August 1, 2021

The remarkable life of the Royal Albert Hall (so far)

It took four years to build the Royal Albert Hall. While the building itself was being constructed in London, the roof was built in Manchester. It was taken to pieces for its journey by train to the capital, then put together again on arrival.

The roof simply sits on top – it is not attached to the Hall building in any way. When it was put in place, the weight of the roof caused the Hall to sink by just under a millimetre. It remains a sturdy construction after 150 years – the roof of the Royal Albert Hall is able to withstand the weight of up to 158 tonnes of snow on a particularly wintery day.

July 29, 2021

The Yesterday channel has a new show Secrets of the London Underground. Based on the first two episodes, covering the never-opened North End station and abandoned bits of Holborn station, it’s very much recommended. Plenty of history even enthusiasts might not know about.

July 16, 2021

Japan Has Shattered the Internet Speed Record at 319 Terabits per Second

Engineers in Japan just shattered the world record for the fastest internet speed, achieving a data transmission rate of 319 Terabits per second (Tb/s), according to a paper presented at the International Conference on Optical Fiber Communications in June. The new record was made on a line of fibers more than 1,864 miles (3,000 km) long. And, crucially, it is compatible with modern-day cable infrastructure.

That’s almost double the previous record, set last year.

July 9, 2021

As Finland swelters in the summer heat, I started to wonder why exactly severe heat causes memory loss and overall cognitive confusion. An article in the Journal of Neuroinflammation suggests this is in part due to the activation of non-neuronal cells in the nervous system:

Together, these findings suggest that heat stress can lead to activation of glial cells and induction of inflammatory molecules in the hippocampus, which may act as causative factors for memory loss, neuronal death, and impaired adult neurogenesis.

July 6, 2021
July 5, 2021

The concept of ghost ships is something I only learned about today. Apparently, it’s not entirely unheard of to have vessels sailing without crews, sometimes for a very long time. The SS Baychimo was seen adrift for almost forty years.