|In the Garden
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
This week has been intense. On Tuesday I gave a guest lecture for the “Sun, Stars and Planets” course that’s an option for second-year physics students. Since it’s the last week of term, they get to have “fun” lectures as opposed to the material their exams will be based upon. I enjoyed talking about Cassini at Saturn and JUICE at Ganymede, and I think the students enjoyed it too. There were a few (good!) questions at the end and they all took away one of the Saturn lithographs I brought with me. One of the proper lecturers in my group caught the last 10-15 minutes of the guest lecture and he praised me highly, which was unexpected and a nice ego boost.
Immediately afterward, I went to greet a visiting seminar speaker and began shepherding him through the group, in between getting work done and teleconferences. The speaker was from the Department of Informatics at UCI and his earlier work had been looking at large datasets in genomics and public health, so the space science sector was new to him. He gave a good seminar about information sharing in science, and then I took him for drinks and dinner. Dinner finished after 9 PM so it was a knackering day, since I’d left Birmingham before 6:30 AM.
The next day was packed with meetings and a visit to the workshop to discuss the design of a couple of interactive elements of the upcoming exhibit about the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P. Also there was a surprise task from my boss, trying to distil some information from about 40 pages of documents into a neat, five-line table.
Four meetings and a telecon later, I went home and fell over.
I’m currently preparing for a trip to ESRIN next week. ESRIN is the Earth Observation centre run by ESA. It’s in Frascati, Italy - south and east of Rome in one of the “Castelli Romani”. Functionally this seems to mean “picturesque village full of stately homes built by wealthy cardinals in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries for when they didn’t want to be in Rome any more”. Also, it means “drink wine while you’re here, lots of wine.” I have to give a talk, but I’m scheduled to be the first one during the three-day meeting so hopefully that means I can take the latter piece of advice heartily on board for most of the trip.
My apologies for not getting back to everyone who’s responded so wonderfully to my Subscription Meme. I aim to catch up on replies this weekend.
Portrait of a Hyacinth, by Humuhumu
Mittens! I have mittens, oh joy!
Digging in the dirt.
Humuhumu has made progress this week. She can now request “Wind the Bobbin Up” and “Row Row Row Your Boat” by doing the arm motions, and does all the motions accompanying the songs when they’re sung. She says shoe (“dhoo”) and coat (“coh”), nose (“doh”) and ears (“ees”). She still greets Telstar in his own language (“aoww”). She can request things when they’re not in visual range, e.g. banana (“nana”) and Play-Doh (“puh-doh”).
She comprehends much more than she can say. She can give kisses on request, brush her teeth on request, remove her shoes on request.
She says “hello” or “hiya” very readily, but “bye” less frequently. She tends to wave at people after they’re already gone.
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