Archive for October, 2009

Physics & Time Travel & Concrete

Physics was not the most exciting thing I learned in secondary school. Quite likely it was the way that education was imparted in my dear school. Anyway, the stuff this world is made up of and space etc are all super fascinating.

The most important event on the physics calender 2009,  is probably the LHC – Large Hadron Collider trying to do its thing again, in December after breaking down last year. Look, it’s even got its own .ac.uk website, for what reason I don’t know. (except to emphasize UK’s role, perhaps) Some people, though, think that it will not work again, because it’s a freaking jinx when you try to learn too much about what you’re not supposed to. Not some religious dogma, but that theory was put forward by, as the New York Times put it, “otherwise distinguished scientists”. Quite a sardonic remark, but ahem, otherwise an interesting article: here

That pointed me to this time travel article that took up too much of my library time. You know something is possible when it’s now a serious topic for serious physicists and not anymore for just wacky sci-fi writers. Apparently, publishing articles and serious papers on time travel when it wasn’t a socially/scientifically/socio-scientifically? acceptable would tarnish your reputation as “serious scientists”. Time for a career change and write some sci-fi novels then…

Stupid to link them, but you could compare it to architecture. Advocates of new and radical stuff always gets ridiculed/scorned by the purists or classcists or historicists or whatever. (and some already-old stuff STILL gets ridiculed) I mean, stone is an ancient building material and all, but just give up and use concrete, already.

(trying to read books expounding the qualities of stone, and then concrete, right after one another gives me a headache)

That, and buying yet more books from Amazon, sums up my day at the library. Not very productive…


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GO go go

Long days without updates always points to two possible factors – no time, or no internet. Guess what, it’s both….

DSC_0458smallThe “exhibition” last week. quote marks because it wasn’t the best of exhibitions I think. But anyway that clearly marked the tempo of the semester because now, at the 3rd week, a tutor suggested (also known as requested) we start moving into 1:100 and 1:50 sections as soon as it’s possible for us laggardy lumberheads…..

It may actually be a good thing because the idea is not to waste valuable weeks at the beginning dithering over rather pointless things like useless analysis – (emphasis on useless; as opposed to relevant analysis), and kinda do everything in one go and as you go; synthesize analysis, concepts, ideas, solutions, problems, context, urban design, urban response, and whatever other technical jargon you have right from the get-go.

Some days I think I should sit down, think things through and do things properly, but other days I couldn’t be bothered, and that’s the problem.

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I don’t have internet at home, so that’s a convenient excuse for not blogging.

But this post is not about saying I haven’t updated for ages. It’s to say that studying for years and years in university lends you a certain depth and growth in your thought that is different from the sort of lessons you are bound to get in real life. Most university courses are 3-4 years long and it seems that before you know what is happening or start to appreciate the amount of physical (temporal) and mental (intellectual growth) freedom accorded to you by uni life, you are already gearing up for graduation. Those of us who are bound to uni for twice as long, I think, starts to appreciate it and I think that is the start of certain changes to the way you think. Especially after a year out in practice or doing other stuff. I remember I wondered last year how I would feel when I returned to uni. Well I can say I am very happy to be doing so.

4th Year started with a bang with a near instantaneously-given huge amount of work, but so far, as have been discussed between me and several classmates, we somehow face it differently- a more confident, less stressed-out, and more relaxed attitudes. Also helpful (or unhelpful) is the aura of expectation and level of trust given by members of faculty to “Fourth Year Students”, as if the gap year in between have suddenly increased our credibility by huge amounts. Perhaps it’s that sort of action that is shown by members of the faculty that makes us react with real or feigned confidence.

I think that will last only until tutorials starts, anyway. Let’s see if that turns out to be the case.

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