On: Madiba

I’ve been having a really hard time writing about this. Because, well, what could I possibly say that would to the man justice?

What do you say when a giant of that stature dies? How can you possibly describe the man he was in a way that doesn’t fall short of who he really was and what he really did? Not saying there aren’t people who can do it, but I know better than to imagine I am one of them.

I will say this. While being a man, and therefore flawed, he was a better person under more trying circumstances than we has the right to demand of any human being. And I’d like to think that in being so he made the rest of us slightly better people too.

For that I thank him. And I hope we will someday be worthy of his example.

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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.


In which the absentee host returns. Again

A very belated happy new year to you people. Apologies for the long absences. Again. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m down to just the people who forgot to remove me from their feed readers.

Quick Updates on what I’ve been up to:

I was officially awarded my Masters by Research in Physics. My parents and big sister were in town for my graduation and that will easily pass for my best day this year. Since then I’ve gotten accepted into a physics PhD program with the same advisor at the same university. 3 more years of this and I get to walk across a stage again in a gown with a hood on it and put ‘Doctor’ on my business cards.

On the Physical side. I persist with my judo and have now logged hundreds of hours of being thrown around, pinned, choked and armlocked. On good days I get to do the same to other people. In a little under 2 weeks I get to compete in the BUCS(British Universities and Colleges Sport) kyu grade competition. Hopefully all that work will end up in me getting a few good throws. Either way there will be pictures and maybe even video. At some point before I get the PhD I want to get my first dan(black belt)

Otherwise, I live in London, I study, I train, I hang out with friends, I still read too much, I watch the odd movie and life continues.

There’s a bit of a backlog of topics I was planning to write about but never got around to. Some will make it out in the coming weeks, some won’t. Either way, keep me in your readers people. If nothing else I need the touch typing practice


*Hat tip*

H & H

H & H

Great race. And hopefully a good omen.


And its done (pretty much)

So I am (semi) officially done with my Masters. Research is done, my thesis has been turned in and I have defended it. While my results still have to be ratified by the college(pretty much a formality) I can say that I have a Masters by Research in Bio, Nano and X-Ray Photonics from the Physics department of King’s College London. Bit of a mouthful, I know.

And so with that done it is time to move on to the next phase of my life. As soon as I know what that is, so will anyone actually still reading this blog(I’d assume there is maybe one of you at this point)

Until later people


Resolutions

This is a few days late, but still, my list of things I want to achieve this year. Experience has been teaching me that by keeping the list short and as specific as I can it’ll be easier for me to actually achieve the things on it. Long, vague lists are a lot harder to turn into something meaningful because it ends up being too much work to do in a year anyway and the feeling of being swamped halts what progress there would otherwise have been.

Anyway, here is the list for the next year in no particular order.

  1. Get through my masters degree with honours
  2. Participate in at least 3 judo competition. Ideally I’d like to win but I’ll settle for never fighting below my ability
  3. Write one short story every month this year. I need to get more serious with my writing. Giving myself deadlines should help me stay on track.

There are a few other small things but otherwise, yup, that’s it. Those aren’t mentioned because I’ll dump them in a heartbeat to keep these three on course. Wish me luck. What are yours by the way?


Another year passes

As of a few days ago, I have officially been alive for 28 years. And the new year is also very close. The combination of the two coming so close to each other means that this time of year tends to be when I reflect extra hard on what I have achieved with my life and what needs fixing.

Overall, I’d say its been a good year, and its laid the foundation for an even better year coming up.  I guess all those lessons that come with continually falling on my face(and doing things right too) are starting to take their toll.

I’ll talk about my resolutions for next year later, but for now I just wanted to wish everyone happy holidays, however you celebrate them. I hope your year was good, or at least instructive, and I hope your next year will be even better.