I apologise in advance for this blog being a bit scatty today as I have been really busy since the end of exams and am going out again in about an hour to Imperial’s Raising and Giving summer festival where one of my housemates is playing in a band. I have woken up to him learning songs on guitar in his room for the last three days straight, and by the sounds of it, it should be a good show!
Last weekend I dived straight into after-exam-joy by making a Saturn cake (the video of which I will hopefully post when Alex and I have had time to edit it). Making a huge self-supporting spherical cake with three internal layers was—probably obviously to everyone else—so, so much more ambitious than I thought it would be, but the end result was not too bad! Getting the inside layers to cook together involved a very steep learning curve, so if anyone else is thinking of embarking on a similar project I have some tips, which I will put on the end of the next blog.
My sister then came down from home and we went to Westfield shopping centre, a place I had never been to before but was pretty much like any other shopping centre in the world except bigger than most and with a huge and scary designer section that we couldn’t seem to escape from at first. We also went to see 22 Jump Street which was hilarious (but you have to see the first one first because like half of the jokes are references to it) and then on Friday we had the last ever house party in my house, as next week we are moving.
I haven’t seen the house we are moving into yet as the viewing was during my exams and we had to put a quick offer in as some first years were also making an offer the same day (sucks to be them). The same thing happened to us last year so I feel like our place in the food-chain of renting houses has justly risen. It is (apparently) a nice house and just about a walking distance from Imperial now which is the only real inconvenience about our house this year. I now have to figure out how to transfer or stop the water, gas electricity, internet etc etc which should be fun and so I will probably be writing a blog after doing so about how much of an expert I am now at renting and moving houses in London.
Other activities I have been busy with are travelling to Alex’s old school to watch him play basketball against the current basketball team, going to help out at KEEN (a charity I have talked about before in blogs) and dyeing my hair pink—which is not permanent for anyone in my family who may not have heard about this yet. 😛
I have also been reading a lot— ‘The man who mistook his wife for a hat’ by Oliver Sacks is my favourite so far and I would recommend it to everyone. It is a book of case studies of patients written by their psychiatrist, but it is so gently and genuinely written that it is the exact opposite of the sort of travelling-freakshow-aren’t-people-with-disabilities-odd-and-hilarious stories that you too often have the misfortune to come across. The case studies are as much about the people’s lives and characters as their problems, and often have unexpectedly happy endings. Mind you, some of the padding between the case studies was a little too pompous and verbose for me, as much as I liked and admired the writer by the end.
I have also read are ‘I capture the castle’ by Dodie Smith which was the most absorbing and disappointing book. I read this during exams and would have read it all in one go if it wasn’t for all that pesky revision nonsense, so my disappointment may have come from having to wait a week desperate to finish it. It is a really interesting set-up—a very poor family with a supposed genius father who won’t or can’t write anymore and their rich alluring neighbours but that is about as far as the characters and plot goes in the rest of the like five hundred pages—it is not a short book.
I also have a new Kurt Vonnegut (‘Hocus Pocus’) which I have yet to read but will probably be as wonderful as every other Kurt Vonnegut, ‘Bad Science’ by Ben Goldacre, the first chapter of which has already made me really quite angry with fraudsters peddling dubious science claims and the people that go along with them unquestioningly, and ‘Pluto’ by Glyn Maxwell which is a nice slim poetry book that I have yet to read in depth.
Finally, I have a beautiful hardback copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Drawings which I already love so, so much.
There is also one more day to vote for the longitude prize (http://www.longitudeprize.org/vote-now) if you want to have a say in which problem could win ten million pounds. As far as I can work out, the ten million is prize money that doesn’t have to go towards funding the research, but the idea is that the prestige that would come from winning the prize will incentivise people to work on these problems (even large companies that spend many many times this amount on research already).