Sunday, 30 October 2011

Milly: Prepare for the invasion

The undead invade Bristol for the annual zombie walk.
Image: web
Know what to do if zombies attack? Got a plan? I had previously decided that I would break into the Army base on Whiteladies Road and steal a tank but thinking about it, I have a sneaky suspicion that Army bases are locked, with big locks. A fascination with zombie attacks might be disconcerting for some, but seriously, who doesn't get a bit excited about the prospect of giving up all the boring day to day activities for a life of evading the undead, holing up in a creepy lean-to with only beans, spam and warm beer to sustain you? Don't worry though, with so many films, articles, books and even a lecture series at The Zombie Institute for Theoretical Studies available, you can't really go wrong. If you require pointers on how to blend into a gaggle of undead, take part in the annual Bristol zombie walk. Failing that, training is available in the form of a city-wide zombie chase game, 2.8 hours later, allowing us all to get that vital survival experience (possibly the best evening of my life). I did recently realise though, if there are swathes of rotting zombies to run away from most likely many have failed, but then they probably didn't read the guides. You may laugh at the extent of my preparatory measures safe in the knowledge that zombie-creating viruses don't exist but, I hear, the people are tinkering. Apparently there is an alarming increase in the number of amateur scientists trying their hand at genetic modification in the kitchen. With such a wealth of information available online, it may just be a matter of time until someone makes a terrible blunder, or perhaps the product of a crazy horror film enthusiast leads to the genesis of a deadly virus that reanimates the dead. If not, sounds like an excellent start to a zombie film. I've got my shotgun polished and my fingers crossed...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Learn more about public engagement opportunities

(Posted on behalf of Ed Drewitt, School of Earth Sciences)

Hi everyone,

With many of the departments in the University involved with public engagement, there will be various opportunities for you as staff or postgrads to get more involved both with these and other volunteer experiences. Being involved with the outreach work is a great chance for you to increase your confidence with delivering to various different audiences (from 5 year olds to 14 year olds) and to help provide you with the experience to confidently include public engagement activities in your future research bids.

 On Tuesday 1st November we welcome Nicholas Garrick (Director of Lighting Up Learning) and Claire Dimond (STEM- see below) who will give 4 workshops throughout the day (it'll be the same workshop repeated) which will give additional advice and skills relating to delivering high quality and effective workshops in schools. These will be held in the Wills Memorial Building.

 It is a chance to learn about where schools are at, changes in the school system since we were at school (even if it was a few years ago) and tips on good practice when doing activities and workshops. Timings and rooms are as follows:
School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building  
9am - 10am G25
12pm - 1pm G27
1.15pm - 2.15pm OCC (Old Council Chamber) -on the corridor above G25 and opposite the student common room
 2.30pm - 3.30pm OCC (Old Council Chamber) -on the corridor above G25 and opposite the student common room 

To help deliver workshops we also encourage you to sign up as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassador: We recommend you do this before the 1st November so you can show document to Claire Dimond on the day. As part of your commitment with being involved with schools and families, we ask that you join up as a STEM Ambassador. STEM Ambassadors are people from industry and universities who visit schools to give talks or workshops relating to STEM subjects. Alongside the workshops we offer you'll get regular newsletters about other things you can do in schools locally.

You'll get CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked for free and be covered under insurance for any school visits. For more information and to sign up as a STEM Ambassador click here.

Looking forward to see you next week.
 Best wishes

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

James: Bananas!

It looks like now I am not the only one to see radiation in light of bananas. As I did in my fact or science fiction blog here back in May the BBC have chosen to look at radiation figures as a measure of bananas: