baratron: (silly)
Got a letter today from Kingston Hospital about an appointment they've made for me. Apparently it's a "Pain Management F/Up".

Erm... :)
baratron: (NaNoWriMo)
In other news, while I was away, I worked out exactly what needs to be done to my NaNoWriMo novel to make it work. I'm not sure it's something I can explain quickly, so I won't bother, but it involves rather more scrapping of existing content and rewriting than I am happy with. Oh well. NaNoWriMo is an exercise in proving that you can write 50,000 words - not an exercise in writing a perfect 50,000 words that need no editing. If you're a published author on your tenth novel, you might be able to write something that needs minimal editing - I'm not, so I can't and shouldn't expect perfection.

I also had a very amusing time yesterday. People on irc were going on about personality tests (like the Kiersey Temperament Sorter/Myers-Briggs, etc), and I did the test with both Alix and Martin. (It didn't take me 20-30 minutes, more like 5 for each of them, but then I read really fast). It was quite hilarious because Alix's answers were almost all "Completely agree" or "Completely disagree" whereas Martin was more measured. Apparently my version of Martin Septim is INFJ, and Alix is ENFP. And then I laughed my arse off when I discovered that those personality types are each other's perfect romantic partners. Awww.

(I did not bother to do the test as myself because I would come out as ENFJ. I always do, unless I'm depressed enough to flip into introversion. Similarly, Richard is about as INTP as it's possible to get. Apparently our personality types are also perfect matches for romantic partners, which is quite, quite amusing.)

Also, here is a picture of Martin which [ profile] stellarwind drew for me. It is epic, featuring both his human and dragon forms. Honestly, you should look at it even if you know nothing about Oblivion or Skyrim but simply like dragons.


Jan. 8th, 2013 08:04 pm
baratron: (willpower)
In other news, I got my hair cut today. Had something like 20 cm cut off it, possibly more, so it's gone from bloody long (i.e. waist length) to just long (armpit length). So much hair. Growing hair and finger/toenails is the thing I do best. I'm sure I'd be better at repairing myself if it wasn't that all the protein I eat seems to be diverted into growing hair and nails.

I'm now feeling very, very disabled. My mum had to come round and do my hair because I can't go to the hairdresser, and hairdressers can't cope with me. I can't sit still for more than a couple of minutes at a time because of pain, and having to sit with my head perfectly level makes my back hurt even if it wasn't before. I move and twitch involuntarily. It hurts like hell to get my hair washed in a basin. I freak out from having my hair touched, especially by someone I don't know, even more so behind my back. I dislike having my back touched, when the person cutting your hair goes to brush off loose bits. The majority of ordinary haircare products make me wheeze unbearably, and I'm even allergic by skin contact or by inhalation to some of the hippy nonsense ones with all the ingredients clearly listed on the back. A hairdressing salon, especially one that does nails as well, is a mess of allergens that makes my eyes puff up and lungs give up within minutes.

Feeling really fucking abnormal right now, and need a cuddle or ten.
baratron: (Oblivion)
Today my stress levels are through the roof, my pain levels are through the roof, and my energy levels are through the floor. What a great combination.

Richard has been a hero over the past few days. Doing two roast dinners entirely from scratch, entirely on his own, including all the washing up two days running. I would not cope without this man. He is amazing.

Yesterday, I spent several hours looking at drawings and photos of topless men, and found it an oddly frustrating and boring experience. I was trying to find the sort of man that *I* find attractive rather than the sort of man which *fashion* thinks is attractive. I never thought I went for unconventional men before, but apparently I do. I was looking for normal men, with a little more muscle than Richard. Instead I found lots of six-packs, and pecs so prominent that they look like breasts despite being made of solid muscle. Ewww. I really do not like the artificially sculpted look.

The reason for this is that I've commissioned an artist to draw my characters Alix & Martin. She's already provided me with one picture, but Alix is so incredibly femme in it that I wanted another picture in which enough of his body is shown to "prove" that he really is male :)

Also, Tim & Peter came round, and we went to see The Hobbit. I would say it is excellent if you like either long-haired beardy men, or New Zealand trees & mountain scenery ;D Personally, I regarded it as severe eye candy for both of those reasons. I'm sure some will consider these spoilers. ) Richard was annoyed because I kept stroking his hair and beard and chest hair, but there were hairy men on the screen! It's what happens!

We couldn't be bothered to spend a small fortune on cinema tickets, and we all hate 3D anyway, so we saw the 2D. But it was so obviously intended to be shown as high frame rate, since whole chunks of the film was insanely blurry as 2D. They clearly shot and edited it in HFR, and then just "lost" half the frames. Bah.

Tim & Peter brought us really awesome Christmas presents and I feel guilty that we got them hardly anything. I hate having no money.


May. 17th, 2012 10:16 pm
baratron: (gaming)
Lots of things I "should" have posted about. None that I've found the spoons to talk about. I've been posting vast quantities of inconsequential stuff on various web forums, but nothing of any importance on places that I care about. This seems very backwards to me, not least of all because I seem to be wasting my few communication spoons on people/places that couldn't care less about me rather than spending them wisely on the people who do. But I just feel as if posting HERE requires that I post Important News About My Life, and I haven't been wonderful enough to manage that kind of coherence lately. Hmm.

Okay, well. Here's an amusing thing: today, I did a Dungeons and Dragons alignment test as me rather than as a character (since every time I try to roleplay, I end up as me with my personality in whatever world it is. I have been intentionally trying to play an "evil" character in Skyrim, but she's ended up almost identical to my "good" character). Found out I am Neutral Good, which is entirely unsurprising.

"A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. The common phrase for neutral good is "true good." Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias toward or against order."

I'm definitely an "only follow the rules if they make sense to me" sort of person.
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
[11:17] <baratron> i never understand how so many stupid Mac users have their machines open when they're staying in a hotel
[11:17] <baratron> i can see 9 other Macs here
[11:18] <baratron> and since the default name for a computer is Firstname Lastname's Mac, i know who owns them
[11:18] <baratron> *mine* is locked down so it doesn't appear on public networks
[11:18] <DysTuvai> good grief, the apples are metastasing. >>
[11:18] <baratron> and is in any case called Praesodymium
[11:19] <DysTuvai> ... that is an awesome name for a computer.
[11:19] <baratron> Macs have to be named after f-block elements *nods sagely*
[11:19] <baratron> Silicon Graphics machines have to be named after d-block elements
[11:20] <DysTuvai> ... that's... an interesting way to look at it
[11:20] <DysTuvai> XD
[11:20] <Teapot> you're such a scientist. :p
[11:20] <DysTuvai> I'm not quite sure what is the connection
[11:20] <DysTuvai> But it's just another one of those awesome HL things
[11:20] <DysTuvai> ^^
[11:25] <baratron> it's how the computers at college were named
[11:25] <baratron> we did not have PCs
[11:26] <baratron> i suppose they'd have to be s- or p-block elements
[11:27] <DysTuvai> All I can say
[11:27] <DysTuvai> Is that this degree of geekery is pure unrefined awesome. XD
[11:27] <Teapot> And also quite likely to make a Mac's trendy aluminium head explode. ;D
[11:28] <baratron> the lecture theatre we had for our final-year lectures had each seat named after an element, in order
[11:28] <baratron> i usually sat in Copper or Cobalt
[11:28] <Teapot> that is brilliant
[11:28] <baratron> the building does not exist any longer :(
[11:29] <DysTuvai> It was too awesome to exist.
baratron: (goggles)
If there is anything you wanted to say to me at BiCon and didn't, you can do so here. Comments are screened unless you give permission to unscreen.

Also, I will be paranoid that no one likes me if I get no comments. So feel free just to post "hello" or "this is my livejournal identity" or other little questions & comments.
baratron: (london)
It's incredibly odd to look at livejournal after it's been a public holiday where you live, to find that it's been an entirely normal work day for your friends in other parts of the world.

Just a quick observation :)
baratron: (aibo)
Wow. I am apparently a very sad individual, because my internet connection broke half an hour ago, and all I have managed to do in the intervening time is PANIC! I thought that maybe my computer was trying to get me to do some work, but that isn't working because I can't concentrate because I have no internet.

Well, I have too many windows open anyway, so perhaps I should dump the ones that are only open because I want to write about them.

BBC News: Hospital robots cut hospital pharmacy bill (article with video). Technology of the future! Very cool!

BBC News: Tech Know: BBC Micros used in retro programming class (article with video). Technology of the past! Awesome! Actually, I've been trying to tell some of the kiddies on PokeCharms what computers was like When I Was Your Age, and a lot of them just don't get it. Much as we don't get what it was like not to have a TV.

What's so wrong with Comic Sans? The BBC catches up with the BanComicSans people (with bonus Questionable Content picture, too). I am shocked and horrified and slightly amused to discover that the man who designed Comic Sans also designed my arguably favourite font, Trebuchet.

[I like the following: In case you don't care. )

BBC News: Gene linked to depression 'fixed' in mice. Scary stuff, but I'm always pleased to hear about potential new therapies.

[In case you care, my internet was down for around 50 minutes. It was TOO LONG.]
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
I am such a child. There is a journal entitled Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. I always "hear" its abbreviated form, PNAS, as "penis".

Time to grow up, I think!

(But seriously - how else would you pronounce it? P.N.A.S? Penas?)
baratron: (black)
Black jeans & black t-shirt = Non-ideal clothing for crawling around a dusty floor.
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
Here are my results:

Appalling pun of the day: Modeling age-related diseases in Drosophila: Can this fly? *groan*

Weird description of the day: solenoid-like proteins
When I think "solenoid", I think of a coil of wire with current passing through it. I don't think of a helical protein!

Awesome journal titles of the day: Brain Research Bulletin and International Journal of Hyperthermia

Misleadingly simple research paper title of the day: Beyond the Qs in the polyglutamine diseases
The only difficult word in that is "polyglutamine", which is really quite something considering that the next paper on the list is Effect of the disulfide bridge and the C-terminal extension on the oligomerization of the amyloid peptide ABri implicated in familial British dementia. To me the title rather implies that you're looking at polyglutamine diseases with names starting with R and onwards... ?

Unpleasant-sounding disease of the day: hand-foot-genital syndrome

"I didn't know they had one of those" award of the day: A drastic reduction in the basal level of heat-shock protein 90 in the brain of goldfish (Carassius auratus) after administration of geldanamycin.
The abstract for this paper features delights such as intra-cerebral treatment of goldfish and These results suggest that in the brain of goldfish, Hsp90 may not be involved as a key factor [...] and support the idea that GA can be used in fish brain as a tool in elucidating the role of Hsp90. Wow.

Also, I'm wondering why anyone would ever rave about the wonders of EndNote Web when there's nothing whatsoever in it to stop you adding the same reference multiple times! It was rather annoying when I went into it and discovered that 31 of my 79 entries were duplicates because I forgot to delete the marked list from Web of Science after sending them there.
baratron: (black)
I have spent way too long yesterday/today reading what I can only describe as British politician fanfic. Especially bizarre as most of the writers don't actually like at least one of the politicians in their story in real life.

Many of them feature teh sexytiems, but not all. Some of them feature zombie apocalypses, with HM the Queen as the gunslinging saviour of our country. One of them features the Conservative Party as a variety of undead creatures.

The following stories are all sex-free (at least at the point I write this), so you can read them even if you're squicked by the thought of real person slash or just generally aren't into hawt boy-on-boy action:

In the style of Good Omens. Angels and demons having to work together for the good of the country.

David Cameron meets the Minister for Magic. Brilliant.

Which Pokemon would Gordon Brown, Dave Cameron and Nick Clegg have?. I laughed so hard that I almost had an asthma attack.


Mar. 25th, 2010 05:41 pm
baratron: (silly)
My brain just managed to merge Vince Clarke (of Erasure) with Vince Cable (Liberal Democrat Guru and Spiritual Leader).

Brain is broken now.
baratron: (baratron again)
The last time I used a unix-based command line in earnest was 2001 or so. Since then, if I have been asked to do something that requires use of the command line, I have panicked and asked Richard to talk me through it.

Yesterday I sat down in front of a big shiny molecular graphics box running SuSE (which I've never used before, but I get on well with lizards). And all my unix filesystem knowledge came flooding back. I was impressing Philip by knowing all the commands and arguments. I was impressing myself by knowing all the commands!

So apparently my unix knowledge is highly context-specific. It exists only in the context of chemistry research. Who'd have thought it?
baratron: (baratron again)
Am I really the only person who thinks that Michael Jackson faked his own death? Read more... )
baratron: (lego)
I've been speed-reading academic papers for a couple of days. This is because I am working on my dissertation. Actually, "dissertation" isn't a good name for this piece of coursework. Normally a dissertation is a presentation of your own research, whereas this is more of a literature report - read a load of papers and condense them into a coherent piece in your own words with references. Anyway, you know what academic style is like, and reading too many papers all in one go does break your brain rather.

Thus it becomes incredibly funny when I find sentences like this in the middle of an article: Several therapeutically used drugs bind to more than one receptor and are correspondingly termed "promiscuous" ligands.
baratron: (trike)
Am weirded out. Chained up outside the pub at the end of our road is an adult-sized bike which has: a pink fluorescent frame, a yellow fluorescent fork, a small green fluorescent bit, fat pink tyres and silver streamers hanging off the ends of the handlebars. I didn't even know you could *get* pink tyres.

The really scary thing is that if it was only fluorescent pink with none of the nasty neon yellow, and with black tyres, I'd quite like it. Probably not surprising from the owner of this dress. (Or this one).

am I weird?

Jun. 1st, 2009 07:26 pm
baratron: (introspection)
Is it normal that having been worried sick about my exams before taking them, I'm now worried about the three exams I've taken because I've definitely passed them all with good grades and "what if everyone's got 80%+ in them?". What if the exam was too easy so my high grade doesn't mean anything?

Still have two more exams to do, one on Thursday and one next Monday. Am worried about the one on Thursday because it's the most difficult course of all (Biological Chemistry II, five page mechanisms of doom). Not so worried about the one next Monday because it "only" requires that I learn everything, I already understand it quite well.
baratron: (baratron again)
The other day I was in the lift at Goodge Street tube station with some UCL students. (I know they were UCL students because they were talking about their lectures – and one of them had a UCL bag). One of the girls was wearing a pair of beautiful purple velvet ballet shoes. You can tell they were beautiful shoes because I noticed them – me, the woman who doesn't really care about footwear. She was bemoaning the fact that they had been soaked with water and were now ruined. I had some sympathy because they really were quite delightfully purple, but had to wonder why someone who studied in London thought it appropriate to wear non-waterproof shoes in November. It's not as if torrential rain is exactly uncommon here...

I managed to freak out my course director slightly today with my amazing psychic ability to know where he was despite the fact the room he was in a) was not his office and b) had an opaque door. Read more... )

Am currently trying to decide whether I am a genius or an idiot. I oscillate between the two positions at a rate of knots, sometimes espousing both positions multiple times within a single minute of a lecture. For some reason, my brain just isn't willing to deal with the intermediate perspective – that I am a person who knows some things but not others. I wish I knew where that all or nothing approach came from.


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