Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 12 October 2018

A lovely evening #scicomm event at the Royal Geographical Society, marking Galapagos Day

Thanks to a post published to psci-com (a mailing list I run for people involved in public engagement with science / science communication) I went along to an absolutely brilliant event last night (Wed 10 Oct 2018) at the Royal Geographical Society in South Kensington. It was organised by the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the talks were audio recorded (whether they'll be made publicly available I don't know).


Other than Charles Darwin's visit and 'rather big tortoises' it had never occurred to me quite how clueless I was about the Galapagos Islands (didn't really know where* they were, didn't know people lived there but about 25,000 do) so this was a useful crash course in getting a sense of the place and what's being done to protect it. I'm a big fan of the Shipfinder app (see also, FlightRadar24 for aircraft) which lets you 'see' where marine vessels are at any given time - they're using something similar to monitor ships visiting the coastal areas and using the data (velocity, direction) along with videocameras to predict possible activity. Jorge Carrion's team at the Galapagos National Park have used this method to catch a few dodgy ships undertaking illegal fishing. His talk was live-translated from Spanish to English, which was quite a remarkable thing to witness.



(In the picture above Jorge is on the left and the translator is relaying his talk into the lectern mic)

Ellie Mackay pointed out that the ratio of 'time taken for something to be used' to the 'time it take to break down' highlights that single-use plastic cups are incredibly inefficient (I think she said that cotton can break down in a couple of months whereas plastic is still around decades later). Sadly the ocean seems to be pretty full of plastic and polystyrene and with every tide it's tipping some of this onto the beaches around the world, including those of the Galapagos. She's been using drones to take aerial shots of beaches (much more efficient than trudging many kilometres of beach). The photos can then be analysed by humans (Zooniverse citizen science) and machine-learning magic to spot what's plastic and what isn't. We saw a nice little video of the 'pilot study' of a drone in action collecting images.



I also learned that despite being a couple of hundred kilos Giant Tortoises are surprisingly migratory throughout the year making their way from the lowlands to the higher volcanic bits (if the volcano's likely to erupt the tortoises might get airlifted out to safety!) for a change of seasonal food. Migration activity is an indicator of health and GPS trackers are letting Diego Ellis-Soto and colleagues use the International Space Station (in particular the Icarus antenna attached to it earlier this year) to monitor them remotely. Apparently the antenna "can receive data from more than 15 million transmitters worldwide, anywhere on Earth" so it's probably kept quite busy!



Ellie had a rather brilliant suggestion in response to a question about what can tourists do to help which was that perhaps a plastic 'exit visa' could be implemented - when you want to leave the islands you have to 'pay' with a kilogram of collected plastic waste from the beaches!

*having no sense of direction I don't really know where anything is ;)

Speakers
Dr Jorge Carrion, Director of the Galapagos National Park
Ellie Mackay, Mission Director of The Plastic Tide
Diego Ellis Soto, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, who works with the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme (GTMEP)

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Christmas 2018: How to watch #Elf in London this December

Elf (2003), best Christmas film ever. Rarely seen on regular UK terrestrial television now, due to Sky buying the rights to it in 2013 and now even Sky have lost permission from the studio to screen it as of 2017 (links to The Sun newspaper). Fortunately it is in plentiful supply in cinemas throughout the UK and there are many screenings in London over the Christmas 2018 season.



Table of Contents
  1. Film listings for Elf (this gets added to over next few months)
  2. Organisations / venues that have previously screened Elf in London
1. Film listings for Elf
Saturday screenings are in bold. Any errors or omissions? Please let @JoBrodie know, thanks! Also if you're just interested in the current week's and the following week (when the Elf season starts!) look at LondonNet's listings for Elf.

NOV/DEC 2018
  1. Friday 23 November, 11.30am - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
  2. Friday 23 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
  3. Thursday 29 November, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
  4. Friday 30 November, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
  5. Friday 30 November, 5.10pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  6. Saturday 1 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info
  7. Saturday 1 December, 3.40pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  8. Saturday 1 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
  9. Sunday 2 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  10. Sunday 2 December,  4.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info]
  11. Monday 3 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  12. Monday 3 December, 6.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info
  13. Monday 3 December, 7pm - St Katharine Docks [info]
  14. Tuesday 4 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  15. Tuesday 4 December, 6.30pm - One Aldwych, includes dinner + champagne [info]
  16. Wednesday 5 December, 1.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  17. Thursday 6 December, 6.40pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info
  18. Thursday 6 December, 8pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info
  19. Friday 7 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
  20. Friday 7 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  21. Friday 7 December, 9pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  22. Saturday 8 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info]  
  23. Saturday 8 December, 3.40pm - Backyard Cinema Winterville, Clapham [info]
  24. Sunday 9 December, 1.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  25. Sunday 9 December 3.15pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  26. Monday 10 Decmber, 3.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
  27. Monday 10 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
  28. Monday 10 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
  29. Tuesday 11 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  30. Tuesday 11 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
  31. Wednesday 12 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
  32. Wednesday 12 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
  33. Wednesday 12 December, 8.45pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  34. Thursday 13 December, 6.25pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  35. Thursday 13 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
  36. Thursday 13 December, 8pm - Exhibit B, Streatham [info]
  37. Friday 14 December, 3.50pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  38. Friday 14 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
  39. Saturday 15 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info
  40. Saturday 15 December, 3.30pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  41. Saturday 15 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
  42. Saturday 15 December, 9pm - part of all-nighter - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  43. Sunday 16 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  44. Sunday 16 December, 5pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
  45. Sunday 16 December, 6pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  46. Sunday 16 December, 6.30pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
  47. Sunday 16 December, 8pm - Exhibit, Balham [info]
  48. Monday 17 December, 3.45pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  49. Monday 17 December, 6.05pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  50. Tuesday 18 December, 1.30pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
  51. Tuesday 18 December, 4.30pm - Luna Cinema [Hackney] [info]
  52. Wednesday 19 December, 5pm - Luna Cinema [Kensington Palace] [info]
  53. Wednesday 19 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
  54. Wednesday 19 December, 9pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  55. Thursday 20 December, 4.10pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  56. Thursday 20 December, 7.45pm - Luna Cinema [Hackney] [info]
  57. Friday 21 December, - 8.30pm Luna Cinema [Kensington Palace] [info]
  58. Saturday 22 December, 12pm - The Gaucho Film Club, includes meal [info
  59. Saturday 22 December, 3.15pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  60. Saturday 22 December, 8.30pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
  61. Sunday 23 December, 1pm - Prince Charles Cinema [info
  62. Sunday 23 December, 5pm - Pop Up Screens [info]
  63. Sunday 23 December, 6.10pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info]
  64. Monday 24 December, 3.25pm - Quote Along version - Prince Charles Cinema [info
More to come as others publish their listings, meanwhile see the likely venues below.


2. Organisations / venues screening this year

3. Organisations / venues that have previously screened Elf in London

The Berkeley - hotel, Knightsbridge
Charlotte Street Hotel Cinema, W1T 1RJ (Firmdale Hotels)
Clapham Grand
Electric Cinema - Portobello and Shoreditch
Electric Theatre Cinema, Peckham - Winter Film Club 
Soho Hotel (Firmdale Hotels) 
Time Out - Lost Rivers Elephant, Elephant Road, Elephant & Castle London, SE17 1LB
Where is the Nomad? - Various venues
Regent Street Cinema - 309 Regent Street, W1B 2HW
Rooftop Film Club - Kensington Roof Gardens
St Swithun's Church Hall, SE13 6QE
Underground Film Club - Vaults, Lower Marsh, Waterloo


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