I’m back….. For real this time. I promise…..

So… yeah, I’ve been a little absent for the last… *checks date on last post* 4 years it seems! Sorry about that. I’d claim the PhD as an excuse, but I could probably have found a way to keep writing regardless. I guess I just got tired of it and needed a break for a while. That said, I’m back for real this time people. I considered moving on from this place, but we kinda have history. And I’m stubborn.

So… what have I been up to since I last blogged? Well, I’m finally done with the PhD!

graduation

I graduated in July of this year with a doctorate in Physics from King’s College London and most of my family were around for what was a great moment in my life. The picture above is of me and the parents, who I owe immeasurable amounts to, even if I do a bad job of showing it from time to time.

Besides that, I did actually do other things. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked because of work, but I’m back to devouring books again, and it feels good, so expect more book reviews from me. I also kept up with judo. I would probably already have my black belt except for the fact that I’ve spent the vast majority of the last 2 years being massively inconsistent in my training. I did train quite a bit before that though, and compete too. The picture below is of my crowning achievement to date, a bronze medal in the kyu grade division (all grades below black belt) of the British University Games.

medal

I’m not done with the sport by a long shot though, so I still want more on that front.

Otherwise, I spent a lot of time in labs, analysing data, drawing graphs, giving presentations, writing papers, writing a thesis, defending it and looking for a job. There may have been some beer in there too. And I got a DSLR for christmas a year ago, so there may have been some terrible attempts at amateur photography too.

As for what I’m doing now, I somehow managed to convince a professor in one of the most prestigious research universities in the world that I know my stuff enough to work for him doing cool science(TM) so, barring British immigration deciding they don’t really like me, I’ll be working as a postdoc for the next 4 years. That means playing with microscopes, lasers, optical equipment, fast computers and squishy bits of biology. It should be all sorts of great.

As for what I’ll be talking about here… as usual it’ll be a mix of whatever comes to mind. I have some book reviews on tap, there’s a movie or two I want to talk about, there will be a lot more science (and an embarrassing amount of Neil Degrasse Tyson love) science fiction, technology, race, politics, sports…. Whatever makes me happy.

If you are still reading this after 4 years of silence, then thank you by the way. That was substantially more attention than I deserve. I’ll try to make it worth your while this time.


Three of the best words in the english language

“four day weekend”

For my religiously inclined brethren, enjoy your easter. For me though, this is just time to relax a bit, read and enjoy the time with my family.

On the book agenda I am reading

Volume 2 of The collected speeches of Kwame Nkrumah (Really interesting. Partly what I expected and partly not. I might need to talk about him sometime)

Per Greg’s recommendation, Forty Studies that Changed Psychology (also interesting. Some of these studies I’d heard about and some I hadn’t. They all definitely make you think though)

Also per Greg’s recommendation, Accuracy and Reliability in Scientific Computing (just started this one. For anyone who’s learning how to write scientific software I’d pretty much call it essential)

A paper on Open Source Software in Africa courtesy of the Afrorise blog

Another paper on the economic impact of Open Source Software, this one based on research done by the EU.

I hope you enjoy your free time like I’m enjoying mine people.


Another personality test

Courtesy of Mushtaq

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you’ve been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you’ve done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


Workflow issues

I have a problem.

Blog writing for me has tended to be something that happens in the middle of the night when its quiet out, i have some privacy and I can spend as long as I need over the keyboard getting my thoughts in shape. Now I don’t get that anymore. The house is full and there really isn’t a secluded corner I can go sit in and work on my posting. Hence I have a long list of things I mean to write about, but I don’t get a solid block of me time to do it.

Maybe I need to wake up earlier in the morning and write then. Or find a place to hide after work where I can pull out a laptop.

I’ll figure something out.

Suggestions are always welcome


Back to play

Hey people. I guess I’ve been gone for a while. Sorry about that. I have gotten pointed reminders from several people that my posts were missed. Well, I’m back to regular writing now. About time too. I honestly have missed this a lot.

Luckily I now have my own writing hardware outside of work (more on that later) so I write my posts at home and put them up when I get online later. This should mean I’m back to regular posting. Barring internet issues (more on that too) or things of that nature.

I have been thinking about content in my time off, in case you were wondering. The tone of the blog will probablybe changing slightly. Mostly because I’ll be expanding my range of topics by quite a bit. I figure since this is my space then I get to pick what I talk about here. Hence, a lot more science fiction and comic book talk, a lot of stuff on Ghana and Africa in general, a lot of work related posts (science, linux, programming mostly), some martial arts and the regular personal development/human observation stuff you’ve come to know and love.

Obviously there will be some overlap in all of this. I hope that the stuff that comes out of my head/fingers will be of interest to all of you. Either way I’ll still be here. And you’re still welcome


Comments

I’m switching back to blogger’s comments system. It does everything I need now and the move saves me from having to switch back and forth between Blogger and Haloscan’s sites to moderate them. In case enyone os bothered about all the comments being reset to zero, that is why.

I still have your old comments archived though

Sidenote: In the process though I noticed a couple of interesting messages I never got around to replying to. In between the Ghana posts I’ll try to add in a few of those.


I’m Home!

Ladies and Gentlemen, your favourite Ghanaian (or at least one of them) is back home now. And by home I do mean Ghana. (basic info here for those of you who may be unaware of the country)

To head off the question, its not permanent. Its for a couple of months. I’m taking a long needed break from academia to return to the land of hot weather, pretty women, interesting politics and crazy drivers.

Its great being back so far. A lot has changed and yet a lot hasn’t. Sometimes what I see fills me with hope about our future and sometimes it makes me grit my teeth in frustration.

Thankfully though, I have a camera and a keyboard, and I’m arrogant enough to believe that people will be interested in what I do with them. Therefore you guys get to go on at least part of this journey with me. Having grown up here and yet having been away for so long means that I’m in an interesting position where its all familiar and yet slightly alien at the same time.

I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I will.

(PS. I’ll still be writing for Prep Time Posse though. Whole continents cannot contain the geekery!)