I wanted to share with you, two amazing books I was gifted. As some of you may know from my previous collaboration infographic, I am a feminist. (Not an activist of any kind, but I do believe in equality between all genders, everywhere. Simple as.) These two books were gifted to me for which I am very thankful. Feminism AND Science? Any books that celebrate the achievements of women are always welcome in my library!
I’ve always loved Sci-Fi but I never feel like I have seen enough! I wanted to explore as much as possible, from the first Sci-Fi Movie “Le Voyage Dans Le Lune” (1902), right through to the latest releases and sub-genres that have expanded throughout the years. Because, Sci-Fi always makes us question;
Where will science take us? What’s going to happen to us? What’s NEXT?
I’ve already considered what makes a good Sci-Fi story, and so I started doing a little research into the release dates of movies (and some extra reading). I realised that there is a pattern in what’s happening in society and science, and the types of movies that became popular at the time.
Spoiler: It doesn’t.
Some people believe in astrology, and that’s fine… If you like that sort of thing. A feeling that fate is acting on you in some way. Or there’s some higher power that’s watching over you. Or your Hogwarts letter got lost in the post… whatever you like to believe! But please…
This week I had the privilege of meeting Hilary from Craftiv8 – a company focused on bringing new and innovative ways of crafting into the mainstream. When I met Hilary at a local craft fair, the thing that drew me to them newest development- Galactic Plastic!
Who doesn’t want to go to a ball? Events like this are so few and far between nowadays. Masquerades, black tie dinners and glamorous balls – they don’t happen enough! So when I learned of a Starry Night ball being held at one of my FAVOURITE places to be (the National Space Centre) I thought, I AM SO THERE.
Cassini’s final mission will end today (15th September 2017) after being in service for almost 20 years. Cassini and its team have given us some of the most in depth and interesting photographs of Saturn that have ever been achieved. This amazing piece of technology will end its journey in a spectacular fashion by burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere, in an attempt to stop her from contaminating potentially life-sustaining environments that have been found on one of Saturn’s moons.
This is a shout out to those who dare to be smart. For those who are intrigued by the world around them. For those who want to learn, explore, and constantly push boundaries. What Science gifts to do you get a nerdy girl?
If you’re lucky enough to know one of these people and have the HONOUR of presenting said person with a gift, then I hope you’ll consider these recommendations… and if you are the Science lover then… Treat yo’self!
So here are some of the best Science gifts, hand-picked by me!
Last weekend, my other half and I went to the National Space Centre! It was super fun and informative – definitely worth at least one trip if you want to broaden your mind and get some new information about our universe! I thought I’d write a National Space Centre Review as it was amazing and I would go again for sure. We got an annual pass for the price of one ticket (!) so we plan to go again with friends.
We had a ticket to see a planetarium show which was held in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium. You can choose from a look at the universe as a whole or stories behind some of our constellations. The lady who presented the show was very enthusiastic and I loved hearing more about the Greek mythology related to the constellations.
Some things I learned from the planetarium exhibit:
- Some space objects are named M followed by a number because Charles Messier just labelled things he found with his initial and a number in the order he found them – how very imaginative!
- We can’t map all the galaxies because our own galaxy blocks the half of our view.
- The big and little dipper constellations are named for a Greek legend of a mother and son who were turned into bears and thrown into space!
I really liked how they relayed the information in the centre to you. It wasn’t centred around children only which it can often be at science museums, it was perfect for us too. The level of interactivity was so high! There were whole areas where you could test your skills as an astronaut, a simulation of a moon landing and you could lose hours watching all the videos and playing the mini-games.
They had some real rockets in the eating area with a multi-layer mezzanine so you could see them from top to bottom. That was certainly a highlight of the day!
There were SO many facts in there that you’d have to visit a few times to really take it all in! There were whole areas dedicated to rockets, sci-fi, the life of astronauts. So many planetary facts and the entire history of space exploration across the world. Here are just a few things I learned along the way:
- The first ever Sci-Fi movie was French and called “La Voyage Dans le Lune”. It involved scientists that looked more like wizards.
- What it’s like to wash your hair in space. (You gather a very small amount of water droplets as best you can and pull them through your hair.)
- Saturn if very small (or we had a huge bath) would float in water
I wanted to buy EVERYTHING in the onsite shop but as it’s my birthday coming up I wasn’t allowed! In the end, I bought some “astronaut” food which I will try out soon. Once my birthday is over I am definitely going to go back for more!
I am constantly searching for inspiration for my space themed stuff. The National Space Centre was definitely full of that- for both my blog and artwork. I discovered that I really love how space exploration changed throughout history and the links between the old and new methods. The history of the constellations was definitely a highlight for me!
Anytime I feel spaced out (pun intended), I am going to revisit and fuel my thoughts!
After finding a few Millionaire’s Shortbread recipes online and in magazines, I thought… It could be SUPER easy to adapt these traditional recipes to make them perfect for a space themed party!
I based the quantities for this no-bake recipe on how much of the ingredients I had in my house, but you can change these up depending on how many pieces you want to make! Also, a lot of people make their own shortbread base but I have NO time for that so… I used shortbread biscuits!
Ignition sequence start…
200g Shortbread biscuits
50g butter (for base)
100g butter (for caramel)
150g demerara sugar
1 can of condensed milk
150g dark chocolate
150g white chocolate
Purple and blue gel food colourings
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before!
Firstly crush the shortbread up with the end of a rolling pin with cling film over the top. You could get a little bit obsessive about this like me and make sure that the grains are even with no lumps and bumps, after all, the smaller the pieces the better it will stick together.
Add the 50g butter and mix it through, then press the biscuits hard to form an even base. I’ve learned from my previous cheesecake recipe, that it’s a good idea to use baking paper underneath! Pop in the fridge to chill while you make the caramel. (about 15 mins)
Commencing countdown, engines on…
To make the caramel centre layer, heat up the 100g butter and the sugar on a low heat until all the sugar has melted and it’s not grainy. Then add the condensed milk and bring up to a rapid bubble (you may need to increase the heat a little).
You will find that the mixture starts to get a little tougher to stir as it thickens – this means it’s done! Tip it onto your newly chilled base and pop it back in the fridge.
Next, melt the chocolate into three bowls (all the dark, and split the white into 2). I did this by popping a bowl over boiling water, but you could do it in a pan on low heat or in the microwave. Add a few drops of the gel colouring into the separated white chocolate – I opted for blue and purple for a galactic theme!
Failure is not an option…
Next, making sure that the caramel has set, smooth out all the dark chocolate on the top and then dollop the mixture on top at random. Swirl and create a marbled nebula effect with a chopstick then scatter on your stars – there is no right way to do this, just throw them everywhere!
Ready for a Space themed Party!
Pop it back in the fridge for a few hours (I went to see Guardian’s of the Galaxy 2 at the cinema when I’d finished and it was done when I got back!), then this is the bit where I internally scream every time. Pull the shortbread from the tin and peel away the baking paper from underneath as neatly as you can. Did anything fall off? No? Awesome!
I learned from this recipe to cut the shortbread into pieces using a hot knife as it’s the best way to cut through the top layer of chocolate. This made around 30 pieces give or take.
And there you have it! What do you think?
As it’s my birthday soon I thought I’d post a Space themed gifts wish-list of mine… Just some tiny hints in case anyone (or a certain someone) need some ideas! I hope it also inspires you and gives you an insight into the kind of things you can find if you’re looking for space themed stuff!
1. Starry Night Dress by Cakes with Faces
This is such a cute little dress! I am not into astrology but the science of stars, and constellation themed items I adore! It’s amazing just how much stuff is out there (in the material and the metaphysical sense).
2. Glitter Star Hair Clips by Crown and Glory
I feel like these in gunmetal or silver would look great now my hair’s gone purple. I just want to adorn it with sparkle! Short of covering myself in glitter, Crown and Glory have some amazing starry accessories… including a STUNNING dip-dyed veil that I MUST have for when I get married. Not that I’m even engaged yet…
3. Women In Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
Full title, Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, looks absolutely stunning and really interesting! I went ahead and bought this one (this is the problem with making wishlists of affordable, beautiful items!) It is incredibly illustrated and I love the writing style.
4. Atom & Planet Necklace by Eclectic Eccentricity
As some may know, I wear the hell out of the necklace from my previous Space Princess gift guide. EE’s whole range is stunning and space-based and I look at them longingly every lunch break in the office! These colours are just perfect.
5. SpaceShip Bag by SkinnyDip
I added this bag to my wishlist after seeing it in Brighton… until I realised it was from LAST SEASON! *shock horror* Rather than miss out my friend got it for me and sent it in the post. (PaperBag Blog- thank you!) It helps to know lovely people! So… this is on here to show it off really (Sorry, not sorry) and give a shout-out to SkinnyDip for designing something so cool.
6. Fun Science by Charlie McDonnell
Full title “Fun Science: A Guide to Life, the Universe and why Science is so Awesome” by Charlie McDonnell has sparked my interest as it discusses everything from the largest things comprehensible to humans right down to the smallest atoms. Charlie (Charlieissocoollike) began producing science related videos on YouTube and I followed him for many years – I really want to support his venture as an author!
7. 3D Star Globe by Luckies
A 3D map of the night sky would both informative and beautiful hanging from my ceiling. Alternatively, an actual constellation globe with a transparent base would also be awesome on my office desk… but a little out of my budget!
8. Star Stud Earrings by Stray Jewellery
I am always on the outlook for earrings that can tie in with my outfits. I’ve been going for a lot of galaxy-inspired and space themed stuff recently. Even if I have to dress like your average person (boo) for work or an event, I still like to set it off with something astronomical!
9. Planetarium Paperweight by Present Indicative
I know what you’re probably thinking, it’s a bit odd… But it’s REALLY cool and I feel like I could look at it for ages. I first saw it in the Stedelijk Museum Shop in Amsterdam but it was closing and they rushed me out of the shop. I am kinda glad I did though because it’s now introduced me to a whole new website that has cool nerdy gifts! Their whole astronomy section is AWESOME.
10. Cat in Space Mug by CyberDog
I thought to myself that if I never saw another “themed” mug ever again, it would be too soon! But then, I saw this one. Space AND cats? Yeah, go on then.
11. Galaxy Skater Dress by Glitterbomb
This has been on my wish list for aaaages. I’m absolutely in love with it – the colours are amazing (and I already have the necklace!)
12. Space themed Swirl Coloured Pencils
I added these in even though I bought them for myself. I’ve been told I don’t need any more stationery items BUT the leads are coloured to match the nebulas primary colours SO… had to be done. The pencils came from a little boutique in Amsterdam but you could get them here.
And to round it all off, what would an astronomy lover be without an awesome telescope?
Until Next Time,