Nick Dods

Nick Dods

I've signed up for several Mooc's mainly on science and astronomy. I've also project managed the creation of Mooc's for the University of Liverpool on engineering, psychology, archaeology and nursing.

Location Thingwall, Wirral


  • I used to work for the National Oceaonography Centre and used a similar theme as the leaders on the hilltop to explain the change process, but substituted this with a nautical theme with the decks of the ship as the various management levels of the organisation. The captain and the senior officers have the elevated view (the bridge) whilst those in the lower...

  • Hi Julie, I work at the University of Liverpool as a senior project manager where I manage a variety of projects from IT to effective business change.
    I was recently a committee member for the UCISA Project and Change Management Group (PCMG) which we use to influence HE institutions to use best practice methods in managing change mainly in the IT area. I...

  • Hi everyone, I've been managing change projects for quite a few years but it's always good to see how others do this and I can always learn something new.

  • Any use of solar panels would need to consider the enormous amount of dust that floats around the Martian atmosphere and the high winds that are I believe seasonal.
    Firstly, Solar Panels would need to be cleaned regularly to keep them operating at peak performance so any accumulation of dust would need to be removed regularly.
    Secondly, there are winds on...

  • Amongst all of the technological difficulties colonists will face I also think people will have some serious doubts about consuming recycled urine and faeces. Just the selection process for determining the right type of people to go on this mission will be a huge undertaking never mind the technology issues.

  • I chose the North pole as water exists on the surface here as ice and is easily accessible. Ice is also easier to transport than liquid water as it can be cut into blocks, shaped and stacked easily for transportation. Once it arrives at its destination it can be contained and melted and distributed in pipes or containers for its intended use.

  • All water will need to be recycled after first use to minimise loss. I would think that if we just consider water for drinking and cooking an individual would need around 4 to 5 litres per day. If you then consider water for irrigation, cleaning etc this would mean the volume per person would rise dramatically and I'd struggle to put an accurate figure on...

  • Without hydrogen bonding we wouldn't have the hydrogen / oxygen bonding of the atoms to create liquid water. Without water I would suspect Earth would be a desert world and look pretty much exactly like Mars larger brother.

  • I work at the University of Liverpool as a project manager. I've travelled widely in my previous jobs and have met people from other cultures who have very different views about the way the world works than my own. I hope that this course will allow me to understand how others beliefs and views about the world are created and moulded by their culture or...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Excellent course well done to Glenn and the team.

  • I think the development of military intelligence, and understanding the enemy and his way of operating has altered the way in which combatants weigh each other up. The effort made to crack the German Enigma codes paid enormous dividends and demonstrated the value of the code breakers to effectively shortening the second world war. If you know what your enemy...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    I posted a picture (PKV93) of a gentleman sitting in a reclining cane chair very typical of the formal dress you would associate with someone from the late 19th or early 20th century even though he was quite likely baking inside his heavy three piece suit. I'm always amazed that archaeologists of that period were very formal in their dress even in the most...

  • Thanks to the team for this interesting course

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    I compared the UK and India where I used to work. The rainfall during the monsoon is incredible and can flood a street in seconds. There is nothing in the UK, even in the most powerful thunderstorms, that comes close to the amount of water that falls during a monsoon cloudburst.

  • I used to work in India and I know it can get incredible rainfall during the monsoon so I decided to compare that to the UK

  • Useful information on making sure you are placing the correct bit of data on the correct axis.

  • The graph shows that overall global temperatures have been increasing since these records began being collected in 1860. Records before this date are inaccurate because methodical temperature readings were not taken globally before the 1850's and some data would be needed to have already been logged to start this graph.
    The trough between 1940 and 1980 is...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    The course is interesting but the quiz questions are a little too basic to be challenging.

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    I live on the Wirral peninsular in North West England. Its a strip of land that has the river Dee on the western side and the river Mersey on the eastern side and being situated between these two bodies of water with the Irish sea on the northern coats we don't get too much below freezing normally. Although two years ago we did experience -10 Celsius for a few...

  • My wife always rounds up prices. If something is priced at £198 she's automatically thinking of £200. She always gets the bargains too.

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    This was something I was taught how to do when I first learned the decimal system 48.75 years ago, or rounded up 49 years ago.

  • I live on the Wirral peninsular. My house would be quite safe from a 6.5m rise in sea level but the surrounding coastline would change dramatically and I'd end up living on an island.

  • I looked at a number of sources including Wikipedia (which isn't always 100% accurate) and got to the same conclusions as most here.
    One thing that did strike me though is that the volume will change between summer and winter.

  • Calculators only came into my hands after I left school so everything was done by multiplication and division. So for example if I needed to know what 73% of 150 was I simply multiply 150 by .73 to get the answer 109.5 To find out what percentage of 150, 73 is, just divide 73 by 150 = .4866 and multiply by 100, which just involves moving the decimal point...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Good course I'm looking forward to next week, thank you.

  • Amazing, very interesting week so far.

  • So it appears that scientific notation is only useful for numbers smaller than 0.01 or greater than 100 because we wouldn't write it down as A x 10^1 or A x 10^-1?

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Apparently its also impossible to get to absolute zero due to the laws of quantum mechanics as in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
    I have to admit that its not easy to understand all of this.

  • I used to work for British Rail and the whole railway network is measured out in miles and chains. For those who don't know or remember what a chain is its 22 yards or the length of a cricket pitch (80 chains in a mile). But every time we had to do any measurements for installing lineside cabling, these were all done in metric measurements. To be honest...

  • They've asked whats your method, so this is my crazy method.
    When I count small numbers I sometimes use shapes to help me visualise where I'm going so in this example I just visualise each day of the week as a dot. So for small numbers I use 5 dots as you would see on a dice and then place completed lots of five in the same 5 dot shape starting top left going...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Hi, my name is Nick. I've done a few of the FutureLearn MOOCs and am involved in making MOOCs for the University of Liverpool too. These are great ways to learn stuff and I'm really looking forward to this one.

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    How amazing would it be if all of the advances we have made in medical diagnosis over the last 150 years, the period that this course has been covering to date, could all be collected into a hand held device that made no errors? Think this is just science fiction? Then look at this website . The X Prize Foundation has put up...

  • I started the game with the intention of trying to place myself in that position and what I may have done had I felt as low which is quite difficult to imagine. As I got deeper into it I then found myself earnestly trying choose decisions that I would have thought were the most positive in getting help for this person, probably because its in our nature to...

  • What I like about this course is that you don't need to be a nurse to be able to do it. I just like the whole idea of finding out about the history and development of the nursing profession.
    Great course well done.

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    The concept of hygiene and general cleanliness must have been paramount in reducing infections and thus the number of recoveries from illness.

  • Great bit of background on Kitty Wilkinson, thanks.

  • Great course thank you to all. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to do another astronomy MOOC soon, so I hope you have one in mind?

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    In section 6.13 they declared that the total volume of water ice at the Lunar poles was in the region of 300 million metric tonnes. So a lot!

  • Mixed up the outer core with the partial melt doh!

  • Thanks David, I exaggerated slightly.
    Has anyone worked out what the difference in tidal heights might have been if there was no Moon? I live close to Liverpool and typically the water level in the Mersey at Gladstone Dock can be 1.2m at low tide upto 9m at high tide. I realise this may be affected by the flow of the river too so may not be a good example.

  • One theory for how life left the sea and made it to land is because of the tides. The existence of the Moon greatly exaggerates the level of the tides more so than if it were not present. This allowed the lifeforms that lived in the shallows the chance to evolve into part land part sea creatures with some eventually evolving into pure land animals. Would this...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Imagining the Moon sitting on Australia and not even being as wide as that country is pretty mind boggling

  • One of my favourite Moon songs is 'Mad Man Moon' by Genesis from the album Trick of the Tail

  • Its interesting that the Vatican actually has its own astronomers. There is a lot of information available from this Wikipedia link.

  • Its amazing that these actual texts from Galileo still survive after 400 years.

  • The article suggests that life on Europa would have to be protected from Jupiters radiation by existing below the first 10cm from the surface. Wouldn't it be possible for life to evolve in this ecosystem that was tolerant to this radiation?

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Great course, thank you and the comments are all so useful too, so this is my turn to help with this link.
    Just to give everyone some scale of the Solar System have a look at this link from BBC Future.
    Two years ago you couldn't get access to BBC from the UK but happily thats all changed...

  • I agree with the majority view here also that Io is continuously pulled and warped by the massive gravitational pull of Jupiter and this causes the tidal heating that keeps the core stressed and liquid and very hot.

  • We usually expect oxygen to be present when things start to burn. What process aids the molten magma to visible in this picture of Io?

  • It makes me think that there is still quite a high risk for astronauts and spacecraft once they leave the Earth. There is no dense atmosphere to protect them from even the smallest high velocity grains of dust or even pebble sized objects. Just imagine how many meteors are seen entering Earth's atmosphere each day, without the atmosphere we would still be...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Fascinating how this naming convention has been carried on for hundreds of years.

  • Is the 1 billion year old surface rock created from volcanic activity?

  • I calculated Mimas and Tethys as 2.0042, so pretty close to 2. Titan and Mimas as 16.92675, is that close enough for 17? I also tried Nereid and Proteus, two moons of Neptune and they came out at 320.97, so pretty close to 321.

  • Great video and very clear to follow.

  • Our own Moon too.

  • The information we have so far indicates that had the Moon formed from accretion material it would not be inclined by 5 degrees. So how would it look to an observer on Earth had it been formed by accretion material such as Jupiter's and Saturn's moons?

  • Some great comments here. I particularly like the idea of a Moon being in splendid isolation that Marc Burgess mentioned. I agree with him, and if thats the case then the particles making up a ring aren't moons unless they've cleared the area around them of debris, such as the shepherd moons.

  • You gave a good description of what designates both a planet and a moon, so taking that as the accepted criteria I would state that particles smaller than you've described are not moons or moonlets as they've not cleared the neighbourhood around themselves.

    I imagine the rings around a planet as something close to the asteroid belt where small interactions...

  • Good question, anyone out there with an explanation?

  • They have said that asteroids can also have moons so I agree with your explanation; anything that orbits another body is considered a moon.

  • Stunning photographs. I'm amazed we actually have the technology to get such fantastic photos.

  • I'd love for us to be able to find life on Europa but I'm also worried about us contaminating its ecosystem with Earth microbes. Any future plans to visit Moons like Europa must have the strictest methods of preventing this from happening.
    Finding life, even the most primitive of lifeforms, in our own solar system would be the greatest discovery of modern times.

  • I think of the habitable zone as mainly being habitable for humans, but other lifeforms too.

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    I've just completed the Orion course and I'm really looking forward to this one as I think it will be much more detailed and interesting.

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Thank you so much for a very enjoyable course. Not the most difficult, but one that was very enjoyable and fun to take. I'm looking forward to the MOONS course starting on 2 February.

  • Rather than just thinking there will be other forms of life somewhere in the universe I'm sure that there must be a few intelligent lifeforms even within our own galaxy.
    I'm not sure if anyone else has already mentioned the Drake Equation? I've pasted the link to this below hopefully it still...

  • Hi Monica, I was browsing through the site after finishing week 3 of the course which I'm enjoying very much thank you, and I noticed on your profile that you had done the Electrify MOOC. I'm a project manager at the university of Liverpool and one of my projects is managing the MOOC development team so I am interested in what you thought of Electrify as that...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    I managed to classify a few galaxies. I thought IO would have had more spiral galaxies but they were mostly smooth elliptical.

  • I always think of things happening in cycles, such as the seasons coming every year, the phases of the moon every month, sunrise and sunset every day. Thinking along these lines at the galactic scale, we have the birth and death of stars, with the death of stars giving matter back so new stars can be born. It's quite scary to think that all of these cycles...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    Week2 was much more interesting than the very basic stuff in week 1. Hope to enjoy week 3 as much

  • Finally a clear sky between snow and hail showers. Orion photo uploaded. I also managed to get a blurred shot of the Orion nebula but I'd rather wait and get a better one next week if possible.

  • I always liked the sound of the constellation Draco which means Dragon in Latin, and as I started finding out about it I was fascinated to find that the star called Thuban is about 300 light years away and used to be the pole star between 4000 and 1900bc. Since then its drifted away but will once again be the pole star in another 21000 years when it drifts...

  • Nick Dods made a comment

    I find it a bit mind boggling when were told that 100 million years to create and ignite a star is quite rapid!!

  • Amazing picture and so informative for where to look with a telescope.

  • The M stands for Messier. This is after the French astronomer Charles Messier who catalogued 110 nebulae and star clusters. The Messier catalogue lists all of the objects.

  • I've called my constellation 'The Mantis'. He waits patiently to pick off anything the gods are foolish enough to place in the sky near him.