Sunday, 19 May 2013

May Fest 2013 in Pictures (Part 2)

Following on from Part 1, here is the Part 2 of the post of the awesome May Fest event at the University of Nottingham

Fashion Award of the day goes to the BioSoc

University Radio Nottingham opened their doors and allowed yougsters to have a go at being a DJ!

No3 son spent quite a bit of time with a charming first year student who explained the intricacies of the Audacity audio editing software. No3 son was so entranced by this that on arriving home, he immediately started having a bash at being a mix-master on the home laptop!

Meanwhile, NSB talked to some of the presenters about how the studio worked, and about their excellent "Science Show" programme which features interviews with some of the UoN most sciency movers and shakers. NSB hopes to have the chance to work more closely with URN in the future.

A radio dude demonstrates the Audacity audio software to No3 Son

A regular at May Fest is the "Wattbike" on which visitors are encouraged to see how much energy they can generate over a 6 second period.

NSB manged to generate a peak of 735Watts on the Wattbike

Physics Buskers - possibly the most active outreach group at the University. Respect "word".

Of course, the Physics Buskers were on hand to amaze and educate.

The History department also had a strong presence at the event, including some rare and old documents. The department does research in a wide range of areas, ranging from the 1100s to the 1950s

The Hstory Dept had some fascinating pictures and documents on show,
including this Dig For Victory pic

The Biology department's outreach group has some pretty cool large scale models of biological structures...

22 Researchers used this (partly constructed) model to
explain the differnet components of a cell

Meanwhile, the Sensory Science Centre were showing how taste and other senses work.

The Sensory Science Centre were explaining how taste works

The Human Rights Law Centre (who last year, quite rightly told NSB that one of the biggest human rights issues in the UK at the moment was the lack of housing) were this year asking people what they thought the rights of the child included. Chatting to the researchers, NSB found out that that Centre had recently been providing training to the Sudanese Human Rights Commission.

The Human Rights Law Centre was asking children
what they thought they had the right to

The School of English had a strong and very engaging presence at May Fest. No3 Son loves writing his name in Viking runes, while NSB was very interested in the reearch the department had undertaken on the messages transmitted by medical advertising.

A member of the English Dept explaining to No3 Son
how he could write his name in Viking Runes

The English Dept also had some though provoking stuff
on the psychology of adverts

The Psychology department were exhibiting some interacitve phyisical tests that showed how the mind interprets and interacts with the physical senses to understand and interact with the world around us.

27 The Psychology Dept had a cool bunch of games that
demonstrated how malleable the mind is.

What can one say, it is always heartening to see a 5.25inch floppy drive. From the days when 360k meant something. Sigh... At the other end of the technological spectrum, the drives were being controlled by an Arduino.

An Arduino  making music from the motors
of a bunch of disc drives  (inc a nice old skool 5.25 inch floppy drive)

Mind Control !

When a headset detects beta waves in the brain it
makes this ball rise up. Its mind control!!!

The Centre for Plant Integrative Biologies had some fascinating displays and technology on view, including a project to develop a "virtual root" and also their impressive "octocopter" that can carry a 2kg camera payload to image the biology of fields (see here for more info and videos). The Centre's website also has a cool set of biological resources for those who want to learn more about the subject.

The Centre for Plant Integrative Biologies is developing a virtual root!...

...and they have an Octocopter than can lift a 2kg paylod
for analysing the biology of an entire field

No3 son looking down a microscope at some Botox Cells

As mentioned earlier, there simply was not time to check out all the exhibits and demonstrations (in particular, NSB did not get a chance to visit the Trent Building at all). so, sadly, the last exhibition that NSB had the chance to see was that of the School of Geography.

But it was a doozer.

Whilst No3 Son tried his hand at catching rubber lizards on a tree (which is what researchers have to do when investigating the relationship between animal and plant environment), NSB had a go a the 3-D viewers. These gave an incredible 3D image of Nottingham's city centre, perhaps similar to the kindof view that the aerial reconnisance analysts of WW2 had when viewing images from occupied Europe. Fascinating !

 The Geography Dept had this great 3D model of the Lake District
onto which they could project a variety of images
(eg what it looked in the Ice Age)

Also from the Georgraphy Dept, you could see Nottingham from the Air in 3D
with these special viewers and photos

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