Opposites

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Ugg Boot Face-off

To find oneself, at 50-something, studying astrobiology (under duress) as a subject in a Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics) degree is a little discombobulating, to say the least. Particularly if your last contact with the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics was some 30-odd years ago (and geology, never). But the university at which I’m studying crawling through my degree has a rule (which only came into effect after I started) that every undergraduate student must complete a Planet unit and a People unit outside of their stream in order to complete said degree.

So, every week this semester just past, a very grumpy band of Arts students, including me, would huddle together in the prac room, muttering furiously over concepts such as chirality; and biomarker composition; and whether the lump of rock before us was sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous; and whether another lump of rock before us was a stony, iron, or stony-iron, meteorite; and whether the earth was oxic or anoxic when another lump of rock before us was formed.

On the opposite side of the room, sat a bunch of engaged, aspiring astrobiologists, scientists and geologists, who spoke in a language even the polyglot Arts student doesn’t care much for. We were strange bedfellows; almost different species. 😀

What a discomfiting experience.

But, it blew my mind!

I learnt so much. About how far (and not) scientific knowledge has come since I was at school; why the exploration of our solar system (so what’s the big deal about a bunch of dead rocks and gassy balls in the sky?) is deeply interesting; the mysteries of the vast and strange universe that we find ourselves in; and, most fascinating of all, the extent of the microbial and extremophile world around, beneath, on, and in us. I even had a bit of fun with the Design-a-Lander-for-Titan assignment (the tutors mentioned that they were looking forward to the Arts students’ designs. Yeah, I thought, some comic relief).

There is much value in seeking out our opposites and differences in knowledge, beliefs, philosophies and interests.

What have you learnt recently that has broadened your mind?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

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Bob—my minion, courtesy of my husband—is a symbol of my excesses:

Too much chocolate and champagne: I, like Bob, am a candidate for the cakewalk rather than the catwalk.

Too much grieving: my father, who was affectionately called Bob (not his real name) by our extended family, died 13 years ago, but his ghost still looms at dawn.

Too strange a sense of humour: dark, subversive, and sometimes toilet.

And now I’m laughing too long and too loud.

Have a silly weekend.

😀

For more entries to this week’s WPC, see The Daily Post.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

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Stylish in Shibuya

I’m lazy technically when it comes to photography. Part of the problem is that I have two sets of glasses and never seem to be wearing the right pair when I want to take a photo quickly. Which is frustrating because my muse is most certainly ordinary people, and for this reason the photography that I most enjoy is street photography, which requires spontaneity.

These lovely chaps cheekily photo-bombed me as I was taking photos down this street in Tokyo and then happily agreed to pose. Of course, my camera was on the wrong settings.

The other people-inspired form of photography that I love is portraiture, but I don’t get much time to do it these days. My good friend Kim is always a wonderful subject.

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For incredibly beautiful and technically perfect portrait photography, see Joshi Daniel’s blog.

For more entries to this week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post.

Much Violence, Zero Harm

If I were a voodoo-hoodoo, my more annoying clients might experience the mysterious onset of a headache around 7:30 on a certain week night.

“Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good.”

Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

But the only violence I like is the kind that doesn’t hurt anything.

Taiko

Chu-daiko and Shime-daiko

So Taiko is perfect. Thus far, we’ve learnt the basics of the Miyake and Yatai-bayashi  rhythms, fantastic workouts for the body, brain and voice.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

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I know what you’re thinking…
..but I haven’t taken to my husband’s head with a meat cleaver.

Being time-poor, I don’t cook much, but when I do, I like to try something new and recently attempted this MiNDFOOD recipe.

The problem is that the whole tap-the-pomegranate-skin-with-a-wooden-spoon-and-the-seeds-will-just-fall-out trick didn’t work so well. Hence the pomegranate bloodbath.

For more entries to last week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post.