Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Goal 66: Get my ears pierced!

It's done! At 21 years of age I have gotten my ears pierced for the first time ever!

I've been wanting to do it for a while and one Saturday after kung fu we decided to all go into town, so I thought I may as well get them done while the others do their shopping. The mister held my hand and we all went for ice cream afterwards while I felt very proud of myself.

I got 4 done at once, two ear lobes and two helix piercings in my right ear. Initially it was just going to be the two cartilage ones but then I saw all the cool earrings that existed in the world and wanted part of that.

Look how tiny my ears are! I have basically no ear lobes at all.

My internal monologue went something like this:

"10 year olds can do this. How bad can it be?
Oh that's actually quite a big needle.
It can't be worse than giving blood.
The needle's getting closer.
Oh god that thunk was the sound of puncturing cartilage.
Ow. Actually that wasn't so bad.
I'm really glad I'm not squeamish."

After that the metal bit gets pulled through the hole and there's a bit of internal screaming at that point. But since I had the cartilage done first I couldn't feel much after the initial pain. The cartilage stung constantly for about a day and it took a few days before I was able to sleep on my left side which just had the lobe in.

I am so excited for 10 weeks to go by so I can change the jewellery, assuming they heal fine. I'll be sure to post pictures of my newly decked out ears when that happens. Roll on February the 4th!

Limpet x

Friday, 25 November 2016

Luna the Crochet Dragon

Just wanted to share my latest project with you. I got commissioned for the first time! My best friend Tanya from secondary school asked me to make her a purple dragon. I sent her some photos of crochet dragons and she chose this one:

Luna the dragon in her new home.

I took a long-awaited trip to London to visit her and we had a really fun weekend. It was filled with calisthenics, old chick-flicks, food, and a Captain Morgan's themed night out where we got loads of freebies. Tanya was the envy of her whole student flat and Luna got lots of love and cuddles; she's practically a house pet.

Confession time: I thought it'd be really easy to put Luna together on the train up there but it ended up being quite an involved operation with lots of sewing. So after 4 hours of bumpy public transport her tail wasn't finished and she had no eyes! Tanya didn't mind me finishing her off though and was fascinated by the whole process. I'm really proud of Luna and a little sad to give her away.

The pattern can be found here on Ravelry. It's in Spanish but is easy to follow with Google translate. For more dragon-ness I added some small wings from the crochet cthulhu pattern here where they have a nice photo tutorial.

This is the second time I've finished my crochet at the last minute, but I'll try not to make a habit of it. Also, just look at Luna's eyes, she's so cute!

Limpet x

Monday, 14 November 2016

Doing a Physics

It's been a bit radio silence over here, hasn't it? Well that's because life is good! I am busy and have been doing a physics!

Pile of textbooks and lecture notes just to prove to you guys that I actually do work sometimes. On top is my Crystalline Solids course which is technically quantum chemistry and is really weird.

I've recently finished the group work section of my dissertation module. "Group work, in a dissertation!?" I hear you cry. Well yes, that's my thought on the matter too. In a proper subject like physics, no less. The thing is, we have to prove that we're capable of working with others. For physicists that can be a bit of a challenge (most of the stereotypes are true). Rather than letting us just get on with our dissertation they thought this module has to be the one with teamwork thrown in.

First we had to rank a list of topics based on preference, then get put into a group of four and split up the topic to write an abstract and do a presentation on it, before writing a proper dissertation by ourselves. For example, I was in the group for 'semiconductor nanowires'; researched 'the applications of semiconductor nanowires' in the abstract and presentation; and will write my own dissertation on 'nanowire photonics.' So I guess it's good in that you start off with a big topic and narrow it down to something you're interested in.

While writing the abstract was fine, the presentation was terrifying. I made the mistake of working the night before when I had to get into uni at 8am, so I was trying to educate my pub regulars on the growth of nanolasers to make myself a bit more confident. Growing lasers that are in the scale of 10−9 metres is pretty damn cool to me, but turns out it's super hard to explain a scale that small to people. Each individual nanowire can have the ends cleaved off to function as a teeny tiny laser cavity. I can't wait for them to actually make these.

An array of ZnO nanowires, which can be made less than 100nm in diameter (ie. fitting 10 trillion wires into a square cm). This is what I love about physics: at one end you've got the impossibly small, and at the other you have the vast incomprehensible expanse of the universe.

These zinc oxide nanowires in the photo above are actually used on some solar panels that are getting really, really efficient. Nanotechnology could be the future! My individual dissertation is going to be the photonics applications (photonics=photons=light=lasers and LEDs and optical fibres and stuff) so I get to delve even further into the crazy things nanowires can do.

But anyway, the presentation turned out going really well. I knew all my stuff and answered some complicated questions and they seemed impressed with us. My boyfriend was such a rock throughout the whole thing and me getting stressed and antsy about talking in front of people. He bought me coronation chicken sandwich fillers to munch when it was all over and drove me there early and told me "I'm so proud of you, little one". That's often all I need to get through something, just to know that someone is proud of me and rooting for me to succeed. 

Getting back into physics has been so great. It's what I'm meant to do in my life; I've been feeling productive and useful and it's lovely.

Just give me a few years and you'll be talking to a proper physicist!

Limpet x