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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Plant v brutalist architecture: Fight! [20161024|15:56]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Nature & brutalism
This section of crumbling wall is in the middle of Imperial College London's South Kensington campus. The ivy Virginia Creeper (h/t to [personal profile] sillymouse for the botanical correction) that masks it is presently changing from red to green, drawing attention to the contrast between it and the functional brutalist buildings surrounding it.

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1050013.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Friday's Unscientific Poll: Basket or boat? [20161021|22:30]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Basket or boat?
I call this a laundry basket. Keiki and Humuhumu claim they are in a boat.

Poll #2056045 Basket or boat?

They are sitting in a


That oblong of white plastic contains multitudes. Do not constraint its identity as above.

linkpKa 2.0|titrate

Pokémon Go: Week 13 + Abyssrium [20161020|13:43]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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  • My three 10 km eggs hatched into: a relatively low CP Jynx (grumble), a high CP Pinsir (sigh) aaaaaand….A SCYTHER. The last was new to me and also very powerful. So I’m happy. I’m saving the fourth 10 km egg for when I level up.
  • Nearly finished with Level 24. So...close...want....Lucky...Egg...argh.
  • I cracked and did some boring Pidgey evolutions because I was so tired of hauling around loads of them.
  • My Pokédex claims I have attempted and failed to catch a Nidoqueen and an Exeggcutor. I find this irritating because I cannot recall seeing either.
  • I walked my Jigglypuff for sufficient candies so that they’re ready to evolve along with the Omanyte and the Seel. Now walking my Clefairy because even though I’ve only caught a few, it’s only 1 km per candy.
  • I reached Silver level on the Breeder medal for hatching 100+ eggs, and Silver on the Fisherman medal for catching 50 big Magikarp. I also have sufficient candies to evolve a third Gyarados. Typically I earn enough candies to be able to fully power up my highest CP Magikarp before I do the evolution as well. It’s a bit ridiculous.
  • I think I’m seeing a greater variety of Pokémon spawns near my house. Don’t get me wrong, the majority are still comprised of Magikarp, Goldeen, Poliwag, Psyduck, Slowpoke and Staryu and occasionally the evolved forms of these (apart from Gyarados - I’ve never seen a wild Gyarados). But I see Eevee, Oddish, Zubat and even Drowsee now, where I would only have ever seen Pidgey and Rattata previously. The change seems to have happened around the time the nests were rearranged. Has anyone else observed this?

Abyssrium, which I’d almost stopped playing entirely, has a Halloween event going on. Sir Tap Tap’s guide has been updated so that you can optimise your candy usage to collect all the ghost and bone fish. I’m enjoying the theme, as you can see from my reef below, with its pumpkins, candles, tombstones, ghost fish and bone turtle.

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This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1049479.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Brexit and being British [20161018|11:23]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Recently I had a conversation about the EU referendum vote with the bloke (born English) and a mutual friend (born Scottish).

I was explaining why the vote had affected me so profoundly, not just because of the inflammatory rhetoric poisoning the conversation on migration, but because it was deeply depressing to wake up on a fateful Friday morning in June and discover that one of the things I had found most attractive about taking UK citizenship was about to be removed. Becoming British, I said, had meant becoming European.

“I don’t feel European,” said the bloke.
“No, I don’t either,” said our mutual friend.

It shocked me into silence to hear that British people, especially someone so close to me, held such different ideas about what UK citizenship meant. Neither of them had voted to leave the EU, mind you, and in the paragraphs below I don’t address that. I can understand voting to leave when you don’t feel European but I don’t entirely understand voting to remain when you don’t feel European.

When I moved here in 2004, I had a fairly idealistic vision of modern Britain. The government seemed to have reasonable provision for the least well off in society. The NHS is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. The British people I met seemed to be keen to shake off insularity and post-imperial malaise, to welcome the opportunities offered by open access to Europe for travel and for work. There were many cross-border romances and relationships. People seemed to celebrate the multitude of cultures that had contributed to form present-day British identity. I don’t think I was, or am, a slavish Anglophile, but I did see a country and a people who were forward-thinking and progressive, who genuinely valued the potential in people regardless of skin colour, who were providing opportunities (e.g. work visas under the original Highly Skilled Migrant/Tier 1 schemes) to people regardless of their countries of origin. As long as you were willing to accept tea when it was offered (never refuse the tea even if you don’t want it), be suitably self-deprecating, respect the rules of engagement on public transport, go to the pub after work, and remember that intense meaningful drunken conversations are never to be spoken of again in the cold light of day, you were in there.

By the time I was able to apply for British citizenship, I was definitely no longer wearing rose-tinted spectacles. Immigration rules were constantly becoming more stringent for both non-EU/EEA and EU migrants and the toxicity of the conversation about non-British workers and refugees was increasing. Multiculturalism had become a dirty word. I knew that at the start of my time here, I was mostly seeing London and extrapolating it to the rest of Britain. I still believed, though, with my incorrigible American optimism, that the qualities and attitudes I admired held sway. Receiving my British-EU passport was one of the happiest moments of my life. For me, it represented becoming an official part of the broader, more inclusive, open and tolerant society that the EU (with Britain as part of it) aimed toward achieving.

Brexit inflamed such passion because it was not just a practical vote, it was an ideological one. Membership of the European Union held such positive connotations for me because I believed that being British implicitly meant being European. That belief turned out to be anathema to many who see that membership as a forced conflation of British and European identities. I’m still very unsettled by that.

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1048959.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Pokémon Go: Week 12 + Viridi [20161013|18:40]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |hungry]

I suspect I’m now over halfway through the lifecycle of Pokémon Go. I’m still enjoying my weekly urban Pokéwalks, but the thrill of catching enough unusual-to-me Pokémon or otherwise acquiring enough candy to evolve them is beginning to pall. I’ve just about come to terms with the fact that leveling up now takes weeks. I’d like to maintain my interest long enough to get to Level 30 or to the point where I can evolve the remaining 30 or so evolvable Pokémons in my repertoire, whichever comes first, but both possibilities seem rather distant right now.

That said, I have enough candy to evolve my Omanyte and my Seel, and I hope with enough walking I should be able to evolve my Koffing and my Jigglypuff. I hatched another Vulpix from a 5 km egg so that’s nearly walkable as well. The Spreadsheet of Evolve decrees that I should hold off on evolutions until my next Lucky Egg. I’m over halfway through Level 24, so I’m gritting my teeth and grinding through to the Level 25 rewards.

I currently have three - three! - 10 km eggs to hatch. I was so excited about this I spent some precious Pokécoins on an incubator. The first one is nearly ready.

I discovered that Kensington Gardens now seems to be a Diglett nest. I caught four on my last walk through it, having never seen one there previously.

On the other end of the necessary-user-input spectrum, Viridi continues to be a quiet source of daily pleasure. I share here two images of my plant pot. The first was taken on the day I started playing. The second is one month later, when everything bloomed. <3

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1048337.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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General life picspam: People & Things [20161011|21:58]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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A small compilation of Things Wot Have Made Me Happy over the past couple of weeks.


I am pleased to have produced offspring who can appreciate the great pleasure of slurping up really long noodles.

People + ThingsCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1048152.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Friday's Unscientific Poll (on a Monday): Bake Off take two [20161010|15:56]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |ill]

I was too ill last Friday to string together enough coherent thoughts to make a post, so the Unscientific Poll is coming to you at the very odd time of Monday.

I find myself a lot less invested in this series of Bake Off than I was in the previous one. One contributing factor is knowing that this will be the last series to air on the BBC, and the last with this set of four presenters. All three of the female presenters are leaving (Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins), meaning that not only will the show move to a channel with adverts, it will also retain only the intractably orange and bearded Paul Hollywood. Channel 4 will have to come up with some startlingly spectacular replacements for me to have any desire to continue watching.

Another is that, although I am charmed and delighted by Selasi's insouciance, Benjamina's understated wit and Candice's inexhaustible range of goth lipsticks, I get the feeling that any of last year's finalists - Nadiya, Tamal, and even the so-dull-I-had-to-look-up-his-name-Ian - would wipe the floor with all of this year's contestants, including Jane, whom I must reluctantly admit is probably the most accomplished baker even if she is my least favourite. None of them seem to be upping their game at the pace that last year's contestants had on reaching Week 7. Perhaps Wednesday will change my mind.

Anyway, enough from me. Which of the remaining contestants are your favourites? I shall place the poll behind a cut in case there are readers who haven't yet seen the latest episode(s).

Poll!Collapse )
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Pokémon Go: Week 11 [20161004|22:10]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |bone-tired]

I have many things I want to write thoughtful posts about, but so very little energy left to construct them. Hence: Pokémon. Squee is welcome in the comments.

  • On my way home from London, I found a Mr Mime lurking on a corner. I caught him. He was even worse than I’d imagined. I cannot decide which is more horrifying: Mr Mime or Grimer. Cannot...unsee...
  • I caught a Magnemite! It’s not very powerful, but it is new to me. I’m very fond of it because it makes me think of my work.
  • Not long after I caught the Magnemite, I encountered a CP1100+ Magneton in Hammersmith Tube station. I immediately threw a Raspberry and an Ultraball at it, but it poofed away after my first attempt (a Great Throw, even)! DISAPPOINT.
  • The Magnemite unlocked a new medal: Depot Agent, for Steel-type Pokémon. It is now my Most Pathetic Medal. Yay!
  • On the other end of the scale, I maxed out the Collector (2000+ Pokémon collected) and Backpacker (2000+ Pokéstops visited) medals.
  • I’ve walked my Omanyte to evolvability. Now walking my Seel, because who wouldn’t want a Dewgong to call their own?

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1047166.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Friday's Unscientific Poll: Rosetta's Grand Finale [20160930|13:50]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |all the feelz]

The Rosetta mission to Comet 67P came to an end today, with the orbital spacecraft landing on the surface of the comet and switching off.

Cartoon of Rosetta with its busted solar panels, clutching its Mission Achievements log. *sniff*

Cartoon of the Philae lander going to sleep forever on the comet's surface. *wibble*

Poll #2054798 Rosetta's Grand Finale

The saddest cartoon spacecraft image ever is:

Rosetta with its busted solar panels, clutching its Mission Achievements log
Philae going to sleep forever on the comet's surface

I shed a tear over Rosetta's demise.

Yes, I did. I'm not ashamed.
That's cometary dust. Dust, I tell you.
Yes, but that's a tear of rage because now the aliens will find our space junk and come to DESTROY US.
I have no idea what you're talking about, but here, have a tissue.
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Throwback Thursday (on a Wednesday): Ohana in Hawai’i [20160928|13:22]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |accomplished]

I grew up in Honolulu. I was one of the youngest of a large group of cousins, most of whom are male and Filipino, apart from my mom’s sister’s son, who is white. We spent a lot of time together since we all lived pretty close, and my Filipino grandfather (and, until three days before I was born, grandmother) owned a large house that always seemed to have at least two or three aunties and hence vast quantities of delicious food in it (chicken malunggai! pancit! lumpia! suman!) .

I haven’t seen these cousins very frequently since we all became adults. Two of them were in the military for many years. They came to visit us in Monterey on our recent trip to the USA. So before I share the photos from the meals we ate together (because of course there was food, lots of food), here are the photos my parents brought of us as children. Most of these were taken at Waimea Falls on the north shore of Oahu.

I’m on the left. The two cousins in the middle came to Monterey over Labour Day weekend. On the far right, holding the camera to his eyes, is the cousin I shall refer to as Big Keiki, because Little Keiki is named after him. Please note matching bowl cuts. Niiice.

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This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1046560.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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