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Lancashire Science Festival 2014

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Life, Love & Relationships, Reviews, Technology, The WebNo Comments
lancashire-science-festival-2014

Lancashire Science Festival: Sign.

Last weekend I dragged boyfriend-A along to Lancashire Science Festival. We arrived, signed in and were given a programmes, maps and visitor passes. It was being hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), which had a special significance for me as UCLAN was where I completed Nursing studies sometime ago. It was nice to see that the campus has developed, while at the same time keeping some of the buildings that I studied and lived in. Walking around triggered many happy memories for me, but I wasn’t there for a trip down memory lane. We were there to explore all things science. All things geek.

Which started with Titan, a singing, dancing and joke-cracking robot. See photos below (click any image for full size photo):

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Lancashire Science Festival Selfie with Titan.

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Titan The Robot.

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Titan 2

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Titan 3

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Titan 4.

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Titan 5.

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Titan 6. Mr Red Eyes.

Then boyfriend-A and I listened to a fascinating talk from @Drsurvival entitled Power Up Your Brain. I enjoyed the talk, but it would have been great to have two talks: one aimed at children & families and one aimed purely at adults. This was because I would have liked @Drsurvival to go into more of the biological and physiological detail.

We discovered a hall that had so many activities from a wide range of science and engineering organisations. My particular highlight was the CSI tent, where we learned more about the process of investigating crime. Then it was time for lunch, followed by Jo Blows Stuff Up!

Lancashire Science Festival ignited my imagination for everything science, engineering and technical. There was so much to get round, we spent most of the day there and only got through a small fraction of the activities on offer. I would have loved to have more time to do: the Science Dome Planetarium, Zoo Bus and Flash Bang Science. The free talks were over subscribed meaning that even pre-booking I couldn’t get tickets to attend Davros – An Audience with Davros and Science of Sherlock free talks. But I’m sure we’ll get around to some of these activities and talks next year.

Lancashire Science Festival is free fun for all the family. There were loads of young children there, loads of activities for them and they looked like they were having a fantastic time.

My advice on how to work the day: Arrive early and do the open activities in the morning. Then pre-book a talk or two for the afternoon.

Write soon,

Antony



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Book Review: Inventing the 21st Century by Stephen van Dulken

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
inventing-the-21st-century-book-cover If you’re an Inventor, Entrepreneur or a Patent-Geek then you’ll enjoy reading Inventing the 21st Century by Stephen van Dulken.

Dulken a Patent Librarian, tells the patent stories of fifty of the most well known and well used inventions of the 21st Century including: e-books, The ‘bladeless’ fan, The iPod MP3 player, Apple’s iPhone, The Nintendo Wii, ‘Wave and Pay,’ Self-cleaning Glass, Self-Service Checkouts, Robot Helpers as well as others.

Dulken starts with an introduction that describes the patent world as one where technology, law and business meet to create and protect innovation. He writes that inventors need to be good at business as well – being able to do their market research, be honest with themselves and write good business plans in order to get financial backing.

Then Dulken goes onto some of the most popular and successful inventions (so far) of the 21st century. Each of the inventions has a page that describes the patent, the concept and product design/development; followed by a page that has illustrations from the patent.

Dulken concludes by giving advice on how the patent system works and recommends that anyone who wants to write a patent to hire a Patent Attorney.

The Inventing the 21st Century book blurb boasts that it includes ‘personal insights’ from some of the Inventors. So I expected that it would have a few interesting stories about where the inventors got their ideas. I’m fascinated about where creativity comes from and how it develops.

But unfortunately these personal insights were extremely limited, usually down to a sentence or two at most. Instead Dulken focused purely on the patent aspect of each invention. It’s clear that Dulken is passionate about patents, which is great for him, but not so great me. I didn’t want to read a book of facts: dates, specifications, costs, etc. which is what I felt like I was reading. However I’m sure people with a very logical mind will like Dulken’s formal style.

In summary, Inventing the 21st Century by Stephen van Dulken is a well thought-out book that aspiring Inventors, business people and some academics will find a pleasant read.

Inventing the 21st Century by Stephen van Dulken is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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