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By Kat Dibbits on

2018 reader favourites

As 2018 draws to a close, we take a look back at your favourite blog posts this year. 

Thousands of you read the Science and Industry Museum blog each year, attracted no doubt by our mix of topical science, historic insight and random animals. But which posts were most popular this year?

tiny clogs and child poverty in the industrial revolution

The story of how some children during the Industrial Revolution were so poor they couldn’t afford to buy their own shoes clearly resonated with lots of you, as it was our most-read blog post of 2018. The clogs in the story are currently on display in our Textiles Gallery so you can come and see them for yourselves.

A pair of tiny leather children's clogs, loaned to poor families during the Industrial Revolution
A tiny pair of clogs loaned to children too poor to afford their own during the Industrial Revolution

Rocket returns after 180 years

The news that Stephenson’s Rocket was to return to Manchester for the first time in over 180 years was, unsurprisingly, very exciting. You can read our full collection of Rocket-related blog posts by clicking here.

An old fashioned locomotive with a circular "face" and tall chimney, on display in the Revolution Manchester gallery at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester
Rocket on display in our Revolution Manchester gallery

how tall is tim peake?

In March Tim Peake’s Soyuz space capsule arrived, and his space suit went on display for the first time. Many of you were surprised by how small it was and tweeted asking if we knew how tall Tim was. We didn’t – but we set out to answer the question in this incredibly popular post.

Astronaut Tim Peake lying in a white and blue space suit
Testing that the suit fits ahead of Tim Peak’s trip to space. Photo credit: NASA

would the millennium falcon survive re-entry?

Soyuz’s arrival, complete with char marks, got us asking how dangerous it is for astronauts to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Luckily, our expert friends over at the University of Manchester were on hand to explain all about it. Their special modelling software can look at how likely a shape is to be burned up in the atmosphere – and once they had run the “official” tests they looked at some other objects… including the Millennium Falcon.

A silhouette of the Millennium Falcon - with two points at the front and a rounded back - is put through modelling software. It looks like it is being pushed through a layer of film.
The Millennium Falcon’s shape is instantly recognisable – but would it survive re-entry?

what is a chatbot, anyway?

Finally, finishing our top five for 2018 is chatbot expert Ankur Bannerjee’s guest post on the next big thing in artificial intelligence. Ankur’s guide looks at how bots can help you challenge parking fines, organise your finances and even become your new best friend.

An illustration of how a Chatbot works
Chatbot technology could become your new best friend

What was your favourite blog post of 2018? What would you like to see us write about in 2019? Let us know in the comments below…

One comment on “2018 reader favourites

  1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning more faster than human,i am very afraid it.U know sometimes I can’t Identification it’s a person or a robot is on the phone.

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