I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Peer-reviewed pop: They Might Be Giants: Why does the sun really shine?

Having professed my love for They Might Be Giants before, I've just found another reason why they are awesome. On learning that the sun is not in fact a 'mass of incandescent gas' as they sing on Why does the sun shine?, but plasma, the fourth state of matter (solid, liquid and gas are the other three; plasma is where the gas gets so hot that the atoms break apart into charged particles), they did as all good scientists themselves do: they admitted they had been wrong and in light of the new information updated their work so that it was was more scientifically accurate.

Source: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/auroras/sun_earth_connect.html

For They Might Be Giants, this means releasing a whole new song called Why does the sun really shineThis is all kinds of awesome because they have not only helped correct some misconceptions about the science behind sunshine (including my own), but they've given us an excellent example of the humility of scientific thinking; it's all the best kinds of science and science communication rolled into one catchy song.

The sun is a miasma

Of incandescent plasma

The sun's not simply made out of gas

No, no, no

The sun is a quagmire

It's not made of fire

Forget what you've been told in the past

(Plasma!)

Electrons are free

(Plasma!)

Fourth state of matter

Not gas, not liquid, not solid

The sun isn't a red dwarf

I hope it never morphs

Into a supernova'd collapsed orb

Orb, orb, orb

The sun is a miasma

Of incandescent plasma

I forget what I was told by myself

Elf, elf, elf

(Plasma!)

Electrons are free

(Plasma!)

Fourth state of matter

Not gas, not liquid, not solid

(Plasma!)

Forget that song

(Plasma!)

They got it wrong

That thesis has been rendered invalid

Here's the original song an lyrics. The science might be wrong, but it's still a well-crafted pop song!

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas

A gigantic nuclear furnace

Where hydrogen is built into helium

At a temperature of millions of degrees

Yo ho, it's hot, the sun is not

A place where we could live

But here on earth thered be no life

Without the light it gives

We need it's light

We need it's heat

We need it's energy

Without the sun, without a doubt

Thered be no you and me

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas

A gigantic nuclear furnace

Where hydrogen is built into helium

At a temperature of millions of degrees

The sun is hot

It is so hot that everything on it is a gas: iron, copper, aluminum, and many others.

The sun is large

If the sun were hollow, a million earths could fit inside. and yet, the sun is only a middle-sized star.

The sun is far away

About 93 million miles away, and that's why it looks so small.

And even when it's out of sight

The sun shines night and day

The sun gives heat

The sun gives light

The sunlight that we see

The sunlight comes from our own suns

Atomic energy

Scientists have found that the sun is a huge atom-smashing machine. the heat and light of the sun come from the nuclear reactions of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and helium.*

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas

A gigantic nuclear furnace

Where hydrogen is built into helium

At a temperature of millions of degrees

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