronomer gives his opinion, points towards the good and the bad.

Dave Mosher calls for better standards in science reporting over on Discovery Space.

The Spacewriter urges caution.

More as and when I spot it.

New year, new existential crisis January 9, 2009

Posted by Sarah in random.
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I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while now. I wasn’t sure how the experiment would turn out – but I’m actually enjoying myself on here. Which brings me to the name of my blog. I always intended to change it at some point but never got round to it. But then the folks over on Cosmic Variance came up with a whole list of cool blog names aimed to aspire to a wider audience than just wanting to read about astronomy. I wish I’d had their inspiration 6 months ago: (more…)