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David Bradley

Sciencebase - Freelance Science Writer

Last Build Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:01:26 +0000


Hunting and hovering, common kestrel

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:01:26 +0000

The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is the only native raptor (bird of prey) you will see hovering in the British Isles. Other raptors like the buzzard (Buteo buteo) will give the appearance of hovering, but they’re usually hanging on the wind or thermals rather than actively pitching their wings and tails to stay in position … Continue reading "Hunting and hovering, common kestrel"

Orion Nebula

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:21:54 +0000

The constellation of Orion is best visible in the Northern hemisphere during crisp and clear winter nights. It’s very prominent with its four “corner” stars (top two Orion, the hunter’s shoulders, buttom two the hem of his skirt) around the three-in-a line belt and the dangling sword. With camera on tripod and various lenses set … Continue reading "Orion Nebula"

Update your Western Digital network drives urgently

Sun, 07 Jan 2018 16:58:36 +0000

Do you use any Western Digital (WD) “MyCloud” (network attached storage, NAS) type hard drives? Well, here’s a warning, apparently anyone can log into these devices because of a security issue that’s seemingly hardwired into the drives. You need to urgently update the device firmware ASAP on any Western Digital network attached storage (NAS) or … Continue reading "Update your Western Digital network drives urgently"

Protect yourself from Meltdown and Spectre

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 10:17:57 +0000

You probably heard that there’s a new computer security threat out there. Well, actually there are two and between them they affect pretty much every computer chip you might have whether in your PC, tablet, smart phone or other devices. The first is Meltdown it is a hardware rather than a software (apps) vulnerability and … Continue reading "Protect yourself from Meltdown and Spectre"

Restringing a Telecaster

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 21:12:42 +0000

Restringing a Fender Telecaster requires a twist…well, not a twist, a kink. First, you must cut the string to the required length and then bend a 90 degree angle into the very end. You then push the kinked end into the hole and start winding it on. You can add the kink as you push … Continue reading "Restringing a Telecaster"

A close look at filthy lucre

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 15:35:20 +0000

Money is dirty, filthy in fact, take a close look at these British coins. Lucre from the Latin lucrum meaning riches, as in lucrative. See also cash, dosh, bread (bread and honey, Cockney rhyming slang), moolah, dough, loot, lolly, loose change, coppers, coins, shrapnel, spondulix (from either the spondulox shell or spondylo- meaning spine/vertebrae for … Continue reading "A close look at filthy lucre"

The New Bedford River

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 15:47:53 +0000

The New Bedford River is a near-straight drainage channel between Earith and Denver Sluices. It is also known as the Hundred Foot Drain because of the distance between the tops of the two embankments on either side of the river. New Year’s Day 2018, one bank was cut short and you could only walk so … Continue reading "The New Bedford River"

Most visited page on

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 17:38:31 +0000

So…that time of year…what was the most visited page on As if you care… Well, of the 800,000 total visits to the site in 2017 (so far, at one time the site used to get almost that many visits every month!), served 4.4 million pages, the most visited was an article asking whether great … Continue reading "Most visited page on"

Perceived slights and a happy whatever

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 21:12:01 +0000

An interviewee on BBC Radio 4 Today recently, I think it was sister of the murdered Member of Parliament Jo Cox said something along the lines of how, before we all got tied to our smartphones, we used to talk to each other in the street. That may well have been true in some small … Continue reading "Perceived slights and a happy whatever"

Pre-Xmas rush to finish work

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 10:52:02 +0000

In the pre-Xmas rush to finish work and get on with the festivities, take a few moments to save your self New Year heartache: Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication for all your logins where you can (email, social media, cloud storage etc). Encrypt any sensitive files such as your tax stuff, investment documents, personal photos, … Continue reading "Pre-Xmas rush to finish work"