Yesterday evening I went along to the Science Challenge final in the Cabinet War Rooms. It was a lovely event with lots of free drinks and tasty little foods in bowls, and a great chance to meet some of the other people who had entered the challenge too. The venue was also cool —the Cabinet War Rooms are the underground bunkers where Churchill and other World War Two characters pushed planes around on maps, planned the war and sheltered from air raids.
If you haven’t read my previous blogs this was the final of an essay competition open to Imperial and school students, though there was a video section too, which I am quite interested in attempting next year.
Appropriately for such a sunny day, this is a good news blog 😛
Good news i)
We retook the film from our experiment the other day, and now have excellent results! Here is a picture of our second-best film (my partner has the other one!):
The top wide grey stripes contain the lines from Lithium and necessarily a bit of Carbon as that was what the electrodes are made out of. The smaller lines in the middle of these are from Mercury, which we will use as a reference to help identify the important Lithium spectra, and finally, the bottom row of greyish blurs are the pure Carbon emission spectra.
Three weeks ‘til the end of term but the excitement just continues at Imperial! My room has reached peak mess now, to the point where a jam-packed surprise awaits me inside every drawer. On the up side there have been some days of actual proper, real sunshine, so I’ve had time to brush off my tennis finesse (by which I mean trying not to catch the ball when it is hit to me because I think it’s gone out…. ahhh).
I realise I’ve not actually explained what thrilling lab cycle I am currently in the middle of (not that much sarcasm by the way, it actually is pretty exciting).
This week in anatomy I spent minutes trying to find my pulse…yes that thing that I can normally feel without any grief whatsoever. I thought I was dead for a split second, but swiftly told myself that this was probably not at all the case. I persisted on until I found it, and when I did I felt my pulse was pretty elevated. I had been anxious over not finding my pulse when it was pretty clear from the start that I was going to have one.
I think it just reflects my mind set at the moment…and a lot of first years I have spoken to.
This is a bit of a disjointed blog catching you up on a few odds and ends. Some more interesting Physics will be coming soon—I have decided that I am going to try and write a blog summary of some of the courses we are doing— after all, if I can explain them coherently then I must understand them, right?
Last week I started my last lab cycle of second year! That is a slightly terrifying thought. Also I finally have a lab partner again! I am fairly confident she won’t read this blog so will say that she is lovely and if you look away for ten seconds starts working out uncertainties, which is probably the best quality you can hope for in a lab partner (damn those uncertainties).
Last Monday found people raining from the Imperial sky instead of the usual drizzle. While initially alarmed (droughts are a serious issue), we settled down on Queen’s lawn for what my friend Lucy termed “the best day of Uni yet!” Although she did get to jump face-first off a giant crane, so I think she had a bit of a head start. Badum-pshh.
So, why was it raining men (and ladies)? RAG week! RAG is Imperial’s star charity society, and RAG week is their star week. It’s apparently as large a part of uni culture as ‘Greek life’ is in the United States, but also probably infinitely better because it’s British, raises money for charity, and actually condones kidnapping.
So I am writing this on Thursday 20th February before my Cardiovascular System Lectures this afternoon. My day so far has consisted of “morning after sports night” feeling, a brief meeting with Hall Staff about the bin cleaning schedule and a few bits of Rag Dash preparations. I am SO EXCITED. Tomorrow some of the medics are off to Brighton then Antwerp, Belgium for the weekend… all in the name of charity. Having changed my pounds to euros and had a glance at my awful passport photo I am now in the process of being ready to leave. In the classic “Dictator Mala” style we (I) have organised a full day plan for tomorrow and everything is timed to the minute to ensure maximum fun.
One of my FAVOURITE things about living in halls is having most of my best friends living within two minutes of me, it’s absolutely lovely and I like to abuse their proximity as much as possible… hence I love cooking for my friends!
The best thing we’ve ever done was a roast dinner. It was delicious and it’s DEFINITELY possible in a student kitchen if you follow these steps:
Find ten people to invite over for dinner. This is necessary as it cuts the cost of the whole roast down to about £2.50 per person, which is not expensive when everyone chips in.
I’ve read a lot of popular science books, so I thought I would list some of the ones that I most enjoyed. They are mostly Physics based, but there are a couple that are more general and even one that I promise doesn’t mention Physics at all, so if you are stuck for interesting reading or hate reading but desperately need something to put on your personal statement, some of these could be useful!
What is life?
This book is actually a recording of a series of public lectures that Schrodinger gave in the early 1940s. It might seem like a strange book for him to have published, because he was a physicist not a biologist, most famous for his thought experiment about a quantum cat in a box.
So a few days ago I began anatomy of the thorax…i.e. I took a trip up to the 14th floor and met the body my group would be working with for the next few weeks. It was incredible.
I have so much respect for people that donate their bodies to science and even after just one session I can see how useful it really is to have the opportunity to see. I was terrified though. Genuinely so nervous to have the responsibility of someone’s body in my hands only a term and a bit into my degree. However, it was incredible.