toothycat: (sunkitten)
Thanks to xkcd's post about the Saturn V rocket, explained using only the thousand words most used in the English language, and Theo Sanderson's Up-Goer Five text editor:

I work on problems people have with their ears. Some people lose their hearing as they get older, and this is what I study. People can lose their hearing for lots of reasons, like being hurt or being sick, but there can also be problems with how the body is put together.

Inside every person is the stuff that tells their body how to work. It tells the body how tall it should be, that sort of thing. Sometimes this goes wrong, and people have problems. There are many kinds of these problems, but the ones I study are the ones which make people lose their hearing when they get older. I would like to be able to find ways to help people so they don't lose their hearing.

... it's not that difficult, except that most of the interest and complexity involved - which I don't think is that hard to explain, but which requires more than the thousand commonest words - is lost. An interesting exercise, though :)

Update

Jul. 30th, 2012 09:21 pm
toothycat: (sunkitten)
Well, I fell a bit behind with updating this! Never mind. What's happened since I last posted? Oh, the BBQ was the last post - well, that was great despite the weather. We got two cheap gazebos and laughed at the clouds. Thanks to everyone who came down, we had an awesome time and we hope you did too ^^

Hmm, that was posted at the end of May. We haven't been on holiday and won't before September, although we are booked into Congenial - looking forward to that ^^ We did visit my sister in Leiden for the weekend (overnight ferries are fun), and went up a windmill and had a BBQ with her housegroup, who are all generally lovely people. That was good.

I have also discovered something interesting which I honestly never knew about myself. Until recently, I got the bus to work, which meant a twenty minute walk in the evening - not very strenuous, usually done while reading, that sort of thing. Plus, my job is not sedentary; I move around quite a lot when doing lab work. Well, the bus has been cancelled (thanks Stagecoach) and there's no way for me to get in early enough (for my own preference, I'm not being forced to be in early!) unless I drive. So, I've been driving. And it's coincided with a period of mainly computer-based work. I honestly didn't realise I had a minimum activity level, but I totally hit it last week. Tae Kwon-do tonight felt really good, and I'm very relieved that a) I will be back in the lab for the rest of the week and b) next week I get an awesome new bike and can cycle to the train station to get to work, at least for the rest of the summer. I really don't like feeling stiff and bunged up >.<

Finally, I am about to eat my dinner while reading. I love being grown up :D
toothycat: (sunkitten)
For the people who may have been puzzled about why the police couldn't protect the Rothamstead crops from the threatened 'decontamination' by Take the Flour Back today, they actually did. Result: protests were peacefully aired and no crucial scientific experiments were damaged, which as far as I can see is ideal :)

It would be remiss of me to post and not mention Expo. I had a good time, and was absolutely delighted to see people picking up A Pocketful of Clouds for a random browse and then buying it. It helps that it's my cheapest GN and cute ;) It was also great to see lots of small-pressers again - Expo has turned into a bit of a regular reunion :) The comic village was amazing - three times the size of the one last year, and so many amazing comics! As usual I bought way too many to list - I shall attempt to review them all in one line (like I tried to do last time), but it might take a while for me to get round to it. Worst fail of the weekend: our hotel's lack of air conditioning and what appeared to be perfectly reflective beds (they warmed up quickly when we lay on them, and proceeded to roast us all night). There's not much that stops me sleeping though, so I didn't suffer too badly ^^
toothycat: (sunkitten)
A group called Take the Flour Back are planning to march to an experimental site at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden on 27th May and destroy the test GM wheat being grown there. There's been a sensible, polite appeal in the form of an open letter from the scientists to the protest group, and for a little while it looked like they might be able to arrange a debate chaired by a neutral party and actually talk through their differences. Sadly, the protest group have decided they don't want to participate in a civilised debate, instead they're just going ahead with the attack. It is a 'day of peaceful action' but that doesn't mean it won't involve the wanton destruction of years of hard work and effort, the waste of thousands of pounds of taxpayer's money, and another hope of keeping productive food crops out of the hands of Big Business (Rothamsted is publically funded and has committed to making its wheat available around the world at minimum cost).

So there's a petition, which I have signed (see link below), and there's a fantastic set of responses from people of all walks of life, which is great to see. The Rothamsted researchers have said they will meet the protest group on the day and be willing to talk to them and show them their work. They've also said they know they can't stop the protesters and they don't want to see force used against them.

I'm just wondering what would happen if another group of people turned up to show solidarity with the scientists. Take the Flour Back state that most people agree with them. I'd love to see the other side.

http://www.senseaboutscience.org/pages/rothamsted-appeal.html

Update

Apr. 28th, 2012 12:49 am
toothycat: (sunkitten)
Just doing a quick post while the cakes cool :)

What has been happening?
1) Tiny cute books arrived! Watch this space ;)
2) Just saw Avengers Assemble and it was awesome. Favourite moment - the Hulk just after Loki's speech about being a god. Really good fun :D
3) Taking a breather after finishing aforementioned tiny books (a week or so ago now) and catching up on the webcomic backlog, and then I get to start on fun new comics :D
4) I acquired a random plant in need of a home. I don't know what it is but it's doing much better now. It's living in a pot in the kitchen next to the basil I bought from Tesco's which I think needs repotting 'cause it's growing very enthusiastically. I'd like to put them both outside, but it's hard to work out if a plant can take that when I don't know its name ^^;
5) Cat has still not learned how to use the catflap, but she's improving. She can now cope with pushing it open when it's only slightly propped (with the aid of a clothes peg). Honestly ¬.¬

Things I'm looking forward to:
1) Josie's christening. Although I have yet finish decorating the cake for it. Seriously, it weighs a ton! I don't remember Jadzia's being so heavy ^^;;
2) Putting my little books online :D
3) Cambridge Union Golden Festival, Camcon and Expo. May's going to be fun :)
4) Starting a new story *^^*
5) The cat learning how to use the catflap. I live in hope.
6) Batman, Prometheus and Brave (thank you Vue for some decent trailers!).

Right now, time to rescue cakes and sleep ^^
toothycat: (sunkitten)
.. which is when I last posted, what has happened?

The thing that's biggest in my mind is the finishing of Patchwork Sky 5, which also completes that volume and which I've been working on since, oh, November or something. Honestly, 40-page chapters were a mistake! But I'm glad it's done. Here's to the next one XD
On the comic front, here's something else I did on the theme of 'Truth' (no biggie, then!). I make no apologies for my biases ;) I like stories.
Continuing the comic theme, I've been working on the book of the first year of A Pocketful of Clouds, and wondering how on earth I'm supposed to deal with a landscape cover. I didn't think about that when planning the layout! Plus I'm running out of backlog and need to make some more...
On the non-comic front - of which there is quite a lot, contrary to appearances - I'm getting through my to-read pile at quite a good rate despite New Scientist's attempts to distract me on a weekly basis.
Oh, and I went to Minami, which was excellent fun. We didn't have a dealer's table this time, because there weren't enough of us, and it was really quite fun to have a more relaxed and free time of it (although I did miss the table too). I learned to make taiyaki (and gyoza and katsu kare), and managed not to miss the sake tasting session. And there was some anime, although less new stuff than last year.
The following week I made my own taiyaki - thanks to Carol, who gave us a taiyaki pan, and my parents who have a gas hob. They liked them *^^* We were actually down for the Watercress Line Steam Gala, and spent a very enjoyable afternoon watching steam trains puff about. There will be photos, oh yes.

In the next few days...
I will be at S-con with Sonia Leong this Sunday, which should be fun ^^
I badly need to plan some more of A Pocketful of Clouds.
I will be taking the cat to the vet again, this time for her booster injections and next week she will finally be allowed out. I can't wait!
I need to make a christening cake, although before then I think I need a trip to the supermarket. I don't normally stock enough dried fruit for a 1 foot square fruit cake, never mind the second tier ^^;;

I'm sure there's lots more I could say but that'll do fine for now :)
toothycat: (Default)
It is 2012 and you can pick your own weird research projects to fund just like science fiction said you'd be able to, yay ^^
toothycat: (Default)
The time to protest about the dilution of the meaning of "marriage" was around when Henry VIII divorced and remarried. That is all.
toothycat: (sunkitten)
... nothing much, actually (this is why I don't post very much!)

Autumn would actually disagree with that statement since over the past two weeks she has been in heat (and extremely vocal about it), acquired a boyfriend (big black cat who has been stalking the house) and been spayed. She is now much quieter and possibly still a bit confused. Next week she'll be vaccinated after the post-op checkup, and then, all being well, she'll get to go outside :D

Everyone at my work was away last week - there were just a few of us left knocking about the place. I was on my own in the office for vast swathes of the time. This resulted in a) me feeling a bit lonely and b) me talking out loud to myself, the computer, and my projects. I'm rather glad people are back! o.O;;

Oh yes, and I finally optimised my tablet recipe, yum yum! It will be appearing shortly (probably here ;) ). Tablet is delicious :9

Next week's looking fun, lots of seeing cool people and I am actually, finally, nearing the end of the drawing and inking of Patchwork Sky 5 (not the toning, still got 3/4 of that to do!). But after that I get to make a book of A Pocketful of Clouds, and after that I get to play with my new story. I love the phase of storytelling when the whole thing's mushing around in your head acquiring characters and plot and so on, it's so much fun! It'll become limited as soon as I start the actual planning, of course (and that's important to the process too), but right now everything is possible and I'm just enjoying the feel of it ^^

Autumn

Feb. 19th, 2012 10:22 pm
toothycat: (sunkitten)
Cat is settling in now after various shenanigans. She seems to like the sound of her own voice, but once she can go outside (still awaiting spaying and vaccinations) at least we'll be able to boot her out to do her caterwauling ;)

Photos under cut. )
toothycat: (Default)
The EZ430 Chronos comes with a screwdriver in the box so you can take it apart right away, how awesome is that?
toothycat: (sunkitten)
So, since my last post we have:

* Been to Finland
* Come home again
* Got a cat

Finland was awesome! The place we stayed at was the same place we went to for our honeymoon, and it hasn't changed apart from becoming busier, which is probably a good thing. We went cross-country skiing, rode in a husky sled, drove a snowmobile and chased the Aurora in reindeer sleighs (Serge got the best pictures when the guide stopped the car on the way there, as it happens, but it was a good, if deeply weird experience to trundle slowly through the freezing snowy forest under a deep starry sky in almost complete silence).

Coming home again - well, it's not that bad ;) But there's not much to say about it. I spent the past week reading Neal Stephenson's Reamde, which I thoroughly enjoyed but it was rather a change from Anathem! Plus it was huge - I'm quite glad to be able to move on and not lug an enormous tome around all day ;)

Our cat is currently wandering around the house looking confused and meowing. We drove through snowdrifts to pick her up today (from just north of King's Lynn), having been to meet her before we went to Finland but not wanting to actually adopt her until we'd come back. She is a Norwegian Forest cat, a small, long-haired 4-year-old with tawny tabby and white markings and pale green eyes. Her name is Autumn. Hopefully she'll settle down soon and get used to us.

And that's it for now ^^

Stuff

Jan. 20th, 2012 09:10 pm
toothycat: (sunkitten)
I'm really having trouble thinking of decent titles for posts which are basically just rambly life updates and don't have anything resembling a theme... ^^;;

Looking at my last post, I was excited about Fullmetal Alchemist. I've read it all now, and it was awesome - although as well as thoroughly enjoying the story I was amused to notice myself spotting comicking techniques to pinch! Arakawa really is very good at panelling, pacing and timing, all of which I want to improve at. It's funny, I've been working on Patchwork Sky on and off for so long, I think I might run a competition to guess which manga I'd read just before I worked on each chapter - I can think of at least three manga series which have had quite an influence on various chapters!

What else? Oh yes, the carport's fixed - much impressed with Knight Leisure, who turned up and sorted it all out very promptly. Our fence is also fixed - we've been slowly adding concrete struts to each post that gets blown over by the annual gales. Eventually it will be invincible! Well, perhaps not quite that good but better than it is now (I say 'we' fixed it, but actually it was James Wells, who does a rather better job than I would ;).

Mmm, generally good mood, nothing else to say right now but some fun things coming up over the next few weeks ^^
toothycat: (sunkitten)
I did it! Sun Fish Moon Fish is an official kindle ebook! :D

Other good things:
- It's nearly the weekend ^^
- Car is ready for collection.
- Just saw Sherlock Holmes and it was very fun.
- Just completed Lost Winds on the iPhone. It was a really fun game, just about the right level for me (not really a gamer), and was also good seeing people I know in the credits ^^
- Still enjoying my dip pens. I feel like there's a style I'm chasing and it's just out of reach - but I'm enjoying the chase. And also:
- I've got so many audiobooks to listen to while inking XD
- Thoroughly enjoying my Rosemary Sutcliff marathon. She writes fiction set in Britain around the time of the Romans, covering my favourite period of history (basically, once you get to 1066 I'm not interested any more ;). She is an excellent writer and the books are going down very smoothly, which is good because:
- I just bought all 27 volumes of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and it comes IN A BOOKSHELF! Awesome. I am really looking forward to getting stuck into it!
- Most especially, it's our anniversary today and we just made ten years *^^*

Annoying things:
- Our carport roof lost a panel last night. We were listening to the howling gale, then there was a big bang and I went out to check. All was fine at first glance, then we looked up and saw the middle panel flipped up on end against the house! The wind held it there until I poked it from a first floor window and it fell down again ^^; So that needs fixing now. Nothing was damaged, though (well, apart from the roof) - it could have been much worse.

Generally having fun and looking forward to the weekend ^^
toothycat: (sunkitten)
Aah, I was supposed to keep this going! Oh well, better late than never :)

A selection of good things:
- The optician didn't do the puffy air ;) My left eye has improved, so I now have new lenses. All good, I think.
- The church family Christmas service went off with just one minor projection hitch which I think only I (and the other participants in the play) noticed. Woo ^^
- All Christmas presents made/bought and wrapped, and all given to their recipients except for the ones we're seeing after Christmas. Much more relaxing :)
- I wrote a silly Christmas poem for the Interzone Advent Calendar ^^
- I've started Patchwork Sky again (now that I'm done with the Advent Calendar) - so nice to get back to dip pens and ink ^^ Poor neglected story.
- Lift sharing is going well :)
- Saw my parents' new house last weekend. It's rather nice.
- The tree is here! Our living room is pine-scented *^^*

Things to do:
- One more day of work. I've saved up all my analysis for it, so I think I'm done with experiments for this year ;)
- More comicking! I will have to get back to A Pocketful of Clouds some time soon, I only have up to the New Year in my backlog ^^;
- Get the kindle conversion working! Agh, tone moire patterns are ugly :( I'm hoping it won't show too badly on the kindle screen...

Annoying things:
- ... nope, can't think of anything. Except possibly the kindle moire issue. Why do I bother with tone? I hate doing it and it won't resize ¬.¬

Given how seldom I post, I expect this is the best time to say Happy Christmas! I might manage one before the New Year, but in case I don't, have an excellent New Year as well :D

Friday!

Dec. 9th, 2011 05:52 pm
toothycat: (sunkitten)
I'm going to try and keep this going. Yes, I am. One post a week isn't too bad, right?

Good things:
- It's Friday! And I have tea :)
- I found something fun at work. Not talking about it, though, it's a surprise. No, it isn't Bronx Waltzer (for the two of you who will understand that ;)
- I appear to have found a lift share person. This means I only need to take the bus 2-3 days a week, and I get home much earlier when I get a ride.
- All the international parcels and cards have gone, hurrah! Hopefully they'll get to their recipients on time.
- Fun weekend ahead (starting with a curry tonight, yum).

Things to do:
- Still haven't finished the Advent Calendar.
- You know all that stuff I listed last week? I've not done any of it (except the church cafe flyer). But I have discovered that Amazon has two entirely different sets of instructions on how to make a kindle book... and I started with the useless one, of course >.<
- Still got to sort the DVLA out. And there's the blood donation people too now.
- I think I should keep the todo list short. It makes not managing stuff a bit less depressing ^^;;;

Worrying things:
- Optician's appointment tomorrow. Puffy air time :(
- Scary set of technical instructions to go with the Family Carol service at church on Sunday morning, and it's me doing the PA. There's only one rehearsal - but that's better than last year, when there wasn't one at all ;)
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