Friday, 8 January 2010

Happy New Year

Whilst we've all been enjoying the holidays others were busy breaking records. Fabrice Bellard, a computer scientist, claims to have computed the mathematical constant pi to nearly 2.7 trillion digits using his desktop computer! Taking over a terabyte of disk space the calculation took 131 days to complete and check - that's 3115 hours longer than it took the previous record holder Daisuke Takahashi to calculate pi to 2.6 trillion digits on a supercomputer 2,000 times faster than Bellard's desktop. Wow.

In other news did you know that the United Nations has proclaimed 2010 as the year of biodiversity? This year is set to disappoint a 2002 goal agreed by 120 countries to achieve a 'significant reduction' in biodiversity loss and so in October there'll be a summit hosted in Nagoya, Japan to establish a new strategy to reduce the current rate of loss by 2050.

And finally if 2010 is set to be the year you finally get out of here and you're interested in off-shore wind power, you'll be pleased to hear that the go-ahead has been granted for a major expansion of offshore wind farms around Scotland. The installation of 1,000 new turbines generating nearly five giga watts of power is going to need workers! There's the possibility of a range of jobs being created in manufacturing, research, installation and operation.

So I think 2010 has already got off to a good start eh. In more library related news the Western Bank redevelopment is entering its final stages and I'll be updating you later about drop-in tours being offered to students needing some guidance around the new workspaces. In the meantime I'd encourage you to check the library website for all the latest news.

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