Thursday, 30 October 2008

Excited state

I have been asked to write a commentary on an article I recently slagged off reviewed for a journal. 

This is a bit like an introduction, setting the scene, telling the story so far to explain why the research has been done, then discussing how clever the authors were to spot that these experiments needed doing, thinking a little outside the box to find the missing bit of the puzzle, and generally just being brilliant and doing brilliant experiments so their paper is thoroughly illuminating and inspired and isn't it all just brilliant.

This is proper “Oh My God people actually want to hear my clever thoughts and I get to put it on my CV” stuff and I got all excited and a bit sweaty.

Then (at about the point I read the word 'expert' in the e-mail) I suddenly remembered there was an actual expert in this field with the same surname and initial as me.

Oh the humiliation, having to confess to being the lesser of the two.

But I checked, and they already know I'm the lesser Karen. They actually meant to ask me to do it (and it's an automated e-mail so any old nobody gets called 'expert'). 

So now I'm all excited and a bit sweaty.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Big Undead Brother

The new Charlie Brooker 5-part Big Brother zombie thing starts tonight. Zombies and Big Brother. Genius. Can't wait.

Even better, it inspired someone at The Guardian to write about how to make a zombie because it turns out the CIA actually had a fair go at making one. 

Also describes hideous parasitic creatures that turn their hosts into zombies, either to lay eggs in them, or to make them behave in a ridiculous and dangerous manner so they end up inside a cat. 

I know, very very clever. Bit strange. Can't help thinking there are more efficient ways to colonise a cat. But very clever. 

Friday, 17 October 2008

Having a wonder-filled week (© Robert Krampf)

Last week* I went to a party hosted by the lovely people at New Scientist and The Wellcome Trust. I remember some kind of lychee champagne cocktail, lots of tiny puddings, lots of free wine. 

And some stellar networking with some fabulous science types. Of course.

The morning after I was sat on the train, nursing a coffee and a hangover. I had been staring out the window in the manner of someone trying really hard not to be sick in public. The train stopped. I stopped. People were alighting.

And yet the view from my window just kept on moving. And not just any old moving, but BACKWARDS!!! Blood alcohol level or motion aftereffect?

I googled it. Obviously. And I’m really glad I did, otherwise I would not have come across the legend that is Robert Krampf and his demonstration of the waterfall effect in this here video**

* I know, I know. Tardy blogging. This ain’t Reuters.
**All vision lecturers have big white beards. Fact.