Search This Blog

Friday, December 26, 2008

Laverbread and Cockles

Gower on Britain's Favourite View

Laver is highly nutritious because of its high proportions of protein, iron, and especially iodine. It also contains high levels of vitamins B2, A, D, C and contains significant amounts of taurine.
It is made from seaweed which is boiled for several hours. The gelatinous paste that results is then mined and rolled in oatmeal, fried and eaten with cockles for breakfast.

The source of the seaweed used to make laverbread was historically the Gower coastline. There are still small producers of Gower laverbread (Welsh: BARA LAWNR), but most commercial laverbread is now made from seaweed gathered from western Scotland. In addition to Wales, laverbread is eaten across the Bristol Channel in North Devon, especially around the Exmoor coast around Lynmouth and Combe Martin.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Phase Transitions in Graphene

Dreaming about graphene is a beautiful thing. The leptons become light and dark excitons. Suspending graphene makes the top and bottom surfaces indistinguishable. You can even invert its handedness. Time reversal symmetry makes single layer graphene almost perfect. But bilayer is great, too. A magnetic field can be applied to change the phase of the excitons in a bilayer, half-filled system to that of a Bose Einstein condensate. When current flows in opposite directions in the two layers, the resistance goes to zero. An oddly quantized vortex binding one zero mode per valley is present, though slightly split due to a mixing of the valleys in the graphene layers. You can also have a phase transition from this coherent excitonic phase to a pair of single-layer fractional Quantum Hall States as a function of layer spacing. There is always something new to read about graphene as one drifts off to sleep.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Listening to Good Music

Listening to good music is important to good nutrition, just like water, sunlight, etc. My favorite singer is Katherine Jenkins. If she is good, where are her fans I am asked.

Here is the answer: United Kingdom 58.53% (59.62%); United States 11.21% (10.95%); Australia 3.14% (3.18%); France 2.60% (2.79%); Netherlands 2.19% (2.07%); Japan 1.26% (1.35%); Germany 1.17% (1.18%); Ireland 1.07% (1.13%); New Zealand 1.00% (1.03%); Canada 0.97% (1.01%). The numbers in paratheses are the previous percentages. Her popularity will continue to rise in the U.S. and probably in France and the Netherlands. In New Zealand, she has to compete with Yulia MacLean, who brings everyone to tears.

Unlike other singers who are popular because of the songs they sing, the songs that Katherine and Yulia sing become popular because they sing them. Some people who think they are tone deaf and don't like music and religion can't help loving Hallelujah after Katherine sings it.