Touching Mars

The Natural History Museum in London is one of my favourite places in the world, so it was wonderful to spend two days there last week at a conference on X-raying stuff.
On the last day there was a presentation by Dr Caroline Smith on Martian meteorites. She spoke on how X-ray imaging allowed the detection of voids and inclusions in the meteorites, possibly sampling ambient conditions on Mars at the time the meteor was ejected from the planet.
As part of her talk she handed around a small piece of a Martian meteorite.
I got to hold a piece of Mars!


Rationality 1 : Superstition 0

On 3 March 2008, in a popular TV show, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged India’s most “powerful” tantrik (black magician) to demonstrate his powers on him.

Minutes turned to hours as the tantrik tried spell after spell against Sanal Edamaruku, attempting to kill or harm him. Live on TV (attempted murder in front of hundreds of thousands if not millions of witnesses?).

Of course, the tantrik failed. More here.