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Collaborators – Kate Fleet

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Kate Star fell head over heels in love with music aged around 12, and with playing it not long after. At this time she felt nothing for Maths and Science but fear and confusion; perhaps if Professor Karmadillo had been around she’d have felt more interest in, and had a better understanding of, these subjects. Kate’s now responsible for skinny string and some of the backing vocal duties in Beverley Kills; a band in which the chemistry is just right.

Kate Fleet is guitarist and backing vocalist with Cambridge based punk pop quartet Beverley Kills. You can hear her contributions by watching the GFP vid on the Giant Leaps album page. She also provided some awesome vocals to the Arabidopsis song.

Kate Fleet recording backing vocals

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Science Showoff 5 – GFP Live!

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Before going on baby enforced hiatus in March I was able to squeeze in an appearance at Science Showoff 5 this month. This really is a great night with a mixture on many scientific topics – ranging from an opening session on making concrete and closing with a talk on the effect lightening has on aircraft. The latter was presenting by a Welshman with the stagename – Rhys Lightning! Fantastic.

There was also an item on the use of tattoos and how they can assist in forensics as well as Andrew Holding presenting colourful huge litmus tests which were great.

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Giant Leaps – listen and pre-order!

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So I’ve been uploading the songs from Giant Leaps onto various websites for distribution. February 29th is still the release date for the album but if you can’t wait you can listen to the tracks online and (hopefully!) pre-order Giant Leaps on Bandcamp!.

Professor Karmadillo 'Giant Leaps' album cover

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‘Giant Leaps’ album cover unveiled!

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The album cover for the Giant Leaps release on February 29th 2012 has now been revealed! It’s been done by Matloob Qureshi, who shall appear on our contributors pages soon! For know all I can say is – admire the artwork!

Professor Karmadillo 'Giant Leaps' album cover

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Get Geeky Songs heard by Blur’s Guitarist!

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Want geeky songs in support of Blur dude Graham Coxon when he plays Cambridge at the Junction in April 2011? . I’d quite like to be able to support him so to that end would like to suggest you nominate our GFP Youtube video. Obviously you can nominate whichever band you wish – but it would be cool if it could be a Cambridge one!

Go to http://toursupport.grahamcoxon.co.uk/, login with Facebook or Twitter, choose Cambridge and then (ideally!) nominate the Professor Karmadillo GFP vid. You can do it by entering http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPL4nZl3yi4 in the window that pops up. Or choose a video by the many excellent Cambridge bands! You can also show support for the bands by Liking the videos you like.

Thanks for your help!

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Darwin Samples at The Herbarium

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So this week I bid farewell to the Herbarium at the University of Cambridge where I have been working with collections of Darwins samples. No, not audio samples of Darwin providing catchy phrases in his push to enlighten us with evolution, but botanical samples from his Beagle Voyage!

Read the full story of Darwins Plants from the Beagle Voyage here. The collection was put together by Henslow, who famously got Darwin his berth on the HMS Beagle and inspired him to look for variation which was pivotal in the evolution of the idea of evolution. I was also working with data from Henslows own collection as well as another prolific taxanomic botanist, John Lindley.

All the plants are preserved in mercury, meaning that we go mad if we handle them too much. Or are enforced to limit our time with them. These brown, flattened pieces of flora have been pressed on to thousands of sheets of paper and classified and re-classified as time has gone by.

The plant I’m pictured with above is actually a sample of a now extinct cucumber relative – of which the samples mounted on that sheet of paper is the only evidence it ever existed. It was nearly ruined by Prince Philip as he toured the Sainsburys Laboratory where the Herbarium is housed when the Queen was performing the official opening ceremony of the building.

I’d like to thank Christine Bartram my colleague at the Herbarium for her informative insights into these scientifically important data sets.

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Initial Mixes Available For Download!

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It’s been a busy few days but some initial mixes for the first Professor Karmadillo album (due 2012) are now up! And available for FREE download! Listen to them here if you fancy it!

Mangrove Swamp – Initial Mixes by karmadillo

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Nothings Says Merry Christmas like….

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…a Higgs Boson themed Christmas Carol!

You can hear it online, and view lyrics, at The Naked Scientist website! Here’s a snippet for you now 😉

Its beginning to look a lot like a Higgs Boson
The particle that gives us mass
It’s hiding away in the mince pies and the cake
You’ll eat on Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

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Mailing List Subscription Fixed

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Oooops – I have discovered that the lack of subscribers to the mailing list was not for want of effort but due to a lack of working mailing list configuration. This has now been fixed! Come ye hordes lusting after emails featuring news of the latest science sonnets and sign up here!

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BBC Radio 3 meets Professor Karmadillo on IPlayer

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The Verb – a radio show is Radio 3’s cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performances – and they very cordially invited me to talk and perform works as Professor Karmadillo. This was a great hour long recording session – you can listen to it on BBC IPlayer for another week.

Ian McMillan was a wonderful host, who completely made me feel at home despite me missing all my cues – luckily all the long pauses should be edited out the show. He was also great at warming the crowd up – I want him to introduce me for all my shows!

I can’t decide if the highlight of the show for me was Philip Langeskov’s short story or the excerpt of the poem about the train ride from Norwich to Sherringham by John Osbourn. Both were great, so I would recommend listening to the show to decide for yourselves!

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