Alexandra Whittingham at Star and Shadow

Tonight I went to see Alexandra Whittingham at the Star and Shadow. This was significant for a couple of reasons. I haven’t been to a gig at the Star and Shadow for a long time and never in it’s current location; the last one was Wreckless Eric, which was in the old venue near Byker Bridge; that one I remember mostly because the room was unheated in winter, and we all huddled in our seats, wrapped up warm. And the second reason was that I have been to very few classical guitar gigs in my life; this was the third after Julian Bream around 40 years ago and Chrisoph Denoth who played after a conference dinner maybe 10 years ago (ISMB I think!). It’s not that I don’t like classical guitar, it’s just that there are not that many gigs around.

Optional Extras

I’ve described in the last couple of blogs about the how we might make water and then how to grow plants in the desert. There are a few ideas that I thought might be able to add to the whole process, maybe increase its efficiency and scaling.

Barriers to Reuse

I greatly enjoyed going to a workshop organised by Uniprot on data reuse. It was nice to see again some faces that I have not seen for a while; also nice to get a mention from Alex Bateman on a paper that Michael Bell and I wrote quite a few years ago know. I hope I managed to contribute something useful, although I am sure I started to get incoherent toward 8pm, as my stomach told me I needed dinner and my brain told me it needed sofa time.

Making a Jungle

Having thought about how to make water in the desert, the next obvious question is what do with it all. Well, of course, there is no shortage of things you can with water, but the obvious thing would be to grow some plants.

Salty Desert

What would it take to make fresh water in the desert? Well, one solution would be a solar still; a very simple device, it is essentially some sort of greenhouse with water inside it. The water evaporates and then condenses either on the sloped glass which it will then run down or by pumping the air to a cool chamber stored underground.