Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hmmm... first pic...

So, I'm engaged. Thinking of this right now...

Monday, August 23, 2010

what I've been doing...




Fancy Pants Engineering dinner in early July - The Polymers Crew: Martin, me, FerasStaying out clubbing in London until the sun comes up with my BFF Stella

Doing the same in Swansea for my birthday - tequila shots of course :)



The Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles first played


The National Piping Centre in Glasgow
The Glenfinnian Viaduct - from the Harry Potter films
Sambuca shots with Conan and some 90's aerobics instructor the night before my birthday in Aberdeen
Hung over face painting at the highland games in Montrose on my birthday
Some swords at Edinburgh Castle
Whisky tasting in Edinburgh
Gross bathroom photo whilst out in town Edinburgh
Back in Swansea OTP in No Sign Wine Bar






Friday, June 25, 2010

just when i started to question it...

As some of you may know, my latest challenge has been the 12 month research Masters I'm doing in BioPolymers. Even fewer of you may know, that doing this has made me see clearer than ever that research is not for me, and I cannot wait to get out into industry and manufacturing/production (not to say I don't enjoy what I'm doing, I do). Seeing as I am nearing the end of my time at University and it's all getting intense and academically - thesis-y - insane, a small voice has developed in the back of my mind wondering if I might be a touch delusional with a "grass is greener" mentality. When I get into this so called idyllic industry setting, will I be satisfied with a business/science mix, or will I be business business business?

All has been settled.

I spent a few hours on the beach today reading a paper on oxo-degradable plastics. I am already one to choose biopolymers over plastics made from oils any day, but I still thought that oil-derived materials (eg: polyethylene) with additives that make them "biodegradable" were a heap better than those without the additives. WRONG. I won't go into it too much, but basically the overall impact on the environment is pretty much equal between them, and if it isn't equal, the ones with the pro-degradant additives are worse! It's mainly because the most damaging part is the producing and processing plastics from oil, and when you make them degrade faster they can't be reused or recycled, and usually end up not degrading fully because of environmental conditions.

The discovery of this little fact and my response to it has renewed my faith in a careers in polymers, instead of veering off into other manufacturing areas. So I'm really happy - the chemistry stuff still inspires me.

PS: if anyone knows any Summer places/jobs I could go for near Rotoma, let me know, I'm getting desperate! (Edgecumbe, Kawerau, Te Puke, Whakatane, Rotorua)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

if i was born 25 years earlier...

I was born in the 80's. I love saying that, as I'm pretty sure the 80's (closely followed by the 90's and 70's) is my ultimate decade for music - a lot of one hit wonders ("Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners; "Tainted Love" by SoftCell), and bands typically associated with the 80's such as The Police, but also great years for current bands like Metallica and Depeche Mode. Trying to make it in the male-dominated world of engineering, I often wonder what I would have done if I was born a few decades earlier. I usually go right back to the practically medieval choice of washer women, because I (with my modern feminist tendencies) would like to think if I was born anytime after about 1920 I would somehow get a career in Engineering/Science despite it being unusual for a woman. However, I forget that I probably wouldn't have been brought up with the "you can be absolutely whatever you want to be" attitude, and I definitely wouldn't have grown up in a society providing me with opportunities to do this, so it might have been a bit trickier than I imagine.

For the past 5 years I have periodically questioned dropping my career choice in favour of one more associated with music (production, editing, event organising, etc). Every time I have come to the conclusion that I can enjoy music as a hobby whilst being an engineer, but I would find it difficult to satisfy my science-cravings if I was working in the music world (mainly because I would need my own lab with zillions of dollars of equipment in it). So I think, if I was born in the early 60's, making the beginning of my career throughout the 80's, I would have been a singer (or tried to be, but this is not the point). I think I would have liked to have started out along the lines of Tiffany, Pat Benatar, and Toni Basil, but hopefully would have changed direction to more of an early 90's band thing, like Letters to Cleo, and possibly Hole. And seeing as I have total control over this little fantasy, I think I had better say I would be born in the USA, seeing as none of those artists come from little island NZ.

On that note, here's Laura Branigan with my fave song of the week, Gloria (1982):