Posts Tagged With: list

The 6 Pictures From 2013 I Wouldn’t Have Lived Without, And You Shouldn’t Too

Sorry. Buzzfeed-style titles are just so inspirational.

Yes, it’s been a while – my longest break since I started this blog way back in the noughties. But there’s a new year to embrace and explore, so let’s take a whirlwind tour of 2013 through my lens and we can all move on, eh? Stop 1: January.

An image of a zombie on an escalator

Stirring the memory-beast that is ZombieLab is dangerous. It devoured 12,000 souls, and grew so large it almost became a victim of its own success. It spawned a BBC appearance for me (with a new job title), dragged the public into peer-reviewed research, and turned January into a dark, demented blur of a month. Let’s move on swiftly. February.

An image of the JASMA demo team doing Tai Chi in Leicester Square

This year, I’ve been learning Wing Chun kung fu at the Jeffrey Alexander School of Martial Arts. On a freezing, rainy Chinese New Year afternoon, the team took to the stage in Leicester Square. Martial arts are a total departure from the freestyle sports I’ve spent most of my life pursuing, with a strong structure, long history and strict training environment. I’m loving the challenge.

Not much else sticks in my mind from February. It was a short, cold month, and I was having the mother of all work-hangovers. I was prepared to plunge into powder, so let’s move on to March.

An image of off-piste skiiers in a tree run in Meribel

I’ve had more dreams about Meribel than anywhere else I’ve visited (link goes to video of the trip). I couldn’t contain my sense of awe as we rode up the gondola on the first day, emerging from the tree-line to a breathtaking panorama of the snow-covered Meribel valley in the French Alps. Six days of good conditions, great company and a sport that has saturated my mind with a desire for more…

Before I get trapped in endless daydreams, we’ll scurry on to April.

Scientists from the Antarctic at the Science Museum

My job at the Science Museum is more than just zombie-herding. In April, I invited scientists studying space weather in to the Museum to show off their work. They brought the Antarctic camping kit they’d lived in for their field trials. Cool.

The year’s been a really positive one at the Museum. I’ve created live events of all shapes and sizes, developed gallery updates, produced films about state of the art 3D printing, and so much more. It’s a ridiculously diverse role and I’m lucky to work with a brilliant bunch. Long May it continue.

An image of David on a Rock

Ah, yes. That happened. While I didn’t win a dream job in Queensland, I did get to run around London for two days with a crocodile and kangaroo, and met an array of people I’d never otherwise have crossed paths with. But it was an exhausting and intimidating two weeks, not least because I was also helping assemble a new display about brain mapping at work.

Later in the month I took off for a deep breath of fresh Italian air, finding some invaluable head-space with a trip to the Puglia region. A day exploring Monte Sant’Angelo was just magic. One word to describe the contrast between bouncing through Trafalgar Square in a Park Ranger costume and sitting alone in the sun-drenched backstreets of an Italian mountain village: stark.

Let’s wrap this instalment with June.

A climber at Portland, Dorset, sport climbing at Blacknor

Portland. The limestone one, not the hipster one. It was the first place in England that genuinely shocked me with its natural beauty. The second day of June was crisp, stunning and blue, and I experienced my first outdoor lead climbing on white cliffs overlooking the glassy Atlantic. Lead climbing still holds mental demons for me, and I plan to wrestle with them more in the coming year. Next time, it’ll be me doing battle with the flake line in the picture.

The summer of 2013 was, frankly, ridiculous. If I’ve tallied it correctly, I stayed in London for a grand total of 3 full weekend days between May and October; everything else was spent exploring England and Europe. So keep your antennae tuned for part 2 of my 2013 wrap. Expect stories of German caves, Brimham boulders, Eclectic games, Santorini sunsets, punting, castles, French forests and flooded Devon streets…

Pro Tip: If you click on the images in this post, you’ll get to see a secret bonus image from each month. Some are related to what I’ve talked about; others are just, well, things. Go on then. You know you want to.

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Categories: climbing, Fun Things On Land, photos, Science, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

My 5 best posts of 2011

(Other than this one, which is pure concentrated awesome).

Straight from the blogger's mouth.

There’s no metric or rationale behind this list, but these were generally among my most popular posts and/or held special significance. Interestingly, they cluster closely around the first 5 months of the year; it’s the time when I was digesting lots of really new and interesting ideas on the Masters course, had a decent amount of time to devote to writing, and also was up for a Bloggie so I was trying extra hard!

  • Super Cool Stuff: Explosion Edition: This one’s on the list because it was, by far, the most fun to put together. Not only did I get to go out in the sun, I got to play with my camera and water balloons.
  • When I Become You, We Can’t Be: My first work of fiction for a very long time. The concept is still bouncing around in my mind – there’s a lot of potential, I think…
  • Kill the communication status quo. With guns: I wanted to be a bit provocative with this post, hence the title. I was pissed off when I wrote it, and I’m still pissed off. However, I am a little chuffed. I said in that post we needed a dodgy climate rap, and 3 weeks later, voila:
  • The Scientist’s Dilemma: Probably one of the more serious pieces I did of the year, and it was picked up by WordPress, so a decent amount of people saw it (hooray!). It highlights the problem that faces anyone trying to tell a new story or explain a new idea.
  • It’s Science: “My Farts Smell Better Than Yours!”: Hands down my most popular post of the year. I did do a genuine amount of research for it, too! It was written somewhat reluctantly upon request, but usually tops my daily hit count with a wide, and sometimes disturbing, array of search engine queries.

So there you have it… my 5 favourites. If you haven’t seen them before, go check ’em out! Unfortunately I’ve been too busy in the past few months to really invest time and creative energy into writing quality posts, but in 2011, I plan to scale back my posting and focus on better posts, rather than lots of posts.

Speaking of which, I posted 337 times in 2011 (… really? Whoa) and according to WordPress, had about 63 000 page views, which doubled my 2010 tally. Will I be able to resist the pull of the publish button and the stat counter in 2012? We’ll have to wait and see…

Categories: Random Links, Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Official* A-Z of Australia’s Strangest Jobs

How strange is your job? And if you were able to give yourself a job title, what would it be? While browsing the Australian Tax Office’s e-tax list of jobs for a job name that I thought would fit what I do (no luck), I found an alphabet of strange, wacky and wonderful sounding jobs that people claim, on their tax returns, that they work in.

  • Amusement Park Attendant – Rides (let’s start with a fun one)
  • Brothel Keeper
  • Chocolate Packer (I can’t help but think this is a euphemistic joke)
  • Dog racing judge
Dog racing judge

Errr, is that what they mean? Photos: Flickr//sarah...//John McNab

  • Egg grader
  • Food technologist (Imagine someone saying this in a posh, condescending accent)
  • Grave Digger
  • Hunter-trapper
  • Ice Cream Van Vendor
Ice Cream Van

Joy dispenser - best job in the world? Credit: Photopedia/Ryan Opaz.

  • Jillaroo (the female version of a Jackaroo – very Aussie)
  • Knife Sharpener
  • Lagger (I have no idea what this is. The dictionary gives it as: “A condition of slowness or retardation.”)
  • Master Fisher (Modest Fisher? Nah)
  • Noxious Weeds Inspector
  • Oyster Farm Overseer (putting the word overseer makes this position sound sinister)
  • Powder Monkey (these were young boys who carried gunpowder on ships before the 20th century. They still exist? And get paid? And taxed?)
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Rag Cutter (because that’s profitable)
  • Slaughterer
Blood Slaughterer

"Jimmy, your career aptitude test results are... worrying. Just put the... OH GOD!" Credit: DakkaDakka

  • Tree Faller (sic) (I don’t know if this is meant to be feller, or if my grasp of English has disappeared)
  • Undertaker
  • Vehicle Body Builder (I understand what this means, but I still read it differently)
  • Whitewater Rafting Guide
  • X (was regrettably blank; I propose Xenophobe, for Andrew Bolt and Tony Abbott)
  • Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator (That’s a long, complicated description. Is it a sewing thing? Actually no, I think I saw one of these in an Irish cashmere store showing a documentary)
  • Zookeeper

Honourable mentions must go to Cattery Operator and Lay Preacher. Cattery is a funny word to start with, and operator makes it sound like machinery. “Oh yes, I’m a forklift operator.” “Really? Great! I operate a cattery. It’s just as loud as your forklift, but tends to jump into boxes, not lift them.”

Now it’s your turn. What’s the most outlandish, but still true, job title you could give yourself? Be creative; let’s make our own alphabet!

*This may not be an official list, but they are apparently ATO-approved roles! I want to be a paid lagger…

Categories: Fun Things On Land, Things people do, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

10 things I love about London

It’s always worth looking on the bright side of any situation. I’ve been in London for all but 2 nights since last October. That should have been enough to drive me mad, but there’s silver linings! So here’s a list: 10 things that have kept me relatively sane since my move from Down Under…

1. You’re in touch with the world – it feels like things happening here aren’t just from here. In South Kensington, there’s a bunch of embassies, with big flags flying and gaggles of protestors. Big exhibitions and events come to London, because: it’s London.

2. Public transport that works (most of the time): Yes, the Circle line sucks on weekends. And buses seem to know when you can least afford to be late. But I contrast that against the large number of times I’ve stepped onto a tube platform and within a minute a train has arrived to whisk me home – no forward planning necessary.

Morning sunshine!

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Categories: Fun Things On Land, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

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