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: (scythes)
PROP 8 HAS BEEN OVERTURNED!!
More here, with links to the full text of the ruling in comments.
My faith in humanity is partially reaffirmed.

And here is my other news: I AM GOING TO BEIJING THIS NOVEMBER! It's for a political science paper on Chinese politics. We spend three weeks in Beijing attending lectures (in English) at a Chinese university and visiting various important sites around the city, then we come back home and have all summer to write an essay on some aspect of Chinese politics and government. It's a limited-entry course that I applied for a few weeks ago and I just found out I got accepted.
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 )

Hiatus

Feb. 19th, 2010 05:44 pm
lace_agate: (accio brain)
...Not that I'm around much anyway. Well, I lurk a lot, but I tend not to comment or post much. Shyness + ADD = not the best recipe for LJ success.
Anyway, I won't even be lurking for the next week or so because I'm leaving tomorrow for an eight-day geology field trip. I think I'll enjoy it, although I'm not so enthusiastic about the fact that I'll only have a day to recover before lectures start up for the year.
and now for the fandom talk )

OMG.

Nov. 30th, 2009 09:36 pm
lace_agate: (ruby)
My grades for the second semester finally came through and WOW.
A in International Relations, A+ in Political Science, A+ in Geology and A+ in Environmental Science.
I'm completely bowled over.
lace_agate: (to be precise)
Uni is now over for the year! And I'm glad! Four papers + Nationals + world's second-worst exam timetable = stressed, exhausted me. I'm now in the process of catching up on sleep.

I'm not very good at posting, am I? Half the time I start to post and then something shiny goes by and I lose interest. Stupid ADD.

In order to prevent this post from being entirely pointless, here are some links to Melissa McEwan's steampunk wedding ring, the TV Tropes page for Walking With Dinosaurs and Syaoran and Watanuki cats
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: (dairine quotes ftw)
Uni starts up again on Monday. I feel as if I've barely recovered from the last semester.
I got my results today, though: A- in Political Science, A in Earth Science and A+ in Geography. I am slightly bowled over.
This is quite interesting, not to mention hilarious. It's a mash-up of clips from Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, showing how some of Edward's behaviour towards Bella is pretty disturbing, despite being portrayed as romantic. The comments are also worth a read.
Note: I have never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and don't really intend to. I understand it also has some issues; however, this clip is brilliant.
lace_agate: (to be precise)
I have new userpics!  And I must post to celebrate this!
All my lectures are finished for this semester and my exams are in a couple of weeks.  Meaning I now have to study.  Fun.
And I recommend Gunnerkrigg Court.  So does Neil Gaiman.
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.

it lives!

Mar. 16th, 2009 03:15 pm
lace_agate: (accio brain)
Well, I've survived my first two weeks at uni and I'm starting to feel slightly less overwhelmed by it all.  It's surprising how few familiar faces there are around the place.  I mean, there are quite a few people I know, but I don't see much of them, even the ones I share lectures with.  And then straight after the lecture everyone's rushing off in different directions and you don't get much chance to talk to people unless your two-hour gap between lectures happens to overlap with theirs.
In terms of content I'm enjoying all my courses (I'm taking Political Science, Earth Science and Geography and I'll be picking up International Relations next semester).  It's a pain having to catch the bus at 7:30 am for a 9 o'clock lecture, though.  If I ever get an 8 o'clock lecture I'm moving into town.
The highlight so far has been the letters page of the weekly student magazine.  They publish anything and everything.  Currently there's a debate going on between three gamers as to which of them is the most 1337, people sending in random poetry, trolls, complaints about first years being n00bs, first years complaining about being called n00bs, letters all in lowercase with multiple!!!! exclamation!!!! marks!!!!, lolcat-speak, in-jokes and more.
I'm going to get really fit walking up the hill every day.  I decided I'd only take the cable car if the weather was foul, so that I can save money and get fit all at once.  The only downside is that I turn up for my nine o'clock lecture out of breath and with very sore calf muscles, but that will improve.
Mood-wise, I'm all over the place.  I guess that's understandable, but it's pretty tiring.  I'm OK, though, mostly.
lace_agate: (dance)
So I've just graduated from high school, but today I received a copy of the last school newsletter of the year.  Amid the usual end-of year stuff there was a report on the last school camp, where we played soccer football and I missed the ball and ended up accidentally kicking a girl in the knee and dislocating her kneecap.  (She was very nice about it, didn't blame me, which was good).  It seems, though, that someone thought that this story was worthy of a place in the school newsletter, complete with a reference to my "Irish dance trained ninja toe[s]".

I think I need to make an icon of that.

lace_agate: (ruby)
Journal revamp: completed.
Icon revamp: probably completed.

The orthodontist just took my braces off after two years and four months. My teeth feel weird.

...

Aug. 9th, 2008 04:07 pm
lace_agate: (sparkles)
So, I'm acting in our school production which is a play in which, basically, a bunch of characters from famous plays complain about their lives, decide to kill themselves and then change their minds and live happily ever after.
And I'm playing Hedda from Ibsen's Hedda Gabler.
She's a bit psycho.  It's fun.

On an unrelated note, I was thinking about fairy tales and how usually the heroine'sonly function is to wait around for the handsome prince to rescue her and how much that sucks.  And then I was thinking about fairy tales that aren't like that, and that got me thinking about various retellings of fairy tales.  So which fairy tales do you particularly like, and are there any retellings that made you like stories you were otherwise indifferent to or disliked?
Personally I love The Snow Queen even in its original format with its somewhat patronising narrator.  There are several reasons for this: that the heroine rescues the hero instead of the other way round, the way she journeys from 19th century Frankfurt into more timeless imaginary places and the way she travels through the four seasons.  As for retellings, I particularly like Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (Cinderella), Adele Geras's Watching the Roses (Sleeping Beauty) and Lili Wilkinson's Scatterheart (East of the Sun, West of the Moon).

So yeah.  Studious post is studious.  Or something.

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