Oct. 25th, 2012 08:37 pm
clevermynnie: (smile)
I am SUPER EXCITED about my Beryl Markham Halloween costume, the pieces of which I finally assembled today to discover, damn, this costume is great. I kind of want to just wear it around. But I must wait!

I first learned about Beryl Markham on Stuff You Missed In History Class, which has done a lot of episodes about female pioneers of aviation. But also, that's where I learned about the Fram, so when I went to the Fram Museum in Oslo I mailed them a postcard, and they read it on a recent podcast! It was exciting, and fun to hear the podcast hosts enthuse over my enthusing.


Oct. 25th, 2012 08:37 pm
clevermynnie: (smile)
I am SUPER EXCITED about my Beryl Markham Halloween costume, the pieces of which I finally assembled today to discover, damn, this costume is great. I kind of want to just wear it around. But I must wait!

I first learned about Beryl Markham on Stuff You Missed In History Class, which has done a lot of episodes about female pioneers of aviation. But also, that's where I learned about the Fram, so when I went to the Fram Museum in Oslo I mailed them a postcard, and they read it on a recent podcast! It was exciting, and fun to hear the podcast hosts enthuse over my enthusing.
clevermynnie: (and then?)
I had a very odd experience last Friday. I was at the gym weightlifting, and there was another guy there who was using the same equipment I was. He was the only other person who was in the powerlifting area for my entire workout, and we were doing much of the same things, and I could tell from his technique and weight amounts that he was pretty serious. As I picked up my stuff to leave, he approached me and asked if I had a few minutes to talk about lifting technique, and quickly explained that he thought we had similar body types (long legs, short torso) so there were some things he had realized about doing squat and dead lift with that body type that were hard to find out, that he wanted to tell me. I was initially a little wary but we had a great conversation about weights. After a bit he asked how long I had been lifting, and I said it had been on and off during grad school over the last five years. He asked what department I was in and what my research was, and when I said physics and nanoscience he seemed very interested and asked who my advisor was. I told him, and he said, "oh, I did my grad work in X's lab!" Where X is the name of my advisor's postdoc advisor, who got her into the field that I'm writing my dissertation in. I started to say, of course I know your group's research, but then realized, I know their research very well, so instead I asked, "What is your name?"

And of course it turns out that I know all this guy's papers and have been rereading them (among others) in the last couple of weeks as I write the background science chapter of my thesis. I've cited him! He is a postdoc in a bio lab here, which I did not know, but it was so strange to randomly encounter someone whose work I know like that.


Dec. 7th, 2010 06:48 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
Because the latest expansion for World of Warcraft went live today, but I am stuck in the realm queue, here are a few random things I'd been meaning to post.

This is my grad school life:

And this is what I wish my grad school life were like:

Q: Do I have to kill the snake?
A: University guidelines state that you have to "defeat" the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.

Q: Does everyone fight the same snake?
A: No. You will fight one of the many snakes that are kept on campus by the facilities department.

Q: Are the snakes big?
A: We have lots of different snakes. The quality of your work determines which snake you will fight. The better your thesis is, the smaller the snake will be.

Q: Does my thesis adviser pick the snake?
A: No. Your adviser just tells the guy who picks the snakes how good your thesis was.

And a meme about music selection that I was tagged on facebook for, because I don't do so many memes on facebook but I find some of them interesting.

the shuffled music meme )

going away

Jul. 11th, 2009 12:17 am
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
Why do I always end up packing and doing chores for a trip late the night before?

Going to New Mexico for 10 days. Excited for the trip but also excited to get away from pre-trip chores. I guess it's time to leave because our blackberry harvest is finally over.

blackberries, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.

clevermynnie: ((open your eyes))
I ran 18 miles yesterday; I'm definitely faster than I was at the same distance training for the Philadelphia Marathon, and I'm also having an easier time recovering from the long runs as opposed to before. This is probably a combination of more running under my belt, slowly improving form, and also running more during the rest of the week. I think I am going to reverse my loop in the future; I find that I am starting to associate the west bank of the Schuylkill with being very tired and slow (i.e., the end of the run). As I was coming back yesterday, listening to my Ultimate Dance Party 1997 tracks (I know, I know), I started to wonder... was the macarena popular all across the U.S., or just in the region where I lived? Because, I mean, it was everywhere. We did it in my middle school French class... although, we also sang the Mexican hat dance song with verb conjugations in that French class. It's a stupid dance, but not a bad song.

I have been listening to some more modern jazz recently, as a result of reading this review of Kinsmen. Half the time it is great, half the time it is technically impressive but soulless. I guess that describes modern classical music as well, though, so it's a matter of finding the bits I like.

On Friday I was mailing some books to a friend, and I walked up to Chestnut Street to get to the post office and found the street entirely closed to cars, with police vehicles with lights flashing at each intersection. Lots of pedestrians though, lined up along the sides. I kept walking along Chestnut towards the post office, and then a motorcade came through! Several motorcycles with American flags, then a series of black SUVs with tinted windows, and as the SUVs drove by the pedestrians started waving at all the cars. I found out from my advisor that Joe Biden was at Penn for a council on the middle class on Friday, so apparently that was his motorcade. Weird.

Aaaand I have been loving the winding down (or final crescendo, perhaps) of Battlestar Galactica. It is not a flawless show, but it is an enjoyable one, and I'm very excited to see how it all ends (and hopefully, how everything is wrapped up and explained).

at random

Sep. 4th, 2008 05:12 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
Marathon training continues, but now with more iliotibial band injuries. I went on a 15-mile run Sunday and it started hurting a lot, so I spent Monday off it with my friend the ice pack. Short runs don't aggravate it at all, and it didn't start hurting until 8 miles in (i.e., the point at which I was planning to turn around anyways). Well, Turkey is an enforced two-week vacation from running, though with lots of physical activity, so when I come back I can ramp up the miles slowly. I have to remind myself that I'm training to finish, not training to excel (I can do that next time). Funny how knowledgeable I am becoming concerning sports-related knee injuries.

Something I love that is both science-y and funny: the LHC rap. Seriously, I love this so much.

I had a spurt of cooking over this last week. I made lamb vindaloo, which I had never made before, and I had no idea how easy it was! And I hadn't had cauliflower in forever, but made ginger-garlic cauliflower and remembered that cauliflower taste like boring unless you add delicious flavors. The night before last I made calabacitas, a squash/corn/green chile dish which I love in summer, with fresh corn tortillas. I made some cookies over the weekend, which is bad because I ate most of them, and then last night we made lamb with harissa, couscous, and raita. Harissa is great; it can be used to flavor a lot of things or as a condiment (chicken+apricot+harissa sandwiches = yum), and it is easy to make with a few whole spices and some big things of dried chiles. We learned about it from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone originally.

I found out that there are places in Philadelphia that have free salsa lessons (like the Miami Cafe). I have to get Ben to go. There's really no excuse.

I've been following political stuff too much, I think, and I'm getting sick of it. I'm reading too much on newspapers, blogs, writing long e-mails... I am glad I won't be able to follow anything like that starting tomorrow.

I saw a great movie over the weekend, The Burmese Harp. It tells the story of Japanese soldiers in combat in Burma when the second World War ends, and how they must surrender and end up sending one of their soldiers to convince another squad to surrender. The story is very interesting and moving, and my three favorite things are seeing someone act on their morals, the unalloyed goodness of the protagonists, and the wonderful role that music plays in the film. I actually wouldn't mind having recordings of several of the songs.

We watched Babel last night and it's really not a good movie to watch just before going on a bus trip to a rural desert in the Muslim world. I'm pretty sure we'll be fine, though.
clevermynnie: (Default)
I went swimming at the gym and was walking back to my office, just now. There is about two inches of the thick, wet slush that people here call snow on the ground, and it was raining small ice pellets as I walked. I was on Walnut, which has a lot of shops and things by the university, and I noticed a guy in a DHL uniform, next to a parked DHL truck, lobbing a snowball over a bus going by. "What is he doing," I wondered, until noticing that behind the bus on the opposite side of the street was a UPS truck! The UPS guy had been standing in the street, but jumped into the truck and out the other side of the front to get snowballs to throw back, while the DHL guy kept pelting his truck!

It was pretty funny.
clevermynnie: (Default)
a long and irritating story )

So, long story short, I am teaching three lab sections instead of one, and have a lot more grading that I have in the past. And am still expected to do research. But at least I'm not doing two sections at once.

Something kind of funny happened at my first lab section last night; after I finished explaining grading policy and everything, and told everyone to get started, one of the guys at the station nearest me turns to me and says, "So you're Ben's girlfriend?" I was very surprised and said yes, and then he told me he's an undergrad in the graphics lab Ben works in, and has seen me around. Ben and I wondered if we'd ever end up teaching the same students, and this is probably as close as we'll get.

And apparently last night, when I had fallen asleep and Ben was reading in bed, I rolled over and opened my eyes and glared at him. Ben claims that he said, "What is it, sweets?" and I said, "Bang! Bang!" and rolled back over. I don't remember that, but his telling me has prompted me to randomly interject "Bang!" into our conversations and e-mails today.
clevermynnie: (Default)
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This is extremely funny, though only if you've seen some scientific conference presentations in your time. The paper is also hilarious.
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
My liquid crystals professor, Randy Kamien, is crazy. But very entertaining, and an excellent speaker. I liked his class a lot, and I tried to write down in the margins of my notes whenever he said something especially funny. Most of these are kind of strange, though.

"It was just like when I invented grunge."

"Now if you have an algebraic relation, then you're finished! You can give it to a computer, or a dog, and tell them x and y and have it spit out z. But if you have a transcendental relation, you have a problem. Because few dogs can solve transcendental equations."

"This took me a long time to figure out how to draw. But that's because Decepticon was doing something to Opticon in the room behind me."

"Now we will study the much-storied XY model. Please write it that way in your notes, the 'much-storied XY model'. I think if we all start calling it that, never just the 'XY model', then it will stick!"

"Have you ever thought about what the course would be like if Eeyore were teaching?"

"Smectics are like ogres. HOW are smectics like ogres?" *long pause* "They have layers!"

"Whenever you hear such a statement in a talk, you should throw up at the very idea!"

"This is nice and happy! It's like a Goldstone mode! But this is horrible and sick! It has a one over q squared!"

"A window slammed. A maid screamed. A young surgeon exited an operating room. A pirate ship appeared in the distance."

By the way, a long-ish talk which my class spent all semester preparing to read is online here.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
I did this thing with Jeanine this semester where one of us gives the other a word to write about, and the other just writes whatever they think about it and gives the first person a word to write about. It's a fun way to pretend that your good friends are closer and emulate actual conversation, rather than the exchange of "what's going on in my life" e-mails. I still miss Jeanine, though, but I'll see her and everyone in Los Alamos in a couple weeks. I wanted to share our first 30 exchange words, though. They are:

fresh fruit
Mexican food
A is A
bad news
militant feminism
emotional men
Christmas carols

I'll give you bonus points if you can guess which words were generated by whom, but not that many bonus points because it's a 50-50 guess.

EDIT: More words, after exile.

New Year
Penny Arcade
Laura Ingalls Wilder
the Third World
World War II
Cold War
foreign policy
body modification
Soviet Union
coffee house
art history
Italian food
cookie dough
suppressed memories
bad art


Dec. 3rd, 2005 02:18 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
Something totally weird about iTunes is how it keeps track of what songs you play. On the one hand, it's cool to see what songs I play the most, and what percentage of my songs are unplayed by iTunes (lots of stuff I got from other people but never sorted through, and some old CDs I ripped but haven't craved in the year or so I've gone digital with my music). It's bizarre, though, to sort my songs by last played and see sometime in February, when I was in the library listening to Swan Lake. But if I listen to Swan Lake again, that information is gone forever! Not that it's especially important... it's also odd to see how songs populate my most played list, like once when I went to class and didn't quite turn off my iPod, so it cycled through my short Franz Ferdinand playlist a lot and now those songs will never come off my most listened to. There's also a huge chunk of songs that I last listened to when we drove my car out from New Mexico. This is all so interesting that it's obvious to me I'll never reset my song count, and I'll be sad when I eventually reinstall my OS or something and lose this information, useless though it is.

Anyhow, that said, iTunes meme.

iTunes Pop Quiz

How many total songs?

Sort by Song Title - first and last?
"'Round Midnight" - Kronos Quartet - Monk Suite
"Zwitter" - Rammstein - Mutter

Sort by Time - first and last?
"desert2" - 0:01 (I have no idea what this is. I listened to it and it sounds like the Sarlacc. If you're ever bored, listen to the shortest songs in iTunes; it's hilarious. Most of mine were opera lines and sound effects.)
"Learn to Speak German" - 1:12:46 (sweet! I shoud listen to this.)

Sort by Album - first and last?
"'Heroes' Symphony" - Philip Glass
"Zoot Suit Riot" - Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Sort by Artist - first and last?
A New Found Glory
Zorica Markovic

Find "sex," how many songs show up?
28 (mostly from the Red Hot Chili Peppers album "Blood Sugar Sex Magik")

Find "death," how many songs show up?

Find "love," how many songs show up?

Find "peace", how many songs show up?
1 ("Love and Peace or Else", by U2)

Find "fuck", how many songs show up?

I think that now I will explore the depths of my unlistened to music. Uh, I mean study.

zoom quilt

Sep. 28th, 2005 01:02 am
clevermynnie: (Default)
This is really cool, lots of interesting details.


clevermynnie: (Default)

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