Archive for May, 2010

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Flower power.

May 30, 2010

I was feeling like hitting the macro lens today. Not many subjects about though, so I went for everyone’s easiest subject: the flowers in the garden.  It was a good excuse to get out into the fresh air after yesterday’s rain.  I’ve also included some older flower shots as well, because they haven’t been shown before.

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Merseyside meandering.

May 24, 2010

I’ve lived in Britain for three and a half years, and I’m sorry to say that on the eve of my leaving I haven’t really seen enough of this place.  Partly that’s because I was working (oh so very hard) and partly because if given the chance, I wanted to explore non-anglophone Europe.  This weekend I went up to the northwest to Liverpool.  (It was, admittedly, the second time I’ve been – the first trip being to watch a Liverpool FC match at Anfield, but I didn’t really see anything of the city except the football pitch…) Even this trip I didn’t have very much time to look around, but what I saw I liked – the Albert Dock area has been restored and is  pleasant to walk around (especially on a sunny day, which I was lucky enough to experience). And there’s lots to see; The Tate Liverpool has a Picasso exhibition on at the moment (Picasso: Peace + Freedom) which is spectacular.  I think what’s really great about this part of the city is the mixture of old and new — the old brick buildings (like The Pumphouse Pub) sit nicely alongside the new structures (like The new Liverpool Life museum).  These photos are all about old and new.

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Desert roses.

May 10, 2010

My parents work in Kuwait and last week I made my second trip out to the small desert nation.  Situated on the Arabian Gulf, Kuwait is at once secular, Muslim, chaotic, calm, rich and poor.  I love it and I hate it.  It’s hard to juggle all of that, so I won’t delve deeper except to say I had a good trip and took some photos that only Kuwait could have provided the backdrop for.  Included here are the Kuwait Towers, two iconic structures at the tip of the harbour (I love the detail of each of the spheres) and the Salmiya skyline with Kuwait City in the background. Kuwaitis are nocturnal people, out in the streets til very late — the traffic in this photo was 11 pm traffic!  Compare that to the empty carpark of a mall at 6 pm, two hours later it would have been completely packed.  The Corniche (the road that runs along the harbour front) is immaculate, providing shady palm trees, picnic spaces, places to park your yacht (if needed) and piers to perch upon for some late-afternoon fishing.  The most striking thing about Kuwait is witnessed on her roads, where luxury cars are seen zipping about (speed limits are merely suggestions, lane-lines are decoration) with their drivers no doubt on the phone and kids left unrestrained. Best on-road moment: seeing two young boys in the back of a Lexus convertible, decked out in karate outfits, having a grand time.  Worst on-road moment: almost getting slammed by a hummer who wanted to overtake us where there wasn’t an overtaking lane.  We should have pulled over and had some ice cream from a road-side vendor.  Given the lowest day-time temperature I experienced was 35 °C it would have been very welcome indeed.

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It’s science, you wouldn’t understand.

May 3, 2010

I am a chemist, and for the past few years I’ve been doing my PhD research in an organic synthesis lab, in the chemistry department of a big university (Cambridge). What I love most about working in a place like this is the people in the lab down the hall, upstairs, or just over there are doing completely different research; it’s almost (but not quite) foreign to me.  Here are some photos of biology experiments being conducted by a good friend of mine.  I love that the tools are different (pipettes! buffers! microscopes!), I love that the materials are different (DNA! cells!) and I love that I don’t have to do it (until my post-doc starts).

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Victoria & Albert

May 2, 2010

I’m not a huge fan of museums.  The major reason being they are always filled with people just glancing at the collections; I rarely see someone really looking at the painting, or sculpture or whatever. All this art, history on display with no one actually taking it all in.  I was so happy to see two separate men sketching in the V&A London yesterday.  It was quite a moment for me, to completely ignore the disinterested tourists and focus on people focussing on the art.  I also spent some time looking at “The Prodigal Son” sculpture by Auguste Rodin.  (You can read more about Rodin at the V&A here.)   There is something unsettling about this sculpture; it exhibits mixture of extreme anguish and release.