an ‘oh my god’ moment.

Dear Catherine,
Good to see you today – sorry I didn’t have more time to talk but I was deeply embroiled in that other conversation.
Very well done again on your mark in Science and religion. It’s not for me to disclose the mark in advance of the Board, but I can tell you it came out top of the group. It was an even performance across exam and essay, and was a proper reflection of the intensive thought, creativity and hard work you’d put into the module.
Delighted to write a reference for Wolf Park, or any other exploration for which you think I might be helpful. Please let me know your snailmail address so that I can send a proper paper copy.
And have a good ease-down time – plenty of jazz and sunshine, not too much thermodynamics.
Every blessing
Chris

I was worrying I’d screwed up that exam as well. I actually feel pleased, not for getting a good mark as such but because my inner conviction that it’s better to really get into things, think about stuff, and do what you’re interested in than it is to just cram-learn facts might finally have manifested itself into a tangible mark. Well, I’ll see what sort of effect it has when I get my degree break-down later next week!

In the meantime, more jazz! This afternoon was spent sitting on a balcony by the river listening to wonderful music, sipping cranberry juice and eating nachos. I’m not sure if the nachos agreed with me, but the rest was good. Must enjoy my last week here..

American comics?

currently undergoing some kind of head-defragmentation process, trying to get something together before I leave university and come home.

I’m back in Fareham now, visiting my mother for her birthday. Last night we went out to a wonderfully authentic Italian fish place (with Real Italians), and listened to two old guys playing guitar/mandolin/violin all evening. The place was almost empty; I think everyone is watching tennis or something.

As we finished our meal, this eccentric looking guy came in with a grin and vase of sweatpea flowers and pansies. He was about 45 or so I reckon, mad-scientist style random white hair and intense but friendly brown eyes. After bantering with the Italian guy for a bit he looked for somewhere to sit; my mum asked if he’d like to share a coffee with us.

And so a wonderfully interesting and humorous conversation began. Turns out he’s some sort of hungarian-american combination, but has lived in Fareham a good 20 years. However, he travels all over the place since he’s a proffesional clown (or ‘laughologist’ ;p) Apparently good places to go include Ireland, New Zealand, Croatia and the Najahvo(sp?) American Indian reservation. He had a great skill at conversation that somehow managed to keep every involved, including my dad who is so often the quietly disapproving guy in the corner.

We listened to him talk about american politics, brainwashing via TV and other subtle psychological manipulations, misplaced patriotism, agent orange, and intuitive musicians.

I realised that I actually *like* the sound of americanish accents when the words being spoken are intelligent.

I also saw again how the ability of comedians to make you laugh and think at the same time is both profound and encourgaing.

And, once again, I see that being an outgoing person with good conversation skills and the ability to talk to anyone really gets you places, or at least a free coffee.

“mummy, can we do cheers?”

Many things have been happening, and each time I intend to write it down something else distracts me and so on.

Coming soon, some kind of overall reflection on university experience, and ideas of where to go from here. Possibly Madagasca. Generally I have been enjoying the sun over the last few days, wearing my new miniskirt (first ever!) and hence discovering the joys of being limited to only 2 ways of sitting down politely. My hair has been cut and I like the new style immensely- for one thing it’s shorter. Today I spent 4 hours in the bead shop making bead things. Last night I went wandering about with Mark and watched the blood-red moon rising – does anyone know why its been red the last few nights? I distributed bacon remains to the local wildlife too, including up a tree (best to keep those squirrels well fed in these parts before they get hungry for human flesh..). The soles of my feet are currently ‘grubby’ with that ingrained dirt you get from going bare-foot too much. I enjoyed a half bottle of wine last night while watching a film; life is good.

—————
life snippet 1: “mummy, can we do cheers?”

I don’t know whether this is surreal or amusing:

In town today I found myself walking behind a mother + son (about 8, cute hat) and daughter (maybe 11, also cute hat). The mother had short hair and those sunglasses that look both cheap and plastic but yet you -know- have a £100+ price tag. All three were drinking those ‘blue-flavour’ slush puppies. The boy piped up with
“mummy, mummy, can we do cheers?” at which point they stopped in the middle of the street to do ‘cheers’ with their paper-cups of slush. Then to my amazement and delight the mother drawled in a true ‘absolutely fabulous’ pseudo-posh[1] accent:
“that’s wonderful darlings, now we need to hurry on to Deborah’s house because Mummy needs her legs waxed.”

Here I had a glimpse of the childhood-lifestyle I never had, nor even thought about existing. What will happen to these kids? (I heard the boy referred to as ‘Alexarnder’) Almost certaintly it will involve horse riding lessons and canapes. Not to mention hyperactivity in the short term after all that blue stuff…

Whatever, I think today I begin to see where sloanes come from.

[1] pseudo=posh being that accent you get when the person using it has spent too long climbing up the social ladder and perhaps trying too hard.

This realisation just in:

The best thing is that NOTHING I DO for the next 3 weeks will count as procrastinating -now all coursework and exams are done, I HAVE NOTHING TO PROCRASTINATE ABOUT!!! (other than tidying my room, doing the laundry, and packing stuff for my parents to take home this weekend…bum ;))

Degree is over, but thinking is not..

Last exam completed to day. I was scrawling down my model of the universe right down to the last few minutes – what a way to finish your degree!

I’ve got myself booked in for a needed new hairstyle on thursday, and generally am going to keep myself busy in a FUN way. Drawing will be starting from tomorrow 🙂

To keep myself reading, I’ve put in a order for a load of books courtesy amazon and the free delivery over £39 thing. I’ve also given their ‘recommendation system’ even more strange things to chew over.. eventually I’m hoping to break it with a rather diverse and random collection of book choices 🙂

Books as follows:
1.Mendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements” (Paul Strathern)
– because I want to learn more about the histories and stories behind science, including ideas from past cultures, and alchemy (which I think most chemists, secretly, would really like to be doing..)
2. The Second Law: Energy, Chaos and Form(Peter Atkins)
– because I need to know more about chaos. I like it. And its more tangible than that quantum stuff.
3.H2O: A Biography of Water(Philip Ball)
– water is, perhaps -the- vital liquid, in many ways.. plus I want an alternative viewpoint from the notions in Viktor Schaubergers possibly one sided ideas about water
4. Ubiquity: The Science of History, or Why the World Is Simpler Than We Think
(Mark Buchanan)
– because I wanted something to get it above £38.88; this is perhaps going to be popular-sciency but it might be fun. It sounds like taoism but western and hence I’m interested.
5.Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness(Rupert Sheldrake, et al)
– because it combines 3 of my interests in one book! (not made up my mind about ‘cosmic consciousness’ though). plus I read the extract and the final comment made me laugh.
6.Developmental Biology
– I picked up this one second hand which was nice pricewise. Why? Because I feel there’s going to be some big stuff to learn or at least fascinating stuff to learn about embryology and ontology. Part of my plan to stop philosophising and actually begin to study what goes on in nature/life.

On a lighter note, I picked up the 2nd edition of ‘science of the discworld’ and the sequel book which I can’t remember the name of but its about humanity. I relaxed in Costas with an ice coffee this afternoon and began the first one. A few chapters in and I’m enjoying it immensely. I would put in some choice quotes but I don’t think they work out of context 🙂

thought: words are key

I’ve realised, cleanly, that words really are like keys to knowledge. I struggle about for ages, trying to find some solid concept to grasp onto for a bit, and then eventually by accident come across a single term.

Feed this back into the search engine, and *bam* – a whole new world opens up with more information and more theories, ideas, creations.

It’s no good having a search engine if you don’t have the right word to go into it. Phenomenon of the internet, or something integral to life?

You see; now I have cosmological words, like ‘non-particulate’ and ‘dark energy’, I have a starting point to converse with astro-chemists (project for next week) and learn more. This is important because my vague notions on ‘god’s creative energy’ would lead nowhere. It’s all in the words.

One day, I will get you all to believe in god, taoism, and other assorted spiritualities, without you even realising it 😉 Religious indoctrination by stealth tactics.

Coming back into physics

It’s really nice when things do actually come together. My developing theological-models are now fundamentally rooted in the same reality that science attempts to describe; none of this ‘spirtual world’ duality stuff.

50 odd years ago a guy called Viktor Schauberger figured out a lot about the world by sitting about in forests, although no-one wanted to listen at the time.

The good thing is that the reality that science describes seems to be finally catching up with the same ideas. In particular-

– the notion that there are higher/more dimensions than just the 3 (perhaps 4) we can percieve (Hawking’s 11-dimension M-theory)
– the notion that beyond the 4th dimension they are no longer ‘particulate’ – I’m not too sure what that means yet, but it sounds like it means they are energetic only?
– something called “Dark energy” which scientists admitt is there but have no clue as to what it is. (but I’m getting a bit of an inkling)
– some guy called Schwarzschild and a duality model of the cosmos, but I’m having problems finding anything coherant about this.

If any of you know anything about any of this, in particular readable resources that make some kind of sense, please let me know!

The great thing IS that there is so much there which complements each other, once you stop looking only within one scientific viewpoint.