In One Year ... and out the Other

2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008

2008: B is for beauty

Coming soon at a Large Hadron Collider near you . . .

The story so far:
LHCb is an experiment set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive and build the Universe we inhabit today. Fourteen billion years ago, the Universe began with a bang. Crammed within an infinitely small space, energy coalesced to form equal quantities of matter and antimatter.

But as the Universe cooled and expanded, its composition changed. Just one second after the Big Bang, antimatter had all but disappeared, leaving matter to form everything that we see around us – from the stars and galaxies, to the Earth and all life that it supports.


Although absent from the Universe today, particles known as ‘beauty quarks’ were common in the aftermath of the Big Bang, and will be generated in their billions by the LHC, along with their antimatter counterparts, anti-beauty quarks.

'B' and 'anti-b' quarks are unstable and short-lived, decaying rapidly into a range of other particles. Physicists believe that by comparing these decays, they may be able to gain useful clues as to why nature prefers matter over antimatter.

See layman's guide in Guardian: That CERN thing explained
2007: The Sunflower Galaxy

M 63, The Sunflower Galaxy, in Canes Venatici


M63 is a classic spiral galaxy, but very faint (magnitude 9.6).
Although it has somewhat more yellow than some other galaxies, it is hardly a "sunflower" in color.

Canes Venatici is just below the handle of the Plough (Ursa Major), just above Coma Berenices. So get your binoculars out!
2006: The Year of the Chompa
evo morales
Evo Morales, President of Bolivia
With Thabo Mbeki


Buy Evo's chompa from Bolivia - only $38.99 (!)

La "Evomanía" se impone en Bolivia

Nice sweater


evo morales
With King Juan Carlos

2005: 400 years of Don Quixote

dq and windmills
"What giants?", said Sancho Panza.
"Those that you see over there," said his master. "with the long arms."

Don Quijote and the windmills
Madrid and La Mancha, 2005

Cervantes portrait
Miguel de Cervantes


Also: Centro Virtual Cervantes

El Quijote online (and here)
English version
(John Ormsby, 1885)

Web site: En español

don quijote
Don Quijote & Sancho Panza

Buy: New Edith Grossman translation

Cervantes signature
Cervantes images

Cervantes & Quijote links - The Don Quixote Exhibit - The Cervantes Project (more images)
4th centenary logo
4th Centenary
2004: Year of the Monkey

China Page
Raymond Lo
Primate Store

Terrorist attack on Madrid
Con Madrid

Contra el terrorismo

Forges, El País, 11 March 2004
Transit of Venus
transit of Venus
Transit of Venus, 8 Jun
European Southern Observatory
Hockney in Spain

David Hockney: Court of the Lions, Alhambra, Granada
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 8 Jun - 16 Aug


Photos © Michael Shade (except where obviously not) - the usual conditions apply
Updated: 7 January, 2009
comments and suggestions to: Michael Shade