The Death of Ceasar by Vincenzo Camuccini.

In March 44 BC Julius Caesar was killed by the Senate, the most famous of whom was Brutus, a close friend of Caesar's. Caesar, of course, is famous for a great many things; he conquered Gaul by building two walls (a story for another article), led the first Roman expedition to Britannia and most famously crossed the Rubicon, which eventually led to the downfall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Empire. However, he was not Rome's first true Emperor as he was killed off fairly quickly as the dictator consolidated power. …


In 1066, Edward the confessor passed away, and Harold Godwinson took the throne of England on the 5th of January, the same year. Upon his coronation, he thought to himself, “my reign will be long, peaceful, and certainly no Viking nor Norman will challenge me.” Unfortunately, both of those things happened within the year. In the north, Harold Hardrada landed a force of Vikings and claimed the English crown. Quickly the city of York surrendered to him, and at all speed, Godwinson travelled north and defeated Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. “Great work!” Godwinson thought, “I have defeated…


Deep in the cosmic horizons of our universe, a dusty cloud of space ingredients is getting a bit sick & tired of being nought but a dusty cloud. “What if..” the dusty cloud thought “, instead of being a gnarly musk of dust, I become a glowing orb of plasma?” and so it came to be that a star was born.

Those great big balls of plasma exude light which travels at roughly three hundred kilometres per second across time and space to slam into your eyeballs so that you can see them. Undoubtedly, the sun plays a major role…


The first picture of an amethyst on google images

What is a gemstone? A gemstone is a high concentration of a specific mineral used in jewellery when cut and polished. For example, amethyst is made out of a variety of quartz which is the most abundant mineral on the Earth’s surface, quite literally as plentiful as the grains of sand at the beach. So what makes an amethyst so much more valuable than a handful of sand? I’ve constructed an empirically produced equation to describe this:

Gemstone = mineral + “damn that do be big & shiny though”

On a serious note, while chemically unremarkable, a gemstone is a…


The abbreviation CFC stands for ChloroFluoroCarbons, which have been used in various products for many years, predominately refrigerants until the Montreal Protocol banned them in the latter half of the 20th century. In this article, I’d like to explain why.

Firstly, we must understand what Ozone is. The ozone layer is a blanket of O3 formed due to shortwave UV radiation from the sun interacting with O2 in the stratosphere (middle section of the atmosphere that you've probably flown through). O2 molecules get broken apart by UV radiation into two single O atoms. Sad, lonely O atoms look for friendship…


Image of the Orion nebula taken by the NASA Spitzer space telescope in 2015

Within a few hundred million years, this soup of primordial nutrients would birth the Solar System. Of key importance for our nativity was a cosmic shockwave which rippled through our nebula (cloud of funky space dust). Most probably caused by the supernova of a dying star, the shockwave caused the nebula to coalesce and spin. As the nebula grew denser gravity started to have more of an effect, and the gravitational energy converted into heat; simultaneously, the nebulas radius shrank, causing its spin velocity to increase.

This process is known as the conservation of angular momentum with angular momentum dealing…


Image of Mount Everest in the Nepalese Himalayas.

In 1953 Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa partner Tenzing Norgay became the first confirmed climbers to summit Mount Everest nearly 100 years after the mountain was confirmed to be the highest in the world by a British surveying team led by George Everest (the namesake of the mountain). Mountains have always signified the height of human endurance with many having attempted the same feat as Hilary prior and post his success with varying levels of triumph. …


Kachō-e illustration of a kingfisher

One of the greatest quandaries of humankind has been, “what is love?”. Throughout history, love has been the catalyst of great things; Helen, with a “face that launched a thousand ships” triggered Troy's siege by falling for Paris. Cleopatra had an affair with Mark Anthony in the midst of his war with Octavian (later Augustus) for Rome. After being named “defender of the faith” by the pope, Henry VIII subsequently began the reformation of England by falling for Anne Boleyn. All in all, love seems to be one of life’s great motivators, and while universally experienced, it is uniquely expressed.

Joseph McQuade

My name’s Joe, I’m an undergraduate student who just wants to write and share the things that interest me.

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