edX.org is a really fun site. I tried this course: CS50 introduction to computer science. It seems like a really good course, I attempted to study it a couple of times and registered for the certificate so I would have some skin in the game, but I still didn’t manage to finish, although this course has a very engaging presentation and it very well made. I think trying to do the course along with the regular teaching schedule is probably a better idea than going self-paced for me.

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I had fun pretending to learn about steel on the course “introduction to steel which is presented by Mark Miodownik. This is a short course, if you want a basic introduction to steel, or to look at some of the mechanics of an edx course this course can be completed quickly.

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Finally I followed this course from MIT which teaches computer science and programming using the python language, https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-mitx-6-00-1x-11. It’s really a good course if you found you are programming already but have never studied programming formally (or even if you intend to program in future!). It took me a whole bunch of time each week to work through the problem sets, maybe try not having too much spare time for it to gobble up. Problem sets and exam questions are completed in python, I think they recommend the spyder ide, and then loaded for automatic marking.

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Now I should be learning biochemistry, so I have this to learn from (and Alberts’ The Cell).

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Elon Musk launches Tesla – Falcon Heavy test flight

Elon Musk launched his Tesla, but this was a launch was different, it was the launch of his own Cherry Red Roadster in to space.

Some people in NASA criticised the plan of NASA to use corporate suppliers to design and launch rockets needed for them to replace the space shuttle — enabling manned missions to the international space station (strange because I think previous rocket engines were built commercially?).

The Falcon Heavy maiden flight was intended to accomplish several objectives:

  • survive launch
  • separate the side booster cores
  • return the two side boosters to Cape Canaveral
  • separate the core and the upper stage to light engines for orbit insertion
  • land the central first stage booster core on an autonomous drone ship
  • relight the upper stage to orbit in the van Allen belts for several hours
  • relight the upper stage again to put the payload into its heliocentric orbit


It was reported that after a successful launch, the two booster rockets successfully (simultaneously) landed back at the Cape Canaveral launch site. The core engine impacted 100 meters from the drone ship at 500 kilometres per hour, after 2 of 3 engines failed to reignite.The final upper stage transfer burn to solar orbit produced an orbit that will be beyond the orbit of Mars at its furthest point from the sun.