Saturday, 29 March 2014

Foreign Nostalgia

Whilst living abroad, going home can almost feel foreign at times as contradictory as that sounds. Having lived in the US, France and now Germany for the past 2 years now, I've become accustomed to and have enjoyed living my daily life immersed in cultures and languages that are different to my own

However, whenever I return home there's something about rainy tea-filled afternoons, the 'mind-the-gap' London Underground lady, black cabs and the leafy green suburbs of Greater London that seem both very familiar, but very different. A unique blend of foreign nostalgia. The classic expat's oxymoron. 

After returning to the bright, city lights of London recently, I obviously became an complete tourist :)  Above is a photo that I took of the London skyline, which includes one of my favourite places in London, St Paul's Cathedral

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.”  Eric RothThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Clues to a Cosmic Crime

Not so long ago, I travelled to the picturesque town of Tergensee. Nestled beside the Alps, it is home to the recording studio used by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to film the video podcast series - ESOcast and Hubblecast

These videos tell the stories from the frontline of astronomy from both ESO and  NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope perspectives  using spectacular graphics, witty metaphors and awe-inspiring scientific information.

We spent the day with Dr. Joe Liske, otherwise known as 'Dr J' the narrator of both podcasts as he narrated scenes against the studio's green screen. 

I co-wrote the script for Hubblecast Episode 72: Clues to a Cosmic Crime and was lucky enough to make a cameo appearance in the video!

This episode of Hubblecast witnesses a cosmic crime in action, as a spiral galaxy moves through the heart of galaxy cluster named Abell 3627. The cluster has no mercy on its galactic visitor as it rips the spiral's entrails out into space, leaving bright blue streaks as telltale clues to this cosmic crime.

 As someone that watched these videos online before joining ESO, it was a great behind-the-scenes insight into the production work that goes into creating these magnificent pieces of science communication. 

The Hubblecast is out today, you'll understand why Dr. J looks so windswept in the photo above when you watch Hubblecast Episode 72: Clues to a Cosmic Crime below or on YouTube here. My cameo appearance is at 2:42 :)

- This is Nikita, signing off for Making Apple Pie From Scratch, 'once again nature has surprised us beyond our wildest imaginations'.

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