17 May 2013

Turn the big yellow giant green!

It's big. It's yellow (or orange, depending on your political persuasion). It's not beautiful, but it's there. And the south side catches a LOT of sun. It's Belfast City Hospital, and I have a proposal.

I work here, and it's a lot of fun. It takes a lot of energy to keep the Belfast Trust running. but look at the sides of this building. Those yellow stripes up the sides are purely protective facing units of painted yellow aluminium. They are a waste of architectural space in this day and age.
I propose replacing them, lock, stock & barrel on the sun-facing aspects of the building with an array of solar panels. They would be cheap to install, modular, better looking than the current stripes, and provide a large part of the energy needed by the Belfast Trust.
Most would probably be photovoltaic, but we could try water heating pipes as well as thermal risers (the building is pretty tall!) with turbines at the top - admittedly a bit more of an engineering challenge. But this could all be done without making the building look any more hideous, and as one of the most iconic elements of Belfast's gorgeous skyline, it would send out a strong renewable energy message.

So, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, please give it some thought.

08 May 2013

What's this? A scientist supporting the ARTS?

 Yes, yes, I know I'm supposed to be a hard-nosed left-brain analytical type, but I have my arty side too. Indeed, if anyone has been following my little blog, you'll know that I write the occasional song, and sometimes it's not about genetics or science. Part of the business of healing (and that's what being a doctor is all about) is catering for that side of the human psyche that might be called the "soul" (whether you're religious or not - run with me on this).

To that effect, Dr Robert Cuthbert and some colleagues have put together a fantastic selection of goodies in an arts festival at Belfast City Hospital, with a concert on 16 May at May Street Church "Urban Soul Cafe" at 19:30. This is dedicated to our patients.

All proceeds will go towards arts activities at Belfast City Hospital, where I also work. Click on the poster (left) for more info, as well as how to get tickets (email Robert - see the poster for the address). Come on - it'll be a great night, and it's for a very good cause.

I'll be performing "Canyons of Mars" and a wee surprise number. This is a WORLD PREMIERE! Plus, if you're in the City Hospital around lunch time, you might even get the opportunity to come up for a wee jam.

View Larger Map
See? We scientists and doctors have a creative artsy side too. And it's "Arts Care" not "Art Scare", although you may be forgiven for thinking the latter if you watch my video...