# Technology

## April 14, 2022

Effect of long term space flight on the Brain

Study explores effects of extended spaceflight on brain

Scientists from the U.S., Europe and Russia are part of a team releasing the results of a large collaborative study involving the effects of long duration spaceflight on the brain.


Page citation : Medical University of South Carolina. “Study explores effects of extended spaceflight on brain.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2022. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220412141100.htm

Positive note: Despite the current situation in Ukraine, those involved in science can still carry on working and collaborating, for the benefit of everyone.

Discussion

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## April 2, 2022

Neutrino Astronomy: A New Window into the Extreme Universe

The next Space Telescope Science Institute Lecture is on 5th April 2022.

Discussion

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## March 30, 2022

Hubble from Space and Integral-field Spectroscopy

*Hubble from Space and Integral-field Spectroscopy from the Ground: Seeing Both the Forests and the Trees

This is the Space Telescope Science Institute Lecture from March 2022.

A detailed, but also beginner friendly, in parts, introduction to spectroscopy also looking how this is applied and used in Astronomy.

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## March 29, 2022

Transistor Amplifier

I have finished building a transistor Amplifier. This is in preparation for the next STEM group meeting, on April 9th.

As this contains a voltage divider, I have also built a few more resistor boards, with the view of presenting an activity around this.

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## March 16, 2022

Lots of work behind the scenes to iron out some bugs & problems with the software. I was involved with further testing on 15/3 and there is further testing planned for 17/3. This testing has also included load testing so we know the server will stand up to the number of users expected.

Looking good for the weekend. There will be a LibrePlanet post on Saturday with a link to this.

Free Software and Hardware

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## March 3, 2022

Github Co-pilot discussion

Github Co-pilot discussion

Copilot is a AI tool to help developers with writing code. There will be a discussion on Thursday 3rd March and Monday 7th March to discuss various issues arising from the use of this.

This will take place on IRC Libera Chat at 19:00 UK time.

Free Software and Hardware

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## February 25, 2022

Building a ping pong ball shooter – part 2

Building a ping pong ball shooter

Further to the previous post, the ball shooter is now built up. I do need to solder this together, at some point. For now, it works as it is. This is the test I did at the library (more space).

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## February 24, 2022

Building a ping pong ball shooter

Building a ping pong ball shooter

As part of an order from Better Equipped, I sent for a ping pong ball shooter. This consists of two rotating disks, which propel a ping pong ball forward.

So far, I have only partly built this. I need to do some soldering to complete. I also want to find a safe place to test it. This project will be demonstrated at the Paignton Library STEM group, but could be used in a school too. This would support, Science, Maths, Design & Technology and possibly other subjects.

Photos

Front showing wheels.

Note : Final wiring will be different to this.

Rear showing motors.

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## February 15, 2022

Just been helping with more LibreAdventure testing. Please see my previous post if you are unsure, what this is.

So last week, we found a bug when we were in close proximity to another user,, the video chat didn't work, This has now been fixed for the office areas. The bug is still there, if a users enters the conference areas. A report ticket has been submitted about this.

More of the same next week, hopefully with a few more people testing.

Free Software and Hardware

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## February 10, 2022

Zone of Proximal Development

Zone of Proximal Development

I decided to write this, in an attempt to address some issues that I have when contributing to projects. such as free software projects or engaging in the related communities.

As I am currently working as a teaching assistant, our work is based on theories of learning etc. Therefore we follow research and ideas such as Zone of Proximal Development by Lev Vygotsky,

So how is this applicable to contributing to software? The simple answer is people seem to assume that the person who is trying to undertake a task has the same level of understanding as others.

Most of my Open University study was around Science. Therefore using tools such as git, is hardly something that I do daily. I can, just about.

• git pull
• git commit -m “message”
• git push

Which for me is sufficient.

On a similar note is tasks like key signing. For most people people seem to use gnupg and a mail client plugin for this. Their mail client can implement this for signing or encrypting e-mails. Since Thunderbird 78, Thunderbird has integrated OpenPGP which is great, only it hides a lot of the complexity,in the back ground, this makes what would probably be a simple tasks much more complex for those who don't really understand what they are doing.

Again, there is an assumption people can 'just do things'

So within ZPD

• Task a Learner Cannot Accomplish With Assistance
• Tasks a Learner Can Accomplish With Assistance
• Tasks a Learner Can Accomplish Without Assistance

So for the most part, we should not assume a learner, user or potential contributor can perform all the tasks that is being asked. We need to figure out what they know first and try and help them provide us with what we need.

In general it is far easier to provide face to face support, which is not possible in many cases.

I think as a community, we sometimes need to take a step back and remember what it was like when WE were first learning something new, it is difficult at first, till we find that one tool that make things easier. Until then we probably struggled.

Not everyone is as experienced or confident as you are, so will potentially take a lot longer to figure out something that is designed to help you help them.

We should also not assume that persons level of education is less than ours, a person with a degree in Computing is equally degree qualified a degree in Chemistry (for example). However both can perform complex tasks. but probably can't perform each others tasks. Education is only a factor in this respect.

For most people, they want something to 'just work' and not have to fiddle to get it working or try to explain what they are doing, which if you are not sure, just ends up frustrating when ask questions you can't understand let alone answer.

So trying to get a device working that requires a user to load kernel modules in, is really beyond a lot of people without the pre-requite understanding, on a similar note, When installing Debian 11 on my netbook I found that networking simply didn't work, or the install didn't complete., in fact upgrading from 10 to 11 seems to break networking fully. So trying to ask for help isn't easy, especially when there is no easy way to tell people what the error is.

In the above case the following would most certainly apply

• Task a Learner Cannot Accomplish With Assistance

Or in this case they would need face to face assistance and even then the error could be something that a person with expertise can't easily fix.

I am not sure what the solution is, perhaps just to say, please remember, just because you are an expert, doesn't mean others are too.