Friday, November 28, 2008


Atherosclerosis long thought to be plaque sticking to the artery walls has been thorougly discussed in the article linked here. Fascinating and an important read for anyone with a heart.

Book Reiew: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' by Jean-Dominique Bauby

VERDICT: Pleasant

A wonderful book. A fantastic view of life from a man who could only move his left eyelid to communicate. Humbling and instills one with a renewed love and appreciation of life and all those things we take for granted. Read it, it won't take you long and it will change your perspective.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Book Review: Mc Cathy's Bar

'Mc Carthy's Bar' by Pete Mc Carthy

VERDICT: (mostly) put-down-able

This book reminded me of
Tony Hawks' 'Round Ireland with a fridge'
a book I greatly enjoyed. Both follow the near-random wanderings of an Englishman around Ireland.

Pete Mc Carthy's travels
centre mostly around West Cork, the idyllic setting of his childhood holidays and a place he has never lost his grĂ¡ for. Through the humour of bizarre happenings we glimpse the changes brought on by the 'celtic tiger'. Although intended as a comic story, and parts can be funny, I felt a melancholy undertone borne out of our narrator's longing to rightfully claim Ireland as his home, despite his English birth. The book characterises certain elements of Irish culture and landscape that escape many writers and makes an intersting read for any Irish person, or potential visitor.

The Giving of Thanks

If I were a turkey-loving American traditionalist and lover-of-holidays I would be celebrating thanksgiving today. Although I will be saving myself for Christmas-day-turkey in less than a month I will share some little things I'm thankful for in a small way today:

sunshine + dry weather on my walk into work.
ESB (electricity bill) not as scarily big as the last one.
free cake + fizzy lemonade for the arrival of IRU
chocolates from Belgium courtesy of Vijay
warm clothes fresh from the drier
feast of boris three times in one month (pity no-one was ready to ascend)
having lunch with a brilliant book and the guts to do so
being able to do more than blink one eyelid

things I thank my lucky stars for everyday include:
greg (everything about him)
my family + their health + well being
my friends
my health (being able to dance, walk, laugh and have fun)
nature ( from kicking fallen leaves to being mesmerised by waterfalls)

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mean Maths!

I had a nice formula for something. Then I couldn't prove its validity when I went to type up my results. Wrote up things the awkward formula-free way. Asked my supervisor for help because I'd found a flaw in the formula. So he gave me a helpful idea. Which was great, I wrote up a nice new proof of the formula. Except I then realised I still have the same little flaw. Have now eventually found a work-around, which is a pain, and can continue. Continue and completely re-write and re-latex all my major work that is. So relieved and dejected. An interesting combination, added to which we have the nerves about the poster I'm trying to design. Lots of working late this week will probably be continuing for some weeks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Review Gradings

Ok, I've decided that for future reviews each book, author, series etc. will be given a rating from the list:
Insomnia Inducing
Socially Detrimental
Soul Destroying

or some variations thereof. In general the first three indicate that the book is great, though a bit too good. The second two show a book that is good to read if you feel like reading but won't inhibit your ability to live your life independent of it. The last two mean you would really need a reason to read them.

Personal Update

Ok. Sort of fell of the face of the blogosphere for a while there. Things were incredibly busy in both personal life and work and then I got sick. Back in business now and hopefully will have a few new reviews in the offing :)