Sunday, 31 July 2011

Something Cheerful.

I have been a bit mopey of late, not due to anything particularly serious, more just a combination of a couple of small things - such as my paper for my first experiment being rejected by a second journal. However I don't particularly want a blog of complaints, so instead I choose to focus on a few of the things that made me smile this week:

  • Babies. My friend gave birth on Friday night and yesterday Husband and I had the privilege of going to meet this new little person in hospital. It still astounds me how one day someone just has a big stomach and the next time you see them they are holding a baby (obviously a lot of pain occurs in the mean time, but the result is pretty good!). You know what gets me every time? Seeing their tiny tiny fingernails. I don't know why but it just makes me marvel at how amazing the human body is.
  • Seeing knights at uni. During O-Week (orientation at the start of semester) there are a lot of stalls for people to join various clubs and societies. I was particularly amused by the Quidditch Club and the silent disco. Also seeing the knights getting ready for a fight (I'm assuming Medieval Society) was fun. It's days like these that I really enjoy being at my uni. 
  • Smells. Nice ones obviously. I came across this article about a group of people who are trying to recreate smells of the past. Interested in what type of perfume Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut wore 3500 years ago? They're working on it. Awesome.
  • Fingerprint scanners that can stop Zombies getting in. Very clever!
  • Walking on the beach. There is a beach a bit over 20 minutes walk from my house. Yesterday was a lovely clear day and a good friend and I went for a long walk. It was great to catch up, and to see blue everywhere (my favourite colour). Thankfully my knees are also a lot better than they were so walking was fine (I'm ignoring the part where I got a giant blister hehe).
...why was I grumpy again?? :P

What makes you smile when you're grumpy? I'd be happy to think about more cheerful stuff!
P.S. Check out this website: 1000 awesome things. Always cheerful.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A not-so-silly post.

A bit out of character, but it's pretty important. A common complaint I have is that I'm not very good at organising food for the week, so we end up throwing off food out - A LOT. This is ridiculous as there are way too many people in Africa right now that I'm sure wish they had so much food they had to throw some out. The food crisis situation in Somalia right now is just beyond awful (see here for more information).

Somali women displaced by severe drought conditions queue for water and food, south of Mogadishu. Photo: Feisal Omar/Reuters.

I'm sure there are many ways to help, but here is what I'm currently doing:

1. Praying
2. Donating: Red Cross

So please let us all work together and help.


P.S. Also thanks to the Unpopular Girl in Womanhood (who I think is actually quite popular) for putting things in perspective.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

I am a Loony Beacon.

Right this way, weirdos.
By that I mean, there seems to be something about me that tells stranger-than-average people (particularly on public transport) that they must come interact with me and make me feel uncomfortable. When you combine this with my accident proneness, absent mindedness, and curse you can see why I've got some issues!

Allow me to give you a couple of examples...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

If I believed in past lives...

I'd probably say my lives all must have taken place in the UK. It's difficult to explain, but even though I've only been there twice, for about 3 weeks total, I often feel pangs of home sickness for it. Looking at pictures of England, remembering my trips there, and watching certain TV shows (e.g. Time Team), make me miss it badly.

Windsor Castle
In particular, I love the history. One of the best things we did in London was the Jack the Ripper tour. While quite gruesome, learning about all the gory details, I loved hearing about London back in the 1800s. It's probably also why Sherlock Holmes is one of my favourite movies (also check out the Sherlock Holmes Pub in London - pretty cool). More than that though, I love the castles.  Some of my favourite places so far in the UK are Windsor Castle in England, and Cardiff Castle in Wales. One of my 30 things before 30 goals is to visit more castles. If I had the time, I would spend ages researching ancient and medieval history from that area. In fact, one of my favourite subjects and the best mark I ever got for an assignment at uni was actually for the medieval history course I did (so why you ask, did I do a science degree and am currently doing a science-based PhD? Well that's a story for another time). I almost considered joining the medieval society at uni (nerd alert!), however the guy I was speaking to about it was just a bit too into it that it creeped me out. I also tried to convince Husband that we should get married in medieval attire, but he didn't really go for it (though I almost got him to agree when I said he could wear a suit of armour)! Maybe this is a little sad to admit, but hearing the icecream man truck go past (which in Sydney plays Greensleeves) also makes me a little nostalgic. 
Awesome Stonehenge

When Husband and I went to the UK as part of our honeymoon in November, it was freezing. Call me crazy but I have to say I actually like the cold weather and much prefer it to Sydney's heat. In fact my two favourite days while over there, (visiting Windsor, Stonehenge, & Bath; and going to Cardiff Castle) were the two coldest days of my entire life. It actually snowed in Cardiff while we were there and it was amazing.

Snow at Cardiff Castle

So how come we don't move there? Well to be honest, I've thought about it. Perhaps as a post-doc after my PhD (which is usually 2-3 years in length). Husband even said he wouldn't mind. However at the same time, my whole life is here in Sydney (family, friends, church...).

So for now I'll just have to dream, and somehow organise nearly every future trip to involve a stop there.


Monday, 18 July 2011


Unfortunately, my knees have never liked me. They are currently giving me grief just when I actually became determined to run regularly. However instead for the last week I've been walking around like an elderly person. It could be worse though, like back when I was in high school... (cue tinkling-harp-type music to imply that we are going back in time).

*WARNING: If you're squeamish, maybe don't continue reading. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

Burnt is an all-too-familiar smell at my place...

Chocolate topping tar, and dog-poo frisbees.
After being somewhat pleased at my attempt to make a pie last night (essentially just slow cooked casserole into the oven with pastry on top), and wanting a break from uni work, I decided to make some treats. Looking up recipes would have been a good idea, but I of course did not bother with that. My first attempt was little chocolate and peanut butter puffs. I decided to use some hershey's kisses. Well they didn't turn out too well, as unsurprisingly the pastry puffed up, and popped the chocolate and peanut butter off! I managed to get them back on, but the result was still underwhelming (puffs of pastry with what looked like tiny bits of dog poo on top). Then I turned to little pastry scrolls of chocolate and peanut butter. Not wanting to waste more hershey's (they are actually husbands'), the only other chocolate I could find was chocolate topping. That'll work right...? WRONG. Yet again the smell of burning has filled my house. All I can say is I'm glad I used baking paper so the baking tray isn't ruined (like when I had to chuck out the saucepan after burning icecream).


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Proposal.

I just really like that movie, so I decided to do an entire post about it...

Just kidding (not about liking the movie because it is pretty good). Go no further, non-mushy types as I am about to recount how my Husband proposed.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Ten Signs It's Not an Overly Productive Day in the Office

No I did not do this - I wish! [source]
1. You're the only person there (seriously, I am). 
2. Your plant is about to die from overwatering.
3. You've caught up on all the 'celebrity gossip' on people you don't actually know or care about.
4. All your notes contain elaborate drawings.
5. You google map directions to places you're not actually going (possibly ever).
6. You ate all your food for the day in the morning just for something to do.
7. You go through your friend's online photo albums and photoshop tiny moustaches on everyone (I haven't actually done this, but it does look fun - see here).
8. THIS: 
Yes, I actually made this. Pretty huh!

9. You decide to clean out the office fridge (UGH. I've never been that desperate. haha sorry EK if you see this!)
10. You decide to make a blog post entitled: Ten Signs It's Not an Overly Productive Day in the Office

...any you'd like to add?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Combining Two Favourites

A song from one of my favourite childhood shows, about one of my most favourite topics! Always puts a smile on my face.

That is all.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Something I was not expecting to think today:

"I should go for a run!" 

So I did. If you know me at all, you'll see why this is surprising. I am in no way a sporty person. I have been in the 'contemplation stage' for a couple of months though about running. I even installed the couch-to-5K app on my phone, and it's been sitting there unused for those months. It's also on my 30 things to do before 30 list to start and complete this programme. At least I can now say I've made a start, and completed day one:

Well let me tell you - I really didn't go very well. Lots of walking during the running phases occured. Also I saw someone chucking out a couch on the side of the road and was very tempted to give up and have a nap on it (a bit ironic considering the name of the running programme)! My other problem is other people - I went to the park and saw lots of skateboarders and didn't want to run near them in case they laughed at me. Hopefully I can get over that at some point.

However, I can say overall I liked it, and I do aim to try again. 

Do you run? Are you as terrible as I am (Please say YES)?!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

New York - A Review

Due to popular demand (well, one request from Anide), I'm going to talk about the places I went to in New York, and the things I definitely recommend doing. Like I mentioned, I did not get to fit in everything I wanted to, so my first recommendation is: spend more than a week there! My second is to plan what you're doing in advance, because time gets away from you quickly.

More after the jump (it's long, you've been warned)!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Here's something you don't want the night before your big presentation...

A message from a random, waking you up at 2am:

This was the night before I had to give my talk at the conference last week. 

Some issues:
1) I don't even have a car
2) I say that it's 2am and so they decide that they should message again?
3) I realise this was an Australian number so they weren't to know it was 2am in New York, but still they clearly didn't look at the number they were supposed to message properly.
4) Yes, I also realise my response was a bit mean. But it was 2am people!
5) In case you were wondering, my talk actually went fine considering the lack of sleep!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Do You Tweet?

A few years ago, I started a twitter account, and promptly forgot all about it. I eventually deleted it as it seemed a bit pointless to me. However I've been seeing a lot more of it again these days, and am kind-of considering getting one again - but I'm not really sure why haha (procrastination, most likely).

So please tell me:
Do you have a twitter account?
What do you use it for? 
Is it worth it?
If I get a twitter, should I add you? :P

Update: So, I caved. Here it is.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Fear of Flying - Part 3: Why You'll Be OK

After a bit of a break from this series (I have a good excuse, honest!), I've finally come back to it. Today I want to cover dealing with not being in control on the flight.

Firstly, I'm not always the most trusting of people, so I've in the past been a bit suspicious of allowing other people to be in control of my safety. What if the people who build and maintain the planes are lazy, or what if the pilots are dodgy? Well I looked into this and here's what I found...

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