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2023-03-27 18:30
There was lots of talk of ChatGPT apparently deciding to teach itself organic chemistry…now…ChatGPT is language model, it’s not really an artificial intelligence (AI) in… Read More
Red-green Carpet
2023-03-24 21:12
TL:DR – It’s spring and at least one hibernating moth, the Red-green Carpet, has arrived in our garden so far this year Lit up with my Heath trap again last night and despite the… Read More
Early Oak Piercer Just For FUN
2023-03-23 21:12
TL:DR – Pheromones are a useful tool for discovering what day-flying moths are in your neighbourhood. As regular readers know, I do a bit of mothing…I have had a FUN lure, a phe… Read More
Alpine Swifts In The UK And Ireland
2023-03-22 12:00
Back in 2019, we took a trip to Greece, the first in many years, we saw lots of wildlife, including Alpine Swift careening way above our heads in Athens. The alpine swift is a medium-sized b… Read More
2023-03-22 09:47
I gave ChatGPT the following prompt: You are to act as a careers guidance counsellor with many years experience. I added some personal career history and hobbies and asked it to come up with… Read More
2023-03-21 18:35
A new study has demonstrated the ability of red flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) to recycle water in their rectums. This feat allows the beetles to survive in some of the driest envi… Read More
British Mothers In The Early Spring
2023-03-20 09:21
TL:DR – Mothing is a simple, but educational and fascinating hobby. The data it accumulates can be useful scientifically. I have lit up with a couple of different traps through the win… Read More
How To Be Your Own ChatGPT
2023-03-19 12:05
The title of this post might have you imagining some kind of AI interface that lets you tap into your subconscious and create output based on prompts you give yourself…will…in… Read More
The Orgasmic Heart Beat
2023-03-17 10:29
TL:DR – Sex can double or treble a person’s heart rate, but this is a normal physiological response provided the rate goes back to normal within a few minutes. Love might make yo… Read More
2023-03-16 21:12
Years ago, I and a bunch of singing friends did a couple of vocal technique workshops with jazz maestro Pete Churchill. He had lots of words of wisdom to dispense. I put together a cribsheet… Read More
Mindfulness. Is There An App For That?
2023-03-15 23:23
TL:DR – The idea of an app for mindfulness is inherently contradictory, but they may have some use if used mindfully… The notion of mindfulness is often discussed in light of an… Read More
2023-03-15 18:18
In the wake of controversy regarding Samsung’s purported manipulation and “enhancements” of user moonshots taken on Android phones, I asked MidJourney to “Generate a… Read More
Every Honey Dance
2023-03-15 12:12
TL:DR – The waggle dance of the honeybee carries more information than scientists previously thought, allowing the bees to find known food sources even if they start their journey from… Read More
A Foreboding Of Petrels
2023-03-14 13:32
I have just finished reading the latest novel in Steve Burrows’ series of “birder murder” stories. This one was called A Foreboding of Petrels and hinges on apparently… Read More
2023-03-13 23:23
TL:DR – The final launch of Google was in 1997 after it was prototyped in 1995 (the year I launched my first website). It remains the dominant search engine to this day having pretty m… Read More
2023-03-13 12:17
Son reported from our garden pond #PondLife on 11th March that there were at least a couple of dozen frogs visible in the pond mating and spawning. First dollop of spawn was seen on this dat… Read More
The Brecon Beacons In The Winter
2023-03-12 19:00
Just back from a lovely trip to the Brecon Beacons in Cymru to stay with friends. Didn’t do as much walking as we normally would because I have an obstinate ankle injury. It was a bit… Read More
2023-03-10 10:30
TL:DR – An antiviral drug called ensitrelvir could cut the time a person tests positive when they have COVID-19 by about a day. There is a controversial suggestion that it might also r… Read More
Rock Rewritten
2023-03-08 15:08
As you may have noticed I wrote about the news story concerning the so-called brain-eating amoeba. I also felt the tragic tale deserved a modern, post-punk, folk song as a lament and so I pu… Read More
2023-03-08 08:22
TL:DR – Semaglutide is known to US celebrities as the “skinny jab” and has apparently been the subject of a weight-loss craze. It has now been approved in the UK for weight… Read More
2023-03-07 10:36
A contact on Mastodon read my post about the tragic tale of a Florida man who died from the so-called brain-eating amoeba. My contact thought the story or maybe just the headline sounded lik… Read More
Brain-eating Amoeba
2023-03-07 08:34
TL:DR – The brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, does not eat brains but it can cause fatal brain swelling. Avoid it by only using sterile water for nasal irrigation and a noseclip… Read More
2023-03-06 21:12
TL:DR – When asked ChatGPT refers to itself as an artificial intelligence language model, but there are so many reasons not to describe these statistically based, text autocomplete too… Read More
2023-03-03 09:54
TL:DR – I noticed someone attempt to use access a file called c99.php on one of my websites. It was blocked by the server, but I wanted to know more. ChatGPT explained that it was a ha… Read More
How To Get ChatGPT To Fix Your Website
2023-03-02 15:58
I’ve been doing web stuff since 1995, but sometimes running several sites as subdomains I come unstuck with redirects. Change something on one and it makes the same change inadvertentl… Read More
Updates And An Artificial Album Cover
2023-03-01 12:15
As regular readers will know, I’ve been running the Sciencebase site since July 1999. Its precursor, Elemental Discoveries, had various homes on the web from December 1995 until that f… Read More
2023-03-01 10:10
TL:DR – A number of people were reaching Sciencebase searching for the phrase ChatGPT beam search so I asked ChatGPT itself to give me a definition. I then asked it to create a glossar… Read More
Prompting AI With Emoji
2023-02-28 09:11
Everyone surely knows by now that you can create some intriguing images by sending an appropriate prompt to an AI bot, you can even send an image to some of them, such as MidJourney, and hav… Read More
Spawn Again – Operation PondLife 2023
2023-02-27 13:27
I’ve not mentioned our wild garden pond for a while. It’s still thriving with iris, reed, and sedge shoots beginning to show already and it is just late February. Matt often chec… Read More
2023-02-27 12:22
A bird flu pandemic has killed thousands of wild birds over the last couple of years. Scientists have now seen infection in mammals, and very recently a person died from avian influenza and… Read More
2023-02-27 12:11
TL:DR – Thanks to GINA I have not needed to use salbutamol to treat my asthma for three years at the time of writing. It’s three years since my asthma nurse introduced me to GINA… Read More
Birding And Wording
2023-02-25 11:16
TL:DR – An answer to the question why are so many science writers also birders? Someone on social media asked me as a science writer why so many science writers are also birders. My in… Read More
Knots Landing Again
2023-02-23 22:40
We spent the night in North Norfolk and were up well before dawn to get to Knots Landing (RSPB Snettisham) in time for the high tide and the potential for a Wader Spectacular. We were not di… Read More
2023-02-21 11:14
TL:DR – I prompted ChatGPT to come up with some questions to interview me, I then asked it to act as me and to provide answers to its own questions on my behalf. Aside from a couple of… Read More
2023-02-21 10:18
I prompted the language model to come up with 20 questions to ask me as an experienced science writer with a penchant for wildlife photography. I need some time to come up with my answers! A… Read More
More On Choosing The Best Mastodon Server
2023-02-19 21:12
TL:DR – Mastodon is a decentralized social network. It consists of thousands of different sites, or instances, all running the Mastodon software but each with its own character, commun… Read More
2023-02-15 14:16
TL:DR – Adding article summaries to my blog posts to help readers better navigate the 3700 Sciencebase posts. Back in the days of print journalism, we used to write our copy, attach a… Read More
Choosing The Best Mastodon Server
2023-02-15 10:57
TL:DR – There are lots of Mastodon servers, choosing the best is down to personal needs. Choose one in your niche that has a good number of users, more than one admin, and a good finan… Read More
2023-02-11 11:25
You may have noticed I’ve been using the ChatGPT language model and some image generation tools like MidJourney recently to produce some material for the blog. Mostly, it has been expe… Read More
2023-02-03 17:00
I asked ChatGPT to act as an expert user of AI image generation bots and told it to write an evocative prompt that evokes music and science flowing together with multiple artist and style re… Read More
2023-02-02 12:53
A couple of years ago I wrote a little clutch of gothic short stories. I published them on Sciencebase. Some of them were read by reasonable numbers of visitors to the site. But, it occurred… Read More
2023-01-28 14:14
The chat about chatGPT is endless and intriguing. I caught sight of a debate on social media involving ministers and other churchy people about whether they could use the AI language model t… Read More
2023-01-28 14:06
don’t think artificial intelligence (AI) has become an obsession for me yet, but it is a serious distraction. For instance, I have been using ChatGPT, the language model AI bot, to hel… Read More
2023-01-26 09:57
If you’ve been following developments in technology over the last few months, you can’t fail to have noticed the advent of artificial intelligence. There are AI tools that can ta… Read More
2023-01-25 12:56
It has been a while since I added anything to the site about COVID-19. My periodic monitoring of the stats put out by the ZOE app suggests the disease is currently somewhat on the wane in th… Read More
2023-01-21 14:18
First there was years of keyword stuffing by spammy websites trying to get up the search engine results pages (SERPs), then there were text link advertising and guest posts that attempted to… Read More
2023-01-21 09:35
About a week ago, I mentioned that I was putting together a new song. I’d recorded a so-called 1+1 demo (just me singing with Martin guitar). But, earlier this week I hooked up with Ad… Read More
2023-01-20 17:20
Trypophobia is the name for the phobia (intense and apparently irrational fear) of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps. The term was coined by a web user back in 2005 on a… Read More
2023-01-19 10:24
Top tip for fellow authors (of books). Register with your national public lending rights organisation (PLR at British Library) and claim the books you wrote or co-wrote. In the UK, an author… Read More
2023-01-18 17:17
I was always intrigued by the idea of Werner Herzog, although I must confess I’ve only seen a handful of his films, among perhaps the most well renowned, Fitzcarraldo. Anyway, an artic… Read More
2023-01-18 10:22
The quick answer to a Sciencebase visitor’s question, do rainbows cast a shadow? Is, no they don’t. A rainbow is an optical phenomenon. They are seen when light is refracted and… Read More
2023-01-17 17:27
You may have caught sight of an earlier post about the beautiful and graceful Short-eared Owls that have arrived on our patch from the far north to over-winter in the slightly warmer climes… Read More
2023-01-17 16:00
None of the following should be taken as a substitute for professional, expert help where it is needed. It is merely an exercise in testing the limits of AI. Please speak to a professional i… Read More
2023-01-16 16:16
I’ve discussed the Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus, previously. Beautiful bird that occasionally overwinters in the UK, having spent the summer months in Iceland, Russia, or Scandinavia… Read More
2023-01-14 21:12
You may have noticed, I’ve been experimenting with ChatGPT a little this month. If you carefully craft a prompt it can give you some quite remarkable responses, I got it to write a new… Read More
2023-01-13 21:12
It’s 21:12 on Friday the 13th… Regular readers know by now that I occasionally post stuff about my music, the music I write and record, the music I perform with my band C5 and t… Read More
2023-01-11 08:24
If you feed ChatGPT, the AI language model, an appropriate prompt followed by a sample of writing, it does something that could be rather useful. The bot analyses the writing style. The prom… Read More
2023-01-10 17:21
I had a little chord progression that got me thinking…nothing complicated just some interesting inversions on BM7, FM7 Gm7 and C7 that came up on a social media site. Sounded nice, bu… Read More
2023-01-07 10:37
I asked the language model ChatGPT, to give me an answer to the question: “Is it unethical to use ChatGPT to write a blog post?” The following “chat” ensued: It is ge… Read More
2023-01-06 09:34
I get asked a lot about what camera (and lens) I use to take my bird photos. It comes with a simple answer. Most of the time, I use a Canon 7D Mark ii (a model first launched in 2014). I bou… Read More
2023-01-04 17:02
If you read the previous two Sciencebase articles, you will note that the first one about our New Year trip to Norfolk was a conventional article in my usual style, descriptive, with a few p… Read More
2023-01-04 17:00
I fed the paragraphs from my recent blog post about our new year trip to the Norfolk coast sequentially to the ChatGPT, artificial intelligence system to see what sort of things it would say… Read More
2023-01-04 16:16
As has been our habit for the last few years, we have eschewed the midnight festivities of New Year and escaped to the coast. This time, we straddled the New Year with three nights in a cosy… Read More
2022-12-31 09:20
We were quite content with vinyl. Indeed, aside from the occasional warped record and friends who didn’t hold them properly by the edges, we loved our US import 45s, our double gatefol… Read More
2022-12-23 13:13
An intriguing thought experiment explains how one might encode the whole of literature in a single fraction, a/b, and how that ratio might be made physical as a notch in a metal rod, whereby… Read More
2022-12-23 11:25
It’s no wonder this little fellow looks so grumpy perched next to the mistletoe growing on our rowan tree…most other Blackcaps will be enjoying a much balmier winter on the Iber… Read More
2022-12-20 17:25
If you’re active on social media and even just vaguely interested in tech stuff, then you will almost certainly have heard about the changes at twitter and how a lot of users of that p… Read More
2022-12-17 17:04
I’ve embedded Sheril Kirschenbaum’s “toot” by way of a test of how easy it is to report/quote content from a Mastodon server. Seems quite straightforward, not sure I… Read More
2022-12-17 14:51
If you’re new to Mastodon, then have a quick read of my Mastodon FAQ to get an idea of what it’s all about. Once you’ve done that or if you’re ready to dive in, here… Read More
2022-12-09 18:30
I get asked a lot of questions…I always try to provide an accurate answer or find one if I don’t have an answer to give immediately. It’s inevitable, I suppose, if you wri… Read More
2022-12-09 11:11
I’ve talked about Starling murmurations several times before here. They are a fascinating, exciting, wonderful natural phenomenon with a lot to teach us about animal behaviour and perh… Read More
2022-12-06 16:41
Just had an email from a reliable and trusted contact to notify me of an alert they received from a third party pointing out that phishing attacks are on the rise. Trouble is, the email they… Read More
2022-12-06 14:30
A few natural highlights from a year that’s been rather miserable in too many ways for me, but peppered with music and photography and nature. You can find the photos I took of these h… Read More
2022-11-24 14:34
If you’ve been keeping abreast of recent happenings on social media, you will likely be aware that there are a lot of people looking for alternatives to the site ex-pats often call the… Read More
2022-11-23 16:04
When Mrs Sciencebase was a student, she used to make an inexpensive curry: tin of pilchards, tin of tomatoes, chopped onion, crushed clove of garlic, teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and t… Read More
2022-11-23 11:10
While Mastodon (I’m @sciencebase there and here’s my Mastodon FAQ) has become perhaps one of the most talked about alternatives to Twitter in recent weeks, there is plenty more t… Read More
2022-11-22 15:42
I’ve always been wary of taking vitamins and other supplements. There are good reasons not to do so, if you have a reasonably balanced diet. Excesses of some vitamins and minerals can… Read More
2022-11-21 12:21
What is Mastodon? Mastodon is an alternative social media system comprising lots of different interconnected sites, each with its own specific interests, but all running the open-source Mast… Read More
2022-11-15 17:05
I’ve added some code to the Sciencebase backend so that readers can easily get to my social media pages. All you have to do is use as the link. For examp… Read More
2022-11-11 10:17
As regulars to the Sciencebase site will know, I’ve been doing some ad hoc wilding of our garden for a few years now. Always hoping that blooming wildflowers would attract interesting… Read More
2022-11-07 16:54
The holiday cruise is drawing to a close. Many of the cruisers have a clutch of new best-friends-forever friendships. These were easily won and formed in the halcyon days in the far-flung re… Read More

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