lace_agate: (kisa smile)
I've reread a whole lot of Fruits Basket lately and have been pondering the story and its characters again. I remember the first time I read it I was expecting a comedy-romance with a bit of drama thrown in, and I was surprised by how angsty it got, although I liked the extra depth that the darker elements added to the storyline.
spoilers for the entire series and more rambling )

Musings

Feb. 29th, 2012 10:07 pm
lace_agate: (stories)
I spent a week out in the Wairarapa mapping sedimentary sequences a little while ago. Had some good fun, collected some cool fossils, and pondered the differences between archaeology and geology as presented in fiction. The Adventurer Archaeologist is a very common character in many storytelling media. On the other hand, Adventurer Geologists are rare to nonexistent (the only character I can think of is Nasreen from those two Doctor Who episodes, although Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan probably had at least some basic geology training). And yet field geology is an adventure! I've only done a few fairly tame undergrad field trips, but I've seen some spectacular scenery, waded through rivers (you do A LOT of this in geology, as rivers tend to have the best outcrops), collected fossils, mapped faults, fallen in love, had my boots fall apart, drunk lots of beer (geologists are great beer drinkers!) and all sorts of other things. Now consider the geologists who climb active volcanoes, or spend months in Antarctica's Dry Valleys, or the geologists who accompanied Scott on his ill-fated trip to the South Pole. How about some scifi - geologists exploring and mapping other planets and moons? Actually, I may write some of that myself...
A search for "Fictional geologists" on Wikipedia led me to this article, so Sarah Andrews's books are now on my to-read list. She also has an intriguing essay on the geologist as detective.

I recently downloaded Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series and am thoroughly enjoying it. It's quite old but most of the science still stands up. The second episode has some really fascinating speculation of the sorts of lifeforms that could survive in the atmosphere of a gas giant (GIANT FLOATING JELLYFISH THE SIZE OF CITIES!) and there's also some cool stuff on the history of various scientific ideas. Highly recommended.
lace_agate: (oxymorons are cool)
Went to my boyfriend's place yesterday to watch the new Doctor Who episode with him and his flatmates. One is also a Doctor Who fan and the other we have now converted, having showed her "Midnight", "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" and the new episode, "The Eleventh Hour". The episode was slow to download so we watched other videos while we waited for it, including the one from which the title of this post is taken: New Zealand's first home-grown internet meme. Or at least, the first home-grown New Zealand internet emem I've heard of. Basically, a guy from ACT on campus, the student arm of the ACT Party, was on a morning current afairs show talking about why Earth Hour is a bad idea. Hilarity ensued. The interview contains some truly headdesk-worthy logic (If pollution from our power consumption is causing environmental problems, let's just consume MORE POWER to solve the problems!) but also some gems: "It fails on three fun-loving levels" and the meme "I think my argument is so powerful, it's not necessary to talk about it".
And here's the video )
Aaaaand my thoughts on Doctor Who )
lace_agate: (accio brain)
Back at uni and taking four papers this semester. This means a much bigger workload. Not to mention the fact that I'm now half an hour late to every dancing lesson because I have lectures finishing at the same time as dancing starts on the other side of town. Fun.
Things I have learned so far this semester:
Realism is one of the most depressing ideologies out there.
Petrographic microscopes are awesome.
No one wants to be called an idealist (except me).
There are many devious strategies employed by course coordinators to ensure that all the students actually do all their readings and remember what they've learned.
The Bruces' Philosophers Song is surprisingly useful for POLS 112 and INTP 113.
Reading Hetalia makes one look at International Relations in a whole new light.
lace_agate: (umm what)
I had two essays due this week and I've got another one due next week.  I have been busy, but I'm taking a break at the moment.  The weather here is foul - cold and windy, mainly, which normally I wouldn't mind except it's really cold and really really windy.  It's been like this for a few days and is expected to stay like this until sometime next week.
I've also got a cold.  It was worst on Thursday, which was also when I had to write the bulk of my Earth Science essay.  I did manage to get it finished and I handed it in yesterday morning.  I'm feeling better today.
I also have a new fandom. [livejournal.com profile] shadowsinfire finally convinced me to read Katekyo Hitman Reborn!  And, well once I got past the first 50 chapters or so (which are basically filler), I started to really enjoy it.

Possibly spoilery for Reborn!; discussion of shipping and what people read for )
Also, I got a book in the university bookshop sale about urban legends, UFO sightings and the (allegedly) paranormal in New Zealand.  Written by the head of the NZ Skeptics' Society.  I haven't read much of it yet, bud did you know that meteorites and shooting stars were considered myths by the scientific establishment until the beginning of the nineteenth century? 
Also: obligatory aliens in Palmerston North tag.

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