The Thread Of Complete Randomness

  • As a reformed/failed scientist, I can confirm the accuracy of this cartoon. On the 18th iteration of an experiment that hasn't worked you just sit there looking at the results with a singular mixture of equally matched fury and despair. Expressed vociferously with every one of the curses illustrated here, and many many more. I did have a taste of the payoff though (having and idea, getting really worked up about it, testing it, working on it for months, and then in one split second BOOM. Oh my god I was right!). I ultimately found the effort for this admittedly large morsel of satisfaction beyond me.

  • Me too. Chemist/materials engineer in a previous life. What were you?

    Genetics. Trying to figure out how a common polymorphism makes you more likely to have a common disease. I often found myself asking what the end game was. Maybe in three hundred years we'll be able to edit our genomes so no one will have hypertension or Alzheimer's or obesity etc. Maybe.


    I love science, it's incredibly interesting. But it takes a serious force of will to engage in the act of seeing it through, when the whole tenet is based on knowing that you are not seeing it through to the end, but actually contributing to a part of the story. Ultimately, I hadn't the character to generate enough output to warrant the effort to secure funding to have a career in it.


    I loved chemistry in school. What made you change course?

  • I have been a fan of Pink Floyd for a long time ...

    But, it wasn't until recently that I discovered that 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn', was given the name from Chapter 7 of the book 'The Wind in the Willows'. It's not related to the book, just the name. I wouldn't care, we did 'The Wind in the Willows' at my High School (many, many years ago). Other Pink Floyd fans probably know this, but I never realised the connection.

  • Genetics. Trying to figure out how a common polymorphism makes you more likely to have a common disease. I often found myself asking what the end game was. Maybe in three hundred years we'll be able to edit our genomes so no one will have hypertension or Alzheimer's or obesity etc. Maybe.


    I love science, it's incredibly interesting. But it takes a serious force of will to engage in the act of seeing it through, when the whole tenet is based on knowing that you are not seeing it through to the end, but actually contributing to a part of the story. Ultimately, I hadn't the character to generate enough output to warrant the effort to secure funding to have a career in it.


    I loved chemistry in school. What made you change course?

    I do think you have to possess a certain kind of commitment to your specific area to really build a science career. Like you, I'm fascinated by science but in a way that might be the problem I had. I'm drawn by the breadth and variety of science but as a practitioner of it there's no job that encompasses that. The focused concentration on a particular thing never did it for me. But I'm glad I studied it and had that grounding, which chemistry is useful for - you need not just the chemistry but a lot of physics and maths.


    I didn't change course. My degree was "applied" chemistry which was very practical/industry focused and included an industry work placement year. The final year had options for either biological chemistry or polymers and materials. I opted for the latter, which led me into materials science and engineering, designing things such as bridge bearings and fire-retardant structural materials. You and I represented the micro and macro of science! I much preferred what I called 'bucket chemistry' to delicately tinkering with micrograms of stuff. I'd literally be chucking buckets of plastic pellets into injection moulders!


    Ultimately I was never fully at home in labs. When redundancy hit in the early 90s I was out of work for a while then my next job led me into higher education where I've been ever since, apart from a bizarre 6 years at the BBC editing programme information (referenced earlier here).

    Abandon all reason

  • After about a 10+ year gap, and 2 PC's, I've finally got around to starting to finish digitizing my LP collection.



    So here's my 39 year old Dual CS505, with NAD 9200 cartridge, and a CS505-1 mat, still working almost perfectly, the only issue being the starter circuit has failed, so it sometimes starts backwards. Solution? Spin it by hand before switching on!


    It's plugged into a Behringer UFO202 external sound card, with integrated phono preamp. HP Pavilion running HighCriteria's Total Recorder doing the capturing. And, as you can probably tell, it's Tony Banks's turn to be captured. Did this and The Fugitive, and then Jesse Rae's "the Thistle". I was quite surprised to find the sound quality of the Rae album, on WEA, was vastly superior to Tony's 2 Virgin/Charisma discs, the stereo imaging was on another plane.


    Jesse Rae's album is a bizarre, and superb meld of Scottishness and Funk, featuring several members of Parliament/Funkadelic, and as well as his hit "Over the Sea" it also has version of his song "Inside Out" which he wrote for Odyssey.


    Funny story about Over The Sea. A couple of friends of mine liked Over The Sea beacuse of the video, as did I. We ended up being in Glasgow together, attending a conference for a weekend, and decided "what better opportunity to buy the 12" single than here, in his home country". We found an independent record shop in a side street, and bought a copy each. As we left, we thought how odd it must've looked having 3 English guy's walk in and buy the song. They probably thought we'd made a special trip! ;)

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Fact—Tony Banks wouldn’t have made a terribly successful stand up comic.

    haha. I like to imagine that he is probably actually very funny. People with a dry sense of humor are sometimes some of the funniest people. I love on Sum of the Parts when Phil is talking about the squabbles the band would have and he said he would be like “did I miss something?” The camera pans wide and you can see Tony cracking up, it’s great.

  • haha. I like to imagine that he is probably actually very funny. People with a dry sense of humor are sometimes some of the funniest people. I love on Sum of the Parts when Phil is talking about the squabbles the band would have and he said he would be like “did I miss something?” The camera pans wide and you can see Tony cracking up, it’s great.

    Watch his Prog God speech.

  • I just found out recently that I have a WWI hero in my family. My great-grandad William Hughes, who I'd never heard of all my life, was killed in action on October 12th, 1916, I believe in Macedonia. My cousin is doing one of those DNA genealogy things and this is how we found out about him. He was only 32 years of age and left behind a wife and two boys, one of whom was my Grandad George who was only 4 when his dad was killed. I'm very proud of his service.


    1884-1916

  • It certainly is emotional for me. I'd always known of Remembrance Day, but never had that tie to anyone who fought in the wars. It brought a reality to me that I'd never known before. That sense of loss. I never knew him, but it brought up all these images of my Grandad being brought up by his single mom during those very tough times. I have to say, I shed some tears. What a waste for these good men to die so young. Remembrance Day will always mean so much more to me now.