Saturday, March 12, 2011


What a difference the weather makes...
5 days of sunshine in Nottingham, with just a bit of a chilly breeze (and a couple of showers on Wednesday), it just makes me feel that bit happier!

The birthday party was everything I was expecting it to be; we had a great evening reliving our childhood memories!

Labs were done and dusted early on in the session on Thursday. My phase diagram looked remarkably close to the "official" one, and was particularly happy that my 2 melting points predicted by my lines were within 1 degree of the true value! Moving on to electrochemistry next week!

Yesterday was interesting, I was debating what to do with my gap between exams and the real start of summer (decided on applying for some voluntary lab work within the university), but whilst trying to decide my friend said I should flip a coin. Me being me then decided to flip the coin lots of times, just to see if probability is accurate, or if there is a deeper randomness associated with it - 50 flips and I had exactly 25 heads, and 25 tails. This surprised me, because although probability predicts it, I was expecting it to be 23 or 24 of one and then26 or 27 of the other. I then extended my experiments to more variables - 6, 8 and 10 sided dice. I rolled them 25 times for each variable (e.g 250 times for the 10 sided die), and the values varied much further from the 25 of each which should have occurred. Perhaps had I continued, they would have eventually converged. But, what I have proved (to myself at least) is that randomness is well, random!

Last night was also concert night, we went to see the Lighthouse Family, who I thought were awesome (even if Tucker was a bit odd...), they were supported by Ben Montague - I hadn't heard of him before but I really liked his music - bought the album (which is to be officially released in a couple of months...) and then plucked up the courage to get it signed! He's one to keep an eye out for I think!

I can't write a blog at this time without mentioning Japan. The events that have unfolded there are horrendous, and my thoughts are with the people of Japan, and anyone that has friends or family out there. But what I can say, is that it could have been a hell of a lot worse had they not been prepared for such an catastrophic event, due to the general earthquake risk they have drills for this kind of thing so people knew what to do to try and stay safe, they've also evacuated the area around the power plant, probably unnecessary to remove so many people, but better to be safe than sorry. So well done to Government. I, as will many others, will be keeping an eye on the situation there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Wow, we're already well into March. Where is the time going?

Last week was my first week back in labs, and it was a good one. First experiment involved taking 3 IR spectra of samples that we were given, ready sealed in a gas cell, and then doing various calculations using our results; and then comparing this to values which were calculated using a couple of different computer models. This meant I was finished midway through the session on Thursday and went home (only missed 2 lectures on the Friday...).

I had a really great weekend back at home, and I really needed it. Really starting to regret agreeing to live with a certain member of the house again next year..., but anyway, the weekend - up early on the Friday (out of the house by 8) but a couple of hours flying round the woods. I haven't ridden off road since the Christmas holidays so it was nice to get back to firs (hopefully there again this weekend!). I then took the grandparents out, we did some shopping, had some lunch and generally enjoyed the sunshine. When I got back it was time for some bike cleaning and fettling. Sorting out wheels for the new frame, then had time for dog walking before we went out for a meal.

Saturday was a bit more relaxed, got some work done in the morning, then took my brother to support our local football team - Northampton Town. It was a great match, we went 1-0, and 2-1 up but unfortunately lost 3-2 in the end, but was really good - might look in to a season ticket next year...only have to watch 6 or 7 matches for it to pay off! Then, after a quick bite to eat, I went out with my dad. He was sound engineering at the picturedrome; we got there nice and early to help set up, had great seats to watch the band (Superfly) and then stayed late to pack everything up. I was in charge of the music in the run up to the band coming on, was great hearing people singing along to songs I'd chosen! Was an awesome night, especially because the bass player works with my dad, and I did work experience with him when I was in year 11. He's a top chap - was nice catching up with him!

Sunday was another busyish day, down the bike shop in the morning to have a chat with everyone, and to drop my wheels off to be tubelessed! Also picked up the first bit for the new bike...just a seat clamp...I went with gunsmoke, looks good so far! Then went to watch my brother play football (it was freezing!), but, despite getting thrashed by this team at christmas, they won 3-1 (my brother scored 2 great goals!), then back for food before coming back up to Nottingham!

Yesterday was back in the labs (after 3 hours of lectures in the morning...), another straight forward practical, so an afternoon of data analysis lies ahead of me! I'm up to date with work so got up early to ride this morning. It was bloody freezing, but did about 20 miles in the sun. Didn't want to go to far, but did lots of sprint practise instead. It was really nice just getting out on the bike in the sunshine, kitted up with the team gear; wonderful views along the canal and lots of commuters to say hello to. Hopefully this weather'll keep up for a while, makes it much easier to find the motivation to ride! (I always under estimate how much uni takes it out of me...) Very much looking forward to the racing season ahead...

Out to celebrate a friends birthday this evening. Its going to be awesome, we've been friends for years and she's doing a proper party with games and everything (and definitely no alcohol!), so should be a real fun evening ahead :D