Some days

Some days


Payday lunch money

Being a PhD student can be very rewarding, though not in the immediately financial sense. Money’s tight, and you have to come up with creative ways to make lunch fun. That pasta and and sausage isn’t going to put tomato sauce on itself now is it.

So once a money when I get my stipend I like to go slash out on a big hot lunch from the common room, trimmings n’all.

It’s only time I’ll be seeing a £20 note that month, so I like to make a dance of it:

I have 5 pounds and Im not afraid to use it
I have a £20 pound note and Im not afraid to use it

And the cashier be like:

Unimpressed Cashier II

I like to think it makes her day.

Mmmm stem cell burger


I am a bit behind the curve on this but almost a week ago, the first (google funded) lab burger was consumed in London. Apparently is was a little dry.

True this tech is useful in reducing the immense planetary impact of meat production, but at what cost? When will governments openly discuss solutions to the exponential escalation in global population, an ascent that cannot be sustained ad infinitum, but when?

Oh Wally
Oh Wally

Not even Wally knows, and he has lived in a perpetually overpopulated 2D cosmos for as long as he can remember.

Children are clever, maybe they have then answer?

Ans hunger Games

And maybe not.

HENRY FOUNTAIN (2013, 5 Aug) A Lab-Grown Burger Gets a Taste Test. The NY Times.

Lonely Girl Next Spore

I had a thought yesterday and I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t escape a single thought: What is wrong with me?

I’ve always got on with boys growing up. Girl’s had all these rules to trip up on. My flaky nature meant I was tripping more than walking. After a break up from a long time friendship I was left feeling more confused then ever. How do you make relationships work with girls?

I know my flaws. I’m moody, flaky and I have a very serious concentrating face.

Girls don’t like moody girls, they seem them standoffish and misinterpret the moody swings into being something about them. Some times they are right, but mostly wrong. Then there’s the serious face thing that probably makes me unapproachable. When I was dancing as a child my mum would bring me to stage show auditions and say “Smile! Smile!” but I never did, cause I was concentrating. I lost all my auditions that way and I didn’t mind, because I just wanted to be me.

So, this coupled with my difficulty in approaching people due to inner shyness, makes for a very rocky path to a conversation.

It’s painful for me to see girls at work laughing, shooting the breeze and chatting about where they went together at the weekend. People that I have worked with for years still don’t take to me and take well to new comers almost instantly. Some favour me for a while, then pull away.

Boys tend not to have such tight rules for friendship. They don’t give a damn who comes up to who or who start the conversation, or if your late. They just say “Whatever” and that’s that.

But although having a friendship with a boy is easy, they often want to have sex with you. Not because they are into you necessarily, but just because you are there. It’s more a proximity and familiarity thing, a convenience. This complicates things a little. And when they get girlfriends they can feel obliged to ditch you for the chick they are actually getting it from. Altogether making having a long-standing boy friendship difficult.

I have no long-standing boy friendships they are gone or married, but oddly I do have 3 long standing girl friendships and I cherish them dearly. I don’t see them often due to work and geography, but I love them wholeheartedly and I miss them all the time.

Three people. Three people out of the thousands that I have met, connect with me.

You would think that after all this time I would be used to the feeling of loneliness. I figure we all have our cross to bear.

Taking the Good with the Bad

excited testtubesThat’s the weird thing about scientific research, big highs and low lows.

Most of the time you are optimizing your experiments. A little tweek here a little tweek there, making it just right to get clean data. So when you get to do the exciting experiments that give you the data you’re gonna put in your Thesis (aka the real data), the stakes are high.

High highs = data that’s clean/interesting = Yes! I’m awesome! Hello Nobel Prize!
Low lows = dirty data = the experiment isn’t going to work damn it!

This is the other thing. At this point your between 23 and 35, you know what you want and you are semi-knowledgeable! Being academic doesn’t mean you are an open minded amiable person (no Brians Cox’s here!) it just means you like science. So all the jerky people that you meet in the real world, they’re still around. And scientist are super competitive people, so the jerky kind of gets amplified. Especially when the pressure is on.
So when someone realises you borrowed their pipette or tube rack it can be a bit like lion taming. Just back away slowly. Fellow PhD students are ok most of the time, just completely unconcerned about you or your project. Let’s call them indifferent. I guess that’s why PhD students often feel so lonely.

Science vs Research
I love science. I’m not sure I feel the same about research, but I love science. I love love love science. My first love and all time love is science. So I’m not sure what I’ll do after. Maybe I’ll gather up enough annoance and anxiety to go into forensics and be the next Dexter. In truth, I just want to wear a HazMat suit. They are so cool. Geek sigh.