Sunday, 28 February 2010

Downing the Wine: Part 2

After downing the wine with Oli on a previous blog post, I though it would be cool to see if James strutt could beat me. Here is the eventual result of that!

10 minutes later, we were feeling pretty happy. As soon as the photos come out on facebook, I will properly post about Strutts visit.

Gravity Vomit animal night

On thursday, we at Gravity Vomit (the circus skills and juggling society) had our animal themed pub crawl. It was very fun, and I figured I should try hard with costumes to keep up appearances with Karys's ones that she does. As for ideas, pretty much as soon as I was told it was animal themed for some reason my brain just went "raccoon." and said nothing else.

So raccoon it was. It was a really cool evening, and I spent a substantial amount of time explaining to people that I was not a cat. In fact, I actually went through the effort of painting my face with accurate and characteristic raccoon markings and sprayed my hair in grey and black. See below for fair comparison.

So here is the basic list of the costumes I thought were funny as far as I remember:

Ieuan: He went as a spider, and spent a long time trying to untangle his legs
Chinery: Went as Knuckles by wearing a red suit and wig sprayed red
Leo: A badger! he made an awesome badger suit and painted his hair
Tom: A penguin
Lee: A penguin with a MASSIVE ASS
Thornton: Went as a clownfish using inventive use of sainsburys bags and lots of tape
Scott: went as animal from the muppets. Amazing.
Rich: Of course, he went as roadkill with a lot of fake blood

There were also peacocks, zebras, a ladybird, an elephant and even walruses (walri?)

So yeah, a very good night. On the way back, I was the only one on the bus dressed as an animal and it was awkward. Also a man threw up in his top hat, that was hilarious.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

We didn't steal anything.

Today, I was in god damn inorganic labs again. I'm just home for my lunch break now. For the first part of the experiment, me and Tom Bartlett were working in pairs. It involved making a rather noxious concoction of chemicals, heating them up and then vacuum filtering the precipitate off. The basic idea was that you would be left with a nice amount of lovely pink  cobalt chloride precipitate to work with afterwards. However, there was a slight hitch in ours. Well, we cocked it up.

Instead of getting a large amount, our yield was just a thin layer that came to almost nothing. We were faced with the possibility of having to start again... we spoke to one of the 4th year demonstrators about the problem. He told us we may have to start again, unless you "found" some more. He said that he could see a lot of people in the lab with more precipitate than they needed, that they wouldn't miss... but for the record he said he may overlook but will not condone theft.

So, me and Tom (known henceforth as Tom Foolery) set about with a dish and a spatula, claiming precipitate tax off our friends. So yeah... "stealing". Or permanently borrowing if you prefer. Well, hopefully the experiment will go well from now, and we wont have to steal anything else like boiling chemicals or hazardous gases.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A list of very funny jokes

Ok, here are some jokes we found hilarious. Enjoy!

Q: A king walks into a bar and looks around. He sits down and what does he say to the barman?
A: One beer please

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: One beer please

Q: An Irishman, a german and a butcher were in a restaurant when suddenly
A: One beer please

Q: What do you call a no-eyed deer?
A: One beer please

Q: complete this phrase: "to be, or not to ...
A: One beer please

The more eagle eyed among you may have spotted that all the puchlines to all jokes simply end with 'one beer please'. For those of you who aren't 'in the know' thats how we roll in devon. Yeah man. Every joke is instantly made exponentially funnier by that line and it saves on memorising a whole bunch of less funny punchlines that actually go with the jokes.

One beer please

In response to graham

Hahaha. Yes, One beer please.

Thats right, there is actually translation software on the market that translates one beer please into 60 languages. Now, in theory, we know the punchline to every possible joke in 60 countries.

Oh yeah, and MASSIVE ASS

Friday, 19 February 2010

Inorganic Time-wastery

I spent 8 hours in a lab today, working on some ion-exchange resin. Let me give you the low down on standard lab prep.
  1. Lab instructor emails you to collect your lab manual 1 week to 3 days in advance
  2. You collect the manual, and read about the experiments you will be doing
  3. You read and/ or watch any required books/ videos that help you understand the appropriate techniques
  4. You complete usually approximately 2-3 hours worth of preliminary work BEFORE the lab. this could be research, questions, equation sheets etc.
The basic idea is that you turn up to the lab with complete understanding of what you are supposed to be doing, how it works and how to do it properly without making a tit out of yourself. Here is what actually happened today:
  1. No emails received prior to lab session.
  2. Consulted my peers, they too had no idea what was happening
  3. There were no lab manuals available to collect
  4. We all turned up to the lab, and were given our manuals to look at for the first time
  5. Lab working time starts now.
In a nutshell, I wasted 2-3 hours of my potential lab time working on preliminary work that I could have done in my own time beforehand if I was given the manual. In semester 2, we are timetabled for 8 hours in the lab on thursday, and 4 on friday. So naturally, everyone's goal is to finish quickly so you don't have to come in on friday.

I asked Dr Johnson why we had not been given the lab manuals sooner. Here is the dialogue that followed.

Me: But we could have done the preliminary work beforehand and had longer to read about the experiment!
Dr Johnson: But this is a short experiment, and if we gave you the manual earlier you would have definately finished before friday- and you're timetabled for friday
Me: you have got to be kidding

I was like "oh, man" for the whole day after that. Especially because I have essentially been tricked into making my way to the lab at 8:30 in the morning on an inevitably snailing (see previous post) day rather than asleep until 2 in the afternoon.



 Today, the weather was snailing again (i'm sure Karys will approve of this word) quite heavily. It is a most inconvenient type of weather. Imagine snow (yay!) and hail (meh) and rain (aw man). Snailing is when all 3 of these weather patterns occur at the same time. This makes the bad effects of them worse, and the good effects of snow rubbish.

What happens is you get drops of rain, little bits of hail and big flakes of snow all falling at the same time. This looks rather odd, and I have only seen it a few times before. The snow lands, but that gets turned to half slush by the rain simultaneously. The hail then lands on the slush and makes even tarmac slippery. Instead of a puddle, or a sheet of nice crunchy snow, you end up with an inch thick layer of what I can only describe as something with a very similar consistency to vaseline. Very annoying and slippery.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

String Quartet Tribute to Battery Powered

Thats it, I finally got round to arranging and recording the string quartet tribute to battery powered. My first symphony! yeah.

Well, needless to say I don't need to type much, this is a listening experience. I will apologise in advance for the poor sound quality and potential bum notes and stuff. This can all be explained by the fact that I am a poor student who would rather eat than buy expensive recording equipment.

Enjoy! (see if you can tell what track it is)

All in all, it took about 3 nights to complete and arrange. All Hail Battery Powered.

Monday, 15 February 2010

RIP my friend Oli

Yes, it is true. I regret to inform you all that dear Oliver Jefferies is in fact dead.


Oliver was a gentle and caring person, and has so far lived a good life. He was loved by many. However. He managed to get World of Warcraft to work on his laptop. Need I say more? I find it hard to take, but I have heard stories of what WOW does to people. I now fully expect to never see Oli again.

Each lecture becomes just another hour of warcraft.

Early mornings become a thing of the past, because of the warcraft hangover (tiredness) from the night before.

Eating transfers from at the table to at the screen.

An essential piece of work becomes just another thing to do after 'just one more quest'.

RIP Oli. I hope you don't end up like this man below, you know, the one from the warcraft episode of south park. "How do you kill that which has no life?"

Sunday, 14 February 2010

In the words of Big G, "Story of my life".

I was playing Pokemon, and came up against a trainer on the way to celadon city.

The caption says, "you look good at Pokemon, but How is your Chemistry grade?" I was given heads up about this siper nerd by my good friend Oli, who also found this hilarious. As a result, I was ready with the camera when I finally met this guy.

I laughed, but then realised this was indeed the story of my life.

Monday, 8 February 2010


This semester, I vowed to do more private studying in my free time. So far, this has worked out quite well, as I just finished recapping a lecture on spectroscopy I had this morning using Polly, my dictaphone. Well, I can now tell you to not pin your hopes on the C-O peak actually existing, and I could also tell you why amides have an anomalously low wavenumber when it comes to the carbonyl peak.

But enough of that. As a reward for my soon-to-be efforts, I brought my Wii up to campus along with all my zelda games and of course brawl. I hooked it up to my 7 inch... screen. Yeah, its small but it does the job and it is inconspicuous if the TV licence people try to get on my case for 'having the potential to watch TV'.

And so along with painting for valentines day and studying, I hope to be fitting in some good ol' Ocarina of Time in the evenings instead of just lazing around. Sweet.

Ye Olde Cider Bar

Allow me to first apologise to Karys for not blogging in nearly a week. I’m sorry.

So, last saturday, I caught up with my 2 best friends from primary school, Sam and Phil. A few days beforehand, we were in the Lime Tree pub when Sam suggested a visit to this place in Newton abbot that exclusively sells cider and wine. Well, you know how we love our cider here in Devon, so how could we resist?

One short train ride and a few ‘your mum’ jokes from Phil later, and we were there. It was a strange place. It had been around for decades. It had old wooden tables, and stone floor. There were tankards and cider mugs hanging from the ceiling, kegs all over the place and the trademark guy with a beard sat at the bar. Well, needless to say we all got ID’d before we had even had a single drink or even approached the bar. We had a look around first, and to our surprise we found the most retro arcade game I have seen since the 90s. There was actually a genuine teenage mutant ninja turtles platform game. 4 player, joysticks and buttons, and it costs 20p (of course). We decided we would play it later after a few pints of cider because it would be funnier.

So, the bar. Sam ordered a pint of “Sam’s medium”. Phil followed suit. I had a quick scan down the menu on the wall, and instantly decided on “Suicider”… When I ordered it at the bar, the bartender simply raised her eyebrows and said good luck! I have to say, it was delicious. Very appley, a nice dark clear and not too fizzy 8% cider. Delicious. However, I did start to lose my peripheral vision after just one pint. It was funny, this place had been around for so long, there were pictures on the wall of previous regular customers who have passed away. I mean, all of the pictures were black and white, and some of them were even world war one pilots with nicknames like ‘Flicker’… I had a quick scan around the pub and realised how upset those pilots would be if they knew that the place was full of teenagers now, even serving behind the bar.

After two pints, we headed in search of food. We walked for 5 minutes and walked past 6 pubs. I was then informed by Sam that Newton abbot has the most pubs per capita. It made sense, there was a pub across the road from another pub- which was next door to another pub.

We ended up in a chip shop. Phil ordered a portion of chips. (Phil Murphy- take note of the practical use of the word ‘portion’ in this situation. I am pleased to inform you that he subsequently received a ‘portion of chips’)

I ordered a burger. Some drunk men were in there as well. One of them made fun of my purple shoes, calling them ‘pumps’. Another told Phil he should get a haircut. This man was bald, so we thought this was funny. Phil also pointed out to me that the one who insulted my shoes had a chip stuck to his trousers, so we had the moral high ground in our minds. (Yes Phil Murphy- just a singular chip)

So we headed back to the cider bar. I had another 3 pints of Suicider, Sam had a few as well, and Phil chose the sweetest cider they had. He later said it had ‘a bitter aftertaste.’ What? We played a few rounds of Teenage mutant ninja turtles too, and that was hilarious.

All in all, ye olde cider bar is a definite winner. I would recommend it to others if you like cider, but hate that chav juice they call “strongbow”.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A Light Spot of Painting

Something that I have been looking forward to doing during intersemester break is a nice bit of painting. I didn’t want to rush into anything complex just yet, I had to get my feel for the brush back. So I roughly painted link from Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

It was good because I soon found my painting hand again after such a long spell of not doing it, and the painting took no more than 3 hours (which is very quick!). Considering painting is going to be a crucial part of Sophie’s Valentine’s day present, I had to get some practice in. At the same time I also got a new hand painted poster for my wall at Uni! I mean whats the point of painting anything if its not going to be of any use to you?

I hope to next paint Link as featured in the Twilight Princess. As those of you that have played it will know, it is not a cartoon style game, everything in fact looks quite real. I expect it will take about 10 times as long and take a lot of patience!

Blond Again

After the long wait, I am finally blond again. I always have been. 

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the purple and auburn look and so did other people too. However, I have briefly seen in the past what my blond hair is capable of if you leave it. For brief spells of my life, I have had what some of my friends have described as “ANIME HAIR”.

Once my hair goes past a certain length, it gains all these weird angles and shapes that just look ‘rad’. This is what I am aiming for. For now, my hair is just a template. It is simply a case of sit and wait for it to grow out. Also, as it grows, it turns blonder and blonder- sort of a natural highlight thing because it is so sensitive to light. See you soon.