Category Archives: Fun

740,000 People – Part Two

Volunteers Poster

To end our 2012 advent calendar, we have the second of our 740,000 posters. We’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday – whatever you do at this time of year! We’ll be back in 2013 with more news, new projects and more science based on your work. The Universe is too big to explore without you.

740,000 People

Growing Community

The Zooniverse community keeps growing. This time last year, we passed 500,000 volunteers – and now there’s nearly 740,000 people out there, clicking, classifying and contributing to science via their web browser. To celebrate we’ve produced a great poster showing how the Zooniverse has grown from 2007 to the present. Down the PDF here.

Long may she reign!

Podcast About the Zooniverse

Today’s advent calendar entry is a special episode of the Recycled Electrons podcast. Recycled Electrons began just over a year ago and features the voices of Chris Lintott (Zooniverse PI) and Robert Simpson (Milky Way Project PI and Zooniverse developer). Although they both work full-time on the Zooniverse they have never yet spent an entire episode talking about it. This week the whole show is just about the Zooniverse! Conversation is focussed of the backstory of the past ten days, which includes the launch of the Andromeda Project and Snapshot Serengeti.


Recycled Electrons is a (mostly) weekly podcast about astronomy, space and science. It is a light-hearted and often peculiar take on the week that is recorded in the heart of Oxford University, not too far from Oxford’s Zooniverse HQ.


A Clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. We had fun hearing your Haiku last week, so about some science- and Zooniverse-based Clerihews?

One of the best known examples is:

Sir Christopher Wren
Said, “I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls
Say I am designing St. Paul’s.”

…but we can also find some fun science Clerihews online:

Sir James Dewar
Is smarter than you are
None of you asses
Can liquify gases.

To rhyme Carlos Frenck
I’ve drawn a complete blenk
But I found in the lexicon
A good one for Mexican

That last one is from blogger (and apparently cosmologist) Peter Coles. If you need more inspiration, he has plenty more topical Clerihews (from 2009) on his blog, Telescoper.

Here at the Zooniverse, we’ve been coming up with own Clerihews. Chris created one for Stuart Lynn (lead developer of Planet Hunters):

Old Stuart Lynn
may drink gallons of gin,
but his Planet Hunters site
turned out quite alright.

In turn, I’ve made one for Chris:

Dr. Chris Lintott
likes astrophysics a lot.
He came up with Galaxy Zoo
while having a drink or two.

We’d love to hear your science Clerihews either here in the comments or on twitter @the_zooniverse. I’m sure the subject can be one of the projects as well as a person…

Zooniverse Cocktail Hour

Our advent calendar gets really festive today with the publication of Zooniverse Cocktails. If you make any of these, please do take a picture or two so we can share them around.

Tequila Solar Stormwatch

Pour 2 shots of tequila in a highball glass with ice, and top with orange juice. Stir. Slowly add a couple of dashes of grenadine by pouring onto the back of a spoon and letting it lie on the surface of the ice. The grenadine will slowly drop down into the drink as a sort of alcoholic mass ejection (AME).

Galaxy Zoo Spiral Cider

Pour two glasses of mulled cider into two identical glasses. Stir one anticlockwise, and the other clockwise. Once the drinks are spinning nicely drink them blindfolded and see if you can taste the difference.

Moon Zoo (on the) Rocks

Pour out a generous portion of Baileys into a tumblr and cut a Malteser in half. Drop the half-Malteser into your drink as your Apollo lander. You should try and film yourself making the drink on an anonymous sound stage in the remote United States.

The Milky Way Cocktail Project

Take a glass of chilled Prosecco, accompanied by a shot of Midori and a glacier cherry. See how many bubbles you can drink/find – watch out for red fuzzies.

Storm in a Teapcup (Old Weather)

2 shots of gin and one of chilled Earl Grey tea. Add 20 ml of lemon juice (to prevent scurvy) and a dash of sugar syrup. Serve in an English teacup with a twist of lemon peel.

Whale FM Cocktail

Place 2 cups of prawns, 4 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp creamed horseradish and 1 tbsp tomato ketchup into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine all the ingredients; make sure all the prawns are coated in sauce. Divide 2 cups of shredded lettuce between 4 large wine glasses and top with the prawns and sauce.
Decorate with a wedge of lime and a large prawn on the edge of the glass and serve with small slices of buttered brown bread.

The Ice Hunter

Straight-up vodka martini served with a twist (the twist is that there is no ice).

Planet Hunter’s Eclipse

Shake and strain 1.5 oz sloe gin and 0.5 oz gin into a cordial glass containing a cherry. Sink 0.5 oz of grenadine until just covering the cherry. Garnish with half a slice of orange, and serve.