Hubot is an open source chatbot created by GitHub. It's used by various companies, groups, and other techie types, to control systems, gather information, and put moustaches on things - all via chat interfaces. Hubot can be adapted to work via IM, GTalk, Twitter, IRC, and other platforms. 'Chat Ops' is a growing trends, and because... Continue Reading →
Going the Distance: Philae and Taliesin
This was an amazing week. On Wednesday the Rosetta spacecraft launched the tiny Philae lander on a 10km journey to the surface of a comet: a mountain-sized rock, millions of miles from Earth. This was a first that touched many around the world, millions of whom who followed the event online. It took ten years to... Continue Reading →
Electrolysis of Water: with Pencils and a 9V Battery
H₂O might be the most familiar chemical compound on the planet. Many people know that water is H₂O, but most wouldn't think about what that means in a chemical sense. Water is a remarkable molecule made of two Hydrogen atoms bound to a single Oxygen atom: H, H, and O. Water's special properties give us life... Continue Reading →
Mazda Makes My Year by Calling Me a ‘Rebel’
I’ve been called a lot of things but ‘rebel’ hasn’t come up too often. Not that I mind. As part of a Mazda campaign, I’m being highlighted as one of four TED Fellows* who are ‘Mazda Rebels’. The other three are thoroughly impressive and I recommend you take a look. There’s an online vote where... Continue Reading →
Combining Your Clicks with Milkman
Really pleased to make my Milkman app available for all MWP users 🙂
I’ve been building a new app for the Milky Way Project called Milkman. It goes alongside Talk and allows you to see where everyone’s clicks go, and what the results of crowdsourcing look like. It’s open source, and a good step toward open science. I’d love feedback from citizen scientists and science users alike.
Milkman is so called because it delivers data for the Milky Way Project, and maybe eventually some other Zooniverse projects too. You can access Milkman directly at explore.milkywayproject.org (where you can input a Zooniverse subject ID or search using galactic coordinates), or more usefully, you can get to Milkman via Talk – using the new ‘Explore’ button that now appears for logged-in users.
Clicking ‘Explore’ will show you the core view of Milkman: a display of all the clicks from all the volunteers who have seen that image and the current, combined results.
Milkman is a live, near-realtime view of…
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A Daily Dose of Zooniverse
'Something awesome from the Zooniverse every day' was the tagline that we came up with, almost a year ago, for a new Zooniverse blog: Daily Zooniverse. Grant Miller had recently arrived to work at Zooniverse HQ in Oxford and I had a todo list of things I'd always wanted to try but hadn't found the time... Continue Reading →
The Zooniverse (and Me!) in Wired UK this Month
This Month's edition of Wired (UK) includes a feature article about citizen science and crowdsourcing research. It has interviews with yours truly, as well as many lovely people from the citizen science crowd, including buddies Chris Lintott, Kevin Schawinski, and Amy Robinson. It also has notes about my new collaboration with fellow TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous and our... Continue Reading →
Coding Comes to the National Astronomy Meeting 2014
The latest issue of Astronomy & Geophysics includes an article by your truly about the GitHub/.Astronomy Hack Day at the UK's National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth earlier this year. The projects resulting from hack days are often prototypes, or proof-of-concept ideas that are meant to grow and expand later. Often they are simply written up... Continue Reading →
8 Images That Can Totally Change Your Perspective
I got into a conversation recently about how some astronomical photos can totally change your whole perspective of yourself and your place in the Universe. There's several images that come to mind right away - here are my own favourites: 1. The Milky Way (from a very dark location) Seeing the night sky from a... Continue Reading →
Executable Publications as Sensors for Science
Executable papers are a cool idea in research . You take a study, write it up as a paper and bundle together all your code, scripts and analysis in such a way that other people can take the ‘paper’ and run in themselves. This has three main attractive features, as I see it: It provides transparency... Continue Reading →