Oil sludge danger

Posted on July 3rd 2012 in Blog with no comments

oilsludge

Sludge might not be a glamorous subject matter, but it is one increasingly deserving of our attention. Sludge is not just a word for any old mess;  in the oil industry it has a strict definition. As crude oil is transported around the planet, it leaves behind a thick dark mess of oil, water and rock called sludge in oil pipes, tankers and refineries. In the US alone, 230,000 tonnes of the stuff are produced each year, enough to fill 57 Olympic sized swimming pools. In Russia, that figure is more than 10 times greater. Like the crude oil from which it comes,…

Read more

Flight of Inspiration

Posted on July 2nd 2012 in Blog with no comments

now-is-the-time

In a time of rising national debts and cuts in welfare spending, a lot of people believe that continued investment in space exploration is a waste of money. In 2011, NASA received about $18 billion. Although this sounds like a great deal of money, it is only 0.48% of the federal budget, and this number is likely to go down in future years. But there are many reasons why investment in space is a good idea. Firstly, it generates huge amounts of wealth. Thousands of satellites now pepper the night sky, providing everything from GPS to television. Millions of people around the…

Read more

Pet Power

Posted on April 2nd 2012 in Features with no comments

pet-power

You might think your best friend is pretty awesome. Obviously, otherwise you wouldn’t be friends with them, and you have very good taste. How long have you known this marvellous mate, your champion chum? Maybe since you moved jobs or since university, maybe even your whole lives. Well, I have known my best friend for over 35,000 years. We have seen civilisations rise and fall, and all the while our relationship has only got stronger and stronger. We’ve had many great adventures and likely will have for many thousands more years to come. My name is Man and my friend’s…

Read more

All things tend towards jazz

Posted on February 4th 2012 in Features with no comments

jazz

Midnight is approaching. Smoke fills the air of the dark, subterranean jazz club. People crowd the room, drinking heavily and talking softly. As tonight’s performers take to the stage, silence descends on the waiting audience, afraid that they might miss a single note. Why such reverence? Because the music  they are about to hear is improvised – it has never been performed before, and will never be played again.

I must have it!

Posted on December 5th 2011 in Features with no comments

imusthaveit

Every year our minds are assaulted. Shops, advertisers and corporations bombard us with a variety of psychological techniques with the sole purpose of getting us to part with our hard earned cash. Having investigated the ingenious ways we are duped; here’s a five-point “insider’s guide” to the ways retailers manipulate us. Not that knowing any of this will help you save any money – you’re still going to have to shell out for all your loved ones. You don’t want to look like a Scrooge, after all… (This is a feature I have written for Guru Magazine. You can read…

Read more