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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

Tagged by abbacat: Six random facts about me. [20060524|21:06]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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  1. I've met five Nobel laureates. George Olah, Mario Molina, Ahmed Zewail, Rudy Marcus, and Yuan T. Lee. Of the five, I've had an extended conversation only with Molina, who is small and affable. The others are a bit…standoffish. We were at a conference. In the loos. I was a little bit tipsy. Believe it or not, we were actually talking about atmospheric chemistry.

  2. When I was a little kid, I invented a word to describe the feeling I got when I saw an object that fascinated me. I mean something that I wanted to eat because I liked the feel, the smell and the sight of it, but couldn't because it wasn't edible. I've never told anyone what the word is, and I never will. Once, I tried writing it down. I scribbled over it in black marker pen, tore the piece of paper into tiny scraps and burned them.

  3. I write reviews in my diary of every book I read and every film I watch. Usually they're one or two lines long and most of them are unlikely to make sense to other people. But they're enough to remind me what it made me feel. For instance, my review of Patrick Neate's The London Pigeon Wars: "Desperately wanted this to be better than it was. Clever touches not enough to override underlying tedium. Misleading title: too many humans, not enough pigeons."

  4. If I continue being an ex-scientist, there will come a day when I pick up my dissertation and it won't make any sense to me. This thought scares the piss out of me.

  5. An assignment from a class that I wasn't actually taking for a grade provided one of the best experiences I had throughout my science career. I was given two weeks to research a paper in a field with which I was unfamiliar and then gave a twenty-minute presentation summarizing the abstract, experimental methods and results and critiquing the conclusions. I spent a week in the library doing far more background research that was strictly necessary. My presentation earned the praise of the big-brained Caltech professors leading the course. If that could be my job, if I could have a new topic thrown at me every two weeks and be told to become enough of an expert in it to present it convincingly, I would go back to science. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to get that job, or if it even exists.

  6. I adore living in Camden. I've walked all over London. I know that this is a shite neighborhood in comparison to say, Chelsea and Kensington and Maida Vale and Notting Hill. But you know what, a lot of those places look like San Diego transplanted into the middle of London. Wide avenues, sensible street layout, clean pavements, no one around in the middle of the day. To me, it's just not London if you can't hear honking horns and swearing drunks and gangs of free-range chavs at all hours. And if there aren't streets that finish half a block after they start in some piss-soaked alley with a crusty pub or derelict park at the end. And if you don't have to step carefully when you walk outside to avoid the remnants of last night's vomit, dog poop and discarded cans of Special Brew. I don't necessarily like these things individually, but put them together with the Victorian architecture that barely merits a Grade I rating, people of every skin color under the sun and convenient access to buses, tubes and overground trains and you have pure unadulterated love, baby.


Oh right, I have to tag six people. Hm. becala, belladonna_, helpful_mammal, imyril, minirth and smallfurry. And anyone else who cares to do it. Of course, if you don't want to, no one will be hunting you down and sporking out your eyes while you sleep. Or if someone does, it won't be me.
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Comments:
From: libra_verde5
2006-05-24 20:19 (UTC)

You captivate me

#2: That is so awsome. Never surrender!
#3: I wish I did this! Sometimes I buy books, get home and realize I already own them and have read them.
#6: Poop. Always funny.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-01 22:51 (UTC)

Become a science reporter

I was just thinking the same thing. Report on Science!

this is craig, btw. back in Los Angeles.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2006-05-24 21:34 (UTC)
1. You're one of the few folks I know that could have pulled this off. *chuckling*

2. That's plain wonderful. Never let it go. Or share. (Now, I don't right off remember your stance on the idea of having kids, but there is something particularly magic about being able to whisper the odd bits of advice and world truths in the ear of your sleeping baby). *shrugs*

4. I have a hard time seeing this happen. Um, until you're really, really old and it won't much matter then, as your biggest challenges will be chattering to kittens and hoping your socks match. ;)

6. I love that you're enjoying it to the fullest. Even the ugly can be beautiful if you look at it the right way. Except vomit. That's pretty much nasty, ever.


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[User Picture]From: becala
2006-05-24 22:33 (UTC)
Except vomit. That's pretty much nasty, ever.

But sometimes the execution thereof can be beautiful. Or at least elegantly stealthy or impressively nonchalant.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-05-25 07:56 (UTC)
It can even be cute.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-05-25 14:29 (UTC)
1. I think it's possible he may have had a wee bit of drink himself. ;-)

2. (I don't have a firm stance on having kids. Right now, I'm content to be Auntie. But I'm not ruling out the possibility entirely.) Don't worry, I won't. I love that you do that, though.

4. Ahaha, awesome. And chasin' them kids off the lawn while waving my big stick! I wanna do that too.
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From: tdj
2006-05-24 21:43 (UTC)
I gotta ask - #5, what class?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-05-25 07:54 (UTC)
ESE/Ge/Ch 172. It says "Seinfeld, Wennberg" but when I took it, it was more like "Wennberg, Salawitch."
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From: tdj
2006-05-25 21:18 (UTC)
I get a lot of #5 teaching. I'm exacting, so when I run into something I'm ignorant of I set everything aside to learn it. I'm also easily bored, so as soon as I hit diminishing returns, I look for some fresh ignorance.

It works well when all you need to be is two steps ahead of the students.
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[User Picture]From: becala
2006-05-24 22:31 (UTC)
A few months ago I discovered that I no longer understood the write-up from my artificial neural network project from my first year of non-community college. And I did the write-up. But at least upon thumbing through a textbook, I got the gist back. That comforted me somewhat.

Would you believe that I haven't been tagged for this yet? I think I will accommodate you. Probably.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-05-25 14:25 (UTC)
Yeah, that's the good side, I suppose. As soon as you've learned something once, it becomes much easier to re-learn it after you forget.

I tagged you because I thought other people probably figured you don't do memes and therefore don't tag you. (I think this is why I'm not tagged often either.)
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[User Picture]From: becala
2006-05-25 14:46 (UTC)
Yeah, I actually did want to be tagged with this one this time. Interestingly, when someone else has posted it, I haven't wanted to be, but when I was reading yours for some reason, i was like "I really hope she tags me. Maybe I'll do it anyway." :)

Of course, now I have to expend the mental energy to do it. This weekend.
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From: ripperlyn
2006-05-25 00:53 (UTC)
I think it's called 'columnist for a pop sci column in a major news publication.' No idea how you get that job tho.

Nobody ever tags me. Not sure why that is.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-05-25 14:21 (UTC)
Really? I always figure you're one of the people who got tagged all the time. I was trying to pick a few people who don't normally do these things, that I don't know well and/or who don't post often.
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From: ripperlyn
2006-05-25 17:29 (UTC)
Hehe. Nope, I don't get tagged at all and tend to try to avoid getting sucked into memes.

Wait, that might be why.
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[User Picture]From: 3g0
2006-05-25 01:06 (UTC)
Re: #5 - you could consider becoming a professional science blogger. cottontimer is putting her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in genetic epidemiology to use in that regard, and I think she's making a profit on it. The perk is that it keeps you somewhat current in your field, plus it enables you to explore new things...and it could set you up to segue into a scientific journalism position too.

#2 - I invented a word too; mine described that state of contentment and satiation one feels when you have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and you're at the park or doing something fun; that precise moment of perfection that dawns on you. I've never told anyone mine either & I'm not sure I could spell it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-06-05 15:25 (UTC)
It's a good thought. I don't know that there's as much interest in chemical dynamics and kinetics as there is in genetic epidemiology but it would be worth a shot. Thanks for the suggestion.
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2006-05-31 14:14 (UTC)
Camden is my favorite place in London. The markets are also the only place I can window shop all day (I am not a born shopper).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-06-05 15:15 (UTC)
Agreed. I like to grab quick lunches there, too. If you go to the Vietnamese place and ask for the pho, they cook the noodles, broth and meat on the spot for you. Most of the other food is all pretty much Chinese food that's been sitting out for a while. Heh. Not that there's anything wrong with it when you're really hungry, but it's kinda cool to be able to get a really nice fresh bowl of soup for £3.50.
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[User Picture]From: omniana
2006-06-05 06:59 (UTC)
Maybe science is like riding a bike, maybe you wouldn't be able to do the same experiments again, but you probably won't forget it, you did it for many years! I still get happy when a topic from my thesis years comes up and usually I still remember lots. I think work like your presentation could be found as a science advisor. Or, maybe you should try journal editing jobs again?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-06-05 15:17 (UTC)
Maybe. What I'd really like to do is actually finish one of my creative projects, at least to the point where I'm satisfied enough to risk sharing and possibly even *gasp* make money from them.
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