Convoluted insights

400 million years ago the Himalayas were at the bottom of an ocean. How do I know? Well, that ocean was home to tiny marine creatures. When those died, they became part of the sediment. Then, as the Indian and Asian tectonic plates collided, the sea floor was thrust up, forming what we today know…

The fly on the wall

The Science Centre offers some great opportunities to get in touch with nature. There are the obvious ones, like our monthly Nature Discovery Trails, or a visit to the Ecogarden. Then there are the more subtle ones, like watching the chicks hatch in the Discovery Zone. But the most memorable encounters with wildlife are the…

The Stop Motion Boom

Guest Post by Nick Berger, who is the co-author of the book, titled ‘The Klutz Book of Animation’ and who will be at Science Centre Singapore on 21, 22 and 23 November from 2-5pm to conduct a 3-hour workshop on stop motion animation. Stop motion animation is enjoying something of a renaissance on YouTube at…

A computer genius who changed our lives

Guest Post by Dr. Wulf Hofbauer, Scientist, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR. (Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect any official IMRE/A*STAR position.) After prolonged illness, a modern-times genius has passed away who broke new grounds in information technology and profoundly impacted the way we use computers. Dennis Ritchie was…

Science and Art | Two sides of the same coin

Guest Post by Dominic Fondé, Freelance artist An artist and a scientist are really not all that different. While a scientist runs experiments repeatedly in order to ascertain that the results will be the same every time and not simply due to chance, an artist will make dozens of sketches, perhaps take photographs or even…

Reflective Learning

Guest Post by Dr Tan Kok Siang, Lecturer at the National Institute of Education (NIE) In life, problems and crises do not present themselves at expected times (as in school examinations). There is also no fixed curriculum and no model answers to problems. However, we can prepare ourselves for such uncertain situations. One good way…

Singapore on the Hillside

We all know gravity is pulling us down towards the Earth. We usually assume that this means towards the centre of the planet, but that’s actually not the case. It would be the case if the Earth was a perfect sphere with uniform density, but our planet is a lot more interesting than that. Earth…

An Unquenchable Force | Tsunamis

While writing this article, my father sent me a chilling text message saying a 9.0-magnitude earthquake (according to the US Geological Survey) had just hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan on March 11. Tsunami alerts were promptly sounded in 50 countries from Alaska to South America. However, nothing could adequately brace the people of…

The brave new world at the molecular level: Synthetic Biology

Written by A/Prof Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore Last week I received an email from a teacher asking me to check out a competition called iGEM. I went to the website and found this descriptor: The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams are given…

A Torrent from Hell

Tokyo will probably not forget 1923 in a hurry. The Hifukusho-Ato region of Tokyo was shaken to its foundation by a violent Great Kanto earthquake which ignited a large firestorm and produced a mammoth fire tornado that killed 38,000 people in just 15 minutes. That deadly statistic clearly casts no doubt on how dangerous fire…