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Nov. 2nd, 2010


Let there be yeast!

Over the past year, I've been experimenting with baking bread on and off. I love it - it's fun to do, it's cheaper to make fancy bread than buy it, and fresh bread is one of the best things in the whole wide world. For weeks I've been promising myself that once the thesis was written, I'd start up a sourdough starter so I can make sourdough bread. Because sourdough rules, and how awesome will it be to have a pet bacteria culture?

Today I've started the process! I'm following a 7-day sourdough starter recipe which uses just flour and pineapple juice to create a lovely paradise for billions of happy little yeasties. If all goes well, I'll be able to start baking next Tuesday or Wednesday!

Here's what it looks like now - isn't he an appetising little goo puddle? As he starts bubbling away over the week, he'll grow even more handsome, I'm sure.

Sourdough starter day 1

Over the week of gestation, I will try to come up with a name for him. Any suggestions are appreciated. If one of you comes up with the name I finally pick, you'll win a loaf of bread (if you live in Brisbane or if you live in Canberra and this works by the time I go there and I can take bread on the plane)!
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Oct. 26th, 2010

Cicero - quid plura dicam

Semesters always save the best for last

In the past two days, in between working on my thesis, I have:

  • Finished and submitted an algorithms assignment.
  • Gone to a lecture on approximating a solution to the Travelling Salesman problem.
  • Gone to a lecture revising the properties of predicate logic systems (consistency, completeness etc.).
  • Finished a web mining assignment.
  • Gone to a lecture (and a tutorial) about proving that any one of three forms of the Axiom of Choice is equivalent to the others.

My brain hurts.

Excuse me, I have to get back to fixing my introduction.
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Apr. 27th, 2010

Cicero - quid plura dicam

(no subject)

I'm trying to come up with some terminology for an important concept in my thesis, and I thought I might ask for opinions here, seeing as there are lots of you from a variety of backgrounds (including lots of English/literature/communication/language sort of people, for whom this term might actually be relevant).

If someone describes a place to you that you've never been to before, or tells you a story about such a place, what do you call the imagined picture/map of that place that you form in your mind of that place from the description you're told?

It's an interesting thing to think about, isn't it?
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Mar. 7th, 2010

knitting, craft

Craftiness and geekiness suit each other perfectly.

In the spirit of actually posting stuff:

Geeky things I've made lately! Apologies to Twitter and Ravelry friends who've seen them before, I'm rather proud of these and like showing them off :)

Amigurumi Adipose

An amigurumi* baby Adipose**. I made this for a swap on Ravelry. I would've made myself another immediately, but I didn't have enough of the right yarn. One day I will have one of my very own!

It was relatively easy to make. I made it up as I went along. I had to pull it out and restart at one point, because the body was more of a pentagon shape than square. I'm still not entirely sure how that happened. But it was okay the second time.

Robots & Rockets laptop sleeve

A laptop sleeve! This was my Ravelympics*** project. I designed the whole thing myself, hence the being very proud of it. I finished it with just a couple of hours to spare!

More sleeve picturesCollapse )



* - Amigurumi: a crochet technique used to make stuffed animals etc, often associated with adorable Japanese toys

** - Adipose: adorable aliens made of fat, from Doctor Who (the new series) season 4 episode 1

*** - Ravelympics: an event on Ravelry where participants begin a project at the start of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, and have to finish the project before the Olympics finish. The idea is to challenge yourself and have fun! And to watch some Olympics, but I didn't really do much of that.

**** - Fair isle: knitting technique involving using two different-coloured strands of yarn in the same row. Actually, the Earths pattern here (the reverse of it is shown in the picture of the sleeve innards) isn't technically fair isle as there are three colours used in most of the rows. But it's pretty close.

***** - Footnotes: are fun. Why, yes, I've been reading academic articles lately. How did you know?

Dec. 25th, 2009


Merry Christmas!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas. Ash is!

Nov. 27th, 2009


QSWFA Christmas Fair

I've been even worse that usual about letting everyone know about this than usual this year. Sorry, everyone! Uni and work and the whole graduating issue and our current lack of internet have been rather distracting in the past weeks.

Tomorrow is the Queensland Spinners Weavers and Fibre Artists' annual Christmas Fair!

From 9am (I can't remember if it ends at 2pm or at 4:30 - how shocking is that? ETA - it's 2pm)
Saturday 28 November
12 Payne st, Auchenflower

There will be handcrafted items for sale - knitted, crocheted, felted, woven, paper, baskets etc.

There will be craft supplies for sale - yarns, fibres etc.

There's a morning tea stall.

It's great fun, and very handy for all your Christmas present and Chrismas decoration needs.

I will probably be at the Night Owls stall all day, or else I'll be running around doing errands for everyone. If you're in the area, come say hi!

I've been horribly lax about all my QSWFA internet obligations this year. Hopefully we'll get a new website put together over the summer that will make things easier for next year - which I'll need, because I'm likely to be even busier than this year!

Nov. 4th, 2009

Cicero - quid plura dicam

Let this be a lesson to all

Jenni just posted about bad drivers yesterday. 'Tis the season?

I was almost hit by a car this morning. 10-20cm almost. I was crossing at an intersection - running to catch my bus that was just pulling up to the stop near the light on the other side of the road. I had a green pedestrian light. I was more focused on the bus than nearby cars, but I was still paying enough attention to jump out of the way of the car that almost ploughed into me. It wasn't a car that was turning across the pedestrians, like when my brother got hit not long ago. This was a car that was supposed to stop at the red light. And it did stop, just not until it had gotten to the far side of the pedestrian crossing. The driver obviously either didn't see the red light until a bit late, or wasn't slowing down enough because she wasn't paying attention.

Why wasn't she paying attention? She was talking on her mobile phone.

She didn't see the red light, she didn't see me running towards her. She didn't see me jump back as she kept driving through where I was just about to step. She was still talking on the phone, facing forwards but staring blankly.

I don't even think she saw me stop and wave at her and try and indicate just how much she missed me by.

That's seriously dangerous driving, lady.

Also, it made me miss my bus and be late for consultation this morning. Not that any students have turned up yet (at least, not since I arrived).

Oct. 8th, 2009

sluggy, defenestration, random


I'm trying to stay focused on the next week and a bit, because my biggest assignment for the year is due Friday next week. But I've been having to do some summer planning, and it's really quite distracting. It's exciting, though!

I'm going to be doing another summer research project, which is essentially continuing the stuff I'm doing in my research assistant work, but probaby doing a proper study on it. I'll be doing eight weeks instead of ten this time - I need holidays desperately!

I'll have two weeks of holidays after exams finish. If my history exam and the exam for the course I'm tutoring (I'll be marking for that) are early, then I'll have a bit of extra holiday time, too! I'm not sure yet when my RA stuff stops, but that's okay.

I'll also have the Christmas-New Year's week off. Just one week. But then I'll have two weeks of holidays before O Week for first semester next year, so that'll be three weeks off then.

I have no idea what I'm going to do during these holidays. Anything that doesn't involve going to uni, I guess! Have some serious crafty time, maybe go somewhere for a few days or a week. I don't know. But I haven't had real holidays since before first semester classes started this year. I've almost forgotten what they're like!
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Sep. 18th, 2009

knitting, craft

World Wide Spin in Public Day

Tomorrow is the very first World Wide Spin in Public Day!

There'll be a bunch of us out there showing the city that spinning not only still exists but is awesome. If you're in the city tomorrow, come find us at Brisbane Square, from about 10:30 probably until early or mid afternoon.

Those of you not in Brisbane, if you see people spinning in public tomorrow, go say hi!

I've done Knit in Public Day twice before, and it's good fun. We haven't yet managed to get a really large group going, mostly because we've been a lot less organised about getting the word out to the knitters/spinners of the city than we should - Sydney, for example, put together a spectacular day out for WWKIPD. But that's okay. There are a bunch of us, we spend time outdoors in beautiful Brisbane crafting and having fun, and we get plenty of strange looks and interested inquiries!

I expect WWSIPD will get more of both strange looks and interested queries, as there will be spinning wheels present. Spinning wheels fascinate people! Of course, I bet most of the questions (other than "what on earth are you doing?") will be along the lines of "how does it work?" and "is that what sleeping beauty pricked her finger on?", just like at Ekka demonstrations.

Another thing that'll make tomorrow extra fun is that not only is it WWSIPD, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day... so that makes it World Wide Spin Like a Pirate Day! Arrr!

Sep. 13th, 2009

Cicero - quid plura dicam

H. G. Wells: The Human Adventure

'The Human Adventure' is the last essay in the book I'm studying in my history essay, An Englishman Looks at the World by H. G. Wells, published 1914.

This book has been utterly fascinating - the essays are on a wide range of topics, and Wells is a brilliant, persuasive writer. It's so interesting reading it from a historical perspective, seeing his opinions on all sorts of social and political issues, and knowing its context in terms of social and technological development, and its place in history as post-Victorian and post-Edwardian and immediately prior to WWI. There have been so many paragraphs and sentences I've wanted to share with everyone! So I've decided to post the last essay in the book here.

The full text is available on Project Gutenberg.

The Human AdventureCollapse )

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