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!(Science Showoff) In Cambridge – The Photo Gallery

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This was originally billed as a Science Showoff night during the Cambridge Science Festival, but was turned into a Geek Cabaret. I managed to do a 4 song set – not long after the baby was born, and the last … Continue reading

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Collaborators – Ben Garnett aka The Organ Grinders Monkey

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My main musical collaborator for the Professor Karmadillo project and the Giant Leaps album has been Ben Garnett, who I first met whilst he was playing in Cambridge as part of Colonel Bastard. He’s now based in Brighton where he is The Organ Grinders Monkey. I feel we really had great chemistry when working together. As the guy who cystallised a lot of the ideas into solid recordings, his contribution was pivotal to how good the music turned out – and his work was invaluable! Here’s his account of working together on Professor Karmadillo. Thanks a lot for all your efforts dude!

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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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‘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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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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For Promoters

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Click on the photo below to get to a Hi Res image for Professor Karmadillo!

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