Thursday, 10 November 2016

Christmas lectures: Day 25

So, day 25 and all is well. Much of my time at work is still being taken up with re-watching the old Lecture series and marking out the time stamps of third party content. The 1990 series took forever as it was on space with Professor Malcolm Longair, and so there are a lot of images and simulations of things in space. The 1992 one is taking less time as it is on chirality and that is much easier to display in the theatre.

Chirality is also known as handedness. In simpler terms, an object has chirality when it is present in two forms that are mirror images of each other. An easy example of this is your hands - your left and right hands are chiral because they are mirror images of each other. Chirality is really important in chemistry, and you get quite a few chemical molecules that exist in mirror image forms but are otherwise identical. Something is called achiral when it has a plane of symmetry (a.k.a it is symmetrical, like half a cube is symmetrical to its other half).

Hands have chirality, as they are mirror images but not symmetrical. The chair is achiral as it is symmetrical

There you go, hopefully some of you have learned something new today. I've also been doing other things that have been pretty fun. My engineer got to come out to play on Tuesday when I got asked to build cubes
Anyone else remember playing with this stuff as a kid?
I have to point out, there is a legitimate reason for me building these cubes. And if you watch the Lectures at xmas you might just spot them! Hopefully further construction involving the cubes will continue next week and I'll see if I can get some more sneak peak yet meaningless photo's. Obviously I can't spill the beans yet.

Outside of the lectures life is going pretty good. Living in London is definitely different to living anywhere else. Travelling for an hour or more to get somewhere is common place here, whereas in Nottingham if you have to travel for an hour or more that tends to be more of a day trip. I'm hoping to be able to go do something Londony most weekends, to make the most of the time down here. So far it hasn't really worked, but fingers crossed for this weekend.

It's also getting pretty cold now, which is in some ways more irritating in London. You step out of the warm flat into the bitter cold, all wrapped up in fluffy hats, scarves and gloves and a fleecy jacket. You walk down the road, all cosy warm and feeling the brisk air on your face. Then you hit the tube station. At first its ok, especially as I get the overground, which funnily enough runs above ground. So you stay nicely warm. Then you hit the underground tube. At which point you have to take off all the hats, scarves, gloves and fleecy jackets in order to avoid collapsing from overheating. The sardine tins of trains are like their own mini-ovens, which would be a nice change from the fridged outdoors, only its too hot for too long. Then you get to your destination, and once more step out into the freezing cold air, and you're shivering again in seconds unless you decided to layer up before exiting the station.
Oh well, at least we didn't get snow (yet). Unlike some...
Snow from my home
So, things are starting to heat up at work whilst it's cooling down outside. Deadlines are looming, and the stress is starting to make its appearance in peoples grins (or grimaces). Still, I do feel a little good for my role in spreading the word about our event in Edinburgh. It is kind of nice to see the ticket sales steadily going up and up after all the hard work we put in.

Until next time, have fun!

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